WorldAffairs

ISIS surged to international prominence following its audacious prison camp raids in 2013 in Iraq, freeing more than 500 Iraqi insurgents. ISIS has since carried out increasingly bold attacks in Syria and beyond, cementing its reputation as a group more violent and ruthless than any that came before it. No longer an insurgency, ISIS’ focus is to establish its own rule on conquered territory, and declare a worldwide caliphate. Of course the roots of ISIS trace deeper, and are much more intertwined with the interventions of the West than they first appear.

Today’s ISIS jihadists are the "children of Zarqawi," General Michael Flynn would later warn Congress, referring to Abu Musab Zarqawi, the once-obscure jihadist who led Al Qaeda in Iraq and laid ISIS’ philosophical foundations. How did Abu Musab Zarqawi, a “small-time thug,” rise to such world-changing prominence? How did ISIS emerge so forcefully from the chaos, and power struggles, of competing jihadist groups? Did the efforts of the West to crack down on Al Qaeda, inadvertently fuel the growth of ISIS ten years later?

Pulitzer Prize winner Joby Warrick, a reporter with The Washington Post since 1996, will address these issues in a conversation at World Affairs about the birth of ISIS. His latest book, “Black Flags: The Rise of ISIS,” pursues a thoughtful reflection on the origins the most notorious terror group in the world today.

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.

Speaker Joby Warrick is Author and Reporter at The Washington Post.

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

For more information about this event please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/events/event/1636

Direct download: 09_15_16_Joby_Warrick.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 7:24am PST

The frequency of epidemics is increasing, driven by surging populations, environmental change and globalized trade and travel. The SARS, pandemic influenza, MERS, Ebola and Zika virus outbreaks illustrate that the world is ill-prepared to deal with a large-scale viral pandemic. Experts have so far identified only a tiny proportion of viral threats, and few of these viruses have had vaccines or other counter-measures developed. Over the coming century we will witness spillover from a pool of over one million "unknown" viruses into human populations. The Global Virome Project is a global initiative to identify and characterize every significant viral threat circulating in the world. Only by identifying these potential threats can the world begin to prepare for the next great outbreak. In conversation with Jonna Mazet, Dennis Carroll and Nathan Wolfe, three experts from the Global Virome Project, this program will explore the extent of the viral threat to human populations and what can be done to stop it.

The panel features:

Dennis Carroll, Director, Global Health Security and Development Unit, US Agency for International Development (USAID), Jonna Mazet, Executive Director, One Health Institute, UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, and Nathan Wolfe, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Metabiota.

The conversation is moderated by Larry Brilliant, Chair, Skoll Global Threats Fund.

For more information about this event please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/event-calendar/event/1629

Direct download: 07_20_16_Global_Virome.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 7:40am PST

According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), in 2014 there were nearly 60 million refugees and IDPs worldwide — the highest number since World War II. What is the social sector’s role in meeting the immediate needs of the most vulnerable while at the same time, creating long-term strategies for ensuring the security and well-being of those forced to flee their homes?

JEANNE BOURGAULT CEO, Internews @InternewsJeanne

DEOGRATIAS NIYIZONKIZA Founder and CEO, Village Health Works @VHW

AMY RAO Founder and CEO, Integrated Archive Systems @11thhourproject

MODERATOR: SASHA CHANOFF Founder and Executive Director, RefugePoint @sashachanoff

For more information about this conference please visit: https://philanthropyforum.org/conference/gpf-2016/

Direct download: 04_05_16_Meeting_Immediate_Needs.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 7:16am PST

When President George W. Bush declared the war on terror after September 11, 2001, the United States was plunged into a global conflict with no clear objectives. Today, nearly fifteen years later, there is still no end in sight. In addition to the war’s original enemy, Al Qaeda, the US is in conflict with other jihadist and terrorist organizations, including ISIS. What has the investment of resources by the United States and its allies achieved in this ever widening conflict? Why has the United States, the most formidable military force in the world, so far failed to defeat its enemies? What freedoms have Americans sacrificed in the name of this endless war? Join World Affairs and Mark Danner, author of “Spiral: Trapped in the Forever War,” for a conversation about how the United States found itself on a “permanent war footing” and what that means for our role in the world.

Speaker Mark Danner is a Former Staff Writer at The New Yorker, and Professor at the Graduate School of Journalism at UC Berkeley.

Nancy A. Jarvis, Attorney, Farrand Cooper, P.C., moderates the discussion.

For more information about this event please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/media-library/event/1628

Direct download: 07_28_16_Mark_Danner.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 5:36am PST

Over the past fifteen years, the demand for humanitarian aid has increased dramatically. The world currently spends $25 billion to provide assistance to 125 million people, and according to a UN High-Level Panel on Humanitarian Financing, another $15 billion is required to adequately meet the needs of those affected by violent conflict, natural disaster, demographic shifts and rapid urbanization, among other circumstances. As a result, the humanitarian sector is undergoing a period of self-reflection with the first-ever World Humanitarian Summit to be held in Istanbul, Turkey in May 2016. What has been learned and where is the sector heading? What is the role of public, private and social sector actors in filling the gaps in aid? And what is the unique role of philanthropy in both addressing the root causes of humanitarian crises and increasing the pool of available resources?

GUY CAVE Managing Director, Geneva Global @GuyCave2

HADEEL IBRAHIM Executive Director, Mo Ibrahim Foundation @Mo_IbrahimFdn

LONA STOLL Acting Deputy Director for the Global Development Lab at USAID @lonastoll

MODERATOR: PETER LAUGHARN President and CEO, Conrad N. Hilton Foundation @peter_laugharn

For more information about this conference please visit: https://philanthropyforum.org/conference/gpf-2016/

Direct download: 04_04_16_GPF_Filling_the_Gaps.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 8:00pm PST

People in fast growing economies are experiencing social and economic mobility for the first time, joining the middle class. Producers and makers are finding new markets for their commodities or wares, entrepreneurs are better able to access capital and customers, and job seekers are better able to connect with potential employers. Networks and knowledge are not only enabling economic growth and opportunity, but they are changing the very nature of work. Yet the “jobs challenge” remains so long as there is a short supply of the skills required for the jobs that await. What models exist for closing the skills gap? Moreover, how might employers better signal the skills they seek, and job seekers convey the skills they’ve attained, sometimes in non-traditional ways? How might each leverage networks to connect to one another?

KARAN CHOPRA Co-founder and Partner, Opportunity@Work @karchopra

JOSHUA OIGARA CEO, KCB Group @JoshuaOigara

SHAI RESHEF President and Founder, University of the People @ShaiReshef

MODERATOR: AN-ME CHUNG, Director of Strategic Partnerships, Mozilla Foundation @anmechung

For more information about this conference please visit: https://philanthropyforum.org/conference/gpf-2016/

Direct download: 04_08_16_GPF_The_Jobs_Challenge.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 10:57am PST

The adoption of the Paris climate agreement in December 2015 sent a powerful signal about the global consensus over the urgent need to address climate change. Although the agreement was more ambitious than expected, it is still not enough. Now the world must continue to embrace the spirit of Paris and race towards not only implementation of the agreement, but also increasingly bold ideas for the future. One country whose very existence depends on this is the low-lying Marshall Islands, a tiny atoll nation located in the middle of the Pacific. The Marshall Islands spearheaded the 'High Ambition Coalition' of countries that has been credited with securing the most ambitious elements of the Paris agreement.

Former British diplomat Carne Ross is the Founder and Executive Director of Independent Diplomat - the world's first non-profit diplomatic advisory group - which has worked closely with the Republic of the Marshall Islands in the years leading up to Paris and now on its role with the High Ambition Coalition. Independent Diplomat helps to level the diplomatic playing field between the world's richest countries, which are often the most egregious polluters, and states like the Marshall Islands, which are both the world's most vulnerable states to the devastating effects of climate change and among the least likely to be heard at international negotiations.

How did a country of only 60,000 people become one of the most influential states at the UN climate talks? What's next for climate diplomacy and the High Ambition Coalition? What lessons can the success of the Paris Agreement teach us about global diplomacy more broadly? How can private and non-profit organizations like Independent Diplomat influence international relations, peace and world security? Join World Affairs and Carne Ross for a conversation that will answer these and other pressing questions about the global solutions to climate change.

Speaker Carne Ross is Executive Director of Independent Diplomat.

Aimee Barnes, Partner, Allotrope Partners, moderates the conversation.

For more information about this event please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/events/event/1617

Direct download: 06_29_16_Carne_Ross.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 8:00pm PST

How are international war criminals brought to justice? Since the Nuremberg trials following World War II, international bodies like the International Criminal Court (ICC) have fought to prosecute war criminals for egregious abuses of human rights. From South America to Russia and from Rwanda to Kosovo, scores of war criminals have been prosecuted for their misdeeds. But how can war criminals be held accountable if they can't be found? What happens when alleged war criminals or terrorists are being shielded from prosecution by states? How has human rights prosecution evolved since the early days of the ICC? Join us for a discussion with human rights experts Eric Stover, Alexa Koenig and Victor Peskin about the evolution of war crimes prosecution and what still needs to be done to protect victims of human rights abuses.

Speakers include: Alexa Koenig, Executive Director, Human Rights Center, Berkeley Law, University of California, Victor Peskin, Associate Professor, School of Politics and Global Studies, Arizona State University, and Eric Stover, Faculty Director, Human Rights Center, University of California Berkeley.

Rebecca Westerfield, Founding Member and Former Director, Judicial Arbitration and Mediation Services (JAMS), moderates the discussion.

