WorldAffairs

Even now, in the twenty-first century, intractable problems remain: poor early-childhood education, sex trafficking, inner-city violence, poverty and malnutrition, homelessness and many others. What can be done in the face of such enormous challenges? Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Nicholas Kristof suggests that new, innovative approaches to philanthropy could offer answers, allowing individuals and organizations to make a difference in the world. At the end of the day what matters most is the impact on the ground.

Kristof has lived on four continents, reported on six and traveled to 150 countries, reporting on global health, poverty, education, gender inequality and much more. He will share stories from his experiences on the ground and discuss the art and science of giving.

Speaker Nicholas Kristof is a columnist at The New York Times.

The discussion will be moderated by Jane Wales, President and Chief Executive Officer, World Affairs Council.

For more information about this event please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/events/event/1351

Direct download: 10_7_14_Nicholas_Kristof.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 8:47am PST

Access to online education has the potential to democratize education and skill advancement around the world. In what ways and for whom has online education been most successful so far? What are the platform's limitations and where are the gaps? Please join us for a discussion of online education’s potential role in preparing a global labor force for the knowledge economy of the 21st century.

The discussion features Nicholas B. Dirks, Chancellor of the University of California, Berkeley, and Sebastian Thrun, Co-Founder and CEO of Udacity.

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

For more information please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/event-calendar/event/1328

Direct download: 10_02_14_Online_Education.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 1:42pm PST

A nuclear blast -- are we at risk? Eric Schlosser, investigative journalist and author of Fast Food Nation, has now taken an in-depth look at America’s nuclear arsenal and the multitude of mistakes associated with the management and protection of this powerful and important asset. With the Cold War declared over for nearly 25 years, talk of nuclear weapons is generally relegated to the halls of policy think tanks and academic institutions. Schlosser would like to see this change, arguing that the nuclear threat is still very real – exacerbated by mismanagement and aging infrastructure of the US arsenal – and most Americans are either unaware or dismiss the possibility of any potential danger. Over six years Schlosser investigated the state of the nuclear arsenal and he reveals how the combination of human fallibility and technological complexity still poses a grave threat to mankind.

Speaker Eric Schlosser is Author of Fast Food Nation and Command and Control.

For more information about this event please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/events/event/1343

Direct download: 09_29_14_Eric_Schlosser.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 7:48am PST

Geopolitical, economic and technological changes are transforming our world. In 15 years, the global landscape will likely look very different than it does today. While we cannot with certainty predict the future, hypotheses abound. The National Intelligence Council lays out several such hypotheses in their new report, “Global Trends 2030: Alternative Worlds.” The report suggests four major trends that will shape the world over the coming decades: individual empowerment, diffusion of power among nations, demographic shifts and natural resource challenges. The question that remains is: where will these trends lead?

Mathew Burrows, the principal author of “Global Trends 2030,” will discuss the factors that are transforming the world, predictions of potential outcomes and how we can influence the course of events.

Speaker Mathew J. Burrows is the Director of Strategic Foresight Initiative at the Atlantic Council.

For more information about this event please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/events/event/1330

Direct download: 09_24_14_Mathew_Burrows.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 11:43am PST

Next-generation genomics can be described as the combination of sequencing technologies and big data analytics. The potential impact of this disruptive technology in health care will be primarily realized through extending and enhancing lives through faster disease detection, more precise diagnoses, new drugs, and more tailored disease treatments. The technical challenges inherent in genetic engineering technology are great but may be less formidable than the social, ethical, and regulatory concerns it may generate. Please join us for a discussion of the possibilities and the challenges of next-generation genomics and implications for health care worldwide.

The panel of speakers include Timothy Behrens, Senior Director, Human Genetics, Genentech, Francis deSouza, President, Illumina Corporation, Robert L. Nussbaum, Chief, Department of Medicine & UCSF Institute for Human Genetics, UCSF.

The discussion is moderated by Michael Chui, Partner, McKinsey Global Institute.

For more information about this event please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/event-calendar/event/1298

Direct download: 09_16_14_Big_Data_Genomics.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 9:00am PST

Governments that impose repressive policies on their populations often must contend with citizens that are intent on doing exactly what is not allowed. In Tehran, the largest city in Iran, the situation is no different. Ramita Navai witnessed this first hand as an undercover journalist reporting the stories of city dwellers attempting to conduct their personal lives under a watchful government eye. What is revealed is a Tehran so riddled with social, political, sexual and religious contradictions that in order to survive in the city, many must learn to lie. Navai will discuss the startling realities of living behind a veil of necessary falsehoods while giving a backstreet glimpse of modern Tehran.

Speaker Ramita Navai is a journalist and author.

For more information about this event please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/events/event/1338

Direct download: 09_17_14_Ramita_Navai.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 8:31am PST

After four decades of military service and countless experiences with military intervention, retired four-star General Tony Zinni is well aware that wars are not always decided on the battlefield. Political decisions, intelligence estimates, strategies (or the lack thereof) and many other non-battlefield components have crucial significance in the outcome of war. Few Americans realize how many essential pieces have to fall in to place to execute a successful campaign. What triggers lead the US to use military force and how may these triggers be changing due to emerging global issues? How can the US learn from past successes and failures to achieve greater success in the future? General Zinni will analyze past military experiences and discuss what must be done to make the process of going to war more clear-eyed, and ultimately, successful. This program is presented in partnership with the Marines' Memorial Association.

Speaker Anthony Zinni is the Former Commander of US Central Command.

The discussion will be led by Jane Wales, President and Chief Executive Officer, World Affairs Council.

