Funding the Future

I see two areas of opportunity that could advance global understandings - both of sector leaders and their publics.

Cultural diplomacy - It's been a while since this area has been sufficiently funded. Artist-to-artist exchanges, activist-to-activist exchanges, academic-to-academic exchanges. There are few opportunities for organized exchanges for learning, production, and knowledge sharing. 

With translations and institutional support, these exchanges can advance disciplines and develop new publics and markets. Much exchange is done over Skype and YouTube, but this is by and large within people's existing personal networks. These silos limit people's experience of the positive aspects of globalization. 

Applied research = In an effort to make the university more relevant in the world, more professors are looking for ways to apply their research and expertise. This is particularly true of global development and international relations professors; many create short-term, pop-up "studios" abroad. Many of these studios provide valuable, lasting development benefits for the communities they serve. But the question is, who is funding them? 

Many funders consider paying for the studios to be the university's job. But universities themselves are cash-strapped in trying to build out administrative programs to support student life and (to be frank) student job prospects. 

Applied research/service projects are yet another knowledge exchange >> instead of funding damage control of the negative aspects of globalization, funders might think of these tools as "preventative medicine." 

When will the Doctor Be In?