This year’s virtual event on October 27 was hosted by Tufts alumna, Kalahn A. Taylor-Clark, J99, MG01, and featured talks on food sustainability in the midst of climate change and a global pandemic; the need to radically change how organizations in the social sector take on big problems; and why students across the country are voting in record numbers—and how Tufts is leading higher education’s mission to increase civic engagement.
If you missed the live-streamed event, you may watch it all here—or explore by topic. We’ve also provided additional material for you to dive deeper and learn more about each talk.
Watch Tufts Talks in its entirety below (1 hour, 28 minutes):
Timothy Griffin, E10P, EG13P
Eating, with Perspective
Tim Griffin discusses the challenges facing the world’s food systems and how innovation is essential to address our most pressing needs regarding health, sustainability, and the economic well-being of everyone involved.
Know that your food choices matter—for you and the planet.
Think about the people that make up each aspect of the food system. Are they being treated fairly and equitably?
Look for values-driven innovation that contributes to a regenerative economy, supports inclusivity, and works for the many and not just the few.
Make sure the sources of meat you consume treat animals humanely and with respect.
At the Friedman School he is chair of the Division of Agriculture, Food, and Environment, and teaches
classes on U.S. agriculture, and agricultural science and policy.
In 2018, he was named as the inaugural recipient of a professorship in Nutrition, Agriculture, and Sustainable Food Systems. His current research focuses on assessment of sustainability across environmental, social and economic metrics, regional food systems, and climate change
impacts on agriculture. Griffin supervises doctoral students conducting research on topics ranging from precision agriculture to food access to water rights. He served as an advisor to the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, focusing on sustainability, and recently completed work
as a member of the National Academy of Sciences study Genetically Engineered Crops: Experiences and Prospects.
Prior to coming to the Friedman School, Griffin served as lead scientist/agronomist at the USDA-Agricultural Research Service (2000-2008) and extension specialist in sustainable agriculture at the University of Maine (1992-2000). His position at the University of Maine was the first of its kind in the United States.
Measuring Social Change
Alnoor Ebrahim, professor of management at The Fletcher School and Tisch College, addresses the dilemmas faced by leaders of social enterprises and nonprofit organizations: what to measure, what kinds of performance systems to build, and how to align multiple demands for accountability.
Every social change leader and funder must be clear about their:
Value proposition: What do you seek to achieve?
Social change model: How will you bring about change?
Accountability: How will you hold your feet to the fire?
Strategy: Which strategy is best for achieving your goals —niche, integrated, emergent, or ecosystem?
His current research addresses two core dilemmas of accountability facing social enterprises, nonprofit organizations, and public agencies: How should they measure and improve their performance? How should they address competing
demands for accountability from diverse stakeholders? These questions are addressed in his new book, Measuring Social Change: Performance & Accountability in a Complex World, (Stanford University Press, 2019). He is also the author of
the award-winning book, NGOs and Organizational Change: Discourse, Reporting, and Learning, and is co-editor of Global Accountabilities: Participation, Pluralism, and Public Ethics, (both with Cambridge University Press).
Ebrahim previously served on a working group established by the G7 to create global guidelines on social impact measurement, and has served on advisory boards to the Global Impact Investing Network and Acumen. He has also worked with the NGO Leaders Forum, an annual gathering of CEOs of the largest humanitarian development organizations based in the United States. His previous research on accountability mechanisms within the World Bank led to a congressional testimony on improving the bank’s information disclosure policy. Ebrahim teaches courses on leadership and strategy and also co-chairs an executive education program that is a joint venture between Harvard Kennedy School and Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurs.
Prior to joining The Fletcher School, he served on the faculty at Harvard Business School where he chaired two executive programs for social sector leaders, Harvard Kennedy School, and Virginia Tech. Ebrahim received his doctorate and master’s degrees from Stanford University, and his bachelor of science from M.I.T.
Nancy Thomas, A18P
Educating for Democracy in Turbulent Times
Nancy Thomas, director of the Institute for Democracy & Higher Education at Tisch College, shares insights from the institute’s signature initiative involving more than a thousand U.S. colleges and universities and more than 10 million students in every corner of the nation.
Support higher education’s civic mission: Insist that your public officials support education for democracy, not just career preparation.
Talk politics: Find opportunities to discuss current events and trends with others.
Tackle polarization: Model ways to talk about politically charged topics across differences of opinion, e.g., explore all perspectives.
Stand for the truth: Help educators and others promote facts and debunk misinformation.
Work to close equity gaps: Not everyone feels their voices matter. Focus on groups that are underrepresented in the political process.
Don’t assume voting experience: Teach the “how-to” of voting and voting rights, and insist that they be taught in your local schools.
Currently, Thomas is conducting research and providing assistance to colleges and universities to advance student political learning and participation in democracy.
The institute’s signature initiative, the National Study of Learning, Voting, and Engagement
(NSLVE), is a large dataset for research and a service
that provides more than 1,100 participating colleges and universities with tailored reports containing their students’ aggregate voting rates. Her work and scholarship center
on higher education’s democratic mission, college student political learning and participation, political equity and inclusion, discourse, free speech and academic freedom, and deliberative democracy on campuses and in communities.
Thomas is the author of multiple book chapters, articles, and the monograph, “Educating for Deliberative Democracy.” She has a law degree from Case Western Reserve University and a doctorate from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.
Kalahn A. Taylor-Clark, J99, MG01
Kalahn A. Taylor-Clark, the Global Head of Patient Solutions at Sanofi, will host the event and moderate Q & A sessions with the speakers.
Kalahn A. Taylor-Clark, J99, MG01, as the Global Head of Patient Solutions at Sanofi, serves as the strategic patient lead to global business units in the US/EU and China and Emerging Markets, across all therapeutic areas of the company. Her team is responsible for supporting patient-focused risk-benefit analyses, improving digital strategies and new technology use to better capture patients’ perspectives, and translating Real World Evidence (RWE) studies into high impact solutions to improve patient adherence and outcomes. Prior to this post Taylor-Clark served as the US Head of Public Affairs in Cardiometabolic Health. Taylor-Clark’s work has helped the company to develop, measure, amplify and adapt solutions based on key stakeholder input (e.g. providers, patients, scientific societies and policymakers), that align to emphasize increased access to innovation and improved patient-relevant outcomes.
Taylor-Clark holds a BA in International Relations from Tufts University, an MPH from Tufts School of Medicine, and a PhD in Health Policy from Harvard University. She serves as a Member of the Board of Trustees for Tufts University, and as President of the Board of Directors at Prevention Institute in Oakland, CA.