For more information about this event please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/events/event/1325

Direct download: 09_15_14_Anthony_Zinni.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 2:34pm PST

The 2014 Human Development Report highlights the need for both promoting people's choices and protecting human development achievements. Although almost everyone is likely to feel vulnerable at some point in life, some individuals and groups are systematically worse off. Longer life spans and demographic transitions are having wide ranging effects on economies, societies and living arrangements. According to the report, vulnerability remains a major obstacle to human development and unless it is systematically addressed by changing policies and social norms, progress will be neither equitable nor sustainable.

The Human Development Reports have been commissioned and published by UNDP since 1990 as an intellectually independent, empirically grounded analysis of development issues, trends, progress and policies. The report's ultimate goal is to help advance human development, therefore it places as much emphasis on health, education, gender equity and the expansion human freedoms and abilities as on economic growth.

Khalid Malik, director of the UN Human Development Report, will share key findings of the new report, as well as discuss why a human development approach is incomplete unless it incorporates vulnerability and resilience into the analysis.

This program is presented in partnership with the Global Philanthropy Forum.

Speaker Khalid Malik is the Director of the Human Development Report Office at the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

The discussion will be moderated by William H. Draper, General Partner, Draper Richards.

For more information about this event please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/events/event/1327

Direct download: 08_19_14_Khalid_Malik.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 3:38pm PST

After a period of relative quiet, Israel and Hamas found themselves in a summer rocket war that put the global spotlight once again on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Thousands of rockets and missiles were fired. The Israeli military destroyed an underground tunnel network built by Hamas. Gaza is in shambles. More than 1,800 Palestinians and 60 Israelis are dead. The United States leveled some of its toughest criticism at Israel ever for the killing of Palestinian civilians. What happens now? With decades of troubled history on both sides and a rising death toll, the possibility of a long-term peace agreement seems even further out of reach. Janine Zacharia, former Jerusalem bureau chief of The Washington Post, now a visiting lecturer at Stanford, will share her insights on why this conflict erupted now, explore what the sides hoped to gain (and what they did or didn’t achieve) and what it all means for the future of peace negotiations and the alliance between Israel and the United States.

Speaker Janine Zacharia is the Carlos Kelly McClatchy Visiting Lecturer in the Department of Communications at Stanford University.

For more information about this event please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/events/event/1337

Direct download: 08_14_14_Janine_Zacharia.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 3:35pm PST

Just as China has experienced a remarkable economic ascent, Chinese Americans too are modern exemplars of the “American Dream,” going from servitude to success in 150 years. While this achievement is impressive for so many Chinese immigrant families, not all are living that dream. Despite the tales of success, some still feel left behind, others feel anxiety with China’s economic rise, while still others continue to struggle with the idea of what it means to be an American.

As the founder and CEO of Citizen University, Eric Liu explores the complexities of American identity and seeks to revitalize the idea of citizenship in the United States. Liu will touch upon what it means to be a Chinese American in this grand moment for China and the United States and how each generation throughout America’s kaleidoscope of migration and acculturation has changed this country.

For more information about this event please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/media-library/event/1315

Direct download: 07_29_14_Eric_Liu.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 8:33am PST

In May, India completed the largest democratic election the world has ever seen. Over the course of five weeks, more than 800 million people turned out to cast their votes. The election of Narendra Modi and his Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) came as a surprise to many, especially since the incumbent Congress Party has held power for the majority of India's democratic history.

The overwhelming support for the BJP may be a sign of changing priorities among voters. Rather than voting along religious, caste and other identity lines as has historically been the case, Indians voted for Modi's promise of economic reform and growth. However, religion remains a strong influence in Indian politics. Only 9% of Muslims voted for the BJP, which may reflect lingering concerns over the 2002 ethnic riots that took place in Gujarat while Modi was chief minister of the state.

What does India's new leadership mean for the country's economic and foreign policy outlook? What are the implications of lingering religious and ethnic tensions in this vast democracy?

The panel of speakers include: Pradeep Chhibber, Professor and Indo-American Community Chair in India Studies, University of California, Berkeley, Thomas Blom Hansen, Reliance-Dhirubhai Ambani Professor of South Asian Studies, Professor of Anthropology and Director, Center for South Asia, Stanford University, and Sunder Ramaswamy, President and Frederick C. Dirks Professor of International Economics, Monterey Institute of International Studies.

The panel discussion will be moderated by David Arnold, President, Asia Foundation.

For more information about this event please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/events/event/1314

Direct download: 07_23_14_Modi_India.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 8:15am PST

On the boundary between East and West, Turkey's democracy has thrived by balancing its Islamic heritage with a modern secular state. However, recent protests and increasing authoritarian actions taken by Prime Minister Erdogan's government have observers questioning Turkey's current political leadership. The loss of over 300 miners in the country's biggest industrial disaster and the recent corruption allegations leveled against Erdogan adds fuel to existing tensions between the government and Turkey's citizens. Turkish political commentator and author Mustafa Akyol will discuss recent developments in Turkey and explain what they mean for the broader Muslim world.

Speaker Mustafa Akyol is a Turkish political commentator and author.

The conversation will be moderated by Jeffrey Scott Collins, Senior Counsel, International Policy, Chevron.

For more information about this event please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/events/event/1316

Direct download: 07_16_14_Mustafa_Akyol.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 8:41am PST

Successful international development requires the integration of many different elements, from improving education and healthcare to addressing inequality and increasing government accountability. Each of these elements presents unique challenges and requires multi-faceted solutions. Looking at the example of poverty, as President Obama said in his State of the Union address last year, eradication will come from "connecting more people to the global economy and empowering women; giving our young and brightest minds new opportunities to serve; helping communities to feed, power and educate themselves; saving the world's children from preventable deaths; and realizing the promise of an AIDS-free generation." In the face of such complex problems, what more can be done to address global development challenges? Modern technologies like crowd sourcing, datapaloozas and hack-a-thons may prove to be useful tools. Ambassador Steinberg, former deputy administrator at USAID, will discuss the shifting landscape and the implications of these changes for the way we approach global education and development.

