The American Global Challenge: Aligning Economy, Democracy & Environment in the 21st Century


America and the world face historic challenges. The global economy is not working well for people or the planet. Dissatisfaction with government crosses the political spectrum, fueling anger that democracy is broken. And looming environmental problems exceed our current political capacity. How did we get here? What can be done to address these great challenges of our time? This lecture series examines the prospects for realigning our economic, environmental and political systems in light of the outcomes of the 2016 elections: (a) economic and democratic system breakdown, (b) can capitalism be fixed, (c) the role of money in political reform, (d) dismantling the myth of environment versus economy, and (e) building the next system.

LECTURE SPEAKER: University of Washington Professor Lance Bennett
DATES: January 17, January 31, February 7, February 21, and March 7
TIMES: 7 p.m. for all dates
LOCATION: Kane Hall 120
COST: $150 for series

All proceeds will go to support students and projects in the Department of Communication and Center for Communication and Civic Engagement

Special thanks to our friends at the University of Washington Alumni Association for their help in promoting tonight’s lecture to the greater UW community. Each quarter, the Alumni Association partners with schools and departments across the University to present public lectures on timely topics. You can find a full list of public lectures on their website,

lance-bennet-2016Lance Bennett is Professor of Political Science and Ruddick C. Lawrence Professor of Communication at the University of Washington, Seattle, USA, where he directs the Center for Communication and Civic Engagement ( The focus of his work is on how communication processes affect citizen engagement with politics. His publications include Civic Life Online: Learning How Digital Media Can Engage Youth (M.I.T.), and The Logic of Connective Action: Digital Media and the Personalization of Contentious Politics (with Alexandra Segerberg, Cambridge, 2013). He has received the Ithiel de Sola Pool and Murray Edelman career awards from the American Political Science Association.  The National Communication Association has given him its Distinguished Scholar award, and the International Communication Association has named him an ICA Fellow for lifetime achievement in the study of human communication. He is also a recipient of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation Research Prize for distinguished career achievement, one of the highest scientific awards in Germany. His current interests focus on how to better align thinking about the economy, democracy and the environment in order to build more equitable and sustainable human systems on the planet.