World Affairs

The news each week is filled with increasingly horrific stories of the effects of violent extremism and ISIL-led and ISIL-inspired attacks in Iraq, Syria and around the world. We will make a a clear-eyed assessment of the challenge of violent extremism, including recruitment and radicalization, and the current state of the conflict and discuss how the US and our partners might respond in 2017 and beyond. How are the US defense, intelligence, diplomatic, and development agencies working to prevent the rise of violent extremism and counter ISIL? What consensus for our strategies and tactics exists among US allies and partners? What role should the multilateral organizations, including the UN, NATO and others play in the year ahead? How is ISIL able to convince young vulnerable populations across the globe to join them? How do we work with our local communities and in communities in Europe and other regions to identify signs of radicalization to violence and prevent it? How is the US and our partners working to leverage the technology sector, social media platforms and counter-messaging efforts to counter ISIL’s use of the internet for self-promotion and recruitment?

Rukmini Callimachi, Foreign Correspondent covering extremism, The New York Times

Michael Ortiz, Deputy Coordinator for Countering Violent Extremism, Bureau of Counterterrorism, US Department of State

Moderator: Martha Crenshaw, Senior Fellow, Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, Stanford University

For more information please visit: https://www.worldaffairs.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=792

Direct download: 10_28_16_Countering_ISIL.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 11:52am PDT

Head west. Start up. Get rich.

The Silicon Valley mythos describes a steady stream of young, idealistic startup founders who have made it big. No longer content on joining the next “unicorn” (the unprofitable startup with a billion dollar valuation), entrepreneurs now chase the goal of the “deca-corn” - the 10 billion dollar startup. But what about the rest of those many unknown entrepreneurs battling to make it to the top?

Alexandra Wolfe, staff reporter for the Wall Street Journal and author of Valley of the Gods, takes us on a journey into the unique Silicon Valley culture, turning her relentless gaze and unflinching wit on the life and times of the startup bubble. What makes these Silicon Valley entrepreneurs tick? How do these young up-and-comers balance Silicon Valley’s endless optimism with its lofty expectations? Who are these men and women of Silicon Valley, whose hubris and ambition are changing the world?

Speaker Alexandra Wolfe is an author and Staff Reporter at the Wall Street Journal.

The conversation is moderated by Brad Stone, Senior Executive Editor for Technology at Bloomberg News.

For more information about this event please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/event-calendar/event/1673

Direct download: 01_12_17_Alexandra_Wolfe.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 8:08am PDT

Take an extraordinary journey through the criminal underworld of the Mexican drug cartels and the dark heart of the US-Mexican drug wars. Los Zetas, the infamous Mexican drug cartel, has taken gang brutality to unprecedented levels. United States and Mexican law enforcement agencies accuse Los Zetas of hundreds of deaths and laundering millions of dollars.

As blood has spilled on both sides of the US-Mexican border, the cartels have increasingly turned to children as their foot soldiers - for trafficking, kidnapping, and even murder. Journalist Dan Slater has spent years researching this phenomena as it has played out in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, and just across the border in its sister city, Laredo, Texas - border towns that are a prime battleground for control of lucrative US drug smuggling routes.

Sharing insights from his book, "Wolf Boys", Slater will respond to the questions: Who are the casualties when cartels go to war? Why did the cartels begin this sinister recruitment of children, and how did two American teens get caught up in the violence? What can be done to break this vicious cycle?

Speaker Dan Slater is author of Wolf Boys.

The discussion is moderated by Andrew Becker, Reporter, The Center for Investigative Reporting.

For more information about this event please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/event-calendar/event/1632

Direct download: 10_05_16_Dan_Slater.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 1:49pm PDT

Disorder is on the rise: in the Middle East, in Europe, across Asia and even on the home front. It is not merely that the players in the international arena have changed, but the rules of the game itself have changed too. Old approaches to world affairs are now rendered obsolete.

Richard Haass, President of the Council on Foreign Relations and author of the upcoming book, A World in Disarray, will provide a compelling diagnosis of the most pressing global challenges today and his prescription for a renewed American foreign policy to address these challenges. In the age of non-state actors re-writing traditional rules of diplomacy, the US, while still an indispensable nation, must also recognize that once-great powers are losing their sway. The old global order has shifted, but the US - through its relationships with China, Russia and in the Middle East - can help forge a new order for this twenty-first century world.

Calling upon his years of experience working as an analyst and in the highest levels of government, Haass will provide a lucid and incisive analysis: what is the state of the world; how did it become a world of disarray; and what can we do about it?

Speaker Richard N. Haass is President of the Council on Foreign Relations.

The conversation is moderated by Kori Schake, Research Fellow, Hoover Institution, Stanford University.