Speaker Donald Steinberg is President and CEO of World Learning.

The conversation will be moderated by Ruth Levine, Director, Global Development and Population Program, The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.

For more information about this event please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/events/event/1318

Direct download: 07_15_14_Donald_Steinberg.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 6:53am PST

Political, economic and security ties have long united Europe and the United States, with NATO as an essential element of that relationship. Beyond the Euro-Atlantic area, NATO is working with partners across the globe, including in the Asia-Pacific, to build our common security and support the stable, rules-based international order on which we have come to rely. The stability of our international system cannot be taken for granted; with its recent aggression against Ukraine, Russia has demonstrated blatant disregard for the international rule book. NATO's Secretary General, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, will set out how the US and Europe, working through an outward-looking NATO, can continue to lead by example and safeguard the order on which our security and prosperity depend.

This program is presented in partnership with the Commonwealth Club of California and the Marines' Memorial Association.

Speaker Anders Fogh Rasmussen is Secretary General of NATO.

For more information about this event please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/event-calendar/event/1320

Direct download: 07_09_14_Anders_Rasmussen.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 3:58pm PST

California is changing and the University of California is changing along with it. As president of a world class institution with a public mandate and a global mission, Janet Napolitano has launched initiatives to ensure that the university will thrive in the 21st century and to make public education in California affordable and accessible. She will discuss strategies to enhance community college transfers; boost the transfer of UC's cutting-edge research to market; improve services for student veterans; and leverage the University's capabilities to address food-related challenges in California, the nation and around the world.

She will also discuss efforts she has launched which are focused on environmental sustainability and her project to achieve carbon neutrality across the UC system by 2025.

Speaker Janet Napolitano is President of the University of California.

For more information about this event please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/events/event/1303

Direct download: 7_9_14_Janet_Napolitano.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 8:55am PST

As the new president of the International Rescue Committee, David Miliband has taken on the challenge of the largest refugee crisis in recent history. Having previously served as UK Foreign Secretary, he is well versed on the international policy issues affecting refugees around the world.

Miliband addresses the range of issues for refugees around the world, including immediate concerns in Syria, Iraq and South Sudan.

For more information about this event please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/event-calendar/event/1322

Direct download: 07_01_14_David_Miliband.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 7:01am PST

The release of the most recent assessment from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has refocused the international climate debate. The report states that the human influence on the earth's climate is clear and that change weather patterns are already having an impact on countries and oceans around the world. From the causes and effects of climate change to options for adaptation and mitigation, this publication has given the international community a lot to think about. How will a changing climate impact ecosystems, food security, human health and water supplies? To what extent can we mitigate further change and how can we adapt to the effects that have already occurred? This panel of experts, including contributing authors to the IPCC report, will discuss the findings of the report and its global implications.

Speaker Ken Caldeira is Senior Scientist, Department of Global Ecology, Carnegie Institution for Science.

He is joined by Noah Diffenbaugh, Associate Professor of Environmental Earth System Science and Senior Fellow, Woods Institute for the Environment, Stanford University.

The discussion is moderated by Amy Luers, Director of Climate Change, Skoll Global Threats Fund.

For more information about this event please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/events/event/1305

Direct download: 06_17_14_Changing_Climate.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 9:22am PST

On May 8 Costa Rica inaugurated its 47th President into office, the Honorable Luis Guillermo Solís. Solís will address how his country has evolved into a high technology leader in Latin America, and will touch upon the priorities that his administration will undertake to continue to provide and enable the right business climate in Costa Rica while fostering foreign direct investment. The title of his talk will be "A Competitive Hub for High-Tech Manufacturing and Services in Latin America."

Speaker Luis Guillermo Solís is President of the Republic of Costa Rica.

The conversation will be moderated by Akiko Yamazaki, President, Board of Directors, Asian Art Museum; Co-Founder, Wildlife Conservation Network.

For more information about this event please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/events/event/1308

Direct download: 06_09_14_Costa-Rica_President.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 9:02am PST

In panel 2 of a two-part discussion, human rights and humanitarian aid experts and international security specialists take a new look at the challenges posed by North Korea and consider what the international community can do.

For more information about this event please visit: http://asiasociety.org/northern-california/events/north-korea-what-can-international-community-do

For more information about our partner, the Asia Society, please visit: http://asiasociety.org/

Direct download: 6_3_14_North_Korea-Elusive_Peace.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 2:53pm PST

In panel 1 of a two-part discussion, defectors, human rights and humanitarian aid experts, and international security specialists delve into the realities of life within the secret society of North Korea.

For more information about this event please visit: http://asiasociety.org/northern-california/events/north-korea-what-can-international-community-do

For more information about our partner, the Asia Society, please visit: http://asiasociety.org/

Direct download: 6_3_14_North_Korea-Secret_Society-1.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 2:03pm PST

China has undergone profound economic change in recent years. Through international trade and development of new energy resources, the country has increased its involvement abroad, and at home economic growth has lifted hundreds of millions of people out of poverty. However, progress has not been made across the board -- political and social advances have been slower to emerge. The Communist Party still seeks to maintain control over its citizens, limiting freedom of expression and restricting access to information.

As China continues to progress, change will need to come to these areas as well and the country will need to solve the underlying conflict between communism and capitalism. Individuals are finding ways around restrictions and exploring the potential of newfound prosperity and global connectivity. Evan Osnos, China correspondent for The New Yorker, will share stories of ordinary citizens remaking their lives in this shifting landscape.

