Home > Medical School, Miscellany > AMSA Follies: The Upside

AMSA Follies: The Upside

The conference isn’t all shenanigans that raise my ire (or at least my vehement disagreement). This morning’s keynote speaker, Marshall Ganz, is a professor at Harvard who took 31(!) years off from college to participate in the civil rights movement in the South, then the labour rights movement led by Cesar Chavez in California.

Highlights from his talk:

  • “Leadership is the practice of accepting responsibility for enabling others to achieve a common purpose under uncertainty.” [Perhaps the best definition I’ve ever encountered.]
  • Raising “awareness” and starting “dialogue” are rarely useful in situations where different parties have different goals. [something that my generation seems to forget, with the ease of meaningless “awareness” campaigns limited by Facebook/Twitter accessibility]
  • The cause of Wisconsin public-sector unions and Egypt’s popular uprising are meaningfully similar/equivalent. [ooookaaaaaay]
  • Some of the reasons for the success of the American conservative movement in recent decades are their ability to organize at the grass-roots (e.g. the National Rifle Association), to clearly articulate their values and principles, and their persistence. The left is unable to consistently do this.

Right now: the common purpose of the conference attendees is lunch and swag, with great certainty. Lots, lots, lots of swag to be had. There will be photos.

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