In the past eight days I have been to three conferences, the first of which was a smorgasbord of business-related topics, including my own presentation on what I believe to be the future of global leadership research (which ended with me saying that leadership research has been something of a tempest in a teapot and needs to take into consideration the impact of economics, culture and politics on decisions organizational leaders make) ; and others of which included how it is that the US has begun lagging so far behind China in trading with Mediterranean Countries (which really came to no firm conclusion). The second conference pertained to service learning and the most important tidbit I picked up there was that although service learning may help retain certain students it may actually drive others away from the University, especially those with “messier” lives. And finally, just today I spent time in a workshop on Peace and Justice in Memphis during which the panel stated their agreement that there was a good chance the academic pursuit of peace and justice could become irrelevant and then proceeded to discuss the difference between principled nonviolence and strategic nonviolence – and all I could think of was: you think this subject could possibly become irrelevant? In my opinion it already has, since while you were discussing these things, another several people no doubt died violent deaths around the world due to a lack of meaningful action on the part of those who could educate, influence and lead others toward more peaceful lives.
Have you learned anything of use from conferences you have attended lately?