World Affairs

Why did we propel ourselves millions miles from the Earth to the Moon? What did the audacious achievement mean for society?

What is it about big ideas and bold visions that compel us to courageously face uncertainty and risk failure? How do daunting challenges provoke us to find novel, game-changing solutions to the world's largest problems and opportunities? These questions consume creative problem-solvers who are attempting to discover, develop, and deploy the next great "moon shots" for the 21st century.

In this episode of our World Affairs podcast, you'll hear from Andreas Raptopoulos, Co-founder and CEO of Matternet, and Anthony James, Distinguished Professor of Microbiology & Molecular Genetics at the University of California at Irvine, two men who are using moon shot thinking to innovate, improve, and inspire.

Direct download: 03_29_16_World-Affairs_Moon-Shots.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 12:51pm PDT

Refugee camps spring up around the world in response to the needs of displaced populations. Always intended to be temporary, these camps often become long term homes for their residents. From the outside, they're seen as a humanitarian crisis by aid workers and a security challenge by host governments. What does life look like for those who call a refugee camp home?

Journalist Ben Rawlence spent years documenting life in Dadaab, a group of refugee camps in northern Kenya. The camps make up a small city of almost half a million people, mostly Somalis who fled civil war and violence. How does this population address the challenges of education, employment, healthcare and meeting other basic needs? Why has this camp, and others like it, become a more permanent settlement for so many? Rawlence will share the stories of a few of Dadaab’s citizens, exploring both individual lives and the wider political forces that have kept them from returning home.

Speaker Ben Rawlence is an author and journalist.

Karen Ferguson, Executive Director, Northern California, International Rescue Committee, moderates the conversation.

For more information about this event please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/media-library/event/1551

Direct download: 01_14_16_Ben_Rawlence.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:00pm PDT

From WikiLeaks and Edward Snowden to Bitcoin and the Arab Spring, digital technologies have taken on a powerful role in global politics. These technologies are disrupting the power of traditional institutions – governments, businesses, international organizations – and giving new actors the ability to shape international affairs.

Who are these non-state actors and how do they influence politics and events around the world, for good and for ill? How does digital technology challenge our existing institutions and norms, and what can governments and businesses do to maintain security and rule of law? Dr. Owen will consider these questions and discuss the new frontier of international affairs in the digital age.

Speaker Taylor Owen is Assistant Professor of Digital Media and Global Affairs, University of British Columbia, and a Senior Fellow at the Columbia Journalism School.

Quentin Hardy, Deputy Technology Editor of The New York Times, moderates the discussion.

For more information about this event please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/event-calendar/event/1500

Direct download: 10_27_15_Taylor_Owen.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 2:47pm PDT

Please join the World Affairs Council and the Marines' Memorial Association for a conversation between Jane Wales, President and CEO of the World Affairs Council and Leon Panetta, former Secretary of Defense and Director of the CIA.

Mr. Panetta, an Army Veteran, served in the Obama administration as Director of the CIA from 2009 to 2011 and as Secretary of Defense from 2011 to 2013. He was a member of the US House of Representatives from 1977 to 1993, served as Director of the Office of Management and Budget from 1993 to 1994 and as President Clinton’s Chief of Staff from 1994 to 1997. He is the founder of the Panetta Institute for Public Policy and served as a professor of public policy at Santa Clara University.

This program is part of the George Shultz Lecture Series.

Speaker of Leon E. Panetta is the 23rd United States Secretary of Defense and Chairman of the Panetta Institute for Public Policy.

Jane Wales, CEO, World Affairs Council and Global Philanthropy Forum; Vice President, The Aspen Institute, moderates the discussion.

For more information about this event please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/events/event/1571

Direct download: 02_22_16_Leon_Panetta.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 8:00pm PDT

From the headlines, it seems like most developing countries are fighting an uphill battle against poverty, disease and violence. In reality, the picture is more positive. Over the last two decades, great progress has been made in the fight against global poverty. More than 700 million people have been lifted out of extreme poverty, six million fewer children die every year from disease, tens of millions more girls are in school, millions more people have access to clean water and democracy has become the norm in developing countries around the world.

Many factors paved the way for this transformation – globalization, the end of the Cold War, the development of new technologies. And in order to maintain this trend, we’ll need to address other global challenges, from climate change and resource demand to poor governance and demographic pressures. Steven Radelet will discuss how we’ve reduced poverty, increased incomes, improved health, curbed violence and spread democracy – and how to ensure the improvements continue.

Speaker Steven Radelet is Director of the Global Human Development Program for the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University.

Jane Wales, CEO, World Affairs Council and Global Philanthropy Forum; Vice President, The Aspen Institute, moderates the discussion.

For more information about this event please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/event-calendar/event/1559

Direct download: 01_20_16_Steven_Radelet.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 8:00pm PDT

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