Speaker Evan Osnos is Correspondent for The New Yorker.

For more information about this event please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/events/event/1257

Direct download: 5_29_14_New_China.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 8:54am PST

In the coming years, the United States will experience drastic social, racial and economic shifts. By 2050, the US population will be majority non-white and the median age will rise above 40. A significant generational gap is emerging in social and political values as well as religious, racial and ethnic identities. There is also a disparity in economic well-being. For the first time in American history, a new generation may have a lower standard of living than their parents. What do these changes mean for America's social, political and economic future? How will they affect our national identity and perceptions of our role in the world? Paul Taylor will draw on Pew Research Center's polls and data to discuss the implications of America's rapidly changing demographics.

Speaker Paul Taylor is Executive Vice President of Special Projects at the Pew Research Center.

For more information about this event please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/events/event/1289

Direct download: 5_12_14_America_2050.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 8:55am PST

More than nine billion devices around the world are currently connected to the Internet, including computers and smartphones. That number is expected to increase dramatically within the next decade, with estimates ranging from quintupling to 50 billion devices to reaching one trillion. Please join us for a discussion of how the Internet of Things will impact the way we live, the way business is done and how resources are consumed. Important to the discussion will be the challenges ahead when merging the physical and digital worlds and the implications for privacy and security around the world.

Speakers include:

Katherine Butler, General Counsel, GE Software | @GEsoftware

Guido Jouret, VP and General Manager, Internet of Things Group, Cisco | @gjouret @Cisco_IoT

Stephen Pattison, VP of Public Affairs, ARM | @SPattison_ARM @ARMCommunity

Steve Yankovich, VP of Innovation and New Ventures, eBay, Inc. | @SteveYankovich @ebayinc

The panel discussion is moderated by Aleecia McDonald, Director of Privacy, Center for Internet and Society, Stanford Law School | @StanfordCIS

For more information about this event please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/internet-of-things

Direct download: 5_7_14_Internet_Things.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 2:29pm PST

North Korea is once again in the headlines, thanks to a sequence of aggressive, yet carefully calculated actions: another missile test; a nuclear weapons test in January of last year followed by a declaration that Pyongyang was exiting the 60-year-old Korean armistice; the sudden execution of the leader's uncle; and a constant, continuing stream of vituperative denunciations of South Korea and the United States. What does the North hope to accomplish with these acts? And how should the United States and its allies respond? Also, as North Korea's lifeline, how should China respond? Philip Yun, executive director and COO of the Ploughshares Fund, is well-equipped to answer these questions. Yun is a former high-level diplomat who has worked extensively in academia, business, nonprofits and government. Prior to joining Ploughshares Fund, he was a Pantech Scholar in Korean Studies at Stanford University. He met Kim Jong Il in October, 2000 as a part of the delegation that travelled to North Korea with Secretary of State Madeline Albright and was a member of a working group that managed US policy toward North Korea under President Clinton. Yun was as a senior advisor to the first US Coordinator for North Korea Policy, former Secretary of Defense William J. Perry.

Speaker Philip W. Yun is Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer of Ploughshares Fund.

For more information about this event please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/event-calendar/event/1262

Direct download: 3_26_14_SAC_North_Korea.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 1:38pm PST

For more than 50 years, CARE has been serving individuals and families in the world's poorest communities. Today, they work in 84 countries around the world, empowering women in Peru, promoting democratic governance in Mali and fostering education and healthcare projects in Cambodia, among hundreds of other projects. Helene Gayle, president and CEO of CARE USA, will discuss her experiences in the fields of public health and international development.

Speaker Helene Gayle is President and CEO of CARE.

For more information about this event please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/event-calendar/event/1267

Direct download: 4_30_14_Helene_Gayle.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 10:56pm PST

More than one billion people today live on just one dollar per day. Those who live at this level of poverty often work extremely hard at jobs few in the West would even entertain. They lack basic services such as healthcare and education, a deficit that all too often keeps them and their families stuck in a continuous poverty cycle, often for generations. Professor Thomas Nazario, founder of The Forgotten International, will discuss what he calls 'the forgotten people of the world'. Often they are those who live in abject poverty, often they are women and children and often they have absolutely no access to any kind of real power or influence. How can one bring more attention to these issues? And what, if anything, can be done to solve global poverty? This event will be followed by Last Call.

Speaker Tom Nazario is Founder and President of The Forgotten International.

For more information about this event please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/events/event/1266

Direct download: 4_29_14_Global_Poverty.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 10:52pm PST



On the occasion of Earth Day 2014, the World Affairs Council and the Commonwealth Club are delighted to host the President of Iceland. As a member of the Arctic Council, Iceland is at the forefront of those nations in the North feeling the environmental effects brought on by climate change. While the melting polar ice cap has potential broad negative consequences for the world's oceans, sea levels and climate, at the same time it increases the potential for commercial and economic activity in the Arctic region. President Grímsson will address both the challenges and opportunities that will arise from these important global changes in his talk "People and Ice: The New Significance of the Arctic and the Himalayas." His Excellency Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson has been Iceland's president since 1996 and is currently serving his fifth elected term in office. He has served a long and illustrious career in public service, first as a professor of political science at the University of Iceland and later holding numerous positions within the Icelandic government. Among many international awards he has received is the Indira Gandhi Peace Prize which he received on behalf of the international organization Parliamentarians for Global Action, of which he was chairman and later president from 1984 - 1990.

Speaker Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson is President of the Republic of Iceland.