For more information please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/media-library/event/1678

Direct download: 01_30_17_Richard_Haass.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 4:51pm PDT

Violent, extremist movements have continued to build around the world, and diplomacy and military power have failed to stem the tide. Why have the past responses to these crises fallen short? Steven Koltai argues that terrorist groups are fueled less by ideology, and more by a lack of attractive economic prospects for the young men who join the fray. If joblessness is an important root cause of extremist movements, then good jobs and economic growth may provide security where past responses have failed. Have traditional approaches to development adequately invested in entrepreneurship as a means of creating economic opportunities in the developing world? What lessons from the US startup culture can be translated to these volatile markets?

Steven Koltai's new book, "Peace through Entrepreneurship" builds a case for a renewed emphasis on entrepreneurship in US foreign policy.

Speaker Steven Koltai is an author and guest scholar at the Brookings Institution.

The conversation is moderated by Charles Slaughter, Founder and CEO, Living Goods.

For more information about this event please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/media-library/event/1634

Direct download: 09_27_16_Steven_Koltai.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 12:41pm PDT

Fred Hochberg, Chairman and President of the Export-Import bank of the US, makes the case that the US is leading the way in a globalized economy. By focusing 90% of the bank’s attention on small businesses, Hochberg argues that his bank is creating greater opportunity while reducing risk. In contrast, Rana Foroohar, Assistant Managing Editor at TIME, sees a murkier future.  According to Foroohar what few of us realize is how the misguided financial practices and philosophies that nearly toppled the global financial system in 2008 have come to infiltrate all American businesses, putting us on a collision course for another cataclysmic meltdown.

Direct download: 01_23_17_Hochberg_Foroohar.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 10:44am PDT

This week, World Affairs CEO Jane Wales is in conversation with Senator George Mitchell, former Senate Majority Leader and Special Envoy for Middle East Peace and Alon Sachar, lawyer and former advisor to Senator Mitchell. The two recently co-authored the book, “A Path to Peace: A Brief History of Israeli-Palestinian Negotiations and a Way Forward in the Middle East.”  As a new administration takes over, are there new avenues for diplomatic solutions in the Middle East?

Direct download: 01_16_17_George_Mitchell.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 2:15pm PDT

In this special episode, we feature two conversations from WorldAffairs 2016.

In the first half of the program, Stanford's Larry Diamond and Francis Fukuyama discuss whether global democracy is in crisis.

In the second half of the program, Frances Burwell and Holger Stark talk about the rise of Right-leaning populism in Europe and the United States.

For more information on conversations from WorldAffairs 2016, please visit: https://www.worldaffairs.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=792

Direct download: 01_09_17_Rise_Right_Diamond_Fukuyama.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 6:13pm PDT

All around us, we see intractable challenges - problems which have defied solutions for years, even decades: Immigration reform, economic stagnation, inequality, political gridlock, corruption, civil war and terrorism. These are the issues elections are fought over, and it has become commonplace to conclude there are no solutions.

Jonathan Tepperman, Managing Editor of Foreign Affairs magazine, has traveled the world conducting more than 100 interviews, and he has reached a different conclusion: The solutions are out there. As he explains in his recent book, "The Fix: How Nations Survive and Thrive in a World in Decline," innovative approaches have been tried and tested, in democracies near and far, which may offer hope and hold insights for policy responses in the United States.

Is there cause for optimism? If tried and tested policy solutions are available around us, why do the solutions appear to spread so much more slowly than the problems themselves? How does a news culture which overlooks positive stories affect our determination and focus to pursue these solutions? Among a sea of cynics, is there a data-driven case for optimism today?

Speaker Jonathan Tepperman is Managing Editor of Foreign Affairs.

The discussion is moderated by Annie Maxwell, President of the Skoll Global Threats Fund.

For more information about this event please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/event-calendar/event/1643

Direct download: 10_13_16_Jonathan_Tepperman.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 8:37am PDT

International development actors are taking cues from Silicon Valley’s boom to improve their ability to better serve the world’s most disadvantaged, transforming development in the 21st century. Technology, science and innovation are key to discovering new solutions to long-standing problems. Cutting-edge data techniques can help us measure the impact of interventions, continually improving services and scaling proven solutions to reach hundreds of millions of people.

Leading technology firms are also major philanthropists, providing both financial resources and technical expertise to support development innovations. By partnering together, alongside other non-traditional stakeholders, we can achieve what human progress has only now made possible — the end of extreme poverty by 2030.

How can development interventions become more adaptive and transparent? In what ways could shifting the culture of the way development organizations do business make them more responsive to beneficiary needs? How can we include local innovators and their contextual knowledge?

Join us on for a discussion with Ann Mei Chang, Chief Innovation Officer and Executive Director of the Global Development Lab, a new entity within USAID at the forefront of these breakthrough solutions, and Jacquelline Fuller, the Director of Google.org, which provides over $100 million yearly to support innovators using technology for humanity.

Speakers Ann Mei Chang is the Chief Innovation Officer and Executive Director of the US Global Development Lab at USAID and Jacquelline Fuller is the Director of Google.org.

The conversation is moderated by Scott Wu, Partner and Head of Investments, Omidyar Network.

For more information about this event please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/event-calendar/event/1649

Direct download: 10_06_16_21st_Century_Development.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 8:24am PDT