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The Prince Mahidol Award Conference (PMAC) is an annual event held in Bangkok, at which humanitarian leaders and experts in various disciplines meet to discuss global challenges, including health crises and climate change. This year, the conference ran from the 25th to the 29th of January, featuring seven sessions with international speakers. The theme of PMAC 2022 was ‘The World We Want: Actions Towards a Sustainable, Fairer and Healthier Society’. This article highlights some of the main global issues and megatrends discussed at the conference.
The Hershey Company, one of the largest chocolate manufacturers in the world, produces and distributes millions of sweet treats every year. In 2019, an article on the Washington Post accused the company of failing to uproot child labour from its cocoa supply chain. Dr Bertrand Guillotin, an Associate Professor at Temple University’s Fox School of Business, recently published a case study that closely explores these child labour allegations against the Hershey Company.
The 20th Century philosopher Hannah Arendt grounded ethics in aesthetics because she viewed art as a way of understanding how the world appears to different people. In her recent work, Professor Andreea Deciu [day-chew] Ritivoi [ree-tee-voy] of Carnegie Mellon University highlights Arendt’s rich repertoire of literary writings, as she believes that they deserve to be considered alongside other popular ethical works. Professor Ritivoi shows how Arendt’s unique contribution identifies the obstacles facing ‘human togetherness’, so that we can find ways to overcome them.
Music has the power to influence how we interpret the world around us. Dr. Alessandro Ansani from the Department of Psychology at Sapienza University of Rome believes this interpretation is multidimensional and involves several interconnected cognitive factors and mechanisms. He has recently demonstrated the significant impact that background music can have on our interpretation of a simple movie scene, by manipulating the soundtrack.
Cyberpunk brings to mind neon lights, artificial intelligence and mega corporations. It is a subgenre of science fiction set in a dystopian, futuristic, and oppressive setting, with advanced technology often featured alongside societal decay. Professor Elana Gomel [ee-lah-nah go-mell] in the Department of English and American Studies at Tel-Aviv University in Israel specialises in narrative theory with a particular focus on the intersection between literature and science. In her recent work focusing on the cyberpunk genre, Professor Elana Gomel argues that cyberpunk is not a dystopian modality of representation; rather, it is better classified as ‘post-utopian’.
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