TED2012 webcast hosted at West campus, Feb. 29

February 16, 2012

The public is invited to attend a live webcast of TED2012 at Arizona State University’s West campus, held from 9 a.m.-7:45 p.m., Feb. 29. TEDxLive is hosted by Barrett, The Honors College at the West campus and will be held in Barrett Suite, room 201 of the University Center Building at 4701 W. Thunderbird Road in Phoenix.

TED (Technology, Entertainment & Design) is a nonprofit organization that hosts conferences in which individuals from all industries and backgrounds meet to discuss ideas worth spreading. The free talks cover a wide range of topics including social issues, developing technologies, and questioning what it means to be human. The organization has developed over the last few years to encompass a wide range of global events, as well as giving rise to a vibrant online community. TED poster Download Full Image

TEDx events are held by independent organizations that receive special licenses from TED to hold free screenings and talks. In addition to simulcasting the Feb. 29 event to be held in Irvine, Calif., Barrett at the West campus will use TED resources on an ongoing basis to help enrich the intellectual experience of Barrett students.

“Through hosting live TEDx events held here in the Valley, the Barrett mission is simple – we are dedicated to fostering an honors community where ideas are actualized to bring about social change both locally and globally,” said Ramsey Eric Ramsey, associate dean of Barrett at the West campus. “We invite Valley residents to join the campus community on Feb. 29 to hear and discuss the ideas worth spreading at TED2012.”

The day’s schedule includes “The Lab” from 9:30 to 11:15 a.m.; “The Earth” from noon to 1:45 p.m.; “The Crowd” from 3:15 to 5 p.m.; and the announcement of the TED Prize from 6 to 7:45 p.m. Numerous speakers from a range of backgrounds and fields will be featured.

Attendees at TEDxLive may stay for the entire day’s schedule or drop by for shorter time periods. Admission is free; seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis. Food will be served throughout the day.

For more information, visit barrettwest.asu.edu/tedx or call (602) 543-3410.

New Center for Strategic Communication hosts special event

February 17, 2012

"Laptop James Bond" scheduled to speak at research center launch event

The new Center for Strategic Communication (CSC) is hosting a special event in recognition of its approval by the Board of Regents to become an official University Research Center. Rebranding Terror: Al-Qaeda's Strategic Communication after Bin Laden  Download Full Image

"Rebranding Terror: Al-Qaeda’s Strategic Communication after Bin Laden" will be held at 6 p.m., Feb. 23, in the Fulton Center, sixth floor, on ASU's Tempe campus.

Featuring international terrorism expert and author Jarret Brachman, this event marks the launch of the Center in its official capacity as a policy institute. Dubbed a "laptop James Bond" and an "information warrior," Brachman will address the future of al-Qaeda and its supporters since losing direction from leader Osama bin Laden. He will also highlight recent innovations al-Qaeda has made to their strategic messaging that include poems and paintings, Facebook and YouTube.

In addition to experts from other ASU policy institutes, the CSC has invited military leadership and a number of government officials to attend the launch, as it is a goal of the CSC to help the two entities become more effective in their strategic communication. According to Steven Corman, CSC director, other goals include "doing more funded research and developing new programs at ASU, such as a new certificate in strategic communication and a practitioner-in-residence program."

The new center is an initiative of the Hugh Downs School of Human Communication. It is home to a group of multidisciplinary scholars who apply theories and research in human communication to issues of countering ideological support for terrorism (CIST), diplomacy, and public diplomacy. The efforts of the group to provide essential research and advice resulted in a recent $4.5 million grant to investigate extremists’ uses of narrative to influence contested populations in the Middle East, Southeast Asia, North Africa, and Europe. "People don’t always think of it this way, but policy is an element in an ongoing dialog. It has communication value in itself, and guides actions that themselves communicate.  In the past many of our policies have played into extremists’ narratives and we want to help make that as unlikely as possible going forward," stated Corman.

The CSC currently shares a great deal of its work online at www.COMOPS.org and provides updates via Twitter and Facebook to help expand the range of its influence in matters of both policy and practical issues of countering extremist messages.

Dr. H. L.  "Bud" Goodall of the CSC explained how the work done by the center so far "has provided a clear reference point for policy makers and practitioners." Goodall says the center works "to use that common understanding to help decision makers build better paths to peace and to continue our work countering extremist visions and messages."

The CSC plan to host additional speakers and secure funding to increase the range of their activities among the global community of specialists in defense, intelligence, and related fields involving strategic communication.

Steve Corman, steve.corman@asu.edu
Center for Strategic Communication