Dean Adil Najam of the Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies at Boston University was the keynote speaker at the 49th Commencement ceremony of the MIT SPURS Humphery Fellows, held on May 4, 2017. Himself an alumni of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Najam spoke to 2017 class of Fellows on the “responsibility of living in dangerous times.”
Najam spoke about how politics all around the world is shifting dramatically towards what he called “the politics of antipolitics.” He highlighted the responsibilities that this imposes on all academics, scholars and opinion-makers to reverse some very disturbing trends, especially those of “techno-populism” and the “post-truth” assault on expertise. The theme of his commencement message to MIT Fellows was that “grave times also bring great responsibilities.”
This was the 49th commencement of Fellows of the Special Program for Urban and Regional Studies (SPURS) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). The one-year program brings mid-career professionals who are or will be shaping policy in developing countries to further develop their planning and problem-solving capacities to MIT and also includes the Hubert H. Humphery Fellows hosted at MIT. Over the past 49 years, more than 692 Fellows have come from over 118 countries. They are drawn from such varied fields as architecture, sociology, economics, government and business, or from any field in which there is a concern with problems of development.
Adil Najam is the inaugural dean of the Pardee School of Global Studies at Boston University and has previously served as the Vice Chancellor of the Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS) in Pakistan. Read more on him here.