World Affairs (news & politics)

Can Syria ever achieve peace? Over the past five years, the Syrian conflict has grown to become the center of a global humanitarian crisis, overwhelming many of its neighbors in the Middle East, as well as several countries in Europe. There are nearly five million refugees who have been directly affected by violence within Syria, three quarters of whom are women and children. Although many in the international community are working to find a peaceful solution, other states are actively prolonging the violence. In the face of such conflicting agendas, is a diplomatic resolution possible? Who will lead this resolution? Can Syria survive as a viable state? And what have we learned from the Syrian peace talks thus far? Join us for a conversation about the challenges of reaching peace in Syria and what the global community can do to help.

Speaker Hrair Balian is Director of the Conflict Resolution Program for The Carter Center.

The discussion is moderated by Katie J. Zoglin, Senior Deputy City Attorney at the San Jose City Attorney's Office.

For more information about this event please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/event-calendar/event/1594

Direct download: 04_25_16_Hrair_Balian.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 3:16pm PDT

Turkey has long served as the gateway between East and West. Many Western governments count on Turkey to serve as a democratic ally in an unstable region. President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the AKP have been praised for creating a liberal Islamic government in the Middle East. More recently, however, the so-called Turkish model looks to be failing. Why did such a promising government model fail to inspire democratic regimes among Turkey's neighbors? Is the Arab Spring to blame for the demise of the Turkish model? Is it possible for a government to effectively blend Islamic principles with democratic practices? Join us for a conversation about the prospects of creating a liberal democracy in the Middle East and why it matters for the region and the world.

Speaker Cihan Tuğal is Associate Professor for the of Department of Sociology at the University of California, Berkeley.

Jeffrey Scott Collins, Vice President of Communications at After School, moderates the discussion.

For more information about this event please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/event-calendar/event/1597

Direct download: 05_18_16_Cihan_Tugal.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 8:00pm PDT

No country in Europe has been hit harder by the 2008 global economic crisis and subsequent downturn than Greece. After years of polarizing austerity measures and fears of a Greek exit from the Eurozone, the country is slowly emerging from an extended period of economic instability. The Greek recovery, however, is far from over. Yanis Varoufakis served as Greek finance minister from January through July 2015 and opposed the EU’s third and final bailout agreement for Greece. He will discuss how the Greek economy is faring today and how the Eurozone crisis affected the rest of the global economy. What lessons have been learned about the risks and benefits of a shared economic system? How can we protect those most vulnerable to economic shocks from another economic crisis?

Speaker Yanis Varoufakis is Former Greek Finance Minister, and Professor in the Department of Economics at the University of Athens.

For more information please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/events/event/1586

Direct download: 04_21_16_Yanis_Varoufakis.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 1:09pm PDT

Today, one out of every 120 people in the world is displaced from their homes. Once of the areas where the global refugee crisis is most acute is the Middle East, where the Syrian conflict has grown to become the center of a global humanitarian crisis, overwhelming many of its neighbors in the Middle East, as well as several countries in Europe. There are nearly five million refugees who have been directly affected by violence within Syria, three quarters of whom are women and children. How are individuals and organizations from the public, private and philanthropic sectors are working to provide both short- and long-term support for refugees?
 
 
Speakers:
 
Antony Blinken, Deputy Secretary of State, United States Department of State
 
Nancy Lindborg, President, United States Institute of Peace
 
 
Moderator:
 
Jane Wales, CEO, World Affairs Council and Global Philanthropy Forum
Direct download: 05_16_16_Blinken_Lindborg_Syria.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 12:14pm PDT

From remote sensing devices to telemedicine to wearables, information technologies and connected devices are transforming the way doctors and patients interact and communicate. Is increased connectivity translating into increased health care access, better patient outcomes and lower health care costs as envisioned? How will these innovations impact access to health care in the developing world? Are we at an inflection point for connectivity to really change health care delivery around the world?

 

SPEAKERS

Ram Fish, Founder and CEO, 19Labs

Adam Pellegrini, Divisional Vice President, Digital Health, Walgreens

Aenor Sawyer, Associate Director of Strategic Relations, Center for Digital Health Innovation, University of California San Francisco

 

MODERATOR:

Adam Satariano, Technology Reporter, Bloomberg News

 

For more information about this event please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/media-library/event/1548

Direct download: 10_16_15_WA15_Connected_Health_Care.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 12:59pm PDT

After 9/11, the Drug Enforcement Administration reframed itsmission, warning that terrorists had gotten into the illegal drugtrade to finance their attacks. From al Qaeda and the Taliban toHezbollah and the FARC, the agency has pursued drug traffickingcharges in association with many terrorist groups. While the twomay be related in some regions, such as Colombia and Afghanistan,questions have arisen around the scope of narco-terrorism.