For more information about this event please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/event-calendar/event/1598

Direct download: 05_26_16_Justice_Unjust_World.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 8:00pm PST

China and India have proven themselves indispensable in the first decade of the twenty-first century, which has been a remarkable period of economic growth and increased connectivity for both countries. Policy initiatives like the US Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) that promote trade in these emerging markets provide exciting new opportunities for entrepreneurs around the globe to expand and develop their businesses and connect with potential consumers. However, in an increasingly competitive global marketplace, can the US continue to lead in both the political and economic spheres? How should the US engage with India and China in the future? Join World Affairs for a conversation with Anja Manuel, co-founder and principal of RiceHadleyGates, LLC, who will offer insights into how the US should work with China and India to face the twenty-first century's global challenges.

Speaker Anja Manuel is Co-Founder and Principal at RiceHadleyGates LLC.

Jane Wales, CEO, World Affairs Council and Global Philanthropy Forum and Vice President, The Aspen Institute, moderates the discussion.

For more information about this event please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/event-calendar/event/1615

Direct download: 06_15_16_Anja_Manuel.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 8:00pm PST

With no end in sight to the conflict in Syria, CARE USA is one of the leading international nonprofit organizations spearheading relief efforts in overflowing refugee camps across the Middle East. As an organization that recognizes the importance of empowering women and girls as a way to end poverty and gender inequality around the world, CARE USA focuses on ensuring women and girls live with dignity and security. As violence continues in war-torn Syria, and millions more girls and women are disenfranchised and displaced, how can organizations such as CARE USA provide these refugees the resources to build a brighter future?

Join World Affairs and Michelle Nunn, President and CEO of CARE USA, for a discussion about the organization's involvement in relief efforts across the Middle East and the fight for women's empowerment taking place even in such dire circumstances as overcrowded, under-resourced refugee camps.

Speaker Michelle Nunn is President and CEO of CARE USA.

Linda J. Calhoun, Executive Producer, Career Girls, moderates the discussion.

For more information about this event please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/events/event/1618

Direct download: 06_21_16_Michelle_Nunn.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 9:57am PST

Five years after the Arab Spring, the Middle East is faced with a civil war in Syria, the rise of the self-proclaimed Islamic State, violent insurgencies and a refugee crisis. Egypt, hailed in the West as an ally in the fight against terrorism, is far from where many hoped it would be when Egyptians took to the streets on January 25, 2011. Since the Arab Spring, international policymakers have prioritized security and stability over personal freedom and democracy which has led to a regression in rights and freedoms, growing public disengagement and increased radicalization in the region.

Join us for a discussion with Dr. Nancy Okail, Executive Director of the Tahrir Institute for Middle East Policy, who will offer insights into Egypt’s tenuous approach to stability, the renewed crackdown on rights and freedoms and the role US and EU policymakers can play in restoring democracy and the rule of law in Egypt.

Speaker Nancy Okail is the Executive Director of The Tahrir Institute for Middle East Policy

David D. Arnold, President of The Asia Foundation, moderates the discussion.

For more information about this event please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/event-calendar/event/1596

Direct download: 05_05_16_Nancy_Okail.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 8:00pm PST

Eight years on from the biggest market meltdown since the Great Depression, the key lessons of the crisis of 2008 still remain unlearned—and our financial system is just as vulnerable as ever. Many of us know that our government failed to fix the banking system after the subprime mortgage crisis. But what few of us realize is how the misguided financial practices and philosophies that nearly toppled the global financial system have come to infiltrate ALL American businesses, putting us on a collision course for another cataclysmic meltdown. Join us for lunch and conversation with Rana Foroohar, "Time" assistant managing editor and economic columnist, and Tim O'Reilly of O'Reilly Media Inc.

Speaker Rana Foroohar is Assistant Managing Editor of TIME.

Tim O'Reilly, Founder and CEO, O'Reilly Media, moderates the discussion.

For more information about this event please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/event-calendar/event/1611

Direct download: 06_28_16_Rana_Foroohar.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 8:00pm PST

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 PST

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 PST

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 PST

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 PST

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 PST

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 PST

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 PST

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 PST

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 PST

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 PST

After 9/11, the Drug Enforcement Administration reframed itsmission, warning that terrorists had gotten into the illegal drugtrade to finance their attacks. From al Qaeda and the Taliban toHezbollah and the FARC, the agency has pursued drug traffickingcharges in association with many terrorist groups. While the twomay be related in some regions, such as Colombia and Afghanistan,questions have arisen around the scope of narco-terrorism.

How effective is the DEA’s work on narco-terrorism in thwartingterrorist activities? What other strategies could be used againstgroups like ISIS, whose funding comes from oil revenues and taxes,not drug trafficking? Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter GingerThompson recently investigated dozens of narco-terrorism cases,raising questions about whether the DEA is actually stoppingthreats or staging them.

Speaker Ginger Thompson is Senior Reporter at ProPublica.

Cynthia Gorney, Professor Emeritus, Berkeley Graduate School ofJournalism, University of California, Berkeley, moderates thediscussion.

For more information about this event please visit:http://www.worldaffairs.org/event-calendar/event/1575

Direct download: 03_23_16_Ginger_Thompson.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 8:00pm PST

What comes to mind when you think of Islam? Current headlines often focus on ISIS and Islamic fundamentalism, or power struggles between Sunni and Shia. But perpetrators of violence make up only a tiny minority of the world’s over 1.5 billion Muslims. Why do some see Islam as a religion that promotes violence or oppression? How can we change this narrative and better understand the peaceful faith of the majority? If current trends continue, Islam will catch up to and then eclipse Christianity in the coming half century. As the world’s Muslim population continues to grow, will we move towards greater understanding and acceptance? Join us for a conversation about this widespread and multifaceted religion.

Speakers Karima Bennoune, Professor of International Law at the UC Davis School of Law, and Farhana Khera, President and Executive Director of Muslim Advocates, are in discussion.

Sara Abbasi, Founding Board Member of Developments in Literacy, moderates the discussion.

For more information about this event please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/events/event/1576

Direct download: 03_15_16_Understanding_Islam.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 12:39pm PST

From the water-barren fields of African farmers to rice paddies in Bangladesh, droughts and floods caused by climate change disrupt food production, distribution and consumption on a growing scale. What actions can be taken at the local, national and transnational level to ensure that growing populations are able feed themselves and generations to come while adapting to gradual or even rapid changes in the climate?

Speakers:

Josette Lewis
Associate Director, World Food Center, UC Davis

David Lobell
Deputy Director of the Center on Food Security and the Environment; Senior Fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, Stanford University

David Waskow
Director, International Climate Initiative, World Resources Institute

Moderator:

Maximilian Auffhammer
George Pardee Jr. Professor of International Sustainable Development, University of California, Berkeley

For more information about this event please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/media-library/event/1543

Direct download: 10_16_15_WA15_Food_Security.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 8:29pm PST

Today’s battlefields are not clearly defined. On the ground, we see drawn out campaigns and militants living and fighting among civilians. Warfare has become more autonomous, with the use of unmanned drones. It has also moved into the digital realm. In recent years, concerns about cyberattacks have grown and hackers have joined terrorists on the list of global threats. But this situation is not new – we have been fighting cyberwars for decades. From the Gulf War to conflicts in Serbia and Iraq, warfare has entered a digital battlefield.

What does war look like in the digital age? How has the United States integrated cyberwar into its national security strategy? What do we know about other countries' cyber programs and the potential risks they pose? Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Fred Kaplan will examine the history of cyberwar and consider its implications for future conflicts.

Kaplan is the author, most recently, of "Dark Territory: The Secret History of Cyber War" (Simon & Schuster, March 2016).

Speaker Fred Kaplan is the National Security Columnist for Slate.

Herbert Lin is the Senior Research Scholar for Cyber Policy and Security, Center for International Security and Cooperation, Stanford University.

For more information about this event please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/media-library/event/1572

Direct download: 03_02_16_Fred_Kaplan.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 10:24am PST

Our world is changing rapidly. New technologies and other innovations impact almost every aspect of our lives. And this trend is only accelerating. In the coming decade, advances in fields such as robotics, cybersecurity and genomics will reshape much of the global economic landscape. What opportunities will these changes present? How will they affect the jobs of tomorrow, and how will we adapt to the changing nature of work? Will the world’s rising nations keep pace with Silicon Valley in creating their own innovation hotspots?

Leading innovation expert Alec Ross will explain what’s next for the world – the advances and stumbling blocks that will emerge in the next ten years, and how we can navigate them.

Speaker Alec Ross is Distinguished Visiting Fellow at Johns Hopkins University.

Brad Stone, Senior Writer, Bloomberg Businessweek, moderates the discussion.

For more information about this event please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/event-calendar/event/1569

Direct download: 02_11_16_Alec_Ross.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 1:09pm PST

From border disputes to foreign wars to the Taliban, many forces are at play in destabilizing South Asia. And the simmering conflicts of today have not emerged out of thin air. Much can be traced back through the region's fraught history.

Relations between India and Pakistan have been marred by tension and conflict since they became sovereign states nearly 70 years ago. The two countries have been unable to sustain constructive engagement, and their disputes remain a major cause of regional instability - and even global concern.

What lessons can be learned from the past in order to foster increased security and cooperation in the region? How can India and Pakistan overcome the legacy of Partition and find ways to manage shared challenges, from disaster relief to counterterrorism? Nisid Hajari, author of the recently published "Midnight’s Furies: The Deadly Legacy of India’s Partition," will share insights into this complex relationship and its implications for regional security.

Speaker Nisid Hajari is Asia Editor at Bloomberg View.

Jonathan Karp, Executive Director of the Asia Society Southern California, moderates the conversation.

