Dear CBG Faculty, Fellows, Staff and Friends:
We are in the midst of one of the coldest winters
Boston has experienced in years. With temperatures dipping far
below the freezing mark, it can be tempting to simply hibernate.
But the folks here at CBG have started the year with a flurry
of activity as they have organized and taken part in exciting
events across the country and around the globe.
First, I want to offer two distinct impressions
from the World Economic Forum in Davos, from which I recently
returned. One was the pervasive gloom -- about the economy, and
about the impending war with Iraq. Anti-Americanism was palpable.
Richard Haass, Head of Policy Planning at State, contacted Colin
Powell and said words to the effect: "boss, you've got to
change your speech, the Europeans are in rebellion." Powell
did, and was politely received. The other lasting impression was
that the hubris was gone -- in stark contrast to previous years.
The titans were genuinely puzzled, and sensed that we are living
through a profound transformative period. Corporate social responsibility,
one of my favorite subjects, was no longer discussed as an option
or icing on the cake. It was considered a must, along with public-private
partnerships of all kinds. In a more self-interested vein, CBG
made excellent progress in getting support for our own CSR initiative,
as well for our global workshops on HIV/AIDS as a business challenge
in Africa and Asia.
Back here in Cambridge, a "happy anniversary"
is in order for the Harvard
Electricity Policy Group, celebrating its 10th year of addressing
key problems related to the electricity market and providing opportunities
for open discussion about the public policy agenda concerning
the electric sector. HEPG just returned from a plenary session
in Palm Springs, and is off to the Midwest and back in Cambridge
for two other sessions this spring.
The Regulatory Policy Program just completed a
workshop on IT and Rulemaking on January 21-22 at the Kennedy
School. Called "stupendous" after it finished by sponsors
at the NSF, the workshop focused on how Internet technology is
currently being incorporated into rulemaking processes and how
that relationship might change in the future to encourage public
participation. RPP continues to host biweekly
seminars on issues connected to regulation. Among the topics
for this spring are: Corporate Governance and Taxes, Regulation
in the U.S. Chemical Industry and Biotech and Food Policy Regulation.
Center for Digital Government also launches its new semester
of biweekly seminars this month, intended to stimulate new research
and thinking on digital government. Congratulations, also, to
NCDG's Director, Jane Fountain, who was recently awarded the prestigious
Choice Magazine "Outstanding Academic Book of 2002"
for her book Building the Virtual State: Information Technology
and Institutional Change.
Our nine new fellows have arrived in the midst
of all this work and activity. I hope you take a moment to look
at their bios and agree
that they complement an already impressive group of leading scholars
and practitioners. Many of these fellows have traveled great distances
to be with us, and I only wish the cold weather that has greeted
them thus far has been balanced out by the warm reception they
But wait! We're not nearly done. The upcoming
month promises to be an exciting one. On February 20-21 we are
bringing together stakeholders from multi-national corporations,
governments and NGOs as we host the first of four workshops on
HIV/AIDS and Business: Building Sustainable
Partnerships. We are also busily preparing for the 10th annual
Doyukai Symposium, scheduled for February 24-25. For many years
the unique partnership with the Kansai Keizai Doyukai has enabled
us to jointly examine economic, social and security policy in
the Asia-Pacific region. I'll happily tell you more about both
of these endeavors next month, after we've pulled together the
experts, begun to more thoroughly analyze the issues, and drawn
up some preliminary conclusions.
In the meantime, please feel free to visit our
to learn more about what we're up to and how you can get involved.