For more information about event please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/event-calendar/event/1286

Direct download: 4_22_14_Iceland_President-1.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 11:15am PST

The war in Syria, revolutions and counter-revolutions in Egypt, counterterrorism operations in Northern Africa, attacks in Kenya, Nigeria and Russia—the news of today suggests the threat of terrorism is far from over. The post-Arab Spring security vacuum and the rise of social media has changed realities and transformed the terrorism landscape. Where the center of gravity of Bin Laden terrorism was once limited to Afghanistan, Al Qaeda has now adapted and incorporated loosely connected groups, ceding operational control in exchange for a more global reach. Ali Soufan, author of "The Black Banners", CEO of The Soufan Group and former FBI Special Agent, will discuss the spread of Al Qaeda's violent narratives and outline the current threat landscape.

Speaker Ali Soufan is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Soufan Group.

For more information about this event please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/event-calendar/event/1258

Direct download: 4_7_14_Al_Qaeda.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 8:56am PST

Full event details: worldaffairs.org/wa2014

A keynote conversation with Ray Suarez, the new host of Inside Story, Al Jazeera America's daily program. Suarez was with PBS' NewsHour from 1999 to 2013, most recently as its chief national correspondent. He hosted National Public Radio's Talk of the Nation for six years before joining PBS. Suarez also spent seven years reporting for Chicago's NBC-owned station WMAQ-TV. Suarez began his career as a Los Angeles correspondent for CNN, a producer for the ABC Radio Network in New York and a reporter for CBS Radio in Rome.In 2010 Suarez was inducted into the National Association of Hispanic Journalists Hall of Fame. He is a co-recipient of two Alfred I. duPont-Columbia Awards for NPR's on-site coverage of the first multi-racial elections in South Africa and of the first 100 days of the 104th Congress. Suarez is the author of the critically acclaimed "Latino Americans," the companion book to the PBS documentary series of the same name that was published in 2013.

Speakers
Ray Suarez, Host, Inside Story, Al Jazeera America
Jane M. Wales (moderator), President & Chief Executive Officer, World Affairs Council

Direct download: 3_15_14-WA14_Ray-Suarez.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 3:47pm PST

Full event details: worldaffairs.org/wa2014

The Obama administration has long sought to reposition itself in the international arena - hoping to turn back the last decade's "tide of war," reduce American vulnerabilities in the Middle East, "rebalance" toward Asia and emphasize "nation-building" here at home. This is an ambitious agenda, but not an unfamiliar one. Retrenchment presidents of the past - those who charted a new path after major wars - give us a framework for evaluating the current administration's efforts. What can we learn from their experience? What are the pre-requisites for successful retrenchment? What are the pitfalls? And how well is the Obama administration meeting the challenge?

Speaker
Stephen Sestanovich, George F. Kennan Senior Fellow for Russian and Eurasian Studies, Council on Foreign Relations; Kathryn and Shelby Cullom Davis Professor for the Practice of International Diplomacy, Columbia University

Direct download: 3_15_14-WA14_US_Role.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 3:44pm PST

Full event details: worldaffairs.org/wa2014

Four years after civil unrest and protests sparked transformations across the Arab world, we sit down with two prominent Arab scholars for a frank discussion of this deeply misunderstood region. What are the roots and the future of Arab politics and the unrest in the region? How will democracy evolve in such a diverse landscape? What is the future of political Islam? Is there a positive role for the West to play in the reconstruction and state-building of the new Arab world?

Speakers
Shadi Hamid, Director of Research at the Brookings Doha Center and a fellow at the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution
Marwan Muasher, former Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan; Vice President of Studies, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
Janine Zacharia (moderator), Carlos Kelly McClatchy Visiting Lecturer, Department of Communications, Stanford University

Direct download: 3_15_14_WA14_Arab_Awakening.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 3:41pm PST

Full event details: worldaffairs.org/wa2014

A keynote conversation with Thomas L. Friedman. Friedman is an internationally renowned author, reporter, and columnist—the recipient of three Pulitzer Prizes and the author of six bestselling books, among them "From Beirut to Jerusalem" and "The World Is Flat".

Speakers
Thomas Friedman, Foreign Affairs Columnist
Jane M. Wales (moderator), President & Chief Executive Officer, World Affairs Council

Direct download: 3_14_14-WA14_Tom_Friedman.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 3:39pm PST

Full event details: worldaffairs.org/wa2014

Comprehensive immigration reform is at the top of the policy agenda in 2014. While the debate may be no less contentious than it has been in the past, there is growing consensus that a solution can be found, not only for those already here but for those who would like to come. Perspectives vary regarding immigrants in the United States with both positive and negative viewpoints, but many agree that workers are needed across the spectrum—high-tech, low-tech or no-tech. From the food that we eat to the high-tech start ups, large portions of the US economy are dependent upon foreign-born workers. Who are these people and how can immigration policy best be shaped to help fuel America's innovation economy? What is the status of this debate?

Speakers
Tara Magner, Program Officer, Policy Research, US Programs, MacArthur Foundation
Simon Rosenberg, President and Founder, NDN
Jose Antonio Vargas, Founder, Define American

Direct download: 3_14_14-WA14_Immigration.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 3:36pm PST

Russia is back in the news and not just for the Olympics in Sochi in February. President Vladimir Putin is grabbing attention and headlines on the international stage as well as at home. From US-Russian relations to the Middle East and the Syrian crisis to domestic human rights debates, these policy initiatives raise many questions about Mr. Putin’s intentions and Russia’s role in the world. What is happening in Russia today and what might we expect in the near future?
Confirmed Speakers
  • Corey Flintoff, International Correspondent, Moscow, Russia, NPR News
  • Masha Gessen, Author and Journalist
  • Olga Oliker, Associate Director, International Security & Defense Policy Center, RAND Corporation
  • Carla Thorson*, Vice President of Public Programs, World Affairs Council
Direct download: 3_15_14_WA14_New_Face_Russia.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 9:16am PST

