Reflecting on the Impact of Environmental Training

Over the last decade, the Henry Luce Foundation has funded $30 million in environmental initiatives to enhance academic training and research as well as support ground-breaking projects of environmental organizations.

The foundation has now turned to the Watson Institute to assess the overall impacts, lessons learned, and critical needs remaining from its initiative for those who would wish to mobilize environmental knowledge in the service of global public goods.

Under a $150,000 grant, Watson will conduct research and host a conference including Luce grantees, among other activities. The work will be led by Africana Studies Associate Professor Nancy J. Jacobs and J. Timmons Roberts, director of Brown’s Center for Environmental Studies.

Included in this analysis will be data collected as part of the Institute’s own Luce-supported program known as the Watson International Scholars of the Environment, which over 10 years hosted 66 mid-career environmental professionals from 41 countries in the developing world.

These scholars each came to Brown for a semester to work with faculty and students from across the disciplines, and meet with professionals at NGOs, think tanks, and governments in other US cities. Home-country workshops led by program alumni took place in seven countries. Many continue to collaborate in an international alumni network.

In announcing the new relationship with Luce, Institute Director Michael D. Kennedy said that, “We view this work as part of a larger public enterprise, one designed to broaden awareness among various publics of environmental challenges and the ways in which they articulate with other needs from justice and democracy to extending economic development and educational opportunity.” Toward that end, the project, “Assessing Environmental Knowledge Flows and Their Media,” will also integrate various media both as subject and as object of the initiative.

 

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