For more information about this event please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/events/event/1560

Direct download: 01_11_16_Nisid_Hajari.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 6:00am PST

Why did we propel ourselves millions miles from the Earth to the Moon? What did the audacious achievement mean for society?

What is it about big ideas and bold visions that compel us to courageously face uncertainty and risk failure? How do daunting challenges provoke us to find novel, game-changing solutions to the world's largest problems and opportunities? These questions consume creative problem-solvers who are attempting to discover, develop, and deploy the next great "moon shots" for the 21st century.

In this episode of our World Affairs podcast, you'll hear from Andreas Raptopoulos, Co-founder and CEO of Matternet, and Anthony James, Distinguished Professor of Microbiology & Molecular Genetics at the University of California at Irvine, two men who are using moon shot thinking to innovate, improve, and inspire.

Direct download: 03_29_16_World-Affairs_Moon-Shots.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 12:51pm PST

Refugee camps spring up around the world in response to the needs of displaced populations. Always intended to be temporary, these camps often become long term homes for their residents. From the outside, they're seen as a humanitarian crisis by aid workers and a security challenge by host governments. What does life look like for those who call a refugee camp home?

Journalist Ben Rawlence spent years documenting life in Dadaab, a group of refugee camps in northern Kenya. The camps make up a small city of almost half a million people, mostly Somalis who fled civil war and violence. How does this population address the challenges of education, employment, healthcare and meeting other basic needs? Why has this camp, and others like it, become a more permanent settlement for so many? Rawlence will share the stories of a few of Dadaab’s citizens, exploring both individual lives and the wider political forces that have kept them from returning home.

Speaker Ben Rawlence is an author and journalist.

Karen Ferguson, Executive Director, Northern California, International Rescue Committee, moderates the conversation.

For more information about this event please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/media-library/event/1551

Direct download: 01_14_16_Ben_Rawlence.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:00pm PST

From WikiLeaks and Edward Snowden to Bitcoin and the Arab Spring, digital technologies have taken on a powerful role in global politics. These technologies are disrupting the power of traditional institutions – governments, businesses, international organizations – and giving new actors the ability to shape international affairs.

Who are these non-state actors and how do they influence politics and events around the world, for good and for ill? How does digital technology challenge our existing institutions and norms, and what can governments and businesses do to maintain security and rule of law? Dr. Owen will consider these questions and discuss the new frontier of international affairs in the digital age.

Speaker Taylor Owen is Assistant Professor of Digital Media and Global Affairs, University of British Columbia, and a Senior Fellow at the Columbia Journalism School.

Quentin Hardy, Deputy Technology Editor of The New York Times, moderates the discussion.

For more information about this event please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/event-calendar/event/1500

Direct download: 10_27_15_Taylor_Owen.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 2:47pm PST

Please join the World Affairs Council and the Marines' Memorial Association for a conversation between Jane Wales, President and CEO of the World Affairs Council and Leon Panetta, former Secretary of Defense and Director of the CIA.

Mr. Panetta, an Army Veteran, served in the Obama administration as Director of the CIA from 2009 to 2011 and as Secretary of Defense from 2011 to 2013. He was a member of the US House of Representatives from 1977 to 1993, served as Director of the Office of Management and Budget from 1993 to 1994 and as President Clinton’s Chief of Staff from 1994 to 1997. He is the founder of the Panetta Institute for Public Policy and served as a professor of public policy at Santa Clara University.

This program is part of the George Shultz Lecture Series.

Speaker of Leon E. Panetta is the 23rd United States Secretary of Defense and Chairman of the Panetta Institute for Public Policy.

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/events/event/1571

Direct download: 02_22_16_Leon_Panetta.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 8:00pm PST

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 PST

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 PST

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 PST

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 PST

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 PST

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 PST

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 PST

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 PST

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 PST

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 PST

As populations gravitate to large cities throughout the world and are absorbed into the middle class, there are corresponding significant shifts in lifestyle; one of these is diet. While access to new food sources can certainly lead to a healthier lifestyle, it just as easily can cause serious health issues. Many of these communities and nations are ill-equipped to handle the exponential rise of certain illnesses traceable in part to diet and nutrition. Take for example the rate of Type II diabetes worldwide; it has almost doubled in the past decade. Much of this increase occurred in the Middle East, where affluence is directly correlated with changes in diet. Similar epidemics of obesity and hypertension, previously unheard of in certain parts of the world, are also on the rise. This discussion will focus not only on the causes of these illnesses in unexpected places, but also on prevention.

Speakers:

Jason Beaubien, Global Health and Development Correspondent, NPR

Gitanjali SinghResearch Assistant Professor, Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, Tufts University

Christopher GardnerDirector of Nutrition Studies, Stanford Prevention Research Center; Professor of Medicine, Stanford University

Bruce Y. Lee, Director, Global Obesity Prevention Center, Johns Hopkins; Bloomberg School of Public Health

For more information about this event please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/media-library/event/1546

Direct download: 10_16_15_WA15_Changing_Diet.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 9:40am PST

The internet, GPS, voice recognition programs like Siri – many of the technologies that we use today were developed with national security in mind. These inventions and many others began as projects of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the Defense Department’s secretive military research agency. For more than fifty years, DARPA has held to a singular and enduring mission: to make pivotal investments in breakthrough technologies for national security. The genesis of that mission and of DARPA itself dates to the Cold War and the launch of Sputnik in 1957, and a commitment by the United States that it would be the initiator and not the victim of strategic technological surprises. Working with innovators inside and outside of government, DARPA has repeatedly delivered on that mission, transforming revolutionary concepts and even seeming impossibilities into practical capabilities. The ultimate results have included not only game-changing military capabilities such as precision weapons and stealth technology, but also major innovations in modern civilian society.

How do they do it? What makes this military organization such fertile ground for invention? What technologies with useful daily applications have failed to enter into civilian use? Can Silicon Valley learn from DARPA, or vice versa? Drawing on extensive interviews, declassified memos and inside sources, investigative journalist Annie Jacobsen will share insights into this top-secret organization.

Speaker Annie Jacobsen is an Investigative Journalist and Author.

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

For more information please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/event-calendar/event/1386

Direct download: 09_29_15_Annie_Jacobsen.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 8:00pm PST

This week’s episode focuses on Technology and Innovation and comes in two parts. In the first half hour, we will highlight the future and where the next great innovations are likely to come from, in a conversation with Eric Schmidt of Alphabet and Tom Kalil of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. In the second half of this episode, we will look to the past and what has made the great innovators of Silicon Valley. This is an excerpt from a conversation between Walter Isaacson of the Aspen Institute and Jane Wales of the World Affairs Council.

Speakers: Eric Schmidt, Executive Chairman of Alphabet

Tom Kalil, Deputy Director of Technology and Innovation at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy

Walter Isaacson, President and CEO of the Aspen Institute

Jane Wales, President and CEO of the World Affairs Council

Direct download: 12_14_15_Schmidt_Isaacson_Technology_Innovation.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 11:08am PST

Israel is one of the most diverse societies in the world, often described as a mosaic. While Israelis and Arabs struggle to find lasting peace, social divides are only widening following last summer’s conflict with Hamas in Gaza. One of the largest obstacles to protecting vulnerable populations affected in both Israel and the Occupied Territories is clear policy that will expand and secure human rights. How can Israelis and Palestinians foster a culture of human rights and bring about real change in Israel across all sectors of society? The Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) is Israel’s largest and oldest human rights organization, dealing with the entire spectrum of rights and civil liberties issues in Israel and the Occupied Territories. Through precedent-setting legal work, human rights education, public outreach and international advocacy, ACRI has contributed significantly to the protection and enforcement of human rights in Israel and the Occupied Territories. As Executive Director of ACRI, Sharon Abraham-Weiss takes head on some of Israel’s most challenging issues.

The conversation is moderated by Chimène Keitner, Professor of Law at the UC Hastings College of the Law.

For more information about this event please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/events/event/1517

Direct download: 10_22_15_Sharon_Abraham-Weiss.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 12:42pm PST

As sea levels rise, winters become harsher and crop patterns are disturbed. All eyes look towards Paris and the UN climate change conference to see if the international community can make meaningful progress towards curbing emissions. While the role of states in negotiating a treaty can be expected, what roles do philanthropy and the private sector play in creating state agendas and implementing change? This discussion will focus on the current state of the environment, what we can expect from upcoming negotiations and how we can work across sectors to implement solutions.

Speakers Guillermo Castilleja, Chief Program Officer, Environmental Conservation, Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, David G. Victor, Professor of International Relations, School of International Relations and Pacific Studies, University of California, San Diego, and Sissel Waage, Director, Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, BSR, are in discussion.

Alicia Seiger, Deputy Director, Steyer-Taylor Center for Energy Policy and Finance, Stanford University, moderates the discussion.

For more information about this event please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/media-library/event/1547

Direct download: 10_16_15_WA15_Combat_Climate_Change.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 12:49pm PST

We are facing a unique and interesting time with the confluence of fundamental disruptive trends that are shaping our world. The dramatic transition witnessed since the beginning of the 21st century has been brought about by the convergence of the following: the shifting locus of economic activity and dynamism to emerging markets like China; the acceleration in the scope, scale, and economic impact of technology; changing world demographics; and global connectivity through trade and cross border flows in capital, people and information. Virtually every market in every sector has been or will be affected by the growing impacts of these trends whose multiplier effects stand to radically change long-standing expectations. In the midst of this era of disruption is opportunity. Those who are agile, forward thinking and optimistic will harness the power of disruption and thrive. Join us for a conversation about the four global forces breaking all the trends.

