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Case Study: Notes from a Pulitzer Center Webinar on Migration and Pandemics

Talks @ Pulitzer: Sonia Shah on "The Next Great Migration"

This Pulitzer Center talk was compelling and straightforward and we offer this chronology as a format to consider emulating.

  1. Reminder sent one hour before the event

  2. After opening the webinar and thanking guests for joining, the MC/host invited attendees to use the chat function to tell where they were from. It was a global and national group, and this created a sense of the scale, and also of community.
  3. MC introduced speaker—shared a PPT slide while her own image/screen was off to the side. (screen sharing)
    1. During the introduction, she told the history of the Pulitzer Center talks—just a sentence to give context for how these come about.
    2. Noted something about the mission and work of the Pulitzer Center—that they have reporting fellows and even resources for primary and secondary education, including lesson plans.
    3. As she introduced the speaker, she had PPTs to illustrate appropriately.
    4. MC noted that there was a Q/A option where folks could write questions for the speaker to address after.
  4. Housekeeping announcement made—noted that the webinar was being recorded and would be made available and that an optional survey would follow it.
  5. The speaker, Sonia Shah, came on—took a minute for her to get her screen sharing to work, but it was smooth after that. As she spoke, she had slides – mostly photographs – with text to illustrate her point. (Is there a way to have simultaneous closed captioning for high-level talks? What about signing? Just a thought.)
    1. Her talk was very engaging and insightful. I didn’t take notes throughout, but these ideas stood out to me:
    2. Poverty-malaria-poverty cycle of poverty and disease
    3. Homomigrasio rather than homo sapiens – ape that moves, that migrates
    4. Microbial xenophobia
    5. Medical tourism might be spreading antibiotic resistance
    6. Walls don’t stop people – migration continues and becomes more deadly. Most who migrate are healthier than the host countries because they have to have the stamina to leave. (Is that true?)
  6. MC closing the talk
    1. The talk is connected to a blog—after discussion, more questions and answers available there.
    2. Announced the next talk—used a slide which had a link to their events
    3. MC mentions that the work of the Pulitzer Center is non-profit and depends on funding from donors—provided a donor button/link
    4. Link to their website provided—easy to sign up for their emails
    5. Thanked everyone—and it was over and out. Quick event—really solid content, presentation, and participation though not long or in-depth.

Amala Lane, Einaudi Center