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University of Central Missouri
Warrensburg, MO 64093
Contact: Jeff Murphy
WARRENSBURG, MO (Dec. 19, 2012) – Through his attendance at a recent international conference in London, a University of Central Missouri professor has knowledge he can share with students that will help them gain a more worldly perspective about themes that connect technology, the environment and leading cities.
A former Fulbright Scholar in political theory, Joseph Lewandowski, dean of The Honors College and professor of philosophy at UCM, attended the invitation-only 2012 Urban Age Electric Conference at the London School of Economics and Political Science Dec. 6-7. The event was organized by LSE Cities and Deutsche Bank’s Alfred Herrhausen Society, and supported by the Mayor of London. This was the 11th such conference in a series since 2004 that explored the links between the physical and social dimensions of some of the most rapidly changing cities of the world, including Mumbai, London, Johannesburg and Hong Kong.
During the conference, Lewandowski had an opportunity to hear and network with leading social scientists, who tackled the social, political and economic dimensions of technological change, while also addressing questions related to adaptation and change in individual and collective behaviors. Some discussions also were led by members of the Brookings Institution and representatives from the United Kingdom government, including UK Prime Minister David Cameron, who explored the economic influences of green cities on the welfare and economic geography of urban areas.
City leaders and service providers in developed and undeveloped regions debated low-tech and high-tech solutions on urban living, and there was a discussion by the mayors of Rio de Janiero, Stockholm and Barcelona about how to govern the 21st century Electric City, and limits and conflicts between cities and states in confronting the challenges of climate change.
"Having recently co-edited a book devoted to urban life, it was a distinct honor and privilege to be a part of such an intensely engaged interdisciplinary discussion of the future of the world's cities. As an educator and administrator, I always try to encourage students to take a worldly perspective on local problems and issues, especially those of sustainability, inequality, and economic development,” Lewandowski said. “The Urban Age Conference has afforded me new insights and empirical data that I look forward to sharing with students in the classroom. It is crucial that UCM students understand the interconnected challenges and opportunities faced by cities such as St. Louis, Kansas City, London and Mumbai."
Lewandowski is a prolific researcher, and has addressed a number of topics that relate to social change on a global scale. He is the author of “Interpreting Culture: Rethinking Method and Truth in Social Theory,”co-editor of “Trust and Transitions: Social Capital in a Changing World,” and co-editor of “Urban Social Capital: Civil Society and City Life.” His lectures on social philosophy and political theory have taken him to colleges and universities in The Netherlands, Britain, Poland, Prague and Romania, giving him a wealth of international experiences that he can share with his students at UCM.