Apr 182017
 April 18, 2017

Duke Presdient Richard H. Brodhead, left, Elizabeth Kiss, center, President of Agnes Scott College, and Laurie Patton, right, President of Middlebury College.

On April 27, Duke President Richard H. Brodhead will take part in a moderated panel discussion focused on leadership and ethical decision making and its place in everyday life on a college campus.

“Speaking of Ethics: The Challenges of University Leadership” will be moderated by Suzanne Shanahan, Nannerl O. Keohane Director of the Kenan Institute for Ethics, and will also include Elizabeth Kiss, President of Agnes Scott College, and Laurie Patton, President of Middlebury College.

The event will begin at 5 p.m. April 27 at the Doris Duke Center at Sarah P. Duke Gardens. Reception to follow.

Apr 132017
 April 13, 2017

One of the six breakout groups from Kenan’s three-day symposium discusses payments for ecosystem services in South Africa.

The Kenan Institute for Ethics hosted about 60 visitors April 10 to 12 as part of an international symposium, which included practitioners and scholars from Brazil, Ecuador, Mexico, Guatemala, Vietnam and South Africa.

The multi-day event was part of a collaborative effort to share research and insight into payments for ecosystem services, a process in which financial rewards are provided by one group, such as a public or private organization, to another, such as landowners, for environmentally-friendly actions. For example, in Ecuador, groups like USAID and The Nature Conservancy sponsored a project that used a water tax to fund conservation and reforestation efforts elsewhere in the country.

“Our role is not just to protect a lake, or tree, or mountain, but to study nature as a relic, particularly for indigenous peoples,” said Fredy Grefa, a native of the Ecuadorian Amazon and a Ph.D. student at University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.

Over its three days, the conference connected Duke undergraduate and graduate students with experts, who broke out into working groups to discuss and study payment for ecosystem service projects from each of the six countries represented at the event, the longest-standing such initiatives in the Global South. Paulina Arroyo, a program officer for the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation’s Andes Amazon Initiative, noted the practical connection of real-world environmental focus and educational opportunities.

“Symposiums like this are important because they help to bridge the knowledge gap between academics, practitioners, and policy makers, which is when innovation occurs,” she said.

The symposium culminated in a public talk, ”Cash for Green: Payments for Ecosystem Services in the Global South.” The program featured presentations from each of the six groups, sharing ways in which conceptualization and implementation of payments for ecosystem services have been shaped through the political, economic and cultural contexts of each country.

Visiting scholars came from all over the world, including Brazil, Ecuador, Mexico, Guatemala, Vietnam and South Africa.

“I appreciate that symposiums like this give us the chance to convene with different representatives of all the countries that we wouldn’t typically interact with,” said Margaret Holland, an assistant professor in the Department of Geography & Environmental Systems at the University of Maryland-Baltimore County. “It’s great to make parallels between the experiences of different countries.”

The symposium was organized by Elizabeth Shapiro-Garza, assistant professor of the practice of environmental policy and management at the Nicholas School of the Environment, and Christine Folch, assistant professor in the Department of Cultural Anthropology. Kenan Program Coordinator Kate Abendroth also assisted in coordination.

Co-sponsors included the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies, Duke Office of Global AffairsDuke University Africa Initiative, Duke Tropical Conservation Initiative, Global Brazil Lab at the Franklin Humanities Institute, Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions, Nicholas School of the Environment.

Apr 122017
 April 12, 2017

“Why are you doing this to us?”

This question, posed by a 5-year old girl currently living in Jordan, is at the core of a new op-ed written by a group of seven Duke undergraduates who participated in the Kenan Institute for Ethics’ DukeImmerse program, which combines classroom and field research to help students fully understand the causes and consequences of today’s refugee crisis.

The commentary, posted on the Huffington Post, provides insight into the lives of displaced people the students met during a monthlong trip to Jordan and how America’s travel ban impacts them. In their piece, the students argue that the U.S. should welcome more refugees into the country to provide a safe life that can help them achieve hopes and dreams for their families.

