Last year, the Kennedy School Review turned fifteen years old. In the foreword to the 2015 journal, our predecessors Sarah Allin and Amelia Mitchell reminded readers of KSR’s storied history at the Kennedy School, and the way in which its evolution has beautifully mirrored and celebrated the diverse perspectives of those who have come and gone through the school.
If the last issue was an ode to KSR’s past achievements, this issue is a symbol of its future potential. 2015-16 has been a pivotal year for KSR, with an unprecedented focus on going digital and being bigger and better than before. Our goals from the start were to innovate constantly in order to most effectively give voice to the members of our community, and to encourage lively discussion and debate about the most pressing issues of our time.
Our website doubled its content from last year, attracting more traffic than ever before (so much so that it brought the site down on one evening in November, to our mixed amusement and horror!). We were able to provide timely commentary and analysis on some of the year’s most significant events: the Greek debt crisis, the status of refugees fleeing Syria, the terrible attacks on Beirut and on Paris, the climate change conference COP21, the 2016 US election primaries and debates, Apple’s battle over encryption with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia’s death. We organized a very successful storytelling event at the Kennedy School that focused on immigration, we made a big push on social media to keep our followers aware of new content and speakers who came throughout the year, and we strategized intensively for long-term growth.
The nineteen longer articles in this issue are a product of months of writing and editing—they tackle large-scale problems and offer compelling insights and ideas towards solutions. A futuristic theme runs through this print issue too, with pieces about the potential of self-driving cars in China, Iranian youth’s’ propensity for liberal thought leadership in an increasingly volatile Middle East, challenges for ‘smart cities’ in an increasingly connected and vulnerable cyberspace, and how companies can better protect consumer data online, looking to the European model as an example.
None of what we have been able to accomplish as an organization this year would have been possible without the tireless dedication and creative energy of an all-star editing team. They took the call to thinking beyond established norms seriously, and we ended up with a fabulous year to look back on as we write this letter. The future of KSR is bright, and we cannot wait to see where it goes next.
Uzra Khan, Editor-in-Chief
Caitlin Callahan, Print Journal Managing Editor
You can order your copy here.