National Conversation Launch - "The Changing World of Work: What Should We Ask from Higher Education?"

Jan 21
Jan 21 2015, 9:00am - 12:00pm EST

National Press Club
Washington, DC 

National Issues Forums Institute

Event Type

Special Event

Issue Guides

This event will launch a national conversation on The Changing World of Work: What Should We Ask from Higher Education?, Wednesday, January 21, 2015, from 9 a.m. to Noon, at the National Press Club in Washington, DC.

A diverse panel of leaders from business, civic and community groups, higher education, and policy-making institutions will discuss the multiple roles higher education could and should play as the United States confronts historic changes in the world of work. Audience members will also participate.

Technology, globalization and the aftermath of the Great Recession have created challenges for this country that are as sweeping and daunting as those posed by the Industrial Revolution. Our questions are these: How should the nation’s colleges and universities respond—as educators, as researchers, and as key institutions in their own regions and communities? And how can these institutions revitalize the strong democracy-building role that has historically been their mission?

Organized by the National Issues Forums Institute, Augsburg College, host institution of the American Commonwealth Partnership, and the Kettering Foundation, this conversation responds to concerns voiced by thousands of citizens in more than 160 local forums in which students, parents, professors, employers, and others deliberated on the future of higher education.

These exchanges highlighted a potentially troublesome gap between today’s policy debates—often focused on immediate issues such as cost-cutting, student debt, STEM, and distance learning—and the broad conviction among Americans that higher education should offer students the time and space to explore new ideas and diverse fields. Many Americans are convinced that a richly diverse college education is hugely valuable—for both students and the larger society. Many worry that it is endangered.

The launch of this new conversation will begin in the National Press Club’s Holeman Lounge, at 9:00am and conclude at noon. A continental breakfast will be available at 8:30am. To confirm your participation, please contact Elie Peltz by January 12, 2015 at or by telephone at (202) 393-4478. Should you be unable to attend, you may want to identify an interested colleague to take your place.

We look forward to welcoming you to this nationwide conversation, which holds promise for clarifying the role of the nation’s higher education institutions in meeting the challenges posed by today’s changing world of work.


Harry Boyte, Augsburg College

William Muse, National Issues Forums Institute

Jean Johnson, National Issues Forums

John Dedrick, Kettering Foundation

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