World Affairs (news & politics)

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

Red teaming: it’s a practice as old as the Devil’s Advocate, the sixteenth-century Catholic official charged with discrediting candidates for sainthood. Today red teams—groups of fearless skeptics and friendly saboteurs—are used widely in both the public and private sectors. Red teaming helps pinpoint institutional weaknesses and anticipate potential threats ahead of the next Special Forces raid, malicious cyberattack, or corporate merger. But not all red teams are created equal; indeed, some cause more damage than they avert. Using them effectively just may be the greatest challenge for organizations in the twenty-first century.

In Red Team, security expert Micah Zenko draws on the little-known case studies and unprecedented access to elite red teamers to reveal the best practices, common pitfalls, and winning strategies of these modern-day Devil’s Advocates. Red Team shows how any competitive group can succeed by thinking like the enemy.

Speaker Micah Zenko is a Fellow for Conflict Prevention at the Council on Foreign Relations.

Jonathan Tepperman, Managing Editor of Foreign Affairs, moderates the discussion.

For more information about this event please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/media-library/event/1533

Direct download: 12_09_15_Micah_Zenko.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 8:00pm PDT

The plight of migrants, asylum seekers and refugees has long drawn international concern. Aid organizations rally to support displaced populations and governments debate policies for dealing with those who arrive on their borders. In the last year, the global refugee crisis reached endemic proportions. The civil war in Syria continues to force people from their homes, as does instability elsewhere in the Middle East, and in Africa and Latin America. The number of forcibly displaced people has reached its highest levels since World War II, and as the root causes of this displacement continue we’ll likely see the numbers continue to rise.

At World Affairs, we have convened many voices on this topic in the past few years. Here, we share insights from seven individuals who have joined us to discuss the global crisis of refugees. In this episode, you’ll hear from Filippo Grandi, the newly appointed United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees; David Miliband, president and CEO of the International Rescue Committee; Vali Nasr, Dean of the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies; Ban Ki-Moon, Secretary General of the United Nations; Yves Daccord, Director-General of the International Committee of the Red Cross; Elisa Massimino, president and CEO of Human Rights First; and Nancy Lindborg, president of the United States Institute of Peace.

Direct download: Five_Years_In-Syrian_Refugees.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 12:19pm PDT

Globalization has shrunk our world dramatically, allowing people, products and ideas to connect at speeds and on a scale previously unimaginable. These connections have provided new economic opportunities for many individuals and businesses, as international trade has increased and jobs have reached new markets. However, the opportunities have not reached all people equally. Some of the jobs that have emerged in the developing world are the result of outsourcing, tipping opportunity from one community to another instead of creating new opportunities for all. Globalization has also put certain vulnerable populations at greater risk, as we see with underpaid and under-protected employees and individuals trafficked into forced labor. What can be done to bring the benefits of globalization to these individuals? What hurdles do we face in the process, and how can the political, private and philanthropic sectors work together to overcome them?

 

SPEAKERS

Arvind Ganesan

Director, Business and Human Rights, Human Rights Watch

 

Paula Goldman

Senior Director, Global Lead for Impact Investing, Omidyar Network

 

Paul Rice

President and CEO, Fair Trade USA

 

MODERATOR:

Matthew Bishop

Globalisation Editor, The Economist

Direct download: 10_16_15_WA15_Globalization_Risks_Rewards.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 12:58pm PDT

Over a billion people live in India – roughly one in every five on earth inhabiting two percent of the world’s landmass. This massive population has taken a toll, pushing the country’s environment and its infrastructure to the brink. Rivers are polluted beyond use and groundwater reserves are fast diminishing. Farmers struggle to fill the plates of their families and countrymen. Millions live in poverty, with the gap between the rich and poor growing more and more acute. These challenges that India faces today may soon become the reality for other parts of the world as well, as the global population continues to rise and a changing climate places strains on global agriculture, infrastructure, governance and other systems.

How are individuals and communities working to combat these challenges? What can the rest of the world learn from India’s current predicament, and could these lessons help lead the planet to a more sustainable and prosperous future? Journalist Meera Subramanian travelled the country and spoke with individuals determined to revive India’s natural world. She will share these stories and offer insights into the present and future of India’s environment.

Speaker Meera Subramanian is a Journalist and Author.

Linda Calhoun, Executive Producer at Career Girls, moderates the conversation.

For more information about this event please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/event-calendar/event/1527

Direct download: 11_05_15_Meera_Subramanian.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 8:00pm PDT

In today’s digital world, more and more of our lives are moving online, raising concerns about the privacy of the vast quantities of information that now exist in cyberspace. In recent years, much debate has emerged about the tradeoff between individual privacy and national security, and the US and EU provide an interesting comparison of how governments have balanced these aims. In the European Union, privacy is protected as a fundamental right, contributing to much stricter regulations on data collection than seen in the US. Last spring, the European Court of Justice ruled that EU citizens have the ‘right to be forgotten’ online, a regulation that would quickly run up against first amendment arguments in the United States. The US lacks similar overarching laws for data protection, as has become very apparent as vast government surveillance has been brought to light. How do policies differ in America and Europe, and what can the two countries learn from each other? How can individuals better understand their rights and limit the amount of personal data being collected? And how much privacy are we willing to give up in exchange for national security?

Giovanni Buttarelli, European Data Protection Supervisor, and Cindy Cohn, Executive Director, Electronic Frontier Foundation, are in discussion.

