On Shifting Ground

Approximately two million Cambodians were killed under the Khmer Rouge. The tyrannical leadership of Pol Pot and a decade of civil war took a severe toll on the nation’s population and wealth. In 1993, under the UN’s wing, Cambodia held successful democratic elections, with 90% of the electorate voting. Cambodia, it seemed, was ready to shed the past and move forward. Joel Brinkley won the Pulitzer Prize for his coverage of the 1979 fall of the Khmer Rouge regime at the New York Times. In 2008-2009, he returned to Cambodia to investigate the condition of this troubled nation. He found a political system crippled by corruption and dependence on aid, and a culture haunted by the genocide of the last generation. Mr. Brinkley will discuss his findings and what they mean for the future of Cambodia.

Direct download: 5_26_11_Joel_Brinkley.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 7:00pm PST

In 2007 Tim Harford established himself as the Undercover Economist, with a book of the same name. Now he’s back with a new book, Adapt: Why Success Always Starts with Failure, suggesting that in a multi-polar and interconnected world, we cannot tackle challenges with ready-made solutions and expert opinions. Instead, we must adapt. Harford argues for the importance of adaptive trial and error in tackling issues such as climate change, poverty and financial crises, as well as in fostering innovation and creativity in our business and personal lives.

Direct download: 5_25_11_Tim_Harford.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 7:00pm PST

While the advanced countries are still reeling from a near economic crash and a challenging economic depression, developing nations are seeing unprecedented economic growth that is reshaping the world. These growth rates present new challenges in governance, international coordination and environmental sustainability that are little understood. Nobel Laureate Michael Spence will ask what implications these challenges hold for advanced countries, and will look ahead to the post crises period to how the global economy will develop over the next fifty years.

Direct download: 5_23_11_Michael_Spence.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 7:00pm PST

2011 has brought with it many challenges to the global community, namely weather extremes pushing up record food prices, and political instability spiking oil prices. Until now our economy has been based on consumption and waste, where we lived beyond our means and the resources of the planet’s ecosystems. According to Paul Gilding we have come to the end of economic growth as we know it and now it is time for Economic Growth 2.0. Gilding paints a picture of the coming decades as ones filled with loss, suffering, conflict, geopolitical instability, food shortages and massive economic change. However, he believes all of this will bring out humanity’s best qualities; compassion, innovation and adaptability will carry us through these coming crises and make us a stronger and more advanced civilization.

Direct download: 05_03_11_Paul_Gilding.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 7:00pm PST