Today intellectual life seems to end with college graduation. Political discussion in the ‘real’ world is pragmatic and focused on narrow policy questions. When debate touches on matters of value and principle, it tends to degenerate into name-calling and mutual vilification. The NY Salon aims to provide a distinct environment where ideas are robustly debated. It welcomes disagreement rather than trying to sweep it under the rug. At the NY Salon, participants have a right to hold an opinion but they also have a duty to express and defend it. It is only through open debate that we come to know and develop our own opinions and become able to draw conclusions about the pressing issues of our time. To quote John Stuart Mill, mankind is ‘capable of being improved by free and equal discussion.’ This is the spirit that animates the NY Salon.
Our approach is to draw in participants from a wide range of backgrounds. People attending the NY Salon come from the media, business, the arts and academia, and critically minded people from a variety of backgrounds. The Salon discusses both fiction and non-fiction, from authors as diverse as Jonathan Safran Foer and Thomas Szasz.
We seek to provide environments in which ideas can be robustly debated among critically-minded people from a variety of backgrounds. Whatever the forum – discussing a novel, arguing the merits of a museum exhibition, or organizing a public debate – our goal is the same: to ensure that the assumptions underlying the pressing issues of the day are thoroughly examined.
A panel discussion presented by the NY Salon and the Association of American Geographers.
Volunteer tourism has become a staple for significant numbers of aspirant young people in the developed economies. Traveling abroad, doing good work, working to improve the environment or on development projects, is seen by some as a right-of-passage toward global citizenship. Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and companies promote the transformative possibilities of good deeds at home and abroad, both for the places visited and for the ‘voluntourists’ seeking to make a difference on their travels.
But what does the growth of volunteering at home and abroad tell us about people’s aspirations to act upon their world in the 21st century? How has volunteering changed since the origins of the Peace Corps and UK-based VSO in the 1950s? Where does development fit in to the worldview of the modern volunteer? What impact does volunteer tourism have upon the host countries?
Panelists Dr Jim Butcher, Canterbury Christ Church University, U.K., and Dr Peter Smith, St. Mary’s University College London, U.K. will discuss ideas from their forthcoming book, Making a Difference: Gap Years, Volunteers and Development. For non-delegates to the conference there will be an entrance fee of $15/$10 (concessions) for this event payable on the door. For more information please contact Jean Smith.
What started off as a fairly small “occupation” has now gained international attention and spurred similar spontaneous proceedings in several parts of America. The protestors at Zuccotti park present the issue as 99% of people against 1% of people in society. Is this a new radical movement that promises to upend the contemporary consensus in mainstream politics? Is this a new dawn of a 1960’s style series of demonstrations? To what extent does the extensive media attention given to OWS reflect a sympathy more broadly in society for them? Is there a need for leadership in such situations?
The New York Salon invites you to a dinner, with international journalist Nathalie Rothschild, who recently reported from Israel on the “J14 tent” demonstrations and has written about OWS. If you would like to attend and venue details will be released.
The NY Salon has partnered with The Battle of Ideas 2011, organizing this event in NYC in November as part of an international series of Satellite events that spans Europe, India and the US.