Other events included a student poster session, which featured posters on topics around the Millennium Development Goals, and a World Wide Service Fair to give students the opportunity to connect with reputable volunteer and service organizations.
Flaten kicked off the conference Thursday with his speech, "The U.S. Role in Meeting the Millennium Development Goals." Flaten explained that the United Nations has outlined several goals for the new millennium, including reducing poverty, providing primary education and stopping the spread of HIV and AIDS.
"The U.N. Millennium Development Goals hold out a promise of hope," said David Emery, professor of economics and co-chair of the conference.
The following day, Seymour took the podium to give her speech, "Environmental Sustainability and the UN Millennium Development Goals."
Seymour, through a travel grant received as an undergraduate at the University of North Carolina, traveled to Nepal and Kenya. She cites these visits as formative in her decision to pursue environmentalism in the context of third world countries.
She also spent five years in Indonesia. She pointed out that while often people think that environmentalism is a luxury of the rich, it is the poor of the world who suffer.
"I think there is kind of a facile argument thats made that environmentalism is a luxury for rich countries or for the middle class in poor countries," Seymour said. "The more we understand about ecosystem function, and about how poor people in communities depend on ecosystems, the more we understand that really its the opposite."
For example, when deforestation takes away the plants that stabilize a hill, the poor are generally the ones that suffer if there is a mudslide.
"Now, I believe that climate change is the moral imperative of our time, precisely because of this relationship between the inequality of whos responsible for the problem and who is suffering the worst consequences," Seymour said.
Vigen spoke Friday evening, bringing in a religious perspective on globalization in his lecture, "The Christian Paradox: Matthew 25 and Americas Commitment to Meeting the Millennium Goals."
Saturday started off with a talk by Hartwig, "Failing to Reach the HIV Millennium Development Goals by 2015 Whos Responsibility?"Hartwig brought a public health perspective to the Millennium Goals.
Hartwell followed with his speech, "Education and the UN Millennium Development Goals."
The conference concluded with a panel discussion on "The Millennium Development Goals and the Future of the World." The panel discussed the problems and solutions facing nations continuing to work for the U.N. Millennium Goals.
"Even though the situation is bleak, there is still reason to keep working toward meeting these goals," Liz Berg 07 said.
Emery also expressed gratitude for the hopeful message the speakers brought to the conference.
"There is something that we can do to help the worlds poorest people if we have the will," he said.
This is the sixth year that St. Olaf has hosted a conference focusing on the issues related to globalization. In the past, topics have included, "Democracies and the New Economies," "The Challenge of Affluence" and "Consequences of the New Economy."