dramatically through 1999 and into the first half of 2000.
Conferences - While internet interaction is effective in the transmission of information, scholars argue that fact-to-face contact is vital for the development and transmission of knowledge. It is in this spirit that we anticipate organizing occasional conferences focussed on examining and solving specific problems for officials and administrators in both public and private sector entities. We will also gather teachers for discussion of pedagogical issues and researchers for sharing the results of their inquiries. These will work most effectively if preceded by extended interaction through the appropriate Atlantic Rim Institute web site facility.
Sub-national governments - One of the most dramatic consequences of the process of globalization that has prominent during the past two decades is the profound change in the relative responsibilities and capacities of the various levels of government. National governments have imposed constraints on their ability to intervene in economic activities at the same time that redefinition of economic space has exposed cities and urban regions, as well as other sub-national levels of government, to challenges, threats to existing activities, and opportunities to develop new activities that are more suitable to their new situations. In virtually all instances this has meant that cities have been faced with the choice of responding aggressively and imaginatively to find a new role in the global urban hierarchy or to remain passive and face a future of marginalization, and stagnation or, not unusually, decline.
Cities everywhere have initiated strategic planning exercises, worked to attract new investment, often from firms headquartered half-way across the glove, begun to participate in collaborative networks with other cities, and have developed functionally-based bi-lateral relationships with other cities. The Atlantic Rim Institute will work to facilitate this interaction among sub-national governments, both at the municipal and the state/province levels, and both for elected officials and for practitioners in various governmental departments. Some organizations already exist to serve this function but none has as its geographic mandate the Atlantic Rim region.
As was indicated above, the Atlantic Rim Institute has already sponsored several gatherings of this nature devoted to telemedicine, ocean transportation, news media, telecommunications, port city development, and tourism, and has participated in conferences sponsored by other organizations with the intent of demonstrating the importance of Atlantic Rim regional interaction. We will continue to offer initiatives in these areas, as well as in new areas such as cultural industries, sub-national competitiveness, and effective governance. In many of these activities we will work in collaboration with existing organizations with the intention in mind of forging functional pan-Atlantic Rim cooperation among government agencies and non-governmental organizations.
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Peter Karl Kresl, Director
Atlantic Rim Institute
Professor of Economics and International Relations