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Centers of Excellence

Taskforce on mobility & migrations in 21st century Europe

Taskforce on mobility & migrations in 21st century Europe


2017 Project submitted by George Washington University | Embassy of France support: $ 5000

Project coordinator: Derek Malone-France

Summary of the Project

The Taskforce on Mobility & Migrations in 21st Century Europe is a taskforce simulation expanding and concluding last year’s project, the Civil Liberties & Security in 21st Century Europe Taskforce Simulation. “M21” seeks to build on last year’s successes while cementing the emerging relationships between the GWU and Georgetown consortium and Ecole Militaire. In addition, GW proposes two related projects on the M21 mobility theme in direct response to the Embassy priorities shared at this year’s Directors Meeting.

M21 will engage GWU and Georgetown students and faculty and French military officers studying at Ecole Militaire in an interdisciplinary dialogue on European mobility and migrations. As a whole, M21 will conclude the research, writing, and publication project begun last year by expanding on the CLS21 theme of civil liberties and mobility framed by the ongoing Syrian refugee crisis in Europe. Specifically the project will promote research, writing and dialogue on the question of whether freedom of an integrated approach is possible in France and other European nations in a context of the growing threat of religious radicalization and terrorist attacks, rising populism, and the weakening legitimacy of the European Union throughout Europe.

M21 will proceed in three stages. First, special presentations on the M21 “mobility and migrations” topic will be organized, videoed, and used to create an M21 website that will be publicized to thousands of GWU students in, inter alia, the GWU Writing Program, Honors Program, French Language & Literature Department, History Department, the Elliott School of International Affairs, and GWU student organizations. This will include short in-class presentations on the projects to at least 200 GWU students as well as GWU social media.  (GT will describe its promotional plan separately).

Second, an inter-university student “taskforce simulation” involving students from GWU and Georgetown, officer-students from Ecole de Guerre, and GWU and Georgetown faculty will be held during which students will roleplay as European policymakers tasked with developing policy on the topic area of European mobility.  The project directors will prepare the students for this simulation by organizing at least two special lectures on the M21 topic open to both GWU and Georgetown students, preparing and providing to students background materials on the topic, and assisting students in conducting research and preparing for the simulation. French military officers studying at Ecole de Guerre will be recruited to travel to GWU to serve as judges and respondents for both the simulation and the workshop, as well as to promote transatlantic dialogue on the M21 topic by observing the simulation and working with M21 project directors to design and prepare for a second simulation and workshop on the M21 topic at Ecole de Guerre later in the year.

As demonstrated by CLS21 this unique combination of traditional instruction and student-centered engagement produces an intense and impactful student-program. Last year over forty students from GW, GT and EM participated in CLS 21 as judges, competitors and/or researchers. The positive experiences of participating students from last year have promoted excitement for the program for this year and we hope to expand on that number in 2017.

Finally the top four GWU and Georgetown students from the simulation (two students from each school) will receive funding to travel to Paris to participate in a Franco-US taskforce simulation and workshop on the M21 topic at which the students will work in teams with French military officers to develop and present policy positions to a panel of French M21 topic experts. This “championship round” of the simulation will take place in both English and French. English-only students will be distributed evenly amongst the teams so as to require French-speaking students to act as translators during the competition. 

Careers in the Francophone World

Career services offices are a potentially valuable channel for promoting the French language to U.S. college students at a relatively low cost. First, university career services offices possess both motivation and capacity to deliver career information to students. Second, career services provide career counseling to students and student perceptions regarding the professional value of speaking a particular language skill may impact which languages students choose to study.

In order to promote transatlantic mobility and encourage student interest in France and the French language, GW will work with the GWU Career Services Career Coach for the Elliott School of International Affairs to expand the M21 project to include a special panel, “Careers in the Francophone World.” With the guidance from career service professionals, GW will recruit a diverse panel of professionals who use French in their careers to demonstrate the value of French as a job skill and maximize the value of the panel as a promotional tool.

In addition a national communications campaign could be organized to promote the CFW theme to a national career services audience at relatively low cost.  Under the supervision of a GWU faculty member with professional communications expertise (and with oversight and approval from the Embassy as needed), GW would establish two student-fellowships and organize a multimedia communications learning project on the CFW theme.  This would include videoing the speakers at the panel, creating promotional materials, developing a CFW website, and electronically distributing the website, talking points and other promotional materials to relevant contacts in career services offices and French Departments at all or almost all colleges and universities in the United States offering French Language instruction.  

Transatlantic Mobility Hackathon

GW proposes to partner with the General Assembly’s Data Science Immersive to organize a data science project on transatlantic mobility designed to distill and organize available data on transatlantic mobility into more easily accessible and actionable information. This project will include undergraduate and post-graduate student “hack-a-thons” on transatlantic mobility modeled after last year’s GWU student organization hack-a-thon on French wine, food and agriculture. Afterwards a data science professional will serve as an intermediary between the Embassy and the hack-a-thon students to ensure the final project meets Embassy needs.