World Affairs

How much has really changed in the US's relationship with Cuba? Following President Obama's historic restoration of diplomatic relations with Cuba in December 2014, many hoped the agreement would offer opportunities for economic growth and cultural exchange, while others hoped it would lead to political change within Cuba. Has the reality of the renewed relationship lived up to expectations on either side? How do Cubans see the future of US-Cuba relations? Join us for a conversation with former Cuban representative to the European Union Carlos Alzugaray. He will share insights into this historic moment and what the US can expect from restored ties with Cuba.

Speaker Carlos Alzugaray Treto is the Former Ambassador of Cuba to the European Union for the Independent Political Analyst.

Cynthia Gorney, Professor Emeritus, Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism, University of California, Berkeley, moderates the discussion.

For more information about this event please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/event-calendar/event/1599

Direct download: 05_25_16_Carlos_Alzugaray_Treto.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 8:00pm PDT

In the Information Age, modern society has gone digital. Computer technology has revolutionized nearly every aspect of our world, including international warfare. Where geopolitical power once depended solely on military might and regional diplomacy, cyberwarfare provides new tools for political influence and conflict. As cyberspace expands across borders, new state and non-state actors engage in acts of virtual aggression and use social media to control mainstream narratives. What does this new source of power mean for international foreign relations and how can the US negotiate its superpower status to gain control over this virtual battleground? Are US defenses prepared for global cyber terrorism threats? How can civilian populations be protected from cyber threats, given our reliance on the Internet and computer technology? How will Internet governance and surveillance affect user privacy?

Join us for a conversation on these questions and more with Adam Segal, the Maurice R. Greenberg Senior Fellow for China Studies and Director of the Digital and Cyberspace Policy Program at the Council on Foreign Relations. His book "The Hacked World Order: How Nations Fight, Trade, Maneuver, and Manipulate in the Digital Age" describes the increasingly contentious geopolitics of cyberspace.

Speaker Adam Segal is the Maurice R. Greenberg Senior Fellow for China Studies and Director of the Digital and Cyberspace Policy Program for the Council on Foreign Relations.

Raj Shah, Managing Partner of Defense Innovation Unit Experimental, moderates the discussion.

For more information about this event please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/event-calendar/event/1612

Direct download: 06_02_16_Adam_Segal.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 8:00pm PDT

Five years after the Arab Spring, how much has really changed in the power and governance structures of many Middle Eastern states? From Egypt to Yemen, countries once home to democratic grassroots revolutions now struggle to control political conflict and civil war. The general optimism that stemmed from Tahrir Square in 2011 has given way in many cases to sectarianism and conflict. Why did so many states fail to bring about peaceful democratic change? What are the consequences for the citizens of these states? How have the aftereffects of the Arab Spring contributed to the rise of terrorist organizations like ISIS? Journalist Robert Worth will examine the outcomes of the Arab Spring throughout the region and consider their implications for the future of the Middle East.

Speaker Robert F. Worth is a Contributor to The New York Times Magazine.

The discussion is moderated by Carla Thorson, Senior Vice President of Programs, the World Affairs Council.

For more information about this event please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/media-library/event/1583

Direct download: 04_27_16_Robert_Worth.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 8:00pm PDT

Conventional wisdom says that the world is getting smaller. Thanks to advances in transportation, energy and communications, people all over the world are connected to each other like never before. Previously isolated nations are now accessible to the outside world and nations' economies are now dependent on those of other nations. What does this connectivity mean for the future? Will wars be fought more over supply chains than territory? Will increased connectivity make trade routes and power grids more important than borders? Join us for a discussion with global strategist Parag Khanna, who will offer insights into the new challenges and opportunities of our connected world.

Speaker Parag Khanna is the Senior Research Fellow, Centre on Asia and Globalisation, Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore.

Sean Randolph, Senior Director, Bay Area Council Economic Institute, moderates the discussion.

For more information about this event please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/events/event/1593

Direct download: 05_04_16_Parag_Khanna.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 8:00pm PDT

Afghanistan has seen much development in recent years, influenced in no small part by the presence of the US military since 2001. With the election of President Ghani and the formation of the National Unity Government in 2015, Afghanistan entered a new era of reform termed 'the transformation decade.' While great strides have been made in education, civil rights, economic development and many other areas, there is still more work to be done in achieving self-reliance for the country. Against the backdrop of military, political and economic transitions, what steps are being taken to achieve a sustainable peace for Afghanistan and the region?

Join us for a discussion with His Excellency Hamdullah Mohib, Ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan to the United States, and the Honorable Karl Eikenberry, former US ambassador to Afghanistan and Trustee of The Asia Foundation, on the state of Afghanistan's security, politics, the reform agenda and future challenges to peace and development.

His Excellency Hamdullah Mohib, Ambassador Extraordinary & Plenipotentiary, Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, speaks.

The conversation is moderated by Karl W. Eikenberry, Oksenberg-Rohlen Distinguished Fellow, Director of the US-Asia Security Initiative, Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center, Stanford University.

For more information about this event please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/media-library/event/1608

Direct download: 06_01_16_Hamdullah_Mohib.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 1:15pm PDT

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