[MUSIC PLAYING] PARFAIT ELOUNDOU-ENYEGUE: I'm Parfait Eloundou. I'm a professor of development sociology at Cornell University. And I'm a member of a small group of independent scientists that the UN has appointed to draft the first report of the sustainable development agenda 2030. As part of this report, we are organizing-- in collaboration with the Polson Institute and the College of Agriculture at Cornell, a symposium that is going to bring here a lot of eminent scientists to discuss the interface between science and policy.
It was arranged to bring many, many different voices across geographies. We have all the continents that are represented. We have people from a variety of disciplines-- from the social sciences, from the natural sciences, from environmental sciences. We have people who come from very different institutions-- the UN, of course; the World Bank; a lot of think tanks across the world; small NGOs; but also from academia. So institutionally, people come from a variety of places.
We are going to have a variety of voices. And they're not going to necessarily agree. And so that is going to make up for relatively difficult conversation, but hopefully exciting ones. We are going to both engage with the goals themselves and see how they can be achieved, but also questioning the essence of development is also going to be a part of the project.
The hope in this symposium is to go beyond academic debates and research findings, and rather to recommit ourselves to the Cornell mantra, essentially-- to have knowledge with a public purpose, to remember that behind all the models, behind all the policies, we have real communities that are going to be impacted by the policies that are going to be put in place. And we have the responsibility to making certain that these policies have the best possible outcomes for these communities and individuals.
This symposium is only a starting point, or maybe a point of acceleration. After this symposium, here at Cornell we are committed to continuing the conversation and strengthening our position of leadership in thinking about global development.
The event is taking place on the Cornell campus on May 11. It's a daylong event from 8:30 to 5:30. All are invited. And we really look forward to having you there and to your active participation in these conversations.
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Parfait Eloundou-Enyegue, chair and professor of development sociology, gives an overview of the upcoming Polson Institute Symposium on May 11, the first in a new series of events that will explore the 'Future of Development'. By bringing critical voices into dialogue with practitioners and policy-makers, the series is creating opportunities to think through the social and political challenges that influence the effectiveness and fairness of global development.