(In)civility and Democracy

february, 2024

08feb10:40 am11:50 am(In)civility and Democracy


(Thursday) 10:40 am - 11:50 am


USF Student Center

200 6th Ave S

Event Details

Civil discourse and behavior have deteriorated in politics, the media, and the public sphere in recent years. Panelists will attempt to determine why this has happened, its effect on democracy, and how respectful dialogue and conduct can be re-established. Panel discussion with live Q&A to follow.

Speakers for this event

  • Ann Sussman

    Ann Sussman

    RA, President, the Human Architecture + Planning Institute, Inc

    Ann Sussman, RA, President, the Human Architecture + Planning Institute, Inc (http://theHapi.org ), in Concord, MA, USA. Ann is president of the Human Architecture + Planning Institute (http://theHapi.org ) a nonprofit dedicated to understanding the human experience of the built environment, and improving its design through education and research. A licensed architect, her expertise is using biometric tools, including eye tracking, to reveal how our experience of buildings begins subliminally. Her book, Cognitive Architecture, Designing for How We Respond to the Built Environment, (Routledge, 2015, 2021) won the Place Research Award from the Environment Design Research Association (EDRA) in 2016. She has taught a course on buildings and our biology at the Boston Architectural College (BAC) since 2018. Her website: http://annsussman.com ; blog: http://geneticsofdesign.com

    RA, President, the Human Architecture + Planning Institute, Inc

  • Cristina Ávila-Zesatti

    Cristina Ávila-Zesatti

    Born in Zacatecas, Mexico in 1972.  She has a Bachelor Degree in Communications from the Universidad del Valle de Atemajac, a Master in Documentary Films from the Universidad Complutense de Madrid, and a Specialized Degree in Culture of Peace, from the Universidad Autonoma de Barcelona. Her specialization is in the so-called “Peace Journalism,” which seeks to provide an informed perspective focused on peaceful solutions, compassion, and hope. She has been key speaker on this topic in several cities of Spain, Colombia, United States and Mexico, and has also given presentations and workshops in the World Peace Forum (Santiago de Compostela) at the World Peace Summit (Bogotá), TEDx-Talks, among others Cristina Avila-Zesatti is the founder and Main Editor of Corresponsal de Paz (Peace Correspondent), an online media dedicated to show a different side of journalism, the one focused on creative solutions of social conflict. Corresponsal de Paz, founded in early 2009, currently has an average of 30 thousand monthly unique-visitor from over 70 countries spanning 5 continents.  In 2011, Corresponsal de Paz was also selected as one of the 25 more inspirational stories of peace, and published in the book “Peace 2.0” edited by The Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict (GPPAC), an international organization based at The Hague, Netherlands Active reporter since 1993, Cristina Ávila-Zesatti used to be a producer and editor of International News for mainstream media such as CNN and NBC, and Chief Correspondent for NBC Telemundo-International. In addition, she was associate producer of news documentaries for MS-NBC Investigatives, CBC Canadian Television, and ARD-German Public Television. In 2008, she left behind her career on conventional media, to start-up Peace Correspondent’s news-website. Her peaceful-journalistic work has been published in many sites, magazines and journals from several countries, and her organization ‘Corresponsal de Paz’ has also leaded peaceful initiatives beyond journalism, such as the serie of concerts in Mexico of The World Orchestra, to promote music and peace instead of arms and violence, and the Poetic-street performance in local female jail, in order to free the souls of the women prisoners in México. She is author of the books: “México: how to pacify a country that is not officially on war”, an essay that intends to explain the Mexican violence phenomenon from a journalistic and peaceful approach, and also of “The peace that does exist, but journalism decides to ignore”, a compilation of 20 stories of unrecognized peacemakers, from all around the world. In 2017 she received the “Women of Peace Award” by the Women’s Peace Power Foundation, and in 2019 the Woman Have Wings Courage Award. Cristina has also worked as a volunteer with many civil organizations, including the Red Cross in Spain, with children suffering AIDS; with the NGO Human Community which helps Tibetan children, and with the Foundation World 21 through the social news portal ‘Humania-TV’. She is also a very active animal-rescuer: at this very moment she owns 18 cats and 20 dogs saved from the streets.

  • David Bernknopf

    David Bernknopf

    Executive Producer of Investigative News for Alaska\'s News Source

    David Bernknopf is Executive Producer of Investigative News for Alaska's News Source, the only statewide television and video news service in Alaska. Prior to moving to Alaska, David was Senior Producer of Investigations for Full Measure, a Washington DC based national television news program.   He was one of the original employees of CNN, rising from video journalist to national political producer and then V.P. and Director of News Planning for CNN.    David also has taught and guest lectured at universities across North America.

    Executive Producer of Investigative News for Alaska\'s News Source

  • Nikolas Gvosdev

    Nikolas Gvosdev

    senior fellow for U.S. Global Engagement, Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs

    senior fellow for U.S. Global Engagement, Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs, and senior fellow for national security studies at the Foreign Policy Research Institute Nikolas K. Gvosdev is a senior fellow for the U.S. Global Engagement program at the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs. He is also a senior fellow for national security affairs at the Foreign Policy Research Institute, and editor of its journal Orbis. Gvosdev is professor of national security affairs at the U.S. Naval War College and an instructor at the Harvard Extension School, Harvard University. He is a co-author of Decision-Making in American Foreign Policy (2019),  U.S. Foreign Policy and Defense Strategy: The Evolution of an Incidental Superpower (2015) and Russian Foreign Policy: Interests, Vectors and Sectors (2013). He was a co-editor for the Oxford Handbook of U.S. National Security. Gvosdev is a frequent commentator on U.S. foreign policy and international relations, the intersection of geopolitics and geo-economics, Russian and Eurasian affairs, and developments in the Middle East.

    senior fellow for U.S. Global Engagement, Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs

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