Speaker Thomas Friedman is a Foreign Affairs Columnist at The New York Times.

He is in conversation with James M. Manyika, Senior Partner and Director of McKinsey & Company, and Director of the McKinsey Global Institute.

For more information about this event please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/events/event/1523

Direct download: 10_28_15_Tom_Friedman.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 7:38am PST

Recently appointed President of the United States Institute of Peace, Nancy Lindborg, will discuss the global challenge of fragility and conflict, including a vision for the way forward. Ms. Lindborg’s talk comes on the heels of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals, and Ms. Lindborg’s travel to USIP projects on the ground. Ms. Lindborg’s remarks will reflect these recent events and a lifetime of working in the world’s most fragile regions at a time when the global humanitarian system is at a breaking point, with record numbers of people forcibly displaced globally.

The United States Institute of Peace was established by Congress in 1984 as an independent, nonpartisan institution to increase the nation’s capacity to manage international conflict without violence. USIP staff and partners work in some of the world’s most fragile regions including Iraq, Afghanistan, and the Middle East and North Africa.

Speaker Nancy Lindborg is President of the United States Institute of Peace.

Janes Wales, President and CEO of the World Affairs Council, moderates the conversation.

For more information about this event please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/media-library/event/1514

Direct download: 10_08_15_Nancy_Lindborg.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 12:47pm PST

Whether it be the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), the historic nuclear deal with Iran, or the upcoming climate negotiations in Paris, the European Union and the United States are increasingly called upon to demonstrate global leadership. As EU Ambassador to the United States, David O’Sullivan plays a key role in transatlantic relations, working with all 28 EU member states in Washington, DC to coordinate and present the EU position in the United States.

Ambassador O’Sullivan will discuss policy priorities and major challenges facing the EU and the United States in 2015, including ensuring a sustainable economic recovery, dealing with emerging threats, and working to promote democracy, human rights and good governance around the world.

Jane Wales, President and CEO of the World Affairs Council, moderates the discussion.

This is a program of the World Affairs Councils of America in partnership with the Delegation of the European Union to the United States.

For more information about this event please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/events/event/1521

Direct download: 10_13_15_David_O_Sullivan.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 2:01pm PST

Energy efficiency is one of the easiest and most cost effective ways to curb carbon emissions, not to mention beneficial for businesses and consumers alike in terms of cost reduction. But behaviors are hard to change. Leveraging the internet and connected smart devices may be the key to incorporating energy efficient technologies and practices into everyday life, and significantly curbing carbon emissions. In developing countries, where the biggest opportunities to elevate energy productivity exist, energy efficient technologies are poised to make huge inroads. What does the future hold for the internet of things and its impact on energy usage and ultimately reducing carbon emissions?

Speaker Dora Hsu, Chief Platform Officer, SmartThings, is in discussion with Michael Soucie, Head of Consumer Product Partnerships, Nest Labs.

Adam Satariano, Technology Reporter, Bloomberg News, moderates the discussion.

For more information about this event please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/media-library/event/1541

Direct download: 10_16_15_WA15_Impacting_Climate_Change.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 1:56pm PST

Upward mobility and the resulting growth of the middle class have long been the promise of the American dream, inspiring many to come to our shores. But technology-driven globalization, while creating great wealth and lifting many from poverty, has also left many behind. High growth economies like China, India and Nigeria are experiencing disparities that have implications for stability. And, in the US, inequality in income is the highest it has been since 1928. How can technology innovation be matched by social innovation? What will be the future of work in high and low growth economies? And how can the current and future workforce prepare for the jobs that await? These are the questions that are on the minds of some of our country’s leading technologists, including LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman. The World Affairs Council has invited Hoffman and fellow innovators to explore these questions and report out to those gathering here at WorldAffairs 2015.

Speakers

Reid Hoffman, Founder of LinkedIn and Greylock Partners
James Manyika, McKinsey Global Institute
Byron Auguste, Co-founder, Opportunity@Work
Zoe Baird, President, Markle Foundation
Moderator: Jane Wales, CEO, World Affairs Council and Global Philanthropy Forum; Vice President, The Aspen Institute

For more information about this event please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/media-library/event/1540

 

Direct download: 10_16_15_WA15_On_My_Mind_Inequality.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 1:52pm PST

Experts say the next epidemic will not be a question of 'if' it will happen, but rather 'when.' With that in mind and looking at the recent catastrophic Ebola outbreak in West Africa, what are the lessons learned from this tragedy and what needs to be done to ensure it does not happen again? Governments in the affected countries played key roles in both stopping the spread of Ebola and failing to respond properly. How can troubled governments best react to epidemics? What role do the business and philanthropic communities have in the prevention of – or reaction to – an outbreak?

Julie Gerberding, Executive Vice President, Population Health, Merck & Co., Inc., is in discussion with Joia Mukherjee, Chief Medical Officer, Partners in Health.

The conversation is moderated by Eva Harris, Faculty Director, Center for Global Public Health; Professor of Infectious Disease, University of California, Berkeley.

For more information about this event please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/media-library/event/1538

Direct download: 10_16_15_WA15_Combat_Future_Epidemics.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 1:45pm PST

The world is growing smaller in more ways than one – while the global population increases, covering more and more of the planet, the amount of livable, arable land diminishes in the face of a changing climate. How can we meet the needs of nine billion people while protecting the natural resources necessary for growth and prosperity? We will focus on this delicate balance and discuss ways to ensure a sustainable future, starting with our own backyard, in California.

Speaker Jonathan Foley is Executive Director and William R. and Gretchen B. Kimball Chair of the California Academy of Sciences.

Scott Shafer, Host and Reporter, The California Report; Senior Correspondent, KQED NEWSROOM, KQED, moderates the discussion.

For more information about this event please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/media-library/event/1537

Direct download: 10_16_15_WA15_Jonathan_Foley.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 1:40pm PST

This week’s episode focuses on US foreign policy and national security.

The United States is currently facing many foreign policy and national security challenges: ISIS continues to threaten security and regional stability, the Syrian civil war looks no closer to resolution and is now creating a refugee crisis that extends well into the European Union; and the United States’ nascent nuclear deal with Iran still faces many hurdles. Amidst all of this, the candidates are gearing up for the US presidential election next year.

World Affairs' CEO Jane Wales sat down with former US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates to get his take on this complex situation. After speaking with Secretary Gates, she continued the discussion of US foreign policy and national security with Michele Flournoy, co-founder and CEO of the Center for a New American Security.

Direct download: 10_12_15_Robert_Gates-Michele_Flournoy.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 2:36pm PST

Whether it be drawing down from two foreign wars, the advancement of ISIS in the Middle East or the recent nuclear deal with Iran, the United States is facing numerous foreign policy challenges. As a Congressman representing California for eight terms, Adam Schiff has worked closely on many of the top security issues facing the United States. He has been a leader on national security and foreign policy efforts in Congress while serving as the ranking member on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and as a member of the Benghazi Select Committee. Schiff will discuss his work in Congress to strengthen American diplomacy and reform intelligence efforts along with his thoughts on the Iran deal and what the United States needs to do to meet future foreign policy objectives.

 

Speaker Adam Schiff is the Representative of the 28th Congressional District of California of the United States House of Representatives.

 

Anja Manuel, Partner at RiceHadleyGates LLC, will moderate the discussion.

 

For more information please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/events/event/1505

Direct download: 09_03_15_Adam_Schiff.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 9:24pm PST

Many see China’s economic rise and growing middle class as precursors to democratization, as was the case for its neighbors in South Korea and Taiwan. This transition has not yet materialized, and some would argue that it won’t – and shouldn’t.

Is Chinese democracy inevitable? Professor Daniel Bell believes it is not, and supports many aspects of the Chinese political system, in which top leaders are selected based on merit and electoral democracy functions at the local level. While a transition to full democracy may not be necessary, many problems remain, including corruption, lack of transparency and repression of freedoms of speech and the press. Can these issues be addressed within China’s current political structure? How can reforms be instituted in certain areas without the system collapsing entirely? And what can other nations learn from the strengths of Chinese political meritocracy?

Speaker Daniel A. Bell is the Chair Professor of the Schwarzman Scholars Program at Tsinghua University.

The discussion will be moderated by Dale R. Walker,
Member of the Board of Directors for Beneficial State Bank, and Trustee of the World Affairs Council.

For more information about this event please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/events/event/1501

Direct download: 09_02_15_Daniel_Bell.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 10:36pm PST

Around the world, the Internet is a tool that enables economic development, government accountability and personal freedoms; the free flow of information is at the Internet’s core. But despite its rapid growth, approximately five billion people lack access to the internet, and the protections when it comes to surveillance and privacy are inadequate. As the great connecting infrastructure of the day, the Internet is also vulnerable to exploitation and the undermining of the very positive advancements it makes possible.

This special episode features "Leveraging the Disruptive Power of the Internet", a plenary discussion from the Global Philanthropy Forum Conference 2015. The conversation explores issues of equity, of access, of safety and security when it comes to the Internet and information and communication technology more broadly.

We also bring you an exclusive interview with Catherine Novelli, Under Secretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment at the US Department of State. Under Secretary Novelli discusses cybersecurity, trade, Internet governance and freedom and data privacy.

Direct download: 08_24_15_Internet_Novelli.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 8:36am PST

Access to water has been declared an international human right, but it may be increasingly difficult to enforce. This episode explores how countries around the world are coping with the growing demand and greater environmental challenges that impact water supply. What happens when systems put into place to protect the environment obstruct our ability to access a basic human necessity? What does it mean when you have to choose between drinking, planting, or washing?

