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WKU department head Keeling leads seminar on ‘Seven Revolutions’

Dr. David Keeling, head of WKU’s Department of Geography and Geology, traveled to White Plains, N.Y., this past week to lead a seminar at the Scarsdale Teachers Institute on how geography shapes the “Seven Revolutions.”

The Seven Revolutions is a project led by the Global Strategy Institute at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) to “identify and analyze the key policy challenges that policymakers, business figures, and other leaders will face over the next twenty years.” The project aims to promote strategic thinking on the long-term trends that too few leaders take the time to consider.

According to Dr. Keeling, “it is critical that we teach the teachers about how geography is fundamental to the ordering of the global system. Geography matters because each one of the Seven Revolution themes (population, resources, technology, information, economic integration, conflict, and governance) is driven by spatial interaction, from movement to communication, and from territory to value systems.”

At the Scarsdale Teachers Institute, a regular Wednesday seminar that draws P-12 teachers of all disciplines from the region focuses on the cultural and geopolitical forces that bind societies together as well as pull them apart.

Titled “Earthlinks: Toward Awareness and Understanding of Current Issues,” the goal of the program is to enhance individual and collective awareness of current issues with global consequences that impact society. Dr. Keeling was the first academic geographer to be invited to lead an Earthlinks seminar at the Institute. The seminar included a problem-based approach to each of the major themes, with teachers tasked to develop curricula ideas in their respective disciplines that could link with and to these broader global trends.

According to Dr. Keeling, “the Seven Revolutions theme has been adopted by many universities around the country as a framework for understanding global linkages. Yet the Department of Geography and Geology has been addressing these seven themes for years, long before they became fashionable in academia. The Department offers courses on population change, climate studies, globalization, geopolitics, transportation, environmental resources, and ethnic conflict. It’s always exciting for the Department to see geography reinvented in other guises and repackaged under a new rubric, but it is still geography at the end of the day that drives these seven major themes.”

For information about the Seven Revolutions or the Scarsdale Teachers Institute program, contact David Keeling at (270) 745-4555.

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