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees estimates the civil war in Syria has displaced up to 10.25 million people, with 3.45 million of those refugees living in nearby countries. Neighboring Lebanon has accepted nearly one million Syrian refugees, approximately 22% of its population. Jordan's third largest "city" is now the Zaatari refugee camp which holds over 120,000 people. Other nations in the region are experiencing the wave of immigration, and all are struggling to support the massive influx of refugees with inadequate public services and infrastructure that barely met the needs of existing populations. What short and long term impacts will this refugee crisis have on the region, and what is the likelihood, if any, of these displaced persons returning home?
Confirmed Speakers
  • Jana Mason, Senior Advisor for External Relations and Government Affairs, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
  • Maureen White, Visiting Scholar, Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University
  • Mona Yacoubian, Senior Advisor, Middle East and Project Director, Pathways to Progress, Stimson Center
  • Aaron Schachter*, Assignment Editor, The World, Public Radio International
Direct download: 3_15_14_WA14_Syrian_Refugees.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 9:14am PST

When asked about the US strategy in the War on Drugs, American drug czar Gil Kerlikowske said “In the grand scheme, it has not been successful,” and "forty years later, the concern about drugs and drug problems is, if anything, magnified, intensified.” In 2011 the Global Commission on Drugs issued its top recommendation: reclassify drug use as a public health issue instead of a criminal issue. In 2013 President Obama announced a plan to expand drug education efforts, increase access to treatment for drug users and restructure the use of mandatory minimum sentences for drug offences. Some European countries have already begun to implement these policies with interesting results. What do Obama’s new initiatives mean for the country? What does it mean to reclassify drug use as a public health issue? What lessons can be learned from Europe? Can the United States effectively reduce the harmful effects of drugs at home and abroad while also reducing the enormous fiscal burden of the War on Drugs?
Confirmed Speakers
  • Beau Kilmer, Co-Director, RAND Drug Policy Research Center; Senior Policy Researcher, RAND Corporation; Professor, Pardee RAND Graduate School
  • Ethan Nadelmann, Founder & Executive Director, Drug Policy Alliance
  • Robert MacCoun*, Professor of Public Policy, Goldman School of Public Policy; Professor of Law, School of Law, University of California Berkeley
Direct download: 3_15_14_WA14_War_Drugs.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 9:11am PST

After over a decade of war, US troops are scheduled to withdraw from Afghanistan by the end of this year. Will Afghan forces be able to maintain peace and continue to build a stable, democratic government or will American troops stay on longer? Will we see a renewed civil war as happened following the Soviet withdrawal in the 1980s? Many believe that stability in Afghanistan depends on Pakistan, and vice versa, and Pakistan is seen as a key player in coordinating peace talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban. What does the future hold for these neighboring nations?
Confirmed Speakers
  • Marc Grossman, Vice Chairman, The Cohen Group; former US Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan
  • Cameron Phelps Munter, Professor of International Relations, Pomona College; former US Ambassador to Pakistan
  • Neil Joeck*, Visiting Scholar, Institute for International Studies, University of California, Berkeley
Direct download: 3_15_14_WA14_Afghanistan_Pakistan.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 9:09am PST

Cybersecurity in both the public and private sectors is of increasing importance and growing concern, yet it is largely misunderstood. For many it is synonymous with identity thieves and hackers trying to gain access to government secrets or personal files; however these concerns do not take into account offensive cyber operations taken by governments, the susceptibility of electric grids or financial systems, and potential threats to future networks i.e. for driverless cars. Recent revelations about the scope of the National Security Agency’s worldwide cyber-surveillance operations led Microsoft’s general counsel to write that “government snooping potentially now constitutes an advanced persistent threat, alongside sophisticated malware and cyber attacks.” What is the scope of the threat to our security in cyberspace? How transparent should actors (states or companies) have to be about their cyber practices, both offensive and defensive? How can we protect our vital infrastructure? What are cyber "best practices"? Which policies should guide behavior of the US government in cyberspace? And, what might the future of cybersecurity look like?
Confirmed Speakers
  • Jennifer Granick, Director of Civil Liberties, Center for Internet and Society, Stanford Law School
  • Herb Lin, Chief Scientist, Computer Science and Telecommunications Board, The National Academies
  • Andrew Woods*, Cybersecurity Fellow, Center for International Security and Cooperation, Freeman Spogli Insitute for International Studies at Stanford University
Direct download: 3_14_14_WA14_Cybersecurity.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 9:06am PST

The African continent is often viewed monolithically and through the negative lenses of drought, corruption and violence. Although many difficult obstacles remain, Africa is in the midst of a transformational moment, led by record economic growth, unprecedented foreign investment and rapid modernization. These 55 nations are, in reality, vibrant and diverse regions brimming with ingenuity, entrepreneurship and talent. Today, Africans are looking inward; utilizing the vast penetration of mobile networks and their own creativity to find inventive solutions to problems ranging from lack of banking services to rural electrification. With Africa’s outdated infrastructure grid offering $1 trillion in investment opportunities and financial services expected to grow by 40%, who will the likely players be? Where are the high and low-tech innovations taking place, and what role will they play in youth development, social activism and entrepreneurship? How does the African diaspora factor into the expansion of homegrown businesses in Africa? Do the significant challenges that stakeholders face outweigh the benefits of investing in the continent? How could African nations reposition the continent globally, based on the current economic leap?
Confirmed Speakers
Direct download: 3_14_14_WA14_Innovation_Africa.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 9:04am PST

Over the last century, global poverty has largely been viewed as a technical problem that merely requires the right "expert" solutions. Yet all too often, experts recommend solutions that fix immediate problems without addressing the systemic political factors which created them in the first place. Further, these recommendations may produce an accidental collusion with "benevolent autocrats," leaving dictators with yet more power to violate the rights of the poor. The true solution to the problem of global poverty, argues Professor William Easterly, is freedom. Easterly presents a new economic development model focused on individual rights and limiting the power of the state in order to finally end poverty.