How effective is the DEA’s work on narco-terrorism in thwartingterrorist activities? What other strategies could be used againstgroups like ISIS, whose funding comes from oil revenues and taxes,not drug trafficking? Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter GingerThompson recently investigated dozens of narco-terrorism cases,raising questions about whether the DEA is actually stoppingthreats or staging them.

Speaker Ginger Thompson is Senior Reporter at ProPublica.

Cynthia Gorney, Professor Emeritus, Berkeley Graduate School ofJournalism, University of California, Berkeley, moderates thediscussion.

For more information about this event please visit:http://www.worldaffairs.org/event-calendar/event/1575

Direct download: 03_23_16_Ginger_Thompson.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 8:00pm PDT

What comes to mind when you think of Islam? Current headlines often focus on ISIS and Islamic fundamentalism, or power struggles between Sunni and Shia. But perpetrators of violence make up only a tiny minority of the world’s over 1.5 billion Muslims. Why do some see Islam as a religion that promotes violence or oppression? How can we change this narrative and better understand the peaceful faith of the majority? If current trends continue, Islam will catch up to and then eclipse Christianity in the coming half century. As the world’s Muslim population continues to grow, will we move towards greater understanding and acceptance? Join us for a conversation about this widespread and multifaceted religion.

Speakers Karima Bennoune, Professor of International Law at the UC Davis School of Law, and Farhana Khera, President and Executive Director of Muslim Advocates, are in discussion.

Sara Abbasi, Founding Board Member of Developments in Literacy, moderates the discussion.

For more information about this event please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/events/event/1576

Direct download: 03_15_16_Understanding_Islam.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 12:39pm PDT

From the water-barren fields of African farmers to rice paddies in Bangladesh, droughts and floods caused by climate change disrupt food production, distribution and consumption on a growing scale. What actions can be taken at the local, national and transnational level to ensure that growing populations are able feed themselves and generations to come while adapting to gradual or even rapid changes in the climate?

Speakers:

Josette Lewis
Associate Director, World Food Center, UC Davis

David Lobell
Deputy Director of the Center on Food Security and the Environment; Senior Fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, Stanford University

David Waskow
Director, International Climate Initiative, World Resources Institute

Moderator:

Maximilian Auffhammer
George Pardee Jr. Professor of International Sustainable Development, University of California, Berkeley

For more information about this event please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/media-library/event/1543

Direct download: 10_16_15_WA15_Food_Security.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 8:29pm PDT

Today’s battlefields are not clearly defined. On the ground, we see drawn out campaigns and militants living and fighting among civilians. Warfare has become more autonomous, with the use of unmanned drones. It has also moved into the digital realm. In recent years, concerns about cyberattacks have grown and hackers have joined terrorists on the list of global threats. But this situation is not new – we have been fighting cyberwars for decades. From the Gulf War to conflicts in Serbia and Iraq, warfare has entered a digital battlefield.

What does war look like in the digital age? How has the United States integrated cyberwar into its national security strategy? What do we know about other countries' cyber programs and the potential risks they pose? Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Fred Kaplan will examine the history of cyberwar and consider its implications for future conflicts.

Kaplan is the author, most recently, of "Dark Territory: The Secret History of Cyber War" (Simon & Schuster, March 2016).

Speaker Fred Kaplan is the National Security Columnist for Slate.

Herbert Lin is the Senior Research Scholar for Cyber Policy and Security, Center for International Security and Cooperation, Stanford University.

For more information about this event please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/media-library/event/1572

Direct download: 03_02_16_Fred_Kaplan.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 10:24am PDT

Our world is changing rapidly. New technologies and other innovations impact almost every aspect of our lives. And this trend is only accelerating. In the coming decade, advances in fields such as robotics, cybersecurity and genomics will reshape much of the global economic landscape. What opportunities will these changes present? How will they affect the jobs of tomorrow, and how will we adapt to the changing nature of work? Will the world’s rising nations keep pace with Silicon Valley in creating their own innovation hotspots?

Leading innovation expert Alec Ross will explain what’s next for the world – the advances and stumbling blocks that will emerge in the next ten years, and how we can navigate them.

Speaker Alec Ross is Distinguished Visiting Fellow at Johns Hopkins University.

Brad Stone, Senior Writer, Bloomberg Businessweek, moderates the discussion.

For more information about this event please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/event-calendar/event/1569

Direct download: 02_11_16_Alec_Ross.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 1:09pm PDT