Thoughts on the Democratization of Information

April 19, 2017 • 6-7PM

Broadway Hall Lounge, 14th Floor West

Of the series Thoughts on a Changing World, an initiative organized by the Committee on Global Thought to gather and access at a local and global scale the issues of current and urgent attention, the Undergraduate Committee on Global Thought’s Global Thought Lab aimed to be a “safe space” to discuss “unsafe ideas” that affect our changing world. In this first series, we focused on the “democratization of information,” a phenomenon that continues to shape social, political, and economic landscapes. We welcomed undergraduates from all four colleges of Columbia University to join us in teasing out with professor Vishakha Desai some of the core questions on this topic, which will feed into discourse at the highest level of the academy.

Vishakha Desai is Senior Advisor for Global Affairs to the President of Columbia University and Senior Research Scholar at the School of International and Public Affairs. She also serves as senior advisor for global programs to the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation. From 2004 through 2012, Desai served as president and CEO of the Asia Society, a global organization dedicated to strengthening partnerships between Asia and the U.S. Prior to becoming president, Desai served in several senior executive positions at the Asia Society for more than a decade. Under her leadership, the Society became a much more global 6/8 organization with new offices in India, and Korea, and with two new architecturally acclaimed buildings in Hong Kong and Houston. She also developed groundbreaking new initiatives such as the U.S-China Center, a transnational young leaders program, and a national program of internationally themed public high schools. A recipient of numerous awards and five honorary degrees, Desai holds a BA in political science from Bombay University and an MA and PhD in Asian Art History from the University of Michigan.