WorldAffairs

Following the 1979 Revolution, many Iranians hoped to see democracy emerge in their country. Instead, theocracy filled the political vacuum, stifling political discourse and restricting the freedom of Iranian citizens. Much has changed in the intervening years - the middle class is growing, more women are attending college and a moderate president has taken office. However, broader political change still seems distant. The Supreme Leader remains the highest authority and internet censorship and restrictions on freedom of the press continue. Iran appears to be on the path towards reform, but it may a long journey.

Born in Iran shortly before the 1979 Revolution, Nazila Fathi spent two decades as an Iranian correspondent for the New York Times. She fled the country in 2009, fearing for the safety of her family after defying a ban on media coverage of the Green Revolution. Fathi will share her firsthand experiences of Iran's transformation and her thoughts on where the country is headed.

Nazila Fathi, Journalist, Translator and Commentator, will speak.

For more information about this event please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/event-calendar/event/1395

Direct download: 01_29_15_Nazila_Fathi.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 7:43am PST

In today’s shifting global economy countries must often make rapid transitions to meet the increased demands of globalization. In the midst of this, it is easy for everyday citizens to ignore or forget what these transitions involve, where they take place and who is most affected by them.

Chad Broughton will examine these global effects and specifically the US – Mexico relationship through the lens of industrial manufacturing in two North American towns. As thousands of jobs have migrated from the United States to Mexico, Broughton argues that what truly matters in debating the consequences of the shift is not just politics or policy implications, but also who is affected and where these changes take place. Broughton will share the voices of those who have borne the heaviest burdens of recent economic upheavals by putting a human face to the constant cycle of global manufacturing and looking at the true cost of globalization.

Chad Broughton, Senior Lecturer, Public Policy Studies, University of Chicago, will be in conversation.

For more information about this event please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/events/event/1397

Direct download: 01_20_15_Chad_Broughton.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 8:06am PST

The Middle East is a complex strategic question for the United States due to its evolving and unpredictable nature. What is the plan for Syria and Iraq? How much of a threat to our national security is ISIS? What about Iran? What will happen in Afghanistan as the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) reduces its footprint?

General Lloyd J. Austin, Commander of the US Central Command, will share his insights on US military operations in the Middle East and future security concerns for the region.

Speaker Lloyd J Austin is the Commander of the United States Central Command.

For more information about this event please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/events/event/1402

Direct download: 01_09_15_CENTCOM.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 8:41am PST

The vast majority of the world's poor lack access to formal financial services. Faced with small incomes and little or no support from banks or other financial institutions, individuals struggle to save enough money to have a significant impact on their lives.

For more than four decades, the microfinance sector has provided small loans to help support the self-help efforts of micro-entrepreneurs. While these loans are powerful tools, when taken alone, they are not nearly enough to help the poor climb out of poverty.

Microfinance clients need other services, such as a safe place to save money, access to health services, financial education and other tools to help them make meaningful and sustainable progress out of poverty. As the digital and mobile landscapes continue to evolve, the microfinance sector is poised to innovate and serve more clients with a wider range of tools and services than ever before.

How are microfinance organizations serving their clients with an appropriate mix of services that help them escape poverty for good? How can disruptive technologies like mobile banking assist in this mission? What advances have we seen in this field and what challenges lie on the horizon?

The panel of speakers includes Alex Counts, President and CEO, Grameen Foundation, Steve Hollingworth, President, Freedom from Hunger, and Mary Ellen Iskenderian, President and CEO, Women's World Banking.

Maya Chorengel, Co-Founder, Elevar Equity, will moderate the discussion.

For more information about this event please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/events/event/1392

Direct download: 01_07_14_Microfinancing.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 7:49am PST

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