Hot Topics Cafe allows communities to discuss the issues

hot topics cafe - WEBNorthern Arizona University’s Philosophy in the Public Interest creates opportunities for guided community conversations about topics as timeless as friendship and as pressing as U.S. immigration policy. These conversations foster mindful listening and respectful dialogue, allowing participants to thoughtfully learn about themselves and the world in which they live.

Every Hot Topics Cafe is facilitated by a philosopher who encourages diverse views, yet points out fallacious reasoning or other logical problems that may arise. Also present is a social psychologist who discusses the crucial role that compassion plays in healthy conversation. The psychologist also intervenes if there is a lack of civility exhibited during discussion. Unbiased information handouts assist participants in understanding an issue. The handouts present arguments on competing sides of an issue and give legislative histories or other relevant factual data.

The aim of Hot Topics Cafes is not to achieve consensus or resolve issues, a feature of the program that sets it apart from similar efforts. Hot Topics Café is non-partisan and does not endorse a position with respect to any issue discussed.

Thursday, April 10, 2014
12:00 – 1:30 p.m.
Museum of Northern Arizona
3101 N. Fort Valley Rd. – Flagstaff, AZ 86001
Topic: Should We Change the Metrics of Economic Progress?

Is Gross Domestic Product (GDP) an adequate measure of economic and (more broadly) human progress? If not, what are the best alternatives? Should environmental conditions factor in to such metrics only insofar as they affect human well-being? Why or why not? Which layers of value should the relevant metrics measure? What principles should guide the development and use of such metrics? What are some of the challenges that face alternative metrics to GDP? And what are the most promising responses to such challenges?
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