Direct download: 08_04_15_Water_Access.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 9:36am PST

Innovation and entrepreneurship often conjure images of Silicon Valley and startups growing out of garages. But this sort of creativity is found all over the world, with innovators operating in black markets and informal economies and developing original solutions to many and diverse challenges.

What does innovation look like at the margins of business and society? What lessons can we learn from the practices of hackers, pirates, gang members and dissidents, and how can we apply these ideas to formal markets? Alexa Clay will share stories of the underground innovators that make up what she calls the Misfit Economy.

Speaker Alexa Clay is Co-founder of the League of Intrapreneurs.

Jason Rissman, Managing Director of OpenIDEO, moderates the discussion.

For more information about this event please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/events/event/1486

Direct download: 07_29_15_Alexa_Clay.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 7:29am PST

In September, UN member states will vote on the Sustainable Development Goals, which, if approved, will come into effect in January 2016. The second of these 17 goals calls for ending hunger and achieving food security. This is an ambitious target to hit by 2030 — in the world today, about one in nine people do not have enough to eat.

As the global population continues its rapid growth, this problem seems likely to grow as well. By 2050, the world will have 2 billion more mouths to feed, many of whom will be born in rice-producing and -consuming countries. Today, about two-thirds of the world’s hungry live in Asia, where water-intensive rice is a staple crop, raising questions about the role of climate change and water scarcity in the food security equation. How can we increase production while protecting the environment and its limited resources? To what extent will genetic engineering or a change in diets be necessary to achieve this goal? How can we ensure food security for a planet of nine billion?

Speaker Josette Lewis, Associate Director of the World Food Center at UC Davis, and Robert Stewart Zeigler, Director General of the International Rice Research Institute, will be in discussion.

Andrew Donohue, Senior Editor at Reveal, moderates the conversation.

For more information please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/events/event/1491

Direct download: 07_28_15_Feeding_Billion.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 7:19am PST

What if you could combine the adaptability, agility and cohesion of a small team with the power and resources of a giant organization?

When General Stanley McChrystal took command of the Joint Special Operations Task Force in 2003, he quickly realized that conventional military leadership approaches were failing. Al Qaeda in Iraq was a decentralized network that could move quickly, strike ruthlessly and seemingly vanish into the local population. The allied forces had a huge advantage in numbers, equipment and training—but none of that seemed to matter.

To defeat Al Qaeda in Iraq, McChrystal and his colleagues discarded a century of conventional wisdom and remade the task force, in the midst of a grueling war, into something new: a network that combined transparent communication with decentralized decision-making authority. The walls between silos were torn down. Leaders looked at the best practices of the smallest units and found ways to extend them to thousands of people on three continents, using technology to establish a oneness that would have been impossible even a decade or two earlier. The task force became a “team of teams”—faster, flatter, more flexible—and beat back Al Qaeda.

McChrystal will discuss the challenges he and his team faced in Iraq and how they have be relevant to businesses, nonprofits and other organizations. He argues that the team of teams' strategy has worked everywhere from hospital emergency rooms to NASA and has the potential to transform organizations large and small.

Speaker Stanley McChrystal, US Army General (Ret.) and Co-founder and Partner, McChrystal Group, is in conversation with Joseph H. Felter, US Army Colonel (Ret.) and Board Member of the Marines' Memorial Association.

For more information please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/events/event/1487

Direct download: 07_15_15_General_McChrystal.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 7:18am PST

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a trade agreement being negotiated among 12 countries, including the US, has sparked a heated debate about trade agreements with many proponents and detractors speaking out about the potential economic impact of the TPP on the US economy. Some key areas in the agreement include: intellectual property rights, telecommunications, state-owned enterprises, investment, labor and environmental standards. Attention has also been focused on the negotiating process and the role of Congress in setting negotiating objectives and interacting with the executive branch in the implementation of those objectives.

Join us for a discussion about the projected near and longer-term economic and other benefits of the TPP, and why the TPP has become the centerpiece of President Obama’s global trade agenda.

Speaker Timothy Reif is General Counsel of Office of the United States Trade Representative.

Lionel C. Johnson, President of the Pacific Pension Institute, moderates the discussion.

For more information please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/event-calendar/event/1490

Direct download: 07_20_15_Timothy_Reif.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 7:14am PST

In 2010, the UN passed a resolution recognizing access to water as a basic human right. The realization of this right is becoming increasingly difficult, as climate change disrupts rainfall and the growing global population places greater demands on this limited resource.

In the face of the current drought, California is seeking ways to cut back on water usage and find alternate sources to meet domestic, agricultural and other demands. And this isn't an isolated incident – countries around the world are facing similar challenges and looking for solutions of their own. In Brazil, a country that has one-eighth of the world’s fresh water, Sao Paolo is facing a critical water shortage, with water reserves dropping below 10 percent. India is struggling to meet the needs of its rapidly growing population and address pollution that makes much of the available water unsafe for use. Israel has built five desalinization plants since 2005, which provide about 80 percent of the country’s water for domestic use – but some worry about the environmental consequences of this solution. Australia, the driest inhabited continent on earth, has turned to desalination plants as well, with mixed results.

How can countries adapt, and what solutions are already being implemented successfully? What role should governments, businesses and individuals play in addressing this challenge? As water scarcity becomes more common, how can we ensure that the right to water is met?

Speaker Peter Gleick is the President and Co-Founder of the Pacific Institute.

Craig Miller, Science Editor at KQED, moderates the discussion.

For more information about this event please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/events/event/1485

Direct download: 07_15_15_Peter_Gleick.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 8:23am PST

People around the world will interact with Africa very differently over the coming decades. They will be more likely to trade stocks in Ghana, work for companies doing business on the continent and learn the names of African tech moguls and billionaires. The old narrative of an Africa disconnected from the global economy and mired in conflict is rapidly fading as the continent transforms itself into a global powerhouse. Pushing this transformation is a wave of modernization, technological innovations and a growing pool of talented Africans changing their countries not only from within but also from abroad. What impact will Silicon Valley have on the tech boom in Africa? How should policy makers and business leaders view these changes throughout the continent? 

This panel discussion will feature expert researchers and entrepreneurs with deep connections to Africa and its business community. Jake Bright and Aubrey Hruby will offer a nuanced and data-rich analysis to a complex continent while reconciling its challenges with rapid progress. Entrepreneur Chris Folayan will discuss his work developing new platforms to bring e-commerce to Nigeria and other nations.

The conversation is moderated by Quentin Hardy, Deputy Technology Editor at The New York Times.

For more information about this event please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/events/event/1488

Direct download: 07_08_15_Next_Africa.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 7:35am PST

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s visit highlights the 70th anniversary of the founding of the UN, part of a larger trip to the Bay Area to commemorate the San Francisco Conference, where the charter establishing the UN was signed in 1945.

For more information about this event please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/event-calendar/event/1481

 

Direct download: 06_26_15_Ban_Ki-moon.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 10:07am PST

The rise of China has put many countries around the world on notice. Some may see it as an exciting shift in the world order, and others may approach it with caution. However, no country feels China's rise more deeply than Japan. Dr. Sheila Smith, an expert on Japanese and regional politics, will discuss how Japan’s relationship with a rising China influences Japanese domestic and foreign policy. Whether it be conflicts in the East China Sea, managing a volatile North Korea or strategies of island defense, Smith will explore the policy issues testing the Japanese government as it tries to navigate this storied and often complex relationship.

Speaker Sheila Smith is Senior Fellow for Japan Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations.

The discussion is moderated by Jeffrey Bleich, former United States Ambassador to Australia.

For more information about this visit please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/events/event/1479

Direct download: 06_25_15_Sheila_Smith.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 7:38am PST

In the face of armed conflicts and natural disasters, civilians must cope not only with the immediate violence and destruction but also with displacement, disrupted economic and political systems and the disintegration of public services. As with the ongoing conflict in Syria or the devastating earthquake in Nepal, many of those effected by crises depend on the support of international agencies to meet basic needs.

The International Committee of the Red Cross has been providing these critical services for over 150 years. Today, they are working to reconnect family members separated by the earthquake in Nepal, provide urgent medical care in Yemen and distribute food and water in Syria, among many other efforts. How does this assistance vary to meet the needs of crises around the world? What are the most pressing needs, and the greatest obstacles in providing them? How has the ICRC evolved to address the myriad challenges facing the world today, and what is the outlook for the future?

Speaker Yves Daccord is the Director-General of the International Committee of the Red Cross.

Moderator Nancy A. Jarvis is an Attorney at Farrand Cooper, P.C.

For more information please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/event-calendar/event/1473

Direct download: 06_23_15_Yves_Daccord.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 8:09am PST

When famine struck North Korea in the 1990s, Joseph Kim was five years old. In the years that followed, the Great Famine killed millions, including Joseph’s father. His mother and sister disappeared, seeking to escape to China, and Joseph was left to survive alone and homeless. After years living on the streets and, for a time, in a detention center and labor camp, Joseph fled to China as well. Through the kindness of strangers, he eventually found his way to the United States.

Joseph will share his story of suffering and survival – his experiences in North Korea, his long and difficult journey to the United States and his life here today as a student, an author and a refugee.

This program is presented in partnership with the Asia Society of Northern California.

Speaker Joseph Kim is a North Korean Defector; Author, "Under the Same Sky"

The discussion is moderated by Daniel Sneider, Associate Director for Research of the Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center at Stanford University.

For more information about this event please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/event-calendar/event/1467

Direct download: 06_16_15_Joseph_Kim.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 7:43am PST

America has long been seen as a land of opportunity where, through hard work and perseverance, an individual can achieve prosperity and success. This is the American dream. Today, however, this ideal seems harder to realize, as income inequality grows and social mobility appears to have slowed.

