World Affairs (general)

In 2018, Russia will hold its presidential election, and few are likely to oppose the current president, Vladimir Putin. One of the potential challengers gaining momentum is Alexei Navalny, a central figure in the pro-democracy movement. Since 2011, this small but passionate opposition group has captured the attention of many disaffected Russians angered by corruption, economic disparity and the restriction of civil liberties. What can Russia's pro-democracy movement do to break through a culture of systemic corruption to win the election? What can the opposition do to build support among all Russians?

Vladimir Ashurkov, executive director of the Anti-Corruption Foundation and close colleague of Alexei Navalny, will provide insight into the pro-democracy campaign, recent protests in Moscow and the many challenges facing the opposition movement.

SPEAKER:

Vladimir Ashurkov
Executive Director, Anti-Corruption Foundation

MODERATOR:

Carla Thorson
Senior Vice President, Programs, World Affairs

For more information about this event please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/event-calendar/event/1744

Direct download: 07_26_17_Vladimir_Ashurkov.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:24pm PDT

In 2011, Cairo's Tahrir Square commanded the attention of the world as the Egyptian people demanded their freedom. At the time, President Barack Obama famously declared: “Egyptians have inspired us, they have changed the world.” But, half a decade later, is this the whole story?

The Arab World's most populous nation remains as volatile as ever and thoroughly enmeshed with a broader moment of political turbulence that is unfolding across the globe. In his new book, "The Egyptians: A Radical Story," former Egypt Correspondent for the Guardian, Jack Shenker, examines the roots of Egypt’s revolution, arguing for a much more nuanced, and far-reaching view of the forces that are reshaping the region. Egypt’s revolutionary turmoil has never just been about Mubarak, or his successors, or elections, says Shenker. It is not merely a civil war between Islamists and secularists, nor a fight between backwardness and modernity. Underlying it all, the unrest is about economically marginalized citizens muscling their way onto the political stage to demand sovereignty over domains previously closed to them: factories and urban streets, the houses they live in, the food they eat and the water they drink. The real story is more complicated and, ultimately, more hopeful.

Speaker Jack Shenker is an author and journalist, and Former Egypt Correspondent for the Guardian.

The conversation is moderated by David D. Arnold is President of The Asia Foundation.

For more information please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/event-calendar/event/1683

Direct download: 02_02_17_Jack_Shenker.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:12pm PDT

Our lives in 2050 will be vastly different than today. Rapidly advancing technology is changing everything from food production to health care, energy output, manufacturing and the military balance. Innovations already in development include brain-computer interfaces, vat-grown cruelty-free meat, knitted cars and guided bullets among many others. Technology which once seemed like science fiction is now reality - and even old news - where can we possibly go from here?

The Executive Editor of The Economist, Daniel Franklin, explores how technology will shape the future in his recent book, Megatech: Technology in 2050. His insights are based on extensive interviews with distinguished scientists, industry leaders, academics and acclaimed science-fiction authors who are at the forefront of the most exceptional inventions and sinister trends.

Where will technology be in 2050, and how will it affect the way we live? What does this mean for the job market and how we perform our work? In what ways can we prepare for the opportunities — as well as the dangers — that await?

Speaker Daniel Franklin is Executive Editor at The Economist. He is in conversation with Quentin Hardy, Head of Editorial at Google Cloud.

For more information about this event please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/event-calendar/event/1699

Direct download: 03_29_17_Daniel_Franklin.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:41pm PDT

Is American influence in Asia and around the world set to decline? In the years following the global financial crisis, the US has increasing ceded its leadership in the world, while China has rushed in to fill the gap left behind. Based on the inward-looking economic nationalism of the Trump administration, some say this trend is poised to accelerate.

Gideon Rachman, chief foreign affairs columnist for the Financial Times, terms this phenomenon “Easternization” - the tectonic shift of the world’s center of gravity from West to East, and from the US to China. Though obscured by the headlines of the day, in the not-so-distant future we may come to view this, as Rachman does, as the momentous transformation of the young century.

How is the growing wealth of Asian nations transforming the international balance of power? Will Trump’s temperament lead to war or peace with Asian nations? After striving for years to be a part of Europe, is Russia now returning to its Asian roots? How would a shift to the East shape all of our lives? This event is co-organized with the Mechanics Institute.

SPEAKER:

Gideon Rachman
Chief Foreign Affairs Commentator, Financial Times

MODERATOR:

Carla Thorson
Senior Vice President, Programs, World Affairs

For more information about this event please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/event-calendar/event/1714

Direct download: 05_23_17_Gideon_Rachman.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:07pm PDT

General Michael Hayden is the only person ever to lead both the CIA and NSA. For 10 years, he was a key player in some of the most important events in the history of American national security. Now, at a time of ominous new threats and political change, General Hayden will share an insider’s perspective of America's intelligence wars.

What role did US intelligence play in the wake of terrorist threats, a major war and the technological revolution? What was the transformation of the NSA after 9/11? Why did the NSA begin the controversial terrorist surveillance program that included the collection of domestic phone records? What else was set in motion during this period that formed the backdrop for the infamous Snowden revelations in 2013?

General Hayden is a retired United States Air Force four-star general, former director of the NSA, principal deputy director of National Intelligence, and director of the CIA. His recent book, "Playing to the Edge: American Intelligence in the Age of Terror," is a behind-the-scenes account of his experiences within our national intelligence operations. His goals for writing it are simple: No apologies. No excuses. Just what happened.

Speaker General Michael Hayden is the Former Director of the NSA and CIA.

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

For more information please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/event-calendar/event/1692

Direct download: 03_13_17_Michael_Hayden.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:53am PDT

The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) — the Iran deal — is perhaps the most important negotiated arrangement thus far in the 21st century. Iran’s capacity to construct a nuclear weapon has been stopped for 15 years and perhaps longer. It has not yet led to greater cooperation with Iran in the region, domestically on human rights and more democratic governance, and it has created problems for the governments of Israel, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States. Why? What are the prospects for the future for the next US president.

Hadi Ghaemi, Executive Director, International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran

Suzanne Maloney, Deputy Director, Foreign Policy Program, The Brookings Institution

Thomas Pickering, Vice Chairman of Hills & Company, former Under Secretary of State for Policy and Career Ambassador

Moderator: Greg Dobbs, former Foreign Correspondent, ABC News

Direct download: 10_28_16_US_Iran.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:15pm 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

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