Think-Tank Meetings

Introduction

Knowledge and thought has always been essential to human beings. Scientists and thinkers have played a pivotal role in cultural evolution of societies; dawn and end of civilizations, abolishment and fostering of culture and rise and fall of political and social systems have been directly related to social and political thoughts, attitudes and theories.

Nowadays, the rate at which cultural, social and political developments occur, the complex structure of societies and individual and social needs on one hand, and new technologies and communication tools and dominant role of media on the other have magnified the effect of science and technology on social change and orientation.

Due to reasons such as inefficient political systems and imperialism, Persian culture and civilization fall behind growing science and technology and scientists and thinkers played a minor role as far as national policy was concerned.

Islamic Revolution was an abrupt end to such bitterness and disappointment; fundamental changes in political and cultural systems raised hopes to the field of science and technology. Within 3 decades, due to the achievements of the Islamic Revolution and the strong presence of professors and committed students, striking developments in scientific, cultural, academic and economic fields took place, especially in desuetude areas. 

The fact is that not all scientific potential has been utilized. This has negative consequences: some professor with a strong belief in the Islamic Revolution and its achievements, and the progress of the country and their people have come to this understanding that their expertise is not relied on by officials, and therefore, they regard national progress in various fields impossible and become irresponsive to national scientific needs.

Due to insufficient strategies, authorities act by trial and error and adopt inefficient strategies which are not consistent with Iranian social, cultural and economic conditions, and therefore, shall not perform their duties as expected.

The Supreme Leader’s enthusiastic and appropriate response to letters from theological schools and university authorities has opened a new door in scientific fields and  has positively encouraged research and science centers to actively participate in the development of science and technology.

Official agencies for the Supreme leader’s Affairs in universities have prepared the ground for professors’ contribution to science and technology by establishing think-tank centers in universities

Think-tank Centers Regulations

Article 1

Think-tank meetings: these are meetings the purpose of which is to discuss social, scientific, academic, cultural and economic affairs and to produce practical solutions.

Note 1

The following cases are not among the purposes of think-tank meetings:

-guest lectures

-classes, publicity campaigns, Koranic interpretations and preaching

Note 2

As mentioned earlier, the meeting is aimed at discussing social, scientific, academic, political, cultural and economic issues, and therefore, maintains a critical distance from theories and philosophical arguments about basic science (criticism, theoretical arguments about science and theorizing are exceptions to the rule).

Article 2

Objectives

-preparing the ground for professors’ religious and cultural contribution

-paving the way for collective research

-improving communications with national micromanagement as far as science is concerned

-preparing the ground for using experts, ideas and plans

Article 3

Policies

-freedom of speech is an essential part of meetings

-there should be a code of ethics as far as discussions and arguments are concerned

-think-tank centers do not develop theories but pave the way for discussions and arguments

-all projects should be approved by think-tank centers

 

Article 4

Types of think-tank meetings

Think-tank meetings can be categorized in terms of projects and university settings:

local, regional, national or global think-tank meeting of university professors

Article 5

Participants

-all university professors volunteering for or invited to the meetings

-authorities certified by the think-tank center

-executive officers, experts and judicial authorities

-head of the think-tank center as the chairperson

Article 6

Holding the meeting

-aims of the project

-project management

-written notice of the meeting including a deadline for research and preparation

-extending invitation to participants and media publicity on a national level

-holding the meeting

-submitting an audio/video file and the related text of the meeting to the think-tank center

-holding a talk-show participated in by top professors

-editing texts from the meetings to be published or posted on websites and issuing bulletins on professors’ suggestions

Project management

Projects can be categorized in terms of universities and their range of expertise: firstly, there are general subjects which can be discussed in all universities with a wide range of expertise. Secondly, there are technical issues which depend on the area of expertise of universities. “Cloning” in universities of medical sciences illustrates the point.

