Srinivas, associate professor of sociology, to join global forum

by Zoë Mathews / Beacon Correspondent • September 13, 2012

Srinivas was appointed to a position within the Global Agenda Council on the Role of Faith.
Courtesy of Tulasi Srinivas
Srinivas was appointed to a position within the Global Agenda Council on the Role of Faith.
Courtesy of Tulasi Srinivas

As the college continues to expand internationally, Associate Professor of Communication Studies Tulasi Srinivas will soon experience some globe-trotting of her own, following her appointment as an advisor to the World Economic Forum. 

Srinivas was appointed to a position within the Global Agenda Council on the Role of Faith, one of nearly 80 Global Agenda councils within the larger entity of the World Economic Forum. 

According to Mark Schulman, the editor of the World Economic Forum USA, the independent international organization is comprised of leaders in business, government, and civil society. Representing 56 nationalities, they come together to consider global agendas and brainstorm solutions to address challenges. 

The mission of the forum is to engage leaders of society to shape global, regional, and industry ideas without political, partisan, or national interests. 

Srinivas said that Associate Director of Faith Communities Eimear Farrell took note of her achievements and approached her via email. She then furthered their communication via phone correspondence. After discussing Srinivas’ specific interest in morality within the markets, she said she decided to accept the position as advisor at the Council on the Role of Faith.

“It is a crucial time to think about faith and the role of faith in a globalized community,” said Srinivas in an interview with the Beacon. “I look forward to contributing to the dialogue and sharing knowledge with my students. It is important for them to realize the role that they play in this community, as well.”

Srinivas holds a dual doctorate in Anthropology and Sociology from Boston University and has worked at Emerson for five years. She is the author of Winged Faith: Rethinking Globalization and Religious Pluralism Through the Sathya Sai Movement and is currently finishing a monograph titled “Forging Faith: Ambivalent Globalization and Innovative Ritual in the Temple Publics of Bangalore City.” 

In 2010, Srinivas attended a conference on religion and globalization hosted at the University Centre Saint-Ignatius Antwerp in Belgium. Srinivas currently teaches Gendering Global Perspective at Emerson.

 The organization is funded by membership and partnership fees for annual and regional summits. Public figures such as Bill Clinton, Bono, Al Gore, and Bill Gates are regular participants in the annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, said Schulman. 

“[The council] started just as people who care about economics meeting in a snowy town in the middle of nowhere,” said Srinivas. “But now it isn’t just corporate people — there are journalists covering it because people are realizing that real decisions are being made at these meetings.”

Each council consists of roughly 20 like-minded professionals and leaders in their respective fields of study or activism, including the Bishop of London Richard Chartres, interfaith leaders from Africa, leaders of various Non-governmental organization (NGOs), and other top professionals, according to Schulman. The council is slated for a summit meeting in Dubai in November.

“Top minds of the field will meet for a big brainstorming event,” said Schulman. “They get together, and some of their ideas are put forth to other councils within the forum.”

Srinivas said that being a teacher has shaped her perceptions on everything she does, and she views this opportunity as a chance to improve her personal learning, and thereby enabling her to better teach her students. 

“I am convinced that my exciting experiences at the [Forum] meetings first at Dubai and then elsewhere will inform and illuminate my pedagogy at Emerson in teaching in the liberal arts,” said Srinivas. “It is a huge honor for me to be selected.”