The Future of Tech and Governance Challenges

By: Victoria Campbell, Jacqueline Capossela, Sophie Gangi, Carley Germain, Deja Nelson, Akachukwu Nwosu, Andy Ma, Shweta Sinha, Jeremy Soto, Daena Vautor-Laplaceliere, et al. 

This blog post is a co-authored reflection of the course Media Governance (ICM835)

robot pointing on a wall
Photo by Tara Winstead on

Today, when experts discuss the future of technology governance, they often refer to the term singularity (e.g., Shellko, 2014). While also indicating the rapid, exponential, and continuous development of technology: computers will exceed humans in intelligence, and humans “merging” with computers. When singularity takes place, the distinction between the physical world and virtual technology has been overcome (ibid.).

Yet, will our technology future be a utopia or dystopia realized? What can we learn from current cutting-edge innovations about what could be possible in the future? This blog post discusses some promising and worrying trends with examples of existing technology and points to some governance challenges that might be ahead of us.

Impacts of Technology on the U.S. Tourism Industry in a Post-Pandemic Future

Technology is tremendously changing scenes of customer services and business operations in the hospitality and tourism industry. It has been already several years that humanoids greet hotel guests in Japan. Many robots are delivering food to customers at airports and hotels in Boston and Houston. McDonald’s recently opened a new robot-only store in Phoenix. People virtually travel to Europe and Asian countries through screens. Millennials and Generation Zs are buying luxury products for their avatars and enjoy their lives in a virtual theme park in a metaverse platform. We cannot help asking the question “how hotels, restaurants, or travel attractions in a post-pandemic world would look like?” This Zoom-recorded presentation titled “Impacts of tech on the US Tourism Industry in a post-pandemic future” was delivered in Korean by Dr. Seunghyun “Brian” Park of St. John’s University on November 24, 2021.

Integral Human Development and Land Tenure

October 29, 2021 9:00am EST
To thrive, we need the land.  Yet, what is the land and how do we secure our relationship to it?  Such is the role of tenure.  Over time we have answered the questions of tenure in ways virtuous and vicious.  Today, we live in their perilous outcome.  A new answer from Integral Ecology is that we belong to the land.
How might we now form tenure?

Sr. Alessandra Smerilli

Secretary, Dicastery of Integral Human Development, Vatican 

Edmund Klimek
AIA Partner, KSS Architects
Friar Joseph Blay
OFM, Conv.
Justice, Peace, and Integrity of Creation, Ghana, Africa
Grace Musser
Student, Sustainability Activist, St. John’s University, NY
Rev. Bolmax Pereira, Ph.D.
Scholar- Farmer- Activist,
Goa, India
Jenn Low
PLA, Integrative Designer/Landscape Architect, The Urban Studio,
Washington, DC

Digital Work, by Young Talent

Digitalization has caused major disruptions in the ways we work, and the pandemic has leapfrogged these developments for all of us. Digital solutions have impacted the content of professions, created new ones, but also changed the ways in which we work.

While many reports and other predictions have been written, how does the impact of the digital seem to young talent in different fields of communication? What to expect when you enter professional life, what are the advantages and disadvantages of digital working communities, and what should we expect from our digital work in the future?

The webinar, Digital Works? of the Institute of International Communication, on 14 October 2021, featured a panel of three young talents: Emma Lextrait, Valerie Ohm, and Daniel Haynes.

Here are their insights on digital community building – strategies and tactics, advantages for different fields, and challenges – as well as the future of digital work and life:

Social media and global fandom: BTS Army on Twitter

This post is the second in the series of music and international communication. The first one discussed The Music Industry, Fan Engagement, and the Pandemic with the St. John’s University alumnus Kadijat Salawudeen.

This blog post, by Hadice Koç, Rumeysa Koç, and Lingyu Feng of Northwestern University continues the conversation by highlighting the complexities of global fandom as digital communities, one of the topics of the ICM820 course of the International Communication Master’s program at St. John’s.

Seoul… by Christian Frank cc 2.0
Continue reading “Social media and global fandom: BTS Army on Twitter”

A Call for Action: The Conowingo Dam and the Chesapeake Bay

By Brooke Mosca

Student, Communication Arts, St. John’s University, NY

For nearly a century, Maryland’s Chesapeake Bay has been severely polluted, failing to meet sufficient clean water standards.  In recent years, the Conowingo Dam, upstream the Susquehanna River, has further contributed to this problem, as it has silted in and no longer blocks harmful sediment and chemicals from entering the bay.  

Larry Hogan, Maryland’s governor, has far from turned a blind eye to this paramount issue; in fact, he issued a Section 401 water quality certification, urging Exelon, the owner of the dam, to contribute significant funding to reduce the bay’s pollution, which has been perpetuated by the dam.  To Hogan’s dismay, Exelon has pushed back.

As a Catholic, who believes in the Catholic Social Teaching of caring for God’s creation, Exelon’s response concerns me.  Pope Francis writes in his encyclical “Laudato Si’,” “The urgent challenge to protect our common home includes a concern to bring the whole human family together to seek a sustainable and integral development.”  This makes it clear that caring for God’s communal creation must be a unified effort of all His children, which includes Exelon.  Therefore, I firmly believe that the company should exercise a greater willingness to cooperate with Governor Hogan’s efforts to reduce pollution in the Chesapeake Bay.  I also urge Representative Andy Harris to remain steadfast in enforcing the Section 401 water quality certification with Exelon, which holds the company responsible for reducing the pollutants that pass through the dam and into the bay.

