Having taken place in both a digital and in-person capacity, the inaugural Concordia U.S. Summit convened a variety of voices across the political spectrum and across sectors to advance civil discourse and understanding between the different socioeconomic worlds present in the U.S. In line with Concordia’s mission, we created impactful partnerships that not only addressed drivers of division and improved economic empowerment for all, but that also addressed the future of technology, trade, environmental sustainability, and much more. The Summit took place in partnership with the following three academic units of the University of Kentucky: the J. David Rosenberg College of Law, the Gatton College of Business and Economics, and the College of Education.
The 2022 U.S. Summit also featured an exclusive reception honoring the spirit of Heartland America. Following a special live performance by Detroit natives and Grammy-winning R&B legends The Temptations, we heard opening remarks from proud Kentuckian and Rubicon CEO Nate Morris. The event took place at the University of Kentucky the evening of April 7th and was open to in-person attendees.
In addition to a profound global health crisis, the COVID-19 pandemic has brought about an economic crisis of great magnitude from which it will take time to recover. This economic and social crisis has exacerbated existing needs within society, such as those for greater financial inclusion among women and minorities, and for strengthening small and medium-sized enterprises. How can we best navigate increasing inflation in the U.S.? How will emerging economies be impacted in the long term? And, how can opportunity zones create more socially-minded investors and generate wealth for diverse communities?
Across the globe, investors and companies are waking up to the real physical and regulatory risks—and potential opportunities—posed by a warming climate. Accelerating this shift is the pandemic. With many of the root causes of climate change increasing the risk of pandemics, the outbreak of COVID-19 has caused individuals to become acutely aware of the intricate relationship between pandemics and planetary health, amplifying the importance of environmental sustainability in guaranteeing a healthy future. While widely acknowledged that those organizations that employ sustainable practices will be the most profitable in the long run, implementation is another story. Widespread adoption will require an urgent need to adapt and to continue to innovate across all sectors in order to mitigate the environmental impacts already in motion, while at the same time ensuring that environment-related inequalities pertaining to race, gender, and socioeconomic status are addressed. What common misconceptions exist? And what challenges must be overcome to gain support?
The COVID-19 pandemic has shifted global dynamics, not only in terms of how we connect with others, but also in how we exchange and produce goods. Ongoing trade wars between nations and regions, supply chains, and the economic stability of the manufacturing sector are constantly evolving with the political and social landscape. How will the desire for connectivity and innovation in trade prompt the dynamic movement of supply chains? How can we tackle human rights issues across global supply chains? And, what new trends are on the horizon?
Dependency on technology has surged amid the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. A sudden change in how we connect with others highlighted the need for a tech-savvy economy and a digital transformation that meets social needs. It also brought attention to a socioeconomic divide, which could threaten the ability to grow wealth in a digitized economy, in addition to a deepening gender divide. What doubts remain about the role of technology in society, especially in terms of data privacy, closing social gaps with connectivity, and the need for a solid digital infrastructure in workforce development?
The pandemic has exposed weaknesses in public health systems around the world and deep health disparities along divides of race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and gender. Both the palpable strain on physical health systems and structures and the more subtle effects on social relations and mental health must be considered in measuring the health impact of this time. Research on past epidemics reveals a wide range of psychosocial consequences at the individual and population level but also emphasizes the importance of psychological resilience in recovery. As we think about how to foster an equitable pandemic recovery, how do we design our public health systems, incentivize preparedness and prevention, and create partnerships in the service of a healthier, more resilient society?