“We listened to teachers, lawyers, artists, police officers, and accountants,” they write. “We spent time with mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, and children whose only hope of a future lies with the citizens of countries such as ours. As a nation, we must be kind and empathetic enough to welcome them in.”

Read the full op-ed on the Huffington Post.

Authors of the op-ed include Bryce Cracknell, Sara Evall, Sloan Talbot, Louden Richason, Isabella Arbelaez, Idalis French, and Josie Tarin.

Apr 112017
 April 11, 2017

Despite their opposing political viewpoints, John Hood and Leslie Winner encourage others to look past the heated polarization of today’s politics.

As Kenan Institute for Ethics’ Practitioners-in-Residence from April 3 to 7, the pair demonstrated how to work across ideological lines without compromising one’s own beliefs while meeting with students, faculty, staff and the public. A week-long series of events was organized through Kenan, the Center for Political Leadership, Innovation, and Service (POLIS) and the Policy Bridge.

Throughout their week on campus, Hood and Winner shared insight with the Duke and Durham community. Read more about their visit in this Duke Today story.

Watch Hood and Winner’s public talk, “Finding Common Ground in a Polarized World”:

Apr 112017
 April 11, 2017

The Kenan Institute for Ethics has now made it easier to explore complex ethical questions wherever you go.

In coordination with Team Kenan, the Institute has launched a new podcast, Audible Ethics. Hosted by Duke sophomore David Wohlever Sánchez, episodes will explore areas of science, politics, psychology and more, with help of scholars and thought leaders at Duke and beyond. The podcast is available now through iTunes.

In its first episode, Audible Ethics chats with Walter Sinnott-Armstrong, the Chauncey Stillman Professor in Practical Ethics in the Department of Philosophy and the Kenan Institute for Ethics, to talk about the future of artificial intelligence. Upcoming conversations include David Toole, a Senior Fellow with the Kenan Institute for Ethics and Senior Research Fellow at Duke Divinity School and Arts & Sciences, and Barry Lam, a Humanities-Writ Large Fellow visiting with Kenan as part of work with Sinnott-Armstrong.

In a recent recording, Wohlever Sánchez spoke with John Hood and Leslie Winner, two North Carolina political leaders visiting campus as Kenan Practitioners-in-Residence.

Get a behind-the-scenes look at Audible Ethics with Wohlever Sánchez in the video below and subscribe to the podcast here.

Apr 062017
 April 6, 2017

Sunny skies and warm temperatures offered an opportunity for camaraderie and play among Duke students and local refugee children April 4 as part of the Kenan Institute for Ethics’ Mentorship, Academics, and Self-esteem: Tutoring and Engaging with Refugee Youth program.

The weekly program, which hosts about 50 local youth from kindergarten through high school, offers unique learning opportunities for both volunteers and kids. Duke undergraduates provide mentoring, tutoring – and when the weather calls for it – a space in which to bond and play. In turn, Duke students gain greater awareness of global issues, presented in a tangible way. Local children participating this semester include kids from Somalia, Sudan, Iraq, Syria and Vietnam.

“Tutors have the chance to have a direct impact on a kid’s life and educational trajectory while learning about their stories and personalities,” said senior Olivia Johnson, who organizes MASTERY. “It’s a chance to break out of the daily routine of studying at school to meet new people and perspectives, which I think is truly valuable. It’s also just really fun.”

During the latest meeting, the group played catch, hula hooped and scored on portable soccer goals. Throughout the year, activities also include creative art projects, celebrations of holidays from different cultures, academic achievement, and community building.

For more information about the program, visit its website.

Apr 042017
 April 4, 2017

Edward Balleisen, Vice Provost for Interdisciplinary Studies and a Senior Fellow at the Kenan Institute for Ethics, is the latest guest on the Sanford School of Public Policy’s Ways & Means Podcast, which examines ideas and research for how to improve society.