June 2, 2021 Webinar: U Helsinki / St. John’s University Communicative Agora

Inter-Cultural Communication – Reality. Axiom. Image.

Presented by Dr. Razan Jadaan – author of the book

It presents a kind of revolutionary state of thought, opening the space for thinkers, scholars, societies and worldwide public opinions to think and re-think about the perplex present inter-cultural communication, creating new dialectical syntheses approaching authentic Dialogue.

The book wanders in nine chapters between theory and realism: defining terms like culture and civilization, attempting to explain the ways of communication between the Arab cultures and ‘Western’ cultures in the era of globalization, comparing the construction of the Arabic ‘oriental’ and the (European & American) ‘western’ societies in the inter-cultural communication, concluding to the fragility of conceptual grounds -between the past, the present and the age of modernism and postmodernism-, studying the presence of mass media in societies and between them, also analyzing its role in influencing the worldwide public opinions. The book reflects the shape and content of the inter-cultural communication between dialogue and conflict from the different points of view, noting the barriers against a constructive inter-cultural communication, taking the technological revolution and its challenges into consideration. This work suggests new constructive approaches towards an authentic inter-cultural dialogue.

May 20, 2021 Webinar: Future Of Higher Education- Students Take

Courtesy UNICEF

On May 20, 2021 students of graduate programs International Communication and Integrated Advertising Communication and doctoral students from the School of Education engaged the graduate students from the Division of Mass Communication in an insightful and robust conversation about the future of education. Samuel Dieudonne, ICM, Claren Kaufhold, ICM, Kadijah B. Salawudeen, ICM, James Wheatley, ICM, Taryn Smith, ICM, Meghan Marin Ruelas, IAC, Pamela V. Eatman-Skinner, Gustavo Loor, and Kevin Scanlon (School of Education).

Please, take time to watch the video

In the vortex of death and despair: felled by Covid-19

In solidarity with my brethren in Goa, India

Basilio G. Monteiro

As death and despair assail us where do we find comfort? Tagore, our poet sage, reminds us that “Death is not extinguishing the light; it is only putting out the lamp because the dawn has come.”

At this moment of the pandemic, death has lost its grace, meaning and dignity amid the abstraction of statistics.

Dom Moraes in his Absences yelps with anguish

Smear out the last star. No lights from the islands Or hills. In the great square The prolonged vowel of silence Makes itself plainly heard Round the ghost of a headland Clouds, leaves, shreds of bird Eddy, hindering the wind.

The unnecessary and avoidable death and despair our people are facing is benign neglect the governance hoisted on the people caught trying to eke out a living and to stay alive. With pain and misery, we often find ourselves broken and crippled. There is a sense of incompleteness; but then, the longing remains. And Tagore would call us to ponder:

The song that I came to sing remains unsung to this day.

I have spent my days in stringing and in unstringing my instrument.

The time has not come true, the words have not been rightly set;

only there is the agony of wishing in my heart.

The struggle to make meaning is daunting, while we are focused on survival, masks, sanitizers, quarantined life and emptiness that surrounds our existence.

Pablo Neruda, a Chilean poet and diplomat (1904-1973) has a poetic way to speak to our desolate hearts in his A Song Of Despair

The memory of you emerges from the night around me.

The river mingles its stubborn lament with the sea.

Deserted like the wharves at dawn.

It is the hour of departure, oh deserted one!

Cold flower heads are raining over my heart.

Oh pit of debris, fierce cave of the shipwrecked.

In you the wars and the flights accumulated.

From you the wings of the song birds rose.

You swallowed everything, like distance.

Like the sea, like time. In you everything sank!

It was the happy hour of assault and the kiss.

The hour of the spell that blazed like a lighthouse.

Pilot’s dread, fury of blind driver,

turbulent drunkenness of love, in you everything sank!

In the childhood of mist my soul, winged and wounded.

Lost discoverer, in you everything sank!

You girdled sorrow, you clung to desire,

sadness stunned you, in you everything sank!

I made the wall of shadow draw back,

beyond desire and act, I walked on.

While caught in the vortex of death and despair, it is good to be awakened by the Tagore’s sublime prayer:

This is my prayer to thee, my lord—strike, strike at the root of penury in my heart.

Give me the strength lightly to bear my joys and sorrows.

Give me the strength to make my love fruitful in service.

Give me the strength never to disown the poor or bend my knees before insolent might.

Give me the strength to raise my mind high above daily trifles.

And give me the strength to surrender my strength to thy will and love.

The Future of Higher Education in Post-Pandemic Era

Melissa Labonte, Fordham University, NY // Paul Levinson, Fordham University, NY // Paivi Oinonen, Aalto University, Finland

Fr. Dennis Holtschneider, CM,University, Association of Catholic, USA // Chantal Line Carpentier Chief, UNCTAD, New York Office // Yvonne Pratt-Johnson, St. John’s University, NY

The existing order of higher education has been up-ended by COVID-19. This experience provides an opportunity for all stakeholders of the educational process to reevaluate and reshape this order in a way that is more equitable, inclusive, accessible, affordable, and valuable.

Innovation, technology, and the digital divide has moved from the margins to the center of our education systems, and there is an opportunity to identify new strategies and pedagogies, which will help our youth not only obtain the education that they need but the one that they deserve and that prepares them for our changing times.

Now is the time to reimagine how higher education can emerge stronger from this global crisis than ever before and propose a path for capitalizing on education’s newfound support in virtually every community across the globe. It is a moment in history to understand the central role of education in the economic, social, and political prosperity and stability of nations.