In this talk, Oliver reflects on the path anyone can take from Colby to helping solve some of the world’s most pressing problems based on the lessons he has learned the hard way.
While the idea of failure may be paralyzing to some, Sabot saw these instances as learning opportunities. During his talk, he made sure to share these lessons with a refreshing level of honesty and humility. From teaching in a rural village in Angola, only to find months later that his students were not learning because they could not understand his American English, to having investors pull money from an important entrepreneurial project, to family crises, Sabot shared important life lessons he learned through the turmoil.
Sabot had naive notions about the world that ended up hurting him and others, leading him to these instances of failure. One critical lesson he learned was that arrogance and certainty are ultimately enemies of success. Being uncertain, he shared, is valuable and leads to growth. Taking risks and doing things that are scary often reap unforeseen benefits. Another lesson he learned was that letting himself feel anger, shame, and other painful emotions ultimately helped him get better and improve his overall wellbeing.
At the beginning of his talk, Sabot asked the audience if they saw themselves as change-makers. Unsurprisingly, a majority of people raised their hands. He later prompted the audience with questions like, “what is one thing you feel certain about in life?” and “what is breaking your heart right now?” These questions allowed audience members to tie their own life experiences to the lessons he bravely shared.
Audience members left Sabot’s talk with several tools: how to frame failure as an important lesson, to be uncertain and take risks, and to lean into the negative feelings that arise through adversity.
Cotter Debate: Can Universal Basic Income (UBI) Decrease Inequality in the US?
Amy Cortes Baker, Assistant Professor of Economics, University of
Michael Strain, John G. Searle Scholar and Director of Economic Policy,
American Enterprise Institute
Moderated by Rob Lester, Assistant Professor of Economics
As a packed audience filled into Ostrove lecture hall we heard Amy Castro Baker, Professor of Economics at UPenn, and American Enterprise Institute’s Michael Strain debate the feasibility and efficacy of Universal Basic Income (UBI) in the United States. According to Mike, Liberals and Libertarians alike are in favor of the idea because of the freedom UBI allows. Professor Baker is drawn to UBI as an approach to alleviate the long and slow recovery many are facing after the 2008 recession.
For Baker, this is a matter of assembling a more just economy. Baker argues that providing a flexible cash benefit for all Americans addresses the dynamic nature of day to day needs, while sidestepping some of the structural, bureaucratic barriers that many seeking government assistance must navigate.
Strain, however, isn’t convinced that UBI is the answer. He argues that UBI moves us in the wrong direction by diminishing our existing social safety net. Moreover, he brings up the issue of reciprocity, questioning the ethics of people receiving government assistance without ensuring they actively contribute to society through the labor force. Baker’s philosophy on the matter, however, is one of autonomy rather than accountability: “It’s not what you do, but that you are a human being.” Moreover, she explains that as human beings, we have a responsibility to treat others with dignity, value, and worth.
Professor Baker is optimistic that as more data come out, including through her project, SEED, more policymakers will take interest in UBI. Strain, however, is not as convinced, particularly in light of today’s political divisiveness. What do you think? Does Universal Basic Income have the potential to help address income inequality?
A Dinner to Celebrate Professor Patrice Franko!
On this special night, the Goldfarb Center for Public Affairs and others from the Colby Community said “Thank You” to Professor Patrice Franko. Not only is she an outstanding professor of economics but she has also served as the dedicated, hard-working director of the Goldfarb Center for the past three years.
Individuals shared their sincere gratitude to Patrice for all of the hard work and endless hours of work she provides to her students and the Goldfarb Center. Her inspiration and love for teaching is something that we can all learn from. Professor Franko and her husband Professor Sandy Maisel will be heading off for a well-deserved sabbatical and we wish them all the best.
Trip to the State House in Augusta
Henry Beck ’09, Maine State Treasurer
Emily Cook ’11, Senior Legislative Aide
Brooke Barron ’09, Senior Policy Advisor to the Speaker of the
Will Palmieri ’21 intern
Goldfarb students ended the semester with a trip to the state house of Maine. Hosted by State Treasurer Henry Beck ’09, the panel of Colby alums (and a current student intern) testified to the importance of state level change. Both Brooke Barron and Emily Cook had intensely productive but often frustrating experiences on Capitol Hill in DC; along with Henry Beck they pointed to the exciting nature of change when representatives meet their constituents in the grocery store-or come to Augusta to testify on issues critical to their communities. Relationships with the other party are healthier as representatives are personal and grounded in a shared reality. The Goldfarb Center explored future opportunities for Colby students to contribute to political organizing along with providing research for members. It was a terrific way to end the semester!
A Note from the GSEC Co-Chairs
Chasity McFadden ’20 and Adam Bowes ’21
First, we want to say thank you to Professor Franko for all her amazing work these past years with Goldfarb. We have learned so much from her and appreciate all her training in leadership. Goldfarb certainly will not be the same without her, but we wish her the best on her sabbatical! We are also very excited to welcome in Ms. Flowers and are excited to work with her this coming semester.
Second, thank you to Adam Bowes for all his work as an excellent co-chair this year. GSEC has been absolutely blessed to have his leadership this past semester. Best of luck to Adam as he goes abroad! Lastly, we want to welcome in Genesis Cazalez-Contreras as the second co-chair this spring. Genesis has served on GSEC for several years and has continually demonstrated her passion for Goldfarb. We are very lucky to have her as a co-chair in the spring!
This coming semester is going to be amazing and we are really excited to see all the important work that Goldfarb does!
A Note from the Colby Mock Trial Team
This semester, Colby Mock Trial competed at 4 tournaments: UNH, Coast Guard Academy, Brandeis, and Fordham.
Colby Mock Trial has been working with many attorneys from Waterville and Portland to develop legal skills and learn more about courtroom procedure. These efforts have been a result of partnering with the Office of General Counsel at Colby, which has provided the team with many incredible resources.
Tournament performance for Colby Mock Trial is off to a great start this year. At UNH, the B Team won an honorable mention. Serena Desai won a first place witness award. Jordan Miller and Varun
Boopathi earned individual attorney award. Honorable mentions were won by Nina Antone, Angie Liu, Charlotte Hurson, and Sarah Kaplan. The Coast Guard Academy tournament was also immensely successful. Parker Sikora and Nina Antone won attorney awards for being a part of the top 3 attorneys. Hannah Weil won an individual witness award as well. At Fordham University, Colby’s A team came away with a winning record and received positive commentary from many judges.
In January, the Mock Trial Team will compete at UMass Amherst in preparation for regionals, which will be in Providence, Rhode Island in February. Colby Mock Trial could not compete without the generosity of the Brody Fund through the Goldfarb Center and is grateful for the contributions it has made to help the team grow.
Happy Holidays to all from the Goldfarb Center!