Tue, 19 December 2017
Essential to a free and functioning democracy is an independent press, a crucial civil society actor that holds government to account and provides citizens access to the impartial information they need to make informed judgments, reason together, exercise their rights and responsibilities, and engage in collective action. In times of crisis, the media fulfills the vital role of alerting the public to danger and connecting citizens to rescue efforts, as Ushahidi has done in Kenya. Or, it can alert the international community to human rights abuses as does Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently. But, the very capabilities that allow the media to alert and inform, also allow it to sow division – as it did in Rwanda leading up to and during the genocide-- by spreading untruths, and, through “dog whistles,” targeting ethnic groups and inciting violence against them. This panel will focus on two topics: the role of media as a vehicle for advancing or undermining social cohesion, and the use of media to innovate, organize and deepen understanding, enabling positive collective action.
* Abdalaziz Alhamza, Co-Founder, Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently
* Uzodinma Iweala, CEO and Editor-in-Chief, Ventures Africa; Author, Beasts of No Nation; Producer, Waiting for Hassana (moderator)
* Ben Rattray, Founder and CEO, Change.org
* Malika Saada Saar, Senior Counsel on Civil and Human Rights, Google
Tue, 12 December 2017
This week’s episode offers an in-depth perspective of foreign policy under Trump, with a focus on US - North Korea relations. What is the strategic calculus for both countries and how can some degree of calm be restored?
In the first half of the show, you’ll hear from Ambassador Wendy Sherman. Ambassador Wendy Sherman served as the US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs. In this position, she led the team from the United States and five other countries in negotiating the Iran nuclear weapons deal. Under the Clinton administration, she served as Advisor to the President and Secretary of State and North Korea Policy Coordinator.
From Jerusalem to North Korea, President Trump has demonstrated again and again a willingness to break with established diplomatic strategy and forge a new path. In our conversation, Sherman discusses the current state of foreign policy under the Trump administration, with a focus on the current diplomatic calculus with North Korea.
The second half features Orville Schell and Philip W. Yun. They discuss whether the US and North Korea can pivot from searing rhetoric, and instead work toward strengthening diplomacy. This interview was previously aired in August.
Wendy Sherman, Senior Counselor at Albright Stonebridge Group
Fri, 8 December 2017
His Excellency Anatoly Antonov was recently appointed by President Putin to serve as the Russian Ambassador to the United States. A career diplomat, he has served for more than thirty years in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In 2004, he was the Director of the Department for Security and Disarmament. Ambassador Antonov was formerly the Deputy Minister of Defense and, before his recent appointment, held the position of Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs. Please join us for this special event to hear Ambassador Anatoly Antonov discuss the importance of diplomacy and Russia’s role in the world.
For more information about this event please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/event-calendar/event/1783
Fri, 1 December 2017
President Trump will meet with President Duterte during his first visit to the Philippines next month. What can be expected for the future of US-Philippine relations? Although the two countries have historically been strong allies, the elections of Trump and Duterte, as well as policy shifts in both nations, have raised questions about the stability of the relationship. The Philippines has benefited from significant US military aid for several decades. Recently both training and intelligence sharing were especially helpful as Philippine armed forces fought to regain control of Marawi following terrorist attacks by ISIS affiliates. While military aid is considered a symbol of the continued alliance between the two countries, Duterte’s renewed economic and political relations with China are causing tension. Is the Philippines looking to pivot toward China for a stronger alliance and veer away from the US, therefore shifting the strategic balance in the region? As for Filipinos as home, how are they impacted by the rise of a populist leader, one who is focused on fighting corruption and targeting drug offenders? What do these tactics reveal about Duterte as a leader? What issues can Trump and Duterte come together on and where might they disagree?
Richard Heydarian, a Filipino academic and columnist, will join us for a discussion on the Philippines under Duterte and his latest book "The Rise of Duterte: A Populist Revolt Against Elite Democracy."
For more information about this event please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/event-calendar/event/1777
Thu, 16 November 2017
Less than a year into the new Trump administration, the US appears to be shifting away from key, longstanding foreign policies as well as from established allies. The president’s recent speeches to NATO members and at the G20 signal a departure from previous administrations on myriad issues, including human rights, climate change, and resolving civil conflicts. These global challenges often require leadership and collective action by major actors in the international community, yet the US is uncertain whether these issues are worth the investment. There is deep concern among many nations and former US officials who are perplexed by this strategic direction.
Is the US forging a new path, going it alone and leaving behind ongoing conflicts and unresolved humanitarian crises? Will the US maintain its alliances and continue to engage with the international community?
On the anniversary of Donald Trump's election, Samantha Power, former US ambassador to the United Nations and current professor of practice at Harvard Kennedy School and Harvard Law, will join World Affairs CEO Jane Wales for a discussion on the state of US Foreign Policy, and challenge the assumptions behind the Trump administration’s strategic direction. How can we make America good again, and where might we go from here?
This event is made possible through a generous grant from the Stanley S. Langendorf Foundation in the name of Richard and Judith Guggenhime, and brings world-renowned experts to the Bay Area.
Tue, 7 November 2017
This week’s episode will feature two unique perspectives from the frontlines of international war.
