Achim Köddermann teaches and chairs philosophy at the State University of New York, Oneonta. Lately, he is happy to see that ethics cannot only be taught, but also applied: through the cooperation of students, faculty, and administrators, the university is slowly going "green."
Köddermann's expertise has been used in eclectic ways—for the elaboration of codes against violence, for tolerance, and for developing strategies for the intellectual integration of reunified Germany. His latest work with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in Beijing focuses on the search for a cross-cultural consensus: What is the role of the humanities in the 21st century? What will become of intellectual property without copyright protection if there is no ethical consensus? He has worked with diplomats from Afghanistan to Tajikistan on common foundations for rational discourse. Previously, Köddermann worked as a corporate planner for German public television on moral forms of mergers within European banks, and on the defense of academic freedom and integrity.
When he first came to the Conference on World Affairs, the now-legendary Howard Higman abandoned his cane, held on to Köddermann's scarf, and dragged him into this unique mix of international ideas that allows the emergence of the unexpected. His most exciting CWA moments have been a Dantesque reading/viewing of La Dolce Vita with Roger Ebert, the charming and ironic embrace of Molly Ivins, and the chance to see the best, brightest, and most provocative students go off into the world—and return as participants.
For the month of April, Köddermann is convinced that Boulder is the center of the world, a free forum of ideas.