MUniversity of Minnesota

April 8, 2005

Notes from Dean Atwood's Presentation

Dean J. Brian Atwood made remarks about the 25 years of history of the Humphrey Fellows program, and all of the Fellows’ contributions to their nations in their work. Frances is currently writing a book about the program.

Dean Atwood raised the issue that orientation to the future is inherent in American cultural values. Similarly, Americans also value the use of technology as a tool to overcome problems.

He talked about optimism as “creating an ability to look into the future”.

He discussed an“overview of the development challenge” – all countries need to have this purpose, in overcoming problems.

Northwest Area Foundation and Humphrey are forming a partnership
addressing “rural poverty” in an 8-state region is a new initiative for Humphrey
visioning overall concept before launching projects.

He detailed many high statuses and important work of the current Fellows
He mentioned his own view that the U.S. ought to offer more funding toward foreign aid, and demonstrated that the current priorities are out of order yet offered that there seems to be a shift toward attention, motivated by “the terrorist threat.”

“We need to look at countries from a development perspective” unlike the IMF at times.

Focus of this presentation: “The role your societies [governments and people] should play in development.” He emphasized the need for self-determined involvement in addressing the problems and referred to “working together in partnership."

In stressing not “foreign aid” but “development cooperation” and distribution of wealth issues he cited a number of new efforts throughout the world.

“If we don’t have peace, we can’t have development.”

Advice for countries about development challenges:

1. “don’t ever become dependent on foreign aid”
don’t chase external support based on what it is perceived that donors/funders will offer or expect; determine development strategies from within based on contextual needs

2. “the first priority should be your most precious commodity: your people”
education & health care
includes education of girls

3. “work on the institutional and legal framework” that will support democratic change
create microeconomic systems to support development and entrepreneurship
transparency and efficiency in capital markets – attract domestic and foreign
investment – equity investment resisting exploitation of “hot capital”

4. “understand your comparative advantage” and develop “competitive advantage”
consider the possibilities of competing with First world markets

5. “provide a regulatory framework” that will attend to both incentives and competition

6. “remember always the seven forms of capital” (Fairbanks)
natural endowments
financial resources
humanly-made capital (includes infrastructure)
institutional capital (includes effective legal system)
knowledge – production of intellectual property
human – through education
cultural – compete globally and reduce corruption

Dean Atwood ended with inspirational words about individuals effecting change in home countries citing Robert Kennedy’s “Day of Affirmation” speech in apartheid South Africa to emphasize the immpact of individuals forming collaborations and making change.

(Thanks to Christopher Rogers for your notes!)

Posted by chri1010 at April 8, 2005 11:19 AM