World Affairs

General Anthony Zinni is a retired four-star general in the United States Marine Corps who served from 1997 to 2000 as Commander of US Central Command. In 2002, he was selected as special envoy for the United States to Israel and the Palestinian Authority. General Zinni joins the Marines’ Memorial Association and the World Affairs Council to examine the trends that have reshaped our world and the ways in which visionary leaders and organizations can effectively respond. In his new book, Leading the Charge,, General Zinni argues that the old systems, organizations, and ways of operating no longer work in our dynamic, complex and increasingly unstable new environment. Out of this chaos and confusion, a new and different leader must emerge. Tomorrow’s successful leaders—in all fields, including the military, academia, politics, and business—must know how to create, operate, and thrive in very fluid, flattened, and integrated structures that are remarkably different from the traditional organizations we are used to seeing.

Direct download: 8-18-09_gen_anthony_zinni.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 2:04pm PDT

The global financial crisis has put those living in poverty in an even more precarious position and left many of the institutions that would normally come to their aid unable to help. What is the best way for each of us to reach out to those most in need? Many point to small acts of philanthropy, such as micro-lending and grant-making. Innovative organizations that facilitate such person-to-person giving are thriving in the current economic climate, demonstrating that small, seemingly insignificant actions can lead to meaningful change. Flannery and Taylor—pioneers of online giving markets—will discuss their two models and how we can help individuals pull themselves out of the cycle of poverty both at home and world-wide.

Direct download: 08-13-09_Taylor__Flannery.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 10:22pm PDT

With its roots in the early 20th century, how has rational market theory survived as its very foundation is challenged by the financial crisis now gripping the global markets? What role did the belief that the stock market is both random and perfectly rational play in the current crisis and how did it influence new ideas about corporate governance? How did it help to spawn new financial instruments such as index funds, credit default swaps, and collateralized debt obligations? TIME magazine’s Justin Fox joins the Council to tell the story behind the premise that financial markets are rational, reliable and capable of regulating themselves. He also introduces the economists who have challenged the new rational market orthodoxy, among them Robert Shiller, Joseph Stiglitz, and the current top economic adviser in the Obama White House, Lawrence Summers.

Direct download: 08-12-09_Justin_Fox.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 10:22pm PDT

For more than thirty years, humankind has known how to grow enough food to end chronic hunger worldwide. Yet more than 9 million people die each year of hunger, malnutrition, and related diseases—most of them in Africa and most of them children. Roger Thurow joins the Council for a look at the geopolitics that allow some countries to prosper while others starve. Looking at Africa, he examines how subsidies and food aid are going awry, and how many well-intentioned strategies contribute to keeping the poor hungry and unable to feed themselves. Thurow has been a foreign correspondent for the Wall Street Journal for twenty years and has reported from more than sixty countries.

Direct download: 08-11-09_Roger_Thurow.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 10:22pm PDT

Russia’s enormous energy resources have generated a large profit as well as a bargaining chip in its relationship with Europe. Europe gets roughly 40 percent of its natural gas and over one-third of its oil from Russia. Journalist, author and longtime Russia-watcher Steve LeVine joins the Council to discuss Russia’s energy policies and how Europe and the West plan to respond to their reliance on Russian energy. How did the Russia-Ukraine natural gas disputes in 2005-2006 and 2009 impact European security and cohesion? How do the fluctuating energy prices affect the Russian economy and stability? Is Russia using its position as energy supplier as a way to send political messages and extract concessions from its allies and opponents?

Direct download: 8-6-2009_steve_levine.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 7:27am PDT

A leading political figure in Polish, European and transatlantic affairs, Radoslaw Sikorski’s involvement with politics began with the Solidarity social movement of the early 1980s. Following the events of 1981, he sought political refuge in Great Britain, and later went on to work as a journalist covering the wars in Afghanistan and Angola. After the demise of communism, Minister Sikorski returned to Poland in 1992 to help build a new democratic and free state. Still in his twenties, he served as the nation’s Deputy Minister of National Defense and was closely involved with Poland’s accession to NATO. Subsequent to serving in both of Poland’s legislative bodies and numerous senior posts in the government, he assumed the Office of Foreign Minister in 2007. Join us for an evening with Minister Sikorski as he discusses Poland’s new place in Europe and the international community.

Direct download: 8-5-2009_radoslaw_sikorski.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 7:21am PDT

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