World Affairs

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.

SPEAKER:

Nicole Perlroth
Reporter, The New York Times

MODERATOR:

Kim Zetter
Author, Countdown to Zero Day: Stuxnet and the Launch of the World's First Digital Weapon

For more information about this event please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/event-calendar/event/1749

Direct download: 09_11_17_Nicole_Perlroth.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 2:57pm PDT

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/

Direct download: 04_19_17_Trust_Justice_Conflict_Continuum.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 12:26pm PDT

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?

SPEAKER:

Trita Parsi
President, National Iranian American Council

MODERATOR:

Neil Joeck
Research Scholar, Institute for International Studies, University of California, Berkeley

For more information about this event please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/event-calendar/event/1747

Direct download: 09_05_17_Trita_Parsi.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 9:07am PDT

Jim Yong Kim, President, World Bank Group, in conversation with Jane Wales, Founder, Global Philanthropy Forum.

Luis Alberto Moreno, President, Inter-American Development Bank.

For more information about this event: https://www.philanthropyforum.org/conference/gpf-2017/agenda/

Direct download: 04_18_17_Kim_Moreno.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 8:34am PDT

Imagine if you had no choice but to flee your country. Where would you go? How would you cope? What would you need to rebuild your life in exile? These are the questions that three million South Sudanese have had to ask themselves in the face an unrelenting civil war, famine, violence and persecution. And as conflicts across the globe have forced millions to flee their homes, the international debate on refugee policy rages on. How does South Sudan fit into this broader narrative, and what lessons can be learned from its citizens cast into uncertain exile?

Join World Affairs as we examine this pressing global issue from both policy and human perspectives. Gabriel Akim, spokesperson for Rebuild South Sudan, Diana Essex-Lettieri, Deputy Director of Asylum Access, and Valentino Achak Deng, co-founder of the Valentino Achak Deng Foundation, will call upon their unique expertise and personal experience to shed light on what it means to be displaced from war-torn South Sudan.

As part of our "Engage" series, this event features a post-discussion Q&A, when you will have the chance to participate directly with the speaker and gain incredible insights that you won't get anywhere else.

SPEAKERS

Valentino Achak Deng
Co-founder, Valentino Achak Deng Foundation

Gabriel Akim
Advisor, Rebuild South Sudan

Diana Essex-Lettieri
Deputy Director, Asylum Access

MODERATOR:

Jane Wales
CEO, World Affairs and Global Philanthropy Forum; Vice President, The Aspen Institute

For more information about this event please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/event-calendar/event/1743

Direct download: 08_09_17_South_Sudan.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 10:59am PDT

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

The American dream used to be founded on the goal of finding a good, stable job to spend the majority of one’s career — but this is no longer the norm. Over the last seventy years, the standard employer-employee relationship has drastically changed. Companies no longer offer the same level of job security, regular pay increases, guaranteed pensions, robust health benefits and other social benefits as they did in the past. This shift in the corporate social contract has taken a toll on loyalty on both sides.

Senior Advisor and former Executive Director at the Drucker Institute, Rick Wartzman, discusses his recent book "The End of Loyalty: The Rise and Fall of Good Jobs in America," which chronicles the erosion of the relationship between major American businesses and their workers. Have these new workplace practices decreased morale and productivity? How can America revitalize its middle class? What is the new American Dream?

SPEAKER:

Rick Wartzman
Senior Advisor and Former Executive Director, The Drucker Institute

MODERATOR:

John Sepulvado
Host of The California Report, KQED Public Radio

For more information about this event please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/event-calendar/event/1739

Direct download: 07_20_17_Rick_Wartzman.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 12:57pm PDT

The first five years of a child’s life are a period of intense creativity, invention and growth. During this period, children rely on those around them to provide for their physical, cognitive and socio-emotional development needs to ensure their capacity to trust and become resilient adults. Distressingly, nearly 200 million children globally may not reach their developmental potential due to the effects of unhealthy environment and paucity of educational opportunities. Many of these children also live in stressful circumstances – caused by poverty, abandonment or violent conflict – and so face additional challenges in learning to trust. This session will investigate the factors impacting early childhood development and learn which interventions can prevent, mitigate or address the potentially lasting effects of toxic stress. If –as Nelson Mandela said –“there is no keener revelation of society’s soul than the way it treats its children,” then surely the legitimacy of a state rests at least in part on whether it meets its obligations to the young.

Randa Grob-Zakhary, Global Head of Education, Porticus

Peter Laugharn, President and CEO, Conrad N. Hilton Foundation (moderator)

Carolyn Miles, President and CEO, Save the Children

Deogratias Niyonkiza, Founder and CEO, Village Health Works

 

For more information about this event please visit: https://www.philanthropyforum.org/conference/gpf-2017/

Direct download: 09_04_17_Capacity_Child-GPF17.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 11:49am PDT

The current crisis between the US and North Korea has escalated with both sides firing off heated exchanges following North Korea’s missile tests and threats extending as far as Guam. While North Korea has tested missiles in the past, the US is on alert as Kim Jong-un accelerates the drive for nuclear capabilities which could bolster the survival of his regime. President Trump is now faced with his biggest challenge since coming into office, and it is one which is alarming from both a humanitarian and economic perspective as South Korea and China urge more dialogue and less military exercises.

Can the US and North Korea pivot from searing rhetoric and work toward strengthening diplomacy? To what extent is China willing to help in terms of diplomacy and deterrence? Is the Korean Peninsula less safe with a nuclearized North Korea?

SPEAKERS

Orville Schell
Arthur Ross Director, Center on US-China Relations, Asia Society

Philip W. Yun
Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer, Ploughshares Fund

MODERATOR:

Jane Wales
CEO, World Affairs and Global Philanthropy Forum; Vice President, The Aspen Institute

For more information about this event please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/media-library/event/1758

Direct download: 08_22_17_Wales_Schell_Yun-North_Korea.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 9:43am PDT

President Trump’s first visit to the Middle East demonstrated a notable shift in US policy toward the region. In a marked departure from the policies of the Obama administration, the president not only embraced the Sunni Arab states, but signed a $110 billion arms deal with Saudi Arabia, and stated that he will not lecture the Kingdom or other Arab autocracies on human rights issues. He also initiated a review of the Iranian nuclear deal, gave greater military emphasis to US actions in the area, and called for states in the region to isolate Iran. Meanwhile, elections in Iran have given President Rouhani a broader mandate to open Iran’s economy further.

How will President Trump’s policies and actions impact America’s relations with Saudi Arabia, the nuclear deal with Iran and the prospect of ending arduous conflicts as seen in Syria and Yemen? Will this further increase tensions, or is there potential for renewed diplomatic cooperation between the US, Saudi Arabia and Iran?

Banafsheh Keynoush, a geopolitical and communications consultant, Jessica Tuchman Mathews, distinguished fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and Ambassador Hossein Mousavian, Middle East security expert at Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School, will discuss the US - Iran - Saudi Arabia nexus and whether we are destined for renewed diplomacy or conflict in the Middle East.

SPEAKERS

Seyed Hossein Mousavian
Middle East Security and Nuclear Policy Specialist, Program on Science and Global Security, Princeton University

Banafsheh Keynoush
Foreign Affairs Scholar and Author, "Saudi Arabia and Iran: Friends or Foes?"

Fred H. Lawson
Senior Fellow, Centre for Syrian Studies, University of St. Andrews

MODERATOR:

Jessica Tuchman Mathews
Distinguished Fellow, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

For more information please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/event-calendar/event/1737

Direct download: 06_27_17_Iran_Saudi_Arabia.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 11:19am PDT