Fireside Forum

All programs: 7pm, UWM Student Union, Fireside Lounge, 2200 E Kenwood Blvd. FREE AND OPEN TO PUBLIC

Our annual live lecture series co-sponsored by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel pairs national and international guests with Wisconsin-based experts to explore and compare global and local aspects of issues facing our community.

2017 Fireside Forum: Wisconsin and the World in the Trump Era
In his inaugural address, Donald Trump promised an “America first” administration. This year’s four-part Fireside Forum series will explore what that might mean for Wisconsin and the world in three key areas: trade, technology and jobs; immigration; and energy policy. Then, in the final installment, we’ll look at how pushback against globalization and the existing political order influenced the US election and redrew political maps here and around the world.

February 9: Rusted Out: Trade, Technology and Jobs

Have bad trade deals undermined American manufacturing jobs, or are deeper structural changes in technology and the global economy to blame? Edward Alden, author of the widely acclaimed new book, Failure to Adjust: How Americans Got Left Behind in the Global Economy, will join UWM Emeritus Economist William Holahan to explore what happened to US manufacturing and what can be done going forward.

February 16: Beyond the Wall: Immigration, Refugees and Society

Challenges to Donald Trump’s executive order suspending refugee resettlement and blocking the entry of travelers from seven Muslim-majority countries are working their way through the courts. Regardless of the outcome, however, immigration and refugee policy is likely to remain highly politically charged. Mary Flynn, Refugee Program Director for Lutheran Social Services will provide an update on how federal policies impact Milwaukee’s immigrant and refugee populations. Immigration attorney Kime Abduli will explain the legal issues involved.

February 23: Change of Climate: Energy Policy and the Environment

Within seconds of Donald Trump’s swearing in, the White House website page on climate change was replaced with one that emphasizes “vast untapped domestic energy reserves”. Alex Bozmoski from conservative DC think tank RepublicEn will explore free enterprise responses to climate change. Michael Vickerman from Renew Wisconsin will discuss how progressive policy and sound regulation can promote a renewable energy future.

March 2: Populist Pushback: Why Voters Are Worried and Mad

Irene Braam, Executive Director of the German Bertelsmann Foundation will discuss how globalization fears are allowing right-wing populist parties to flourish in the EU. Marquette University political scientist Julia Azari will explore how the electoral landscape closer to home fits into this changing global political environment.

Co-sponsored by:  Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Additional support from:  Milwaukee PBS, Wisconsin Public Radio, and 89.7 WUWM



The 2015 series included:

  • Unsettled, Resettled: Refugees and Their Adopted Communities 
  • Hungry Cities: Urban Food Insecurity in Milwaukee and Around the World
  • Young, Frustrated and Mad: Global Youth Unemployment and Unrest
  • Bringing the Story Home: The Economics of International News

Watch the 2015 series.