Who wants to launch a reality TV series focused on rural development?  Or a digital music company featuring folks songs of Latin America?  Or maybe a global student news service app on your I-Phone?

With help from a distinguished alum in Mumbai, this week “Introduction to International and Global Studies” got into the Global Media business.

Students in IGS 10a have spent the past month thinking about globalization and culture.  Are there fundamental barriers between cultures that even the global media can’t completely bridge?  Does the arrival of a new art form, such as film, transform the content of culture?

Then it was time to design media projects of their own.

First each of the class’s 75 students submitted a proposal for a new media venture.  Ideas included a reality show where children from China and the U.S. swapped households for a month, and a website offering opportunities to practice conversing in languages with native speakers worldwide.

Next, student broke up into nine working groups, gathered at ballroom tables in the International Lounge, to decide which of their proposals to back.  The groups wrote up final proposals on the spot.

Then came time for expert outside advice.  The nine proposals were e-mailed to Mumbai, the capital of India’s exploding media business.  That’s where Siddharth Joshi, IGS UDR of 2011, has worked with CA Media (Chernin Asia Media) since near its inception.  Peter Chernin and Paul Aiello co-founded CA Media to build, manage, and operate media, entertainment, and technology businesses throughout Asia.  Peter Chernin, the founder of The Chernin Group and Chernin Entertainment, previously served as President and Chief Operating Officer of News Corporation, and as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Fox Group.

At CA Media’s India office, Joshi has watched his firm play a major role in the globalization of Indian culture.  Recent deals have included working with Spiderman creator Stan Lee on a new Indian superhero and a new graphic novel called 18 Days based on the Hindu classic The Mahabharata (www.graphicindia.com). Another has seen the setting up of a live events business which has brought artists like David Guetta and Norah Jones to India.  Having seen and analyzed hundreds of proposed ventures, Joshi was the perfect person to review the student’s work.

Joshi took IGS 10a just five years ago, but came back to the class, via Skype, to tell students what he’s learned since.  “If I were writing my papers for IGS now,” he said, “I would have hundreds of examples to use.”

First, he spoke to students about the opportunities and challenges of the Indian cultural market.  Success in global business means knowing local markets and cultures.  Unlike the U.S., for example, the exploding digital platform in India is the cell phone. Content like video, songs, and graphic novels should have a phone-friendly element to ensure wide spread proliferation and success.

He then advised on the students’ proposals.  “Raices,” (“Roots”) the reality show promoting rural development, could do a lot of good, Joshi suggested, but it ought to be targeted not at the rural regions themselves, but rather at the wealthier urban professionals who might like to help the countryside.  The Global Student News app would need careful editing to ensure that its content was reliable.  Producing and selling authentic folk music from villages in Ecuador and Peru was only the beginning, Joshi said; the content could also be sold to a global channel such as Pandora, or even tied to the marketing of traditional instruments. Producers would just have to make sure the artists were fairly paid.

Joshi signed off to a round of applause and thanks from students, and with hopes that he could come back to Brandeis in person someday soon.



arab springMonday, March 11

5:00 – 7:00 PM

Rapaporte Treasure Hall

Brought to you by the Brandeis International Journal and the Brandeis Israel Public Affairs Committee 

What are the consequences of the Arab Spring? Will the Middle East be more radical now? How will recent events affect the ever-changing demographics of the region? How does Egypt, Israel, and Iran view these uprisings? Come listen to experts address these questions and others.

Moderator: Professor Naghmeh Sohrabi
Panelists: Professor Eva Bellin, Karim Elkady, Jonathan Snow, and Payam Mohseni

Food will be served!

Co-sponsors: International and Global Studies Program (IGS), Politics, and Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies (IMES)


moisesDr. Moises Lino e Silva is an anthropologist who specializes in the question of freedom and its relationship to different pressing topics such as poverty, violence, sexuality, and development. Dr Lino e Silva has written on issues related to the impact of ecotourism on the life of indigenous peoples in the Amazon Forest and his current research is centered on issues of freedom as experienced by slum dwellers in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He currently holds a shared appointment teaching in Anthropology and in International and Global Studies at Brandeis University. Recently, Dr Lino e Silva has been selected a World Social Science Fellow by the International Social Science Council (UNESCO).

What do you think are the main challenges for economic development and sustainability in Brazil?

So, while some advances have been made, there in still a lot of inequality in Brazil. A good question to ask is how will the new economy work for different people. For example, my own work as an anthropologist focused on favelas (urban shantytowns) in Rio de Janeiro and a big concern is how will Brazil deal with favela dwellers now that the country is richer. Some favelas have of course benefitted from social projects. But, for instance, with big international events in Brazil like the Olympic games and the World Soccer Cup there have been changes to the lives of the urban poor. One thing is the so-called “pacification” of favelas, during those events, where the state took over the territory from drug lords and a challenge is to see if those policies will be sustained in general and to see if Brazil’s growth can be sustained beyond what people would call a “bubble” and what will happen to the poor if this bubble bursts. The second thing is about how Brazil’s growth will impact the environment. Brazil has a lot of natural resources such as oil and minerals that have been traditionally what we exported. Part of Brazil’s growth can be explained by its relationship to China and the Chinese buying our commodities. So another question is how much of our development is dependent on exploiting natural resources for producing commodities? More specifically, how does industrial growth cause pollution in our cities and rivers? Like in Sao Paulo, it is appalling how polluted the river Tietê is. It is more like an open sewer and it smells really bad. So there are various questions of reconciling economic growth and protecting environmental resources. The last thing I will mention is the impact of the agricultural industry on our forests. People argue that they need more land for growing their crops and raising cattle but where does that land come from? From deforestation. We have been successful in slowing down deforestation but it is always an open-ended question and we need to see how this will play out in the future. Continue reading “INTERVIEW WITH DR. MOISES LINO E SILVA, PANELIST FOR BRAZIL’S BALANCING ACT”

Brazil’s Balancing Act: Reconciling the Demands of Economic Development, Environmental Protection, and Indigenous Rights

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Time: 2:00 – 5:00 pm
Location: International Lounge, Usdan

Experts working in diverse fields – Brazilincluding economic development, international business, environmental protection, international law, and human and indigenous rights – will examine the intersecting interests and responsibilities of those working in sometimes conflicting sectors. The symposium will provide a forum for dialogue about how Brazil might best fulfill its local, national, and international obligations.

Panelists include Mr. Fernando Ribeiro Delgado, Lecturer, Harvard Law School; Professor Cristina Espinosa, The Heller School, Brandeis University; Dr. Daniel Luiz Gleizer, Vice President, Banco Itau BBA, Sao Paulo; Dr. Moises Lino e Silva, Lecturer, International and Global Studies and Anthropology, Brandeis University; and Dr. Biorn Maybury-Lewis, Executive Director, Cambridge Institute for Brazilian Studies (CIBS), Institute for International Urban Development, and University of Massachusetts, Boston. The event will be moderated by Dean Bruce Magid of the Brandeis International Business School.

Click here for panelists’ bios and photos, resources, and an agenda for the day.

This event is cosponsored by the Brandeis International Business School’s Perlmutter Institute for Global Business Leadership and the Ethics Center, and is free and open to the public.