Thompson Forum, with theme ‘Uprooted,’ opens Sept. 18

· 4 min read

Thompson Forum, with theme ‘Uprooted,’ opens Sept. 18

Series will feature three mainstage speakers, youth panel
Color portraits of Parag Khanna, Lynsey Addario and Leilani Farha on a color campus background
(From left) Parag Khanna, Lynsey Addario and Leilani Farha

The 35th season of the E.N. Thompson Forum on World Issues at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln will feature three mainstage speakers, as well as a youth panel.

The 2023-24 season is organized around the theme “Uprooted: Migration, Displacement and Searching for Home.” The number of people displaced by conflicts, disasters and economic crises has risen to a new high of more than 89 million, including more than 30 million refugees and asylum seekers. “Uprooted” shares stories of displaced people in search of hope and home.

The season opens Sept. 18 with “A World on the Move: The Forces Uprooting Us,” featuring global strategy adviser, world traveler and bestselling author Parag Khanna.

Other speakers in the 2023-24 series include Lynsey Addario, an American photojournalist who regularly shoots photographs for The New York Times, National Geographic and Time magazine; and Leilani Farha, former U.N. special rapporteur and global director of The Shift. All lectures will take place at the Lied Center for Performing Arts, with the youth panel at the Wick Alumni Center. Each presentation is free and open to the public.

Tickets can be reserved through the Lied Center here, by calling 402-472-4747 or by visiting the Lied’s box office, 301 N. 12th St. Forum events are general admission, with seating on a first-come, first-served basis.

The mainstage schedule:

  • Sept. 18, 7 p.m.: Parag Khanna, “A World on the Move: The Forces Uprooting Us” — Khanna is the founder and CEO of Climate Alpha, an AI-powered analytics platform that forecasts asset values to future-proof global real estate; and founder and managing partner of FutureMap, a data and scenario-based strategic advisory firm. He is the bestselling author of “MOVE: Where People are Going for a Better Future,” “The Future is Asian: Commerce, Conflict and Culture in the 21st Century” and five other books. He was named one of Esquire’s “75 Most Influential People of the 21st Century.”

  • Nov. 14, 6:30 p.m.: Forum Youth Panel, “Displacement and Reimagining the American Dream” — This interactive event will feature local students and young professionals sharing their lived experiences as immigrants and refugees. Each panelist will tell their story, presenting a multi-dimensional picture beyond what’s portrayed in the news. Panelists will then respond to questions on a range of relevant topics. The panel will be moderated by Karla Hernandez Torrijos, the inaugural student storyteller in residence with the Center for Great Plains Studies. She is an undergraduate student, poet and workshop facilitator whose writing “interrogates our understanding of home, displacement and the liminal space in between.”

  • March 5, 7 p.m.: Lynsey Addario, “Of Love and War: Stories of Tragedy and Resilience” — Focusing on humanitarian and human rights issues, Addario’s recent work includes reporting on Syrian refugees, ISIS’ push into Iraq, the civil war in South Sudan, and African and Middle Eastern migrants arriving on Sicily’s shores. In 2009, she received a MacArthur Fellowship and a Pulitzer Prize for international reporting. Her memoir, “It’s What I Do,” chronicles her personal and professional life as a photojournalist coming of age in the post-9/11 world.

  • April 9, 7 p.m.: Leilani Farha, “Back Home: Returning Human Rights to Housing” — Farha has helped develop global human rights standards on the right to housing, including through her topical reports on homelessness, the financialization of housing, informal settlements, rights-based housing strategies and the first U.N. guidelines for the implementation of the right to housing. She is the central character in the documentary “PUSH,” regarding the financialization of housing. She launched The Shift in 2017 to advance the housing rights movement through advocacy, research and campaigning.

Event summaries and additional information on each speaker are available here.

Events are streamed on the Thompson Forum website and available on Nebraska Public Media, LNKTV City and LNKTV Education. All talks will have closed captioning for people who are deaf or hard of hearing.

The E.N. Thompson Forum on World Issues is a cooperative project of the Cooper Foundation, Lied Center and University of Nebraska–Lincoln. The series was established in 1988 with the purpose of bringing a diversity of viewpoints on international and public policy issues to the university and people of Nebraska to promote understanding and encourage discussion.

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