Balleisen, who helped create Kenan’s Rethinking Regulation program, offered context in the episode around the case of John Rusnak, a currency trader who was convicted of one of the largest bank frauds in American history. Balleisen’s new book, Fraud: An American History from Barnum to Madoff, covers the story of fraud in America and some of the biggest names from modern times.

“Fraud is a perennial problem for any capitalist society,” Balleisen said in this story about his book. “We tend to go through periods of generational amnesia about regulatory structures that we put in place after sufficient recognition of the costs associated with widespread fraud, but there’s always a tradeoff. To enact policies that tend to restrict opportunity for deception means inevitably restricting opportunity for competitive sales practices. In moments when economic stagnation becomes an abiding concern, policy-makers tend to pull back on the regulation of deception.”

Listen to the latest episode of Ways & Means here. For more information about Fraud: An American History from Barnum to Madoff, read this story.

Apr 032017
 April 3, 2017

From now through April 14, visitors to the West Duke Building are encouraged to take part in a unique art installation posted by Team Kenan and the Kenan Institute for Ethics. The “Make Your Mark” exhibit features a series of hanging canvases where students, faculty and staff can draw images and shapes as a way to explore the ethical and artistic expression of graffiti.

While early versions of American graffiti focused on “drinking, defecating and politicking,” during the 1950s 1960s, it became associated with a powerful youth subculture that rejected the values and laws on mainstream society, developing its own language, aesthetic, and cultural values. In their own way, Duke community members can explore these ideas through the temporary installation.

To get involved, ask for markers in Room 102.

On March 31, local artist Adair Jones kicked off the “Make Your Mark” exhibit with her own creation, seen in the timelapse video below.

Mar 302017
 March 30, 2017

In the latest edition of the Kenan Institute for Ethics’ “Good Question” series, Alma Blount, Director of Duke’s Hart Leadership Program and a Senior Lecturer in Public Policy at Sanford School of Public Policy, offers insight in how to best meet students’ eagerness for ethical leadership.

Blount, who has taught at Duke since 1994 and has served as director of the Hart Leadership Program since 2001, notes it’s important to see leadership not as a position, but as an activity.

“Leadership requires a willingness to help people take on thorny problems that defy easy answers, and it also requires a sense of purpose, and knowledge and skills to embrace those tasks,” she said. “Students show a hunger for this work, an interest in dealing with conflict productively and addressing issues that might keep a community, a company—or a country—from confronting its toughest problems.”

Read more ideas on ethical leadership and learn how a career in human rights work and photojournalism led Blount to Duke in her Good Question profile.

Mar 292017
 March 29, 2017

In addition to his academic work, Wayne Norman also sings about ethical situations.

Wayne Norman, the Mike and Ruth Mackowski Professor of Ethics in the Kenan Institute for Ethics and Trinity College of Arts & Sciences, is visiting Massachusetts’ Bentley University this week as its 2017 Valente Center Distinguished Visiting Scholar.

During his time on the Bentley campus – located just outside Boston – Norman is taking part in special events for students, faculty and the public, each focusing on aspects of business and adversarial ethics. On March 29, he’ll present the public talk “How to be an Ethical Adversary Without Tying One Hand Behind Your Back,” an exploration of the permissibility of “playing to win” among social and cultural institutions. A faculty seminar will take place March 30, in which Norman will discuss the question of “Why would anybody voluntarily take a course in business ethics?”

In addition to these standard modes of academic communication, Norman is also sharing his academic and teaching interests through song. On March 29, he’ll perform a set of “Ivory Tower Rock!” songs he has written about famous ethical arguments by Plato, Confucius, and MIT philosophy professor Judith Jarvis Thompson in a pub at the Bentley Student Center.

For more information about Norman’s time at Bentley University, visit the Valente Center for Arts & Sciences website.