Aruba's Prime Minister Mike Eman Shows Path to a Sustainable Future
NYU Wagner students were treated to a fascinating account of Aruba's efforts to link economic growth and social development in sustainable ways -- a presentation delivered at NYU Wagner by none other than the island's Prime Minister, Mike Eman.
Prime Minister Eman, who is serving his second term, noted that Aruba, with a population of 100,000, began to develop its structural reforms even before the worldwide financial bubble burst in 2007-'08. In the prior two decades, Aruba had struggled with socio-economic stressors of its own despite the tremendous growth of its tourism industry.
To address this striking disconnect, Mr. Eman and his political party initiated Social Dialogues to encourage greater public involvement across communities and sectors in government planning. These and other efforts brought about the reshaping of the streetscape, the refurbishment of older buildings, and renewed emphasis on strengthening schools, healthcare, and conditions for the elderly. Overall, the work-in-progress contributes to the island's general welfare and "happiness," even drawing praise from environmentalists Al Gore, Richard Branson, and many others. Mr. Eman went from his Wagner visit of March 26 to an engineering society gathering in Manhattan where he accepted an award on behalf of the new battery-fueled trolley system in Aruba -- a notable advance in clean, safe urban transit.
"In 2008, the world was surprised when in so many cases greed had taken over and the public interest was not taken into account," said Mr. Eman. However, he said, Aruba's experiences suggest that while economic growth is critical, it cannot be de-coupled from democratic values, the environment, and social development -- or the result will be a city, a country, or indeed a world which is neither truly happy nor sustainable.
At "Debates of the Century" event, a lively exchange on Immigration
The second installment of "Debates at the Century @ NYU Wagner" featured, on March 29, a lively exchange of viewpoints on U.S. immigration policies between David Frum, a senior editor at The Atlantic, and Marielena Hincapié, executive director of the National Immigration Law Center. The pair, who intensely debated the propostion "America Should Embrace the Undocumented and Expand Immigration," were kept in line by moderator Jonathan Alter, an award-winning reporter, television news analyst, and author.
The event was cosponsored by Wagner and the Century Foundation, and included remarks from Wagner Dean Sherry Glied and Foundation President Mark Zuckerman, as well as an audience Q&A.
You can watch the livestream video of the debate.
Meanwhile, mark your calendars for the final debate of Spring 2016 (it's Tuesday, April 26, at 6 p.m) and return here for details. The debate proposition will be: "Government should have lawful access to any encrypted message or device."