"Globalization" is a word that’s on everyone’s lips these days. How would you define it?
Economists typically define globalization as the integration and interdependence of many nations' and regions' economies around the world. The key idea is that these connections operate on many levels —from pure trade, to the flow of labor and investment across borders, to rapidly expanding communications technologies. In other words, these different economies relate to one another in complex ways.
Even if we agree generally on the definition of globalization, we may not agree on how to value it or respond to it. Some people welcome globalization, while others protest against it.
To explore globalization, you’ll focus on an essential human need: food. Globalization issues are very complex. As you research and analyze these issues, you’ll uncover many challenges and questions. You will find no easy answers. The challenge will be to formulate your own position on globalization and food on the basis of your research. You will present your position and argue for it at the class summit. During this debate, you’ll have to support your position with well-reasoned and well-supported arguments while you listen carefully and respectfully to the positions and arguments of others. The goal will be to agree upon a plan for action.
To prepare for and hold this classroom summit, you will work in several groups.
The first group, a small committee that the entire class will elect at the start of this project, will plan the details of a food and globalization summit that all groups will participate in at the culmination of this project. This group will also create the Web site for posting all schedules and materials.
Meanwhile, the remainder of the class will be divided into three focus groups. Each group will concentrate on one of the following three topics: globalization and local food culture, globalization and food biotechnology, and globalization and food diseases.
Each of these three focus groups will then break up into two teams, one pro-globalization and one anti-globalization.