In addition to income inequality, Professor Robert Putnam suggests that there is also a growing inequality of opportunity. For many children in lower income families, systemic obstacles – economic, social and political – become insurmountable and prevent social mobility and the realization of the American dream. What has caused this trend away from equal opportunity in the US? How can we address the crisis of inequality and shorten the opportunity gap? Professor Putnam will delve into this complex problem and its multifaceted solution, which he says begins with a commitment to invest in other people’s children.

Speaker Robert D. Putnam is the Peter and Isabel Malkin Professor of Public Policy at the John F. Kennedy School of Government of Harvard University.

The discussion will be moderated by Larry Kramer, President, The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.

For more information about this event please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/events/event/1476

Direct download: 06_10_15_Robert_Putnam.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 7:35am PST

In recent months, a resurgence of extremist, ultranationalist and antisemitic violence has shaken many cities in Europe. Coupled with the growth of right-wing political parties, this outbreak of violence - and the environment that enables it - threatens to corrode the fundamental values of the European Union from within. Discrimination against Jews, Roma, immigrant populations and the LGBT community has emerged not only among the civilian population, but in the political sphere as well. A year ago in the European Parliament elections, voters in half of the European Union’s 28 countries elected representatives from far-right parties whose leaders have expressed antisemitic, xenophobic, racist, homophobic, anti-Muslim or anti-Roma sentiments.

Human Rights First President and CEO Elisa Massimino will discuss how the rise of extremism in Europe is threatening liberal democracy and the human rights and security of minority communities, endangering the transatlantic trade agreement and making it more difficult for Europe to address the growing migration crisis.

Speaker Elisa Massimino is the President and CEO of Human Rights First.

Katerina Linos, Professor of Law at the University of California, Berkeley School of Law moderates the discussion.

For more information about this event please visit:
http://www.worldaffairs.org/event-calendar/event/1470

Direct download: 06_03_15_Elisa_Massimino.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 9:26am PST

Last year, Russia surprised the world by seizing control of Crimea. When the Russian parliament voted on this military action, there was only one dissenting voice – Ilya Ponomarev. Now, living in the United States, barred from returning home, Ponomarev has continued his political participation in absentia.

In Putin’s Russia, acting in opposition to the government can be a risky choice. In 2012, two members of a punk band called Pussy Riot were arrested for their performance in a Moscow cathedral. Anti-corruption blogger Alexei Navalny was placed under house arrest in 2013. And in March, opposition leader Boris Nemtsov was fatally shot just outside the walls of the Kremlin. How long can this government maintain control by silencing these voices of opposition? Can military action in Eastern Ukraine and elsewhere succeed in drawing attention away from mounting economic and political challenges? With elections scheduled for next year, what is the future of Putin’s government? And what is the future of relations between Russia and the United States?

Speaker Ilya Ponomarev is a member of the Russian State Duma.

The conversation will be moderated by Edward W. Walker, Executive Director, Program in Eurasian and East European Studies, University of California, Berkeley.

For more information about this event please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/events/event/1460

Direct download: 05_20_15_Ilya_Ponomarev.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 10:52pm PST

Last month, a massive earthquake hit Nepal. While this event had been predicted for years, it still caught many unaware and unprepared. Thousands lost their lives, and many thousands more lost homes, loved ones and livelihoods. With the quake and its aftershocks behind us, attention has now turned to the challenges of rebuilding.

How are NGOs and other organizations addressing both the physical reconstruction and the provision of necessary services such as clean water, sanitation and healthcare? How did the Nepalese government prepare for and respond to this long-predicted disaster, and where did they fall short? How does this earthquake and the international response compare to similar events, such as Haiti’s 2010 crisis? And what can we lessons can we take away to help limit the losses next time?

Speakers Elizabeth Hausler, Founder and CEO of Build Change, Birger Stamperdahl, President and CEO of Give2Asia, and Norbu Tenzing, Vice President of the American Himalayan Foundation, will hold a panel discussion.

David D. Arnold, President of the Asia Foundation, will moderate the conversation.

For more information about this event please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/events/event/1471

Direct download: 05_13_15_Rebuilding_Nepal.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 7:51am PST

In this pilot episode of the World Affairs podcast we are looking at diseases: how they are spread, how they are contained, how they are cured. We reached out to learn more about how recent disease outbreaks have affected those in our community and what health professionals are doing to prevent the next deadly pandemic on local and global scales. In this episode you'll hear from Alex Karolyi, a Bay Area dad who had a trip planned to Disneyland that coincided with a recent measles outbreak; Adam Crawley, an epidemiologist and research associate at the Skoll Global Threats Fund; Peter Robertson, former Vice Chairman at Chevron, and now an Independent Energy Advisor with Deloitte; and Larry Brilliant, who took part in the World Health Organization's smallpox eradication program, and is now Senior Advisor for the Skoll Global Threats Fund.

Direct download: 03_02_15_Global_Epidemics-podcast.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 9:22am PST

Drones have become a regular, if controversial, part of US military operations. In Afghanistan and Pakistan, in Libya and against ISIS, these unmanned crafts are frequently put to use against specific targets, while keeping US soldiers out of the line of fire.

However, the strikes that hit the headlines are only one part of the story. According to investigative journalist Chris Woods, a secret war has been underway for years, with drones in the air over Somalia, Pakistan, Yemen and others, searching for militant and terrorist targets. How have armed drones changed the face of modern warfare? What are the implications for US foreign policy decisions? And how does the drone program affect America’s reputation abroad?

Speaker Chris Woods is an investigative journalist. He will be in conversation with Andrew Becker, reporter at The Center for Investigative Reporting.

For more information about this event please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/events/event/1456

Direct download: 05_06_15_Chris_Woods.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 10:31pm PST

The war in Syria, now in its fifth year, has created a refugee crisis. Almost 4 million Syrians have fled the country, and another 7.6 million have been displaced within Syria. In total, this conflict has forced half of the country’s population from their homes.

In this episode of WorldAffairs, we’re sharing two perspectives—the analytic and the personal—on this complex issue. First, we’ll hear from three experts who either observe or make policy: Filippo Grandi of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine refugees, David Miliband, president of the International Rescue Committee, and Vali Nasr, Dean of the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. In the second half of the program, we’ll hear stories from those who see and feel the human dimension of this crisis: among them are Anisa Abeytia, from the NorCal Syrian American Council, Feras Alhlou, a volunteer and advocate and Christine Lemonda, from the International Rescue Committee.

For more information about our new podcast programs please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/podcast

Direct download: 04_16_15_Syrian_Refugees-podcast.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 5:35pm PST

How can we understand the intricate web of agendas and interests between the US, Israel and Iran? Nuclear negotiations between Iran and the US are ongoing, as Israel continues to voice its concerns over the possibility of a nuclear armed neighbor. In Israel’s March 17 election, Prime Minister Netanyahu was re-elected to a fourth term in office, and his party now faces the delicate task of forming a coalition government. Add to the mix Netanyahu’s controversial appearance before US Congress and Republican senators’ recent letter to Tehran, and the questions are only magnified.

How might Netanyahu’s re-election, and the composition of the new government, impact Israel’s domestic and foreign policy decisions? Can the US come to an agreement with Iran without harming its longstanding friendship with Israel? What might an agreement mean for Iran politically and economically? In light of the overall instability in the Middle East, how do Israel on the one hand, and Iran on the other, think about their regional positions? Finally, what does the future look like for the complex ties between these three nations?

Speakers Abbas M. Milani, Research Fellow and Co-Director, Iran Democracy Project, Hoover Institution, Stanford University, and Janine Zacharia, Carlos Kelly McClatchy Visiting Lecturer, Department of Communications, Stanford University, will be in discussion.

Jane Wales, President and CEO of the World Affairs Council, will moderate the conversation.

For more information please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/events/event/1450

Direct download: 04_01_15_Israel_Iran_US.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 8:09am PST

Poverty is often thought of as an economic issue, to be addressed through loans and other financial services. However, this is only one piece of the larger puzzle. Poor health can keep an individual from work or a natural disaster may destroy homes, crops and other resources. Lack of education limits opportunities for employment and higher wages. In order for the poor to escape poverty, they require the tools to fight it across all fronts. BRAC (Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee), a development organization focused on alleviating poverty, therefore works with communities on a wide range of initiatives, from agriculture and food security to education and gender equality, in order to provide all the necessary tools for growth.

How does promoting gender equality, education and human rights aid in the fight to end poverty? BRAC’s founder, Sir Fazle Hasan Abed, will share his insights on poverty alleviation and the power of education, as well as BRAC’s growth and evolution over the past 40 years.

Sir Fazle has received several national and international awards for his achievements in leading BRAC, including the David Rockefeller Bridging Leadership Award (2008), Inaugural Clinton Global Citizen Award (2007) and Gates Award for Global Health (2004). The British crown knighted him in recognition of his services to reducing poverty in Bangladesh and internationally.

Speaker Fazle Hasan Abed is the Founder and Chairperson of BRAC.

Catherine Muther, President of the Three Guineas Fund, moderates the discussion.

For more information please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/event-calendar/event/1438

Direct download: 03_31_15_Fazle_Hasan_Abed.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 8:57am PST

Digital currency platforms have the potential to disrupt the global financial infrastructure and change the way that people and institutions exchange value. With the ability to transfer funds instantly to anywhere in the world by anyone, digital currencies hold the promise of providing financial inclusion to those underserved or unserved by the traditional financial institutions, and transforming the global financial ecosystem. Please join us for a discussion of the future of digital currencies, and the opportunities and challenges ahead.

Speakers Brian Armstrong, Founder and CEO, Coinbase, Joyce Kim, Executive Director, Stellar.org, and Elizabeth Stark, Founder, StartBitcoin.org, participate in the panel discussion.

Cory Johnson, Anchor and Editor-At-Large, Bloomberg Television, moderates the conversation.

For more information please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/event-calendar/event/1442

Direct download: 03_25_15_Digital_Currencies.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 1:34pm PST

Throughout Africa, Latin America and the Middle East, the United States employs private military contractors to carry out its objectives. While US firms dominate the market, warlords and militias have restyled themselves as private security companies in places like Afghanistan and Somalia. These private entities have become an integral part of the United States' defense strategy — the US can no longer go to war without contractors.

How does military contracting actually operate? What does the proliferation of private forces suggest about the future of war and international relations? Sean McFate, a former paratrooper in the US Army and previous employee of a military contractor, will discuss these questions and share his unique perspective on this growing industry.

This event is presented in partnership with the Marines' Memorial Association.

Speaker Sean McFate is Assistant Professor at the National Defense University, and Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council.

The conversation will be moderated by Christopher Starling, Director of Military and Veteran Affairs, Marines’ Memorial Club.

For more information about this event please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/events/event/1425

Direct download: 03_24_15_Sean_McFate.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 8:07am PST

Climate change has long been a topic that inspires concern, but little action. While signs of its impact have slowly increased, it seems not to pose an imminent enough threat to initiate a global attempt to slow its progress. However, if we wait for the threat to become imminent, it may be too late to respond.

According to Gernot Wagner, lead senior economist at the Environmental Defense Fund, we should begin thinking about responding to climate change in the same way we think about our health or car insurance - as a way of managing potential risk. Wagner will share his insights on the political and economic barriers to preemptive action, the economic consequences of a hotter planet and the extreme responses, such as geoengineering, that will likely come from waiting too long to act.

Speaker Gernot Wagner is a Lead Senior Economist at the Environmental Defense Fund.

For more information about this event please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/events/event/1424

Direct download: 03_17_15_Gernot_Wagner.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 10:22pm PST

The Middle East faces many and diverse challenges. Nuclear talks with Iran move slowly, with deadlines repeatedly pushed back. The Islamic State retains its hold on large swaths of Iraq and Syria and the rise of extremism threatens regional and international stability. Oil prices have fallen, impacting economies across the region and the world. The recent succession in Saudi Arabia raises questions about the outlook for this key US ally. With all of these factors in play, the outlook for 2015 is indeed uncertain.

Vali Nasr, Middle East expert and former senior advisor to the US special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, Ambassador Richard Holbrooke, will discuss these challenges and how they could impact international stability and security.

This event is presented in partnership with the Marines' Memorial Association.

Speaker Vali R. Nasr is the Dean of the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.

The discussion will be moderated by Anja Lucia Manuel, Partner at RiceHadleyGates LLC.

For more information about this event please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/events/event/1427

Direct download: 03_16_15_Vali_Nasr.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 10:12pm PST

Around the world, nearly 800 million people are illiterate. That means one out of every 10 people would have a hard time reading this sentence. While global literacy rates improved over the last 25 years, progress has since stalled, especially for women and girls. And this isn’t only a developing world problem – 32 million Americans can’t read and write.

Today, literacy is as complex as it is powerful. What it means to be literate in different contexts is changing rapidly as digital skills become increasingly important and technology grows more sophisticated and more available. These advances create new and exciting opportunities to tackle basic literacy challenges, and produce new literacy challenges in their own right.

Educators and organizations all over the world are working hard in their communities to understand and address these issues. Literacy organizations such as Room to Read and Reading Partners are facing these challenges head-on whether in India, South Africa or right here in San Francisco. And Project Literacy, a major new campaign convened by Pearson in partnership with GOOD Magazine and others, seeks to make significant and sustainable advances in literacy over the next five years so that by 2030, no child will be born at risk of poor literacy.

Join us for this panel discussion to learn more about the scale of global illiteracy, the dimensions of the crisis as it breaks down along gender and class lines and the opportunities for intervention.

Speakers Erin Ganju, CEO and Co-Founder, Room to Read, Kate James, Chief Corporate Affairs Officer, Pearson, and Michael Lombardo, CEO, Reading Partners, will be in discussion.

For more information about this event please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/event-calendar/event/1433

Direct download: 03_12_15_Global_Illteracy.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 7:36am PST

Pakistan faces many security challenges, both within and along its borders. The Taliban maintains a stronghold along the border with Afghanistan; the conflict with India over control of Kashmir has worsened in recent months; and in December Pakistan suffered the deadliest terrorist attack in its history when Pakistani Taliban attacked a school in Peshawar, killing over 100 students.

However, some positive signs of change have emerged. The Pakistani army has ramped up efforts to combat the Taliban and other militants. Relations with Afghanistan have improved since Ashraf Ghani was elected president, promising greater security cooperation along the border. And US Secretary of State John Kerry is working to help India and Pakistan mend relations. Will these efforts be enough to ensure future stability? Pakistan expert Christine Fair will discuss Pakistan’s security concerns and the outlook for this complex region.

Speaker Christine Fair is Assistant Professor of Security Studies Program for the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University.

For more information please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/event-calendar/event/1422

Direct download: 03_04_15_Christine_Fair.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 7:37am PST

Jason Furman has served as the chairman of President Obama's Council of Economic Advisers since August of 2013. In this role, he is charged with offering the president objective economic advice on the formulation of both domestic and international economic policy. Furman will discuss trends shaping the US economy, opportunities for future economic growth and public policy considerations to ensure that growth is sustainable and shared.

Speaker Jason Furman is the Chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers.

The conversation is moderated by James M. Manyika, Senior Partner and Director, McKinsey & Company; Director, McKinsey Global Institute.

For more information about this event please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/events/event/1398

Direct download: 02_25_15_Jason_Furman.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 8:19am PST

Nearly a century has passed since the Armenian Genocide, but the repercussions of the event still shape relations between Armenia and Turkey, as well as US policy in the region.

The most recent round of discussions on normalizing Armenian-Turkish relations broke down in 2010. The two nations have not established diplomatic relations, their border remains closed and Armenians still seek formal recognition of the genocide from the Turkish government. On the international stage, the US seeks a stronger ally in Armenia to help advance its policies in the region. Neighboring both Turkey and Iran, and with close ties to Russia, Armenia has great geostrategic significance for the US. Improved relations between Armenia and Turkey would also advance US interests, as it could lead to greater stability in the region as a whole.

Thomas de Waal, an expert on the politics and conflicts of the South Caucasus, will discuss how the Armenian Genocide has shaped contemporary politics both within the region and beyond.

Speaker Thomas de Waal is a Senior Associate for the Russia and Eurasia Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

Keith David Watenpaugh, Director, Human Rights Initiative, University of California, Davis, will moderate the discussion.

For more information about this event please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/events/event/1396

Direct download: 02_19_15_Thomas_de_Waal.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 6:56am PST

Cuba and the US are rekindling relations, after more than 50 years of Cold War inspired isolation. Obama announced in December that the US would reestablish diplomatic ties, open an embassy in Havana and lift further restrictions on travel, commerce and communications. While the embargo will remain in effect without action by Congress, and concerns remain about prospects for human rights and democracy in Cuba, Obama's executive order marks a historic change in US-Cuban relations.

These developments came after months of secret negotiations, facilitated by the Canadian government. The former Canadian Ambassador to Cuba, Mark Entwistle, will share his perspective on the negotiations, their outcome and what to expect going forward.

Speaker Mark Entwistle is the Former Ambassador of Canada to Cuba, and Founding Partner of Acasta Capital.

For more information about this event please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/events/event/1415

Direct download: 02_05_15_Mark_Entwistle.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 12:08pm PST

Following the 1979 Revolution, many Iranians hoped to see democracy emerge in their country. Instead, theocracy filled the political vacuum, stifling political discourse and restricting the freedom of Iranian citizens. Much has changed in the intervening years - the middle class is growing, more women are attending college and a moderate president has taken office. However, broader political change still seems distant. The Supreme Leader remains the highest authority and internet censorship and restrictions on freedom of the press continue. Iran appears to be on the path towards reform, but it may a long journey.

Born in Iran shortly before the 1979 Revolution, Nazila Fathi spent two decades as an Iranian correspondent for the New York Times. She fled the country in 2009, fearing for the safety of her family after defying a ban on media coverage of the Green Revolution. Fathi will share her firsthand experiences of Iran's transformation and her thoughts on where the country is headed.

Nazila Fathi, Journalist, Translator and Commentator, will speak.

For more information about this event please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/event-calendar/event/1395

Direct download: 01_29_15_Nazila_Fathi.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 7:43am PST

In today’s shifting global economy countries must often make rapid transitions to meet the increased demands of globalization. In the midst of this, it is easy for everyday citizens to ignore or forget what these transitions involve, where they take place and who is most affected by them.

Chad Broughton will examine these global effects and specifically the US – Mexico relationship through the lens of industrial manufacturing in two North American towns. As thousands of jobs have migrated from the United States to Mexico, Broughton argues that what truly matters in debating the consequences of the shift is not just politics or policy implications, but also who is affected and where these changes take place. Broughton will share the voices of those who have borne the heaviest burdens of recent economic upheavals by putting a human face to the constant cycle of global manufacturing and looking at the true cost of globalization.

Chad Broughton, Senior Lecturer, Public Policy Studies, University of Chicago, will be in conversation.

For more information about this event please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/events/event/1397

Direct download: 01_20_15_Chad_Broughton.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 8:06am PST

The Middle East is a complex strategic question for the United States due to its evolving and unpredictable nature. What is the plan for Syria and Iraq? How much of a threat to our national security is ISIS? What about Iran? What will happen in Afghanistan as the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) reduces its footprint?

General Lloyd J. Austin, Commander of the US Central Command, will share his insights on US military operations in the Middle East and future security concerns for the region.

Speaker Lloyd J Austin is the Commander of the United States Central Command.

For more information about this event please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/events/event/1402

Direct download: 01_09_15_CENTCOM.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 8:41am PST

The vast majority of the world's poor lack access to formal financial services. Faced with small incomes and little or no support from banks or other financial institutions, individuals struggle to save enough money to have a significant impact on their lives.

For more than four decades, the microfinance sector has provided small loans to help support the self-help efforts of micro-entrepreneurs. While these loans are powerful tools, when taken alone, they are not nearly enough to help the poor climb out of poverty.

Microfinance clients need other services, such as a safe place to save money, access to health services, financial education and other tools to help them make meaningful and sustainable progress out of poverty. As the digital and mobile landscapes continue to evolve, the microfinance sector is poised to innovate and serve more clients with a wider range of tools and services than ever before.

How are microfinance organizations serving their clients with an appropriate mix of services that help them escape poverty for good? How can disruptive technologies like mobile banking assist in this mission? What advances have we seen in this field and what challenges lie on the horizon?

The panel of speakers includes Alex Counts, President and CEO, Grameen Foundation, Steve Hollingworth, President, Freedom from Hunger, and Mary Ellen Iskenderian, President and CEO, Women's World Banking.

Maya Chorengel, Co-Founder, Elevar Equity, will moderate the discussion.

For more information about this event please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/events/event/1392

Direct download: 01_07_14_Microfinancing.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 7:49am PST

The Ebola outbreak in West Africa, with more than 13,000 reported cases and nearly 5,000 deaths so far, has laid bare the world’s inability to mount a rapid response to an infectious disease crisis. Emerging in a part of the world with weak governments and collapsing health systems, the disease has unleashed a massive humanitarian and economic crisis. In recent weeks, good news has begun to emerge: the World Health Organization declared Nigeria and Senegal Ebola-free last month and recently announced a decline in new cases in Liberia. Panic over cases in the United States has begun to subside.

Now, as the media wave of Ebola coverage begins to crest and the international aid machine at last grinds toward a response, it’s time to turn to the larger message of the outbreaks. Is Ebola a litmus test for poor health systems, demographic change and environmental degradation? What does this crisis tell us about culture, security and governance in a globalized world? Are we able, and willing, to respond to an epidemic of this scale?

This panel discussion includes two veterans from the front lines of fighting infectious disease in Africa. Dr. Alex Coutinho, director of Uganda’s Infectious Diseases Institute from 2007-2014, has led first response efforts again Ebola outbreaks. Jane Coyne, on the board of Médecins Sans Frontières USA, managed many on the ground emergency relief efforts in Africa for more than a decade. They will be joined by an Ebola survivor who will share his unique perspective on the outbreak.

Speakers Alex Coutinho, Chair, Board of Directors, International AIDS Vaccine Initiative; former Executive Director, Infectious Diseases Institute, Jane Coyne, Director of Operations, We Care Solar; Member, Board of Directors, Médecins Sans Frontières USA, and Ebola survior and Infectious Diseases Specialist Ian Crozier will be in discussion.

The discussion will be moderated by Gavin Yamey, Lead, Evidence to Policy Initiative, UCSF Global Health Group.

For more information about this event please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/events/event/28

Direct download: 12_08_14_Ebola.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 8:12am PST

Walter Isaacson discusses the personalities who created the computer and the Internet. What were the talents that allowed certain inventors and entrepreneurs to turn their visionary ideas into disruptive realities? What led to their creative leaps? Why did some succeed and others fail? Isaacson shares stories about the innovators who helped contribute to the current digital revolution and how they fostered innovation, creativity and teamwork to succeed.

Walter Isaacson is President and CEO of the Aspen Institute. He is in conversation with Jane Wales, President and Chief Executive Officer, World Affairs Council.

For more information about this event please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/media-library/event/1389

Direct download: 11_03_14_Walter_Isaacson.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 8:45am PST

Is it time to update US policy towards Cuba? Peter Kornbluh, Director, Cuba and Chile Documentation Projects, National Security Archive will share insights on negotiation attempts and the importance of mending relations between the two countries.

Speaker Peter Kornbluh is the Director of Cuba and Chile Documentation Projects at the National Security Archive.

Elizabeth Farnsworth, Special Correspondent, The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, will moderate the conversation.

For more information about this event please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/events/event/1375

Direct download: 11_13_14_Peter_Kornbluh.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 8:01am PST

Despite countless international treaties, why has the world failed to address human rights violations? International law expert Eric Posner will discuss some of the reasons and what can be done to change it.

Speaker Eric Posner is the Kirkland and Ellis Distinguished Service Professor of Law at the University of Chicago.

The discussion is moderated by John Wilson, Partner, Shearman & Sterling.

For more information about this event please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/events/event/1373

Direct download: 11_06_14_Eric_Posner.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 8:02am PST

The American public has grown wary of foreign involvement and uncertain about the United States' place in the world today. This uncertainty has arisen from disillusionment with the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the financial crisis, dysfunction in Washington and other real or perceived threats to the US's global dominance. How should the US adapt to the rapidly changing world? How involved should the US be in foreign conflicts and what can be done to address problems at home? How does America’s leadership ultimately impact these decisions? Rothkopf argues that, while the US has shown remarkable resilience, progress is often impeded by the human flaws of our leaders, the mismanagement of our system and an unwillingness to learn from the past. He will discuss how the country arrived in its current situation and what can be done to restore American leadership in the future.

Speaker David Rothkopf is the CEO and Editor of FP Group.

For more information about this event please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/events/event/1376

Direct download: 11_04_14_David_Rothkopf.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 10:17am PST

In this age of globalization, it is clear that America's prosperity and security depends on that of our political and economic partners. Yet, today we see mounting evidence that our partners' stability is threatened by global environmental change. Increasing pressure on limited resources is disrupting global supply chains, causing social instability, destabilizing regional relations and expanding illegal trade. Join this group of top policy leaders, security experts and change makers who will discuss why environmental sustainability must become a central tenet of US foreign policy in order to protect our national security and promote global prosperity.

Speakers Richard L. Engel, Director, Environment and Natural Resources Program, Strategic Futures Group, National Intelligence Council, David Reed, Senior Vice President of Policy, World Wildlife Fund, and Amy Luers, Director of Climate Change, Skoll Global Threats Fund, are in conversation with Jane Wales, President and Chief Executive Officer, World Affairs Council.

For more information about this event please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/events/event/1360

Direct download: 10_29_14_Prosperity_Pursuit.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 7:55am PST

To mark a century of The New Republic, editor Franklin Foer will join us for a discussion on the pivotal issues of modern America. Highlighting seminal contributions to the magazine, Foer’s Insurrections of the Mind is an exploration of such topics as America’s role in the world, the rise and fall of communism, the economy, terrorism, and technology, not to mention race, civil rights and the women’s movement. As political discussions increase in the lead up to the midterm elections, these issues remain just as important today as they were throughout the past century. Insurrections of the Mind, an anthology of the magazine's most seminal articles, celebrates a cultural, political and intellectual institution that has stood the test of time. Select contributors include Virginia Woolf, George Orwell, Philip Roth, Michael Lewis, Zadie Smith, William Faulkner, Ralph Ellison, Langston Hughes, John Updike and Margaret Talbot.

Speaker Franklin Foer is the Editor of The New Republic.

The discussion will be moderated by William Drummond, Professor, Graduate School of Journalism, University of California, Berkeley.

For more information about this event please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/events/event/1363

Direct download: 10_27_14_Franklin_Foer.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 7:48am PST

The World Affairs Council and its Global Philanthropy Forum recognizes eBay and PayPal CEO John Donahoe and the company he leads for its commitment to creating economic opportunity and fostering an inclusive global economy, including its pioneering role in creating the peer-to-peer economy. The evening celebrates and gathers entrepreneurs and innovators who are further advancing this movement worldwide.

eBay and Paypal are global commerce platforms whose success is tied to their purpose – connecting more people with more opportunity while making a positive social impact. A Bay Area innovation with global reach, eBay and PayPal helped spark a movement. Today the continuously evolving peer-to-peer economy enables individuals to participate in local and global economies, without the requirements of start-up capital or proximity to physical markets. A new entrepreneurial class is being built. Where there was a will, there is now a way.

Speaker John Donahoe is the President and CEO of eBay, Inc.

The conversation is moderated by Jane Wales, President and CEO of the World Affairs Council.

For more information about this event please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/event-calendar/event/1365

Direct download: 10_23_14_John_Donahoe.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 8:41am PST

US Ambassador to Pakistan Richard Olson will discuss the US-Pakistan relationship as it is, and what it could become. Weathering setbacks over the years, the relationship has proven itself resilient. Ambassador Olson will explain why it is in our national interest to continue to engage with Pakistan and why this will require more than a transactional or single-issue relationship with Pakistan.

Speaker Richard Olson is the US Ambassador to the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, Embassy of the United States of America.

The conversation will be moderated by Anja Lucia Manuel, Partner, RiceHadleyGates LLC.

For more information please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/events/event/1358

Direct download: 10_15_14_Richard_Olson.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 12:44pm PST