Expert tells students to brace for massive change at university's global issues conference

Monday, April 19, 2010 ~ Updated 5:19 PM

The world's population is growing at a rate of 216,000 people per day. By 2050, the population will grow to about 9.2 billion people compared to about 7 billion today.

Karen Meachem, the director of educational outreach at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, used these statistics to give perspective to the biggest challenges facing the world in 2025 and beyond.

"Will we be able to keep up with the accelerated change?" she said.

Meacham was one of two experts from the non-partisan think tank based in Washington, D.C. that spoke Monday at Southeast Missouri State University's third annual Regional Conference on Global Issues.

During the event, about four months of work culminated for 35 students. Most analyzed problems related to the seven revolutions Meacham outlined in her speech. She spoke about challenges regarding population, resources, technology, information, economic integration, conflict and governance.

Throughout the day five groups of Southeast students gave presentations about their plans to solve some of the biggest challenges facing the United States. During spring break, students worked with scholars and experts at the think tank to analyze international issues like nuclear proliferation, global warming and terrorism. This is the fourth year the university sent students to the center.

Two experts from the center spoke during the conference Monday.

Look for more on this story later at semissourian.com and in Tuesday's Southeast Missourian.

abusch@semissourian.com

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