The conversation is moderated by Paul Schwartz, Jefferson E. Peyser Professor, UC Berkeley School of Law; Senior Advisor, Paul Hastings LLP.

For more information about this event please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/events/event/1506

Direct download: 09_17_15_US_EU_Online.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 7:00pm PDT

As we trace the ongoing impact of 2015's emergent global issues in 2016, many stories jump out from speakers featured at World Affairs. In this episode of our podcast, you'll hear reflections from 22 world-class experts (including Ban Ki-moon, Thomas Friedman and Christine Fair). Join us in 2016 for more conversations that matter at worldaffairs.org.

The retrospective features:

General Lloyd J. Austin III, Commander, United States Central Command
Cindy Cohn, Executive Director, Electronic Frontier Foundation
Yves Daccord, Director-General, International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)
Christine Fair, Assistant Professor, Security Studies Program, Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University
Nazila Fathi, journalist, translator and commentator
Dr. Jonathan Foley, Executive Director and William R. and Gretchen B. Kimball Chair, California Academy of Sciences
Thomas Friedman, author and journalist, The New York Times
Jason Furman, Chairman, White House Council of Economic Advisers
Reid Hoffman, Co-Founder, LinkedIn; Partner, Greylock Partners
Walter Isaacson, President and CEO, The Aspen Institute
Annie Jacobsen, investigative journalist and author
Joseph Kim, North Korean Defector; author
Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General, United Nations
Nancy Lindborg, President, United States Institute of Peace (USIP)
Abbas Milani, Hamid and Christina Moghadam Director of Iranian Studies, Stanford University
Dr. Vali Nasr, Dean, The Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS)
Ilya Ponomarev, Member, Russian State Duma
Congressman Adam Schiff, California's 28th Congressional District
Eric Schmidt, Executive Chairman, Alphabet
Chris Woods, investigative journalist and author
Janine Zacharia, former Jerusalem bureau chief, The Washington Post; visiting lecturer, Stanford

Direct download: World_Affairs-Best_of_2015.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 12:00pm PDT

The Islamic State is one of the most lethal and successful jihadist groups in modern history, surpassing even al-Qaeda. Thousands of its followers have marched across Syria and Iraq, subjugating millions, enslaving women, beheading captives and daring anyone to stop them. Thousands more have spread terror beyond the Middle East under the Islamic State's black flag.

How did the Islamic State attract so many followers and conquer so much land? By being more ruthless, more apocalyptic and more devoted to state-building than its competitors. The shrewd leaders of the Islamic State combined two of the most powerful yet contradictory ideas in Islam - the return of the Islamic Empire and the end of the world - into a mission and a message that shapes its strategy and inspires its army of zealous fighters. They have defied conventional thinking about how to wage wars and win recruits. Even if the Islamic State is defeated, jihadist terrorism will never be the same.

William McCants discusses how religious fervor, strategic calculation and doomsday prophecy shaped the Islamic State's past and foreshadow its future.

Speaker William McCants is Fellow for the Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution.

For more information about this event please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/events/event/1555

Direct download: 12_10_15_William_McCants.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 10:07am PDT

The United States and China must play a central role in any meaningful global effort to address climate change. While both countries have recently revamped their commitments to jointly reduce carbon emissions and invest in a cleaner energy future, the challenge of catalyzing these commitments into concrete actions remains daunting. With this year’s landmark UN climate summit in Paris seeking to create an effective new climate regime, are the commitments made by the United States and China enough to strengthen the global push to confront the climate change challenge?

Join the Asia Society, in partnership with the World Affairs Council of Northern California, as we host The Honorable Kevin Rudd, President of the Asia Society Policy Institute, for a dialogue that looks critically at the current state of climate change collaboration between the United States and China. Days after returning from the UN climate summit, Mr. Rudd will reflect on his experience while attending the deliberations in Paris and share his insights into the future of the US-China partnership on climate change. Joining Rudd in the conversation will be Orville Schell, Arthur Ross Director of Asia Society’s Center on US-China Relations, who will likewise have just returned from Paris with new impressions about the trajectory of global climate change responses, and the role of the US and China within them.

Speakers Kevin Rudd, President, Asia Society Policy Institute; Former Prime Minister of Australia, and Orville Schell, Arthur Ross Director, Center on US-China Relations, Asia Society, are in conversation with N. Bruce Pickering, Vice President, Global Programs and Executive Director, Northern California.

For more information about this event please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/event-calendar/event/1556

Direct download: 12_18_15_US_China_Climate.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 12:47pm PDT

Affordability is one of the key barriers in expanding broadband and mobile around the world, with both the cost of connected devices and of digital services being prohibitively high for many of the unconnected. Nearly 4.2 billion people, many of whom represent the poor around the world, are being left behind in the technology revolution and cut off from the potential economic, social and civic benefits of the internet.

This program on mobile and wireless affordability will discuss how existing internet supply chain and infrastructure can be harnessed for greater affordability and what projects have proven successful in lowering broadband costs and how these can be scaled.

We'd like to thank our sponsoring partner: Vodafone Americas Foundation.

SPEAKERS

Sonia Jorge
Executive Director, Alliance for Affordable Internet

Mark Summer
Co-founder and CEO, EveryLayer

Amy Tucker
Co-founder and Chief Impact Officer, Sparrow

Ryan Wallace
Senior Manager, Connectivity Deployments Team, Facebook

MODERATOR:

Patrick Ryan
Strategy and Operations Principal, Google

For more information about this event please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/event-calendar/event/1531

Direct download: 11_18_15_Mobile_Affordability.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 10:42am PDT