Florida State University

College of Social Sciences & Public Policy

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Policy Pub Returns with Virtual “Pubinars” for Fall

Although Florida State University is currently open for closer-to-normal operations, the monthly public forum series Policy Pub will continue this fall as a virtual Zoom event, thanks to the overwhelming success of its online version in 2020.

Sponsored by the FSU College of Social Sciences and Public Policy (COSSPP), the series brings together scholars and the general public for relaxed, interactive discussions about issues that affect everyone on a daily basis.

After brief, plain-language presentations by COSSPP faculty experts on policy issues that affect us all day-to-day, Pub-goers have the opportunity to ask questions and take part in discussions of the topic at hand. The virtual format makes it possible for the public to participate from the privacy of their own homes.

The Fall 2021 series kicks off Tuesday, September 14, 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.. with “What’s over that hill? Improving disaster intelligence and decision-making,” presented by David Merrick, director of the Emergency Management and Homeland Security Program and the Center for Disaster Risk Policy (CDRP).

The discussion will focus on the next generation of tools for emergency managers and how new methods and technologies are improving natural disaster preparedness, monitoring, and rescue and recovery efforts. Merrick will talk about how CDRP is leading the way in leveraging GIS technology, remote sensing, unmanned aircraft systems (aka drones) and open-source intelligence methods to enhance situational awareness and decision-making before and during disasters. Merrick will reference CDRP’s work in recent disaster, including hurricanes in the past few years and support for the rescue and recovery efforts this summer at the Surfside, Fla., condo building collapse.

You can register for this webinar free of charge at this link. After registering, you will receive a Zoom link to join the webinar on September 14 at 5:30 p.m.

Unlike Zoom meetings where every participant is visible to all others “in the room,” the webinar format features a moderator and a presenter on screen, sharing visual materials related to the topic of the night. Attendees can choose to submit questions or comments through a written chat option to interact with the facilitator, speaker and other attendees.

The remaining Policy Pub sessions for the fall shift focus to other key topics for our time.

On Tuesday, October 12, 5:30-6:30 p.m., Assistant Professor of Economics Mackenzie Alston will present “Equal opportunity? Discrimination in the workplace and marketplace.” She will discuss research into whether companies discriminate when they are choosing who to hire and studies that show customers discriminate, too. She will also talk about how this discrimination can affect job applicants and sellers.

The final session for fall takes place Tuesday, November 9, 5:30-6:30 p.m. with a presentation on “Place-based economic development: Who benefits?” Assistant Professor of Urban and Regional Planning Minjee Kim will talk about place-based initiatives, an economic development strategy that identifies communities in need of better access to capital and offers incentives to stimulate investor and lender activities. Kim will compare initiatives from the 1994 Enterprise Zone to the 2017 Opportunity Zone to discuss the equity implications of these federal programs.

For more information about Policy Pub, visit this link.