August 10 to 17, 2019
TECHNOLOGY, CULTURE, AND THE FAMILY
Join us for kinetic experience, engaging discussion, and artistic interpretation as we examine the interactions of technology and culture over the ages. Humans make and use tools, and always have -- from the spear point to the plow, to the internet and to artificial intelligence. How do our inventions change us? And, what will happen to sex and love and the family when our tools become more powerful than we are? We will host keynote speaker Debora L. Spar, Baker Foundation Professor at Harvard Business School, former president of Barnard College, former president and CEO of Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, and author of the forthcoming book, The Virgin and the Plow: How Technology Shapes How We Live and Love (links below). Debora will explore how social structures have evolved as new technologies have emerged, from prehistory to the present. In this context of discovery and reflection about who we are, how we live, and how we love, she will examine the agricultural revolution, the pill and feminism, online dating, robots, artificial intelligence, and more. Reverend John Marsh and family return to the island to offer chapel services and reflection. Workshop leaders including longtime favorites will provide collaborative experience, thought-provoking discussion, environmental engagement, exercise, and fun. Musicians will return to the porch, lime rickeys will be drunk, and old and new shoalers will be invited to wonder, question, play, and connect.
Theme Speaker: Debora
Spar served as the President of Barnard College from 2008 to 2017, and as President and CEO of Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts from 2017 to 2018. During her tenure at Barnard, Spar led initiatives to highlight womenís leadership and advancement, including the creation of the Athena Center for Leadership Studies and the development of Barnardís Global Symposium series.
Before joining Barnard, Spar spent 17 years on the HBS faculty as the Spangler Family Professor in the BGIE unit. She also served as Senior Associate Dean for Faculty Research and Development. During this period, her research primarily explored how political forces shape and constrain market behavior. She looked in particular at the politics of foreign trade and investment, and developed a second year course entitled Managing International Trade and Investment. In 2001, she published Ruling the Waves: Cycles of Discovery, Chaos, and Wealth from the Compass to the Internet, a comprehensive history of commercial technological revolutions that traced the intricate ways in which even the wildest of technological booms are likely, over time, to fall prey to political demands for control and regulation. Spar also studied the specific politics of reproductive science and tracked, in her 2006 book, The Baby Business, the emergence of a large (and largely unregulated) commercial market for fertility. In 2013, Spar published Wonder Women: Sex, Power, and the Quest for Perfection (2013), an exploration of how and why women have failed to realize many of feminismís early promises.
Spar is a member of the Academy of Arts and Sciences and serves as a director of Value Retail LLC and a trustee of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. She has also served as a Director of Goldman Sachs and a trustee of the Markle and Wallace Foundations. Spar earned her Ph.D. in Government from Harvard University and her B.S. from Georgetown Universityís School of Foreign Service.
Check out these links to Deboraís inspiring public speaking:
- The Virgin and the Plow talk at the University of Edinburgh
- Gender equality talk at Stanford University
- Women and power talk at Wharton School of Business
- TED talk on rethinking failure at Barnard College
Minister of the Week:
Rev. John Marsh
He is married to Alison Patrick, a social worker. They have three grown children and are currently raising their eight year old grandson, Daniel. This will be Danielís first time on the Island.
John has served on the Board of the Unitarian and Universalist History and Heritage Society. He has two entries in their online Dictionary of Unitarian and Universalist biography. He is currently promoting the bicentennial of William Ellery Channingís Baltimore Sermon by writing a blog on Channing and food: Dining with Bill.
Registrar: Patti Emmons