Category Archives: Trends 2024: Divisive World

Conversations about our divisive world

Embracing Unique Thinking Styles – by Lee Webster

Navigating Machines and Race: Shaping Cognitive Diversity and Innovation

We are at the threshold of a new era where diversity, equity, and inclusion will leap beyond biology into an interaction with Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Robotics.  We are at a stage where robots mimic human motions, AI voices converse and learn, and technology pushes the boundaries of our understanding.  We are witnessing the breakthroughs of innovation advances: quantum computing redefines reality, genetic engineering rewrites the code of life, and self-driving cars reimagine mobility.  But it is the cognitive diversity introduced by AI and robotics that truly compels us to redefine our concept of “different.”  

Continue reading Embracing Unique Thinking Styles – by Lee Webster

2024 Trends, Predictions, Actions We Must Take – by Mauricio Velásquez.

2024 is going to be a very tumultuous year.  It is an election year, divisiveness, hate, polarized manipulation will be the name of the game.  Pitting people, groups against each other will be attempted, fight these forces.  Take the high road – call for calm, unity, understanding, and Peace.

As a global backdrop, a constant reminder of division and hate – Ukraine-Russia, and the Israel-Hamas wars will be a contributing factor in the churning of hate.  Hate opportunists will take advantage of these wars as a backdrop to foment division, suspicion, and outright hate and violence.  Watch the hate on social media and call it out.  I am constantly “Calling for Respect, Dignity, Understanding for All.”

Continue reading 2024 Trends, Predictions, Actions We Must Take – by Mauricio Velásquez.

2024 Trends: Healthcare at Risk – by David Grinberg

Despite its overwhelming success, Obamacare remains the target of relentless partisan attacks. Donald Trump is again vowing to end the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare, during a potential second term as president.

“Obamacare is a catastrophe,” Trump recently said at a campaign event in Iowa. The twice impeached former president also wrote on his social media platform: “The cost of Obamacare is out of control, plus, it’s not good Healthcare.”

But terminating Obamacare, assuming Trump wins the presidency again, would decimate healthcare for about 40 million Americans for no good reason. These citizens in need of affordable healthcare had been locked out of the private insurance system for decades based on discriminatory reasons — including socioeconomic status and preexisting conditions, which disproportionately hurt minority groups the most.

Continue reading 2024 Trends: Healthcare at Risk – by David Grinberg

Peacebuilding: Growing Strawberries on Coconut Trees – by Ashok Panikkar  

The Nature of Peace and Peacebuilding in a Collectivist and Illiberal World

This article was originally published in Beyond Intractability 

The only reasonable prediction we can make about the 21st century is that we don’t know what’s coming our way — except that it will be bad.

While triggered by the Israel/Palestine situation, this article is a critical reflection on the role of ‘peacebuilding’ (my umbrella term for all non-adversarial dispute resolution processes) in the 21st century.

To understand why the peacebuilding field has failed to live up to its lofty ambitions, we have to unpack the world we inhabit today. After the heady optimism at the end of the Cold War, the conflicts of the new century have forced Westerners to rethink their short-lived assumptions about abolishing war, making the world safe for democracy and capitalism, and world peace. Hence, I won’t give you a two-point off-ramp for Russia, a five-point plan for the Syrian embroglio, or a seven-point approach for the Israel-Palestine mess. Of course, we should try to make the world safer. However, our attempts should be rooted in hard-nosed realities, not skewered by wishful thinking.

Continue reading Peacebuilding: Growing Strawberries on Coconut Trees – by Ashok Panikkar  

New Climate Inflection Point in our Axial Age – by The Rev. Dr. John Pawlikowski

In my contribution to American Diversity Report at the beginning of 2023, I argued that we are living in an axial era where fundamental structures of human society are undergoing profound change. As we enter 2024, I would maintain with others such as former Senator John Kerry, now the U.S. Special Envoy for Climate Issues, that the final communique from the recent COP 28 conference in Dubai may represent an axial moment.

Special Envoy Kerry believes the Dubai decision to commit to a movement to eliminate the reliance on fossil fuels by the global community (as well as methane gas) signals a  fundamental shift in the way we provide power for the human community. Such a wholesale shift in the generation of necessary power throughout the world, if successful, would represent a fundamental reordering of our life together as a global community. It would insure the sustainability of our planet and firmly implant the right to a the right to a healthy environment for all living creatures proclaimed by the General Assembly of the United Nations in 2023.    