Speaker William Easterly is Professor of Economics and Co-director, Development Research Institute, New York University.

For more information about this event please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/events/event/1240

Direct download: 3_27_14_Freedom_Poverty.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 8:58am PST

The relationship between the United States and Russia has long been an unstable one. Both Presidents Clinton and Bush sought inroads with Russia and staked much on their personal ties to Boris Yeltsin and Vladimir Putin -- only to leave office with relations at a low point -- and Barack Obama managed to restore ties only temporarily. The Obama administration fostered a positive relationship with former President Dmitry Medvedev, but that 'reset' fell apart after Vladimir Putin's return to the post. While cooperation continues in certain areas, most recently with Syria, broader collaboration is lacking. Professor Stent argues that the same contentious issues -- terrorism, missile defense, Iran, nuclear proliferation, Afghanistan, the former Soviet space, the greater Middle East -- have faced every US president, Democrat and Republican alike, since the collapse of the USSR. What are the prospects for improving relations in the future? Is the effort doomed to fail again and again?

Speaker Angela Stent is the Director, Center for Eurasian, Russian and East European Studies, Georgetown University.

For more information about this event please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/event-calendar/event/1236

Direct download: 3_10_14_US_Russian_Relations-1.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 8:58am PST

In the past 30 years, China has been transformed from an impoverished country where peasants comprised the largest portion of the populace to an economic power with an expanding middle class and more megacities than anywhere else on earth. This remarkable transformation has required, and will continue to demand, massive quantities of resources. Like every other major power in modern history, China is looking outward to find them. Elizabeth C. Economy and Michael Levi will explore the unrivaled expansion of the Chinese economy and the global effects of its meteoric growth. China is now engaged in a far-flung quest, hunting around the world for fuel, ores, water and land for farming, and deploying whatever it needs in the economic, political and military spheres to secure the resources it requires. Chinese traders and investors buy commodities, with consequences for economies, people and the environment around the world. Meanwhile the Chinese military aspires to secure sea lanes, and Chinese diplomats struggle to protect the country's interests abroad. And just as surely as China's pursuit of natural resources is changing the world—restructuring markets, pushing up commodity prices, transforming resource-rich economies through investment and trade—it is also changing China itself. As Chinese corporations increasingly venture abroad, they must navigate various political regimes, participate in international markets and adopt foreign standards and practices, which can lead to wide-reaching social and political ramifications at home.

The speakers are Elizabeth Economy, C.V. Starr Senior Fellow and Director for Asia Studies, Council on Foreign Relations, and Michael A. Levi, David M. Rubenstein Senior Fellow for Energy and the Environment; Director of the Program on Energy Security and Climate Change, Council on Foreign Relations.

For more information about this event please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/events/event/1235

Direct download: 3_5_14_China_Resources.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 9:02am PST

Join the World Affairs Council for an afternoon discussion on the economy with the Honorable Jacob J. Lew, Secretary of the Treasury of the United States.

For more information about this event please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/event-calendar/event/1249

Direct download: 2_19_14_Treasury_Secretary.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 6:06pm PST

The world's poorest communities face many obstacles on the road out of poverty: insufficient food and clean water, limited access to healthcare, education and employment, among many others. These shortcomings are often addressed through international aid or development projects and while some progress has been made, a major obstacle remains—everyday violence. According to Gary Haugen, aid and development efforts cannot succeed in the face of corrupt police forces, organized criminals and failed justice systems. As long as the global poor must fight against common violence in addition to the other challenges they face, their circumstances will not improve. Haugen argues lasting results can be achieved through grassroots efforts to reform justice systems and stem corruption. He will discuss the connection between poverty and violence and share stories from his work in the field.

Gary Haugen is the President and CEO of International Justice Mission, and Lecturer at University of Chicago Law School.

For more information about this event please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/events/event/1214

Direct download: 2_18_14_Violence_Poverty.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 8:51am PST

Three years ago, the Arab Spring started with a single protest in Tunisia and quickly spread across the rest of the region, bringing with it promise of a brighter future. Protesting everything from unemployment to government corruption, high food prices to unfair arrests, the Arab Spring has brought about much change in the Middle East, but has this change been for the better? As part of the national Engage America Series, internationally renowned blogger and professor, Marc Lynch will discuss the current state of affairs in the Middle East, what's gone wrong across the region and what it means for the United States.

Speaker Marc Lynch is the Director of the Institute for Middle East Studies at George Washington University.

For more information about this event please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/events/event/1232

Direct download: 2_6_14_Arab_Spring.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 8:30pm PST

In a time of slowing economic growth, Africa is home to six of the top 10 fastest growing markets. Rich in natural resources and cheap labor, Africa is poised to become a powerful economic force over the coming years. Drawing on decades of experience in frontier markets, and insights shared by leading African and multinational CEO's, Jonathan Berman will tackle questions on the incredible opportunities and challenges facing business in Africa.

Speaker Jonathan Berman is a Senior Fellow of the Vale Center at Columbia University, and a Senior Advisor at Dalberg.