In the first half of the show, you’ll hear from Retired US Admiral James Stavridis. Admiral Stavridis was the Supreme Allied Commander for NATO from 2009 to 2013, and he led NATO’s Operation Unified Protector during the 2011 military intervention in Libya.
In this talk, Stavridis discusses the US' role in a complex, quickly shifting international landscape.
And now to the second half of our program, featuring combat journalist Sebastian Junger.
In his newest project, “Hell on Earth: The Fall of Syria and the Rise of ISIS”, Junger documents the civil war by telling the stories of Syrians living through the chaos and rise of extremism, and who later attempt to escape the violence. Jung discusses his motivation for the project, and he reveals the inside story of the film.
Mon, 23 October 2017
Equal access to justice and equal protection under the law are critical elements of our liberal democracy. Yet, in practice, in the US young men of color are more likely than their white counterparts to be picked up for, locked up for, and prosecuted for suspected criminal offenses. If they cannot gain pre-trial release, these young men remain in jail while awaiting prosecution. The jury is more likely to find these men guilty, and the prosecutor is more likely to ask for a stiff sentence, which the judge is more likely to impose. Once incarcerated, these young men may not be protected from mental and physical harm. Once released, they can be denied housing, jobs, credit and even the ability to vote. Their families will have been impoverished by the costs associated with trials, imprisonment and lost earning capacity. This pattern of bias – whether unconscious or not – has served to delegitimize our system of justice in the eyes of a growing number of Americans. Can philanthropy and civil society advance the reforms needed for our justice system to regain the trust of all Americans? Can we realize the vital goal of equal justice for all?
Introduction: Adam Foss, President, Prosecutor Impact
* Carroll Bogert, President, The Marshall Project
* Adam Foss, President, Prosecutor Impact (moderator)
* Glenn E. Martin, Founder and President, JustLeadershipUSA
For more information about this event please visit: https://www.philanthropyforum.org/conference/gpf-2017/
Mon, 16 October 2017
In 2012, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta warned that the United States was facing the possibility of a "cyber" Pearl Harbor and was increasingly vulnerable to foreign computer hackers who could dismantle the nation's power grid, transportation system, financial networks and government. Since then, we have seen Iran attack US financial institutions and gain control of a New York dam. ISIS has released a kill list complete with stolen US federal employee information. Russia has attacked our democratic system through a combination of cyber theft and massive botnets used to propagate fake news. And North Korea is alleged to be behind a series of attacks including Sony Entertainment and culminating in the global WannaCry ransomware attack in May.
Why have we been unable to defend against these attacks? What is being done to prevent and protect us from potential future threats? The “WannaCry” attack and most recent “Petya” attack have caused damage on a global scale, and have even taken lives. Further, it appears such attacks have made use of stolen NSA cyber weapons previously distributed on the dark web and available for sale.
Nicole Perlroth, cyber security reporter for The New York Times, will discuss these attacks and what to expect for the future of cyber warfare.
For more information about this event please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/event-calendar/event/1749
Tue, 10 October 2017
If pluralism is essential to free and functioning societies, it is also the sine qua non of liberal democracy, and essential to the legitimacy – and sustainability – of the state. But when states fail to meet the needs of their citizens and collapse into violent conflict, what is the role of the international community and global civil society? Where does responsibility lie? We will explore interventions along the conflict continuum as well as global norms that assign responsibility. Will citizens trust their government, if access to health, education, jobs and even justice is uneven? And when governance fails, how can human security be assured? This conversation will focus on governments and the governed, with particular attention to access to justice and examples of conflict prevention, conflict resolution and post-conflict reconciliation. Throughout, the role of race, gender, religious affiliation and ethnicity will be explored.
Robert Malley, incoming Vice President for Policy, International Crisis Group (moderator)
David Miliband, President and CEO, International Rescue Committee
John Prendergast, Founding Director, Enough Project
Yifat Susskind, Executive Director, MADRE
David Tolbert, President, International Center for Transitional Justice
Robin Wright, Senior Fellow, The US Institute of Peace and the Woodrow Wilson Center
For more information about this event please visit: https://philanthropyforum.org/conference/gpf-2017/
Fri, 6 October 2017
President Trump once pledged to “tear up” the Iran nuclear agreement. Now, the world watches to see the fate of an agreement considered by some to be a pivotal victory in American foreign policy, and by others as a mistake.
Trita Parsi, the preeminent Middle East foreign policy expert who advised the Obama White House throughout the Iran talks, takes us behind the scenes to examine the negotiations. Was a better deal to be had in 2015? What have been the benefits gained, or disasters averted, under the deal? Parsi provides a nuanced and thoughtful view of the agreement designed to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.
Will the Iran deal survive the Trump Presidency? If the agreement can be viewed as a down-payment on improved US-Iranian relations, has that now been squandered by the sabre-rattling that followed? What are the options and consequences of a renegotiation and, without the support of an international coalition, does an effort to renegotiate have the impact of removing the US from a position of influence on this important subject? What is the benefit where each side abides by the letter of an agreement, but does not act in the spirit of the agreement?
For more information about this event please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/event-calendar/event/1747