Continue reading New Climate Inflection Point in our Axial Age – by The Rev. Dr. John Pawlikowski

Reimagining Indian Intervention in the Israel-Hamas Conflict – by Ainesh Dey and Diksha Gupta

India’s Non-Linear Engagement in the Region: 
Abstract

This article delves into the broader geo-strategic positioning of India against the backdrop of the brewing conflict between Israelis and Palestinians.

As the Israel-Hamas conflict rages on, India’s dehyphenation policy calls for valuing independent relationships with Israelis and Palestinians on their merit.

 As reflected in her latest statements in the UN Security Council, India unequivocally hit upon the need for the resumption of direct dialogue and the overall de-escalation of tensions.

Continue reading Reimagining Indian Intervention in the Israel-Hamas Conflict – by Ainesh Dey and Diksha Gupta

Proposal: Peace, Justice + Reconciliation – by Abraham Avrum Ber ‘Avi’ Hoffman

Disclaimer: I am not a politician or a diplomat and I am not yet involved in political activism. I am just trying to do what I can to offer some ‘context’ as an entertainer by profession and an activist for Jewish culture and Yiddish language. I grew up in, and love the concept and potential of the very young State of Israel.

Preamble:
According to Nobel Prize winning author Isaac Bashevis Singer, Yiddish is:

“a language of exile, without a land, without frontiers, not supported by any government, a language which possesses no words for weapons, ammunition, military exercises, war tactics.”

Reading this over and over made me wonder if perhaps there is a lesson to be learned from Yiddish history and ‘experience’ that might offer a clue to creating an environment for Peace, fulfilling the ‘Hope’ of the Jewish people for thousands of years, to be a free people in our own country. Free from hatred, free from violence and free to pursue Life, Liberty and Happiness in our own democratic home – with all the complications democracy brings – in peace and harmony with our neighbors and the world.

Continue reading Proposal: Peace, Justice + Reconciliation – by Abraham Avrum Ber ‘Avi’ Hoffman

AI and Inclusive Economic Development – by Lorne Steedley

Today the topic of artificial intelligence (AI) and economic growth is the headlines of news, and social media all over the world. As the Vice President for Diversity and Inclusive Growth at Chattanooga Chamber of Commerce, I’m keenly aware of the challenges facing historically marginalized small businesses in our city. Our organization is committed to ensuring that all businesses can be productive and profitable. That’s why I’m excited about the potential for  AI to stimulate economic growth by helping businesses thrive.

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Our Divisive World Part 1: Conversation with Deborah Levine, Terry Howard, Carlos Cortés

Deborah: I’m getting multiple emails and phone calls disturbed and distressed about today’s divisive world. Colleagues ask about what can and should be done to counter the current trends. One of the emails that stands out is from Terry Howard, one of our American Diversity Report Advisors. 

Terry: “Hey Deborah, considering the on-going Israel-Hamas conflict and its seismic increases in acts of antisemitic and Islamophobia in the United States, what are your thoughts about developing something highlighting divisive/hurtful words and language that divides? For example, I’m not sure that many people are familiar with the history behind the expression, “From river to sea,” and language used to disparage Palestinians.”

Deborah: Talk about controversy! For the Jewish people, the phrase “From river to sea” means the elimination of Israel and replacement by a Palestinian nation. For Palestinians, I believe it means freedom from occupation. What prompted your interest in this difficult subject?

Continue reading Our Divisive World Part 1: Conversation with Deborah Levine, Terry Howard, Carlos Cortés

Israeli-Palestinian Conflict – by David B. Grinberg

 Constructive Communication is Precursor for Peace 

As a Jewish American, I am an unwavering supporter of Israel’s unequivocal right to exist as the internationally recognized homeland for the Jewish people.

However, I also agree that the Palestinian people in the West Bank and Gaza Strip deserve their own internationally recognized sovereign state. This is also the position of President Biden and the U.S. government.

Therefore, rather than continuing heated and offensive back-and-forth arguments — which only seem to solidify opposing views — the two sides need to build a semblance of consensus as a precursor for any peace talks.

Continue reading Israeli-Palestinian Conflict – by David B. Grinberg