For more information about this event please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/events/event/1221

Direct download: 1_22_14_Africa_Success.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 8:00pm PST

After more than six decades of intensive effort to end global poverty and an investment of $2.5 trillion by the rich nations of the world, 2.7 billion people still live on $2 a day or less - a number even greater than the total population of the planet when the effort began around 1950. Although huge advances have been made in healthcare and, to a slightly lesser degree, in education, the modest success of economic development efforts has brought few if any meaningful benefits to the world's poor. In the view of Mal Warwick, the reasons for this lack of success are many, but several stand out. Anti-poverty efforts have almost exclusively been imposed from the top down, usually focusing on building an urban middle class, and these efforts have been hampered by three seemingly insurmountable obstacles: a lack of adequate funding, the failure of even the most successful efforts to achieve scale and the difficulty of delivering services to the often isolated rural villages where the majority of the world's poor are living. By tapping the virtually unlimited resources of the private sector, existing businesses and social entrepreneurs can deliver income-generating products and services to hundreds of millions of $2 a day customers - and make handsome profits in the process.

Mal Warwick is Co-Author of "The Business Solution to Poverty".

For more information about this program, please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/media-library/event/1218#.UtQP6WRDvhs

Direct download: 1-8-14_Business_Poverty.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 8:00pm PST

The human rights movement has made enormous progress, with a proliferation of groups around the world addressing a growing range of rights abuses—from classic repression to economic and social rights. There are new tools, such as the International Criminal Court or the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, but also new challenges, as power diffuses away from the classic Western supporters of human rights, traditional press outlets for the dissemination of rights information diminish and the world grapples with how to address such persistent problems as the atrocities in Syria, the revived authoritarianism in Russia and Egypt and the resort to arguments of culture to repress women or LGBT people. How has the human rights movement changed to address this new environment? What have we learned from past human rights challenges and how can we apply these lessons going forward? To mark International Human Rights Day, Kenneth Roth, who has led Human Rights Watch for over 25 years, will reflect on the progress of the global human rights movement and share his insights on the challenges and opportunities ahead.

Speaker Kenneth Roth is the Executive Director of Human Rights Watch.

For more information about this event, please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/events/event/29#.Up-JkmRDvhs

Direct download: 12_10_13_Human_Rights.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 8:00pm PST

The media is not merely an observer reporting on events. In the digital age, media is a primary actor in global affairs with the power to influence elections, drive revolutions, save lives in a disaster and even trigger deadly conflict. For years, the power to harness the media's influence lay in the hands of a select few, but today thanks to the free flow of information the power of the media to intervene in global affairs is in the hands of anyone with access to an internet connection. Emmy Award winner David Hoffman will discuss the media's historic impact and examine the question; where is the power of the media going from here?

Direct download: 12_9_13_Independent_Media.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 8:00pm PST

The top secret raid on Osama bin Laden's compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan pretty much summed up the relationship between the US and Pakistan, one of mutual distrust and minimal cooperation. Both nations have made mistakes with this tragic and often tormented relationship, but for better or worse argues Daniel Markey, the US must continue to invest time and resources into this geostrategic partner. Markey has delved deep into the historical aspects of the US-Pakistan connection and will analyze US policy in Pakistan since 9/11 and regional dynamics such as the rise of China to explain how Washington can prepare for the worst, aim for the best and avoid past mistakes.

Daniel Markey is the Senior Fellow for India, Pakistan and South Asia at the Council on Foreign Relations.

For more information about this event, visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/events/event/1209#.Up0UK2RDvhs

Direct download: 12_5_13_Pakistan_Foothold.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 7:30pm PST

The 2013 Awards Dinner of the World Affairs Council and the Global Philanthropy Forum honors Dick Costolo, CEO of Twitter, Inc.

This year we recognize Dick Costolo for helping to achieve positive social change through private enterprise, and for his leadership of Twitter, which is making a transformational impact on societies, economies and polities here and around the globe.

Please check back soon for the full video.

Direct download: 11_21_13_Costolo_Awards_Dinner.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 10:47am PST

Lester Brown, founder and president of the Earth Policy Institute, has lived his life on the forefront of speaking truth to environmental issues worldwide. In 1963 while at the US Department of Agriculture, Brown produced the first global food supply and demand projections to the end of the century and on a brief assignment in India in 1965 he sounded the alarm on an impending famine there, setting in motion the largest food rescue effort in history that helped save millions of lives. Brown helped pioneer the concept of environmentally sustainable development and focuses his research on food, population, water, climate change and renewable energy. Brown will speak about his life’s work and the continuation of the Earth Policy Institute’s vision to achieve an environmentally sustainable economy.

For more information about this event, please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/events/2013/a-pioneer-for-environmental-sustainability.html

Direct download: 11_13_13_Lester_Brown.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 8:00pm PST

In the media realm, Rupert Murdoch stands alone. He is seen as the most influential media tycoon the English-speaking world has ever known. Murdoch's company, News Corp., which started with just one newspaper in Adelaide, Australia controlled hundreds of news outlets including newspapers, film, television, broadcasting, cable networks, publishing houses and more at its height. It was a company that had no rival. Then in 2011, a series of scandals (starting with the News of the World wire tapping) threatened to bring Murdoch's entire empire crumbling down, but it somehow survived. Media correspondent for NPR News, David Folkenflik will delve into the scandals that almost ended Rupert Murdoch's media empire to explain why a man with such influence was almost brought down and examine the true cost of Murdoch's survival.

David Folkenflik is a Media Correspondent for National Public Radio.

For more information about this event, visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/events/2013/murdoch.html

Direct download: 11_12_13_Murdoch_Empire.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 8:00pm PST

Some call the 65 year-old relationship between Pakistan and the US a strategic alliance. For Pakistan, the US has been a source of much needed aid and military supply. For the US, Pakistan has been a stabilizing force in a largely unstable region. Today, Pakistan is seen in the US as a hotbed of terrorist activity and the US is seen in Pakistan as a constant source of humiliation. Former Pakistani ambassador to the US, Husain Haqqