Democracy Reimagined: Having a Say in Our Futures

Pacific School of Religion’s 2020 Professors of Practice brings global leaders on Artificial Intelligence, Business & Social Responsibility, and Arts and Race into transformative conversation

Engaging the vital theme of democracy, the Professor of Practice Series kicked off at Pacific School of Religion in Spring 2020. Joining our faculty for this program were industry experts Kenneth “Hap” Klopp, co-founder of The North Face; Rumman Chowdhury, the Global Lead for Responsible Artificial Intelligence at Accenture; and Jeff Chang, Vice President of Narrative, Arts, and Culture at Race Forward.

Registering for the Professor of Practice Series

The Professor of Practice series were recorded weekly. You can view videos from previous sessions here or see the entire series on our Youtube channel.

Previous Classes

Creating Democracy: Technology & Disenfranchised Communities
Wednesday, February 12, 19, 26, and March 4
6:00 PM

Explore the ‘datafication’ of our lives and its effect on democratic expression through the role of smart cities in enabling or disabling democratic processes. Our conversation will start with the act of creating, storing and using data, and how the nature of data has changed with algorithmic systems.

Please join Rumman Chowdhury in discussion about the creation of smart cities and connected homes, and an understanding of the local and global development of the surveillance state. This course will evoke critical thinking, reflection, and discuss the direction and possible redirection of the digitized self to embrace and enable democracy.

Practicing Democracy: Civility vs. Outrage in Contemporary Political Debates and Strategies
Wednesday, March 11, March 18, and Wednesdays, April 01, 08
6:00 PM | ONLINE via Zoom

Is there a dearth of civility in our political sphere? Does outrage have a place in democratic conversations? This course will grapple with these seeming opposites by discussing the increasing polarization of contemporary society and explore the impacts of civility and outrage as alternative ways to address these problems.

Each session with Professor of Practice Kenneth “Hap” Klopp will allow the audience to debate present day issues, challenges, and conflicts affecting the way people have a say in their own future such as political representation, labor conditions, environment, privacy and security etc. within modern democracies from a variety of theoretical perspectives.

Living Democracy: Art and Culture
Wednesday, Apr 15, 22, 29, and May 06
6:00 PM | ONLINE via Zoom

Art and religion are often thought of as transcending the social and the political. Indeed, art that expresses a point-of-view about politics is often derided as propaganda, or, by definition, impure and of poor quality. This course starts from the recognition that art, like spirituality, is not neutral. Indeed, many artists think of their practice as essential to democracy, as central to the formation of the expression of popular will. In this course, we go further to deeply examine the way that local artists think and implement their creative practice to confront inequity and urge people to move towards racial justice.

Professor of Practice Jeff Chang is honored to have the opportunity to invite four different artists, and to interrogate and advance their own creative practice.

Previous Events

“Democracy Reimagined” Launch Event!
Wednesday, Feb 05
6:00 PM

We welcome you for an evening of fascinating conversation with all three of our Professors of Practice on Wednesday, February 5. This event will give you an overview of our program and a chance to meet and mingle.

This event is free but we encourage you to register online.

“Democracy Reimagined” Closing Event
Wednesday, May 13
6:00 PM

Please join us for an evening of fascinating conversation with all three of our Professors of Practice on Wednesday, May 13. This event is the culmination of our Professor of Practice series.

This event is free.