Note 3

Discussions and arguments are not limited to the present projects; all projects of national and social importance can be regarded appropriate for the meetings:

 

 

General:

A) Religious and cultural issues

-adopting a religious approach to cultural atmosphere and strands of thought on the campus

-religious and modern culture: the challenges

-religious factors on the campus

-fostering a religious culture on the campus

-Islamic dress on the campus

-nature of professor-student interactions

-educational role of university professors

-investigating student problems

-educational system on the campus

-practical approaches to non-use of narcotics on the campus

-how to handle inefficient schools of thought

-how to handle cultural invasion on the campus

-cultural atmosphere in dorms

-professors’ role in optimalizing cultural and religious atmosphere of dorms

- Sports on the campus

-unity of theological school and university and its prospect

B) Sociopolitical issues

-Islamic Revolution

-memoirs of pre-revolution campaigns

-analytical approach to pre and post-Revolution events

-pathology of Islamic Revolution

-Islamic Revolution and its effects on strands of thought and cultural and academic atmosphere in universities

-pivotal role of university professors in the future of Islamic Revolution

-Islamic Revolution and global Islamism

-Islamic Revolution and anti-imperialism campaigns

B)-2 student movements

-rise and fall of Iranian student movements

-nature of student political activities

-role of professors in leading student movements

-pathology of student movements

B)-3 Professor’s political participation& political atmosphere on the campus

-political participation on the campus

-pathology of depoliticization on the campus

-professors’ political circles

-role of students and professors in political contemporary developments

-university, elections, political sects and movements

-role of university professors in national macroeconomics

B)-4 women rights& feminism

-women’s sociopolitical status in the view of Imam Komeini ( PBU)

-women’s civil-political rights and status in Islam

-patterns for women’s sociopolitical participation

-Islamic covering on the campus

-nature of boy& girl relationships

-women’s movement in the west/ a critical approach to feminism

-female students problems

C) Academic, educational& research issues

C) -1 nature of movement of contribution to science

-programs& costs of software movement

-strands of thoughts and software movement

-software movement and creation of civilization

-supporters and those involved in software movement

-process of contribution to science

C) -2 arrangements for contribution to science

-those involved in software movement (elite, students, common people)

-origin of software movement (theological schools or universities)

-software movement: the beginning, horizon and objectives

-transfer of science from West to East

-human science in need of religious principles

-movement of contribution to science and universal ruling of Hazrat Mahdi ( May Allah enhance his appearance)

-a comparative study of modern science and Islamic science

-domestication or Islamicization of modern science

-role of free thinking in contribution to science and theorizing

-role of ethics and freedom and security in rise of software movement

-software movement and unity of theological schools and universities

C)-3 contribution to science in Iran

-study of educational system and methodology of contribution to science

-pathology of research in Iran

-necessity of inter-disciplinary science in software movement

-criticizing theorization

C)-4 science& power

-consequences of nationalization movement of contribution to science

-contribution to science: political or real?

-political wings and software movement

-role of elitism in software movement

-brain drain and software movement 

Technical:

A) medical sciences

-cultural, social and economic side effects of policy making in health, adverse publicty and AIDS

-self-sufficiency in drugs

-patterns for nutrition-priorities of policy-making in social health

-comprehensive sickness insurance

-good dental and oral hygiene

-approaches to good mental health index

-mental health in modern societies

-mental health in families

-fostering a culture of regularly using medical care services

-policy making in family planning

-approaches to medical tourism

-approaches to health economics

-approaches to virtual reality in medical sciences

-relationship between health and life style

-medical ethics

-mutual relationship between theological schools and universities of medical science

B) Technical engineering

-optimizing technology in national industries

-interactions between universities and industrial sector

-technical engineering students and apprenticeship in industrial centers

-optimizing national energy consumption

-interactions among researchers

-different styles of Islamic architecture for administrative-residential settings

-problems of national transport network

-housing problems/improving marketing for construction materials

-role of university and professors in national industrial development

Patterns for Successful Meetings

Successful think-tank meetings lead to fostering a think tank culture among authorities and university professors. Therefore, purposefulness is a key element for such meetings. In addition, efforts of distinguished participants will be applauded and necessary action will be taken in case of any inefficiencies.

Quantitative& Qualitative Indices

1)      Number of meetings: number of meetings depend on participation of professors and the authorities and their level of expertise. Generally, at least 2 meetings are scheduled to be held each term.

2)      Number of participants:

 

Number of faculty members

Minimum number of participants in general meetings

Minimum number of participants in special meetings

Below 100

10

7

100-500

10-20

7-15

Above 500

Above 20

Above 15

 

 

 

 

   3)      Projects: some criteria for a project are appropriateness, application and freshness.

4)      Consulting experts: consulting experts on technical issues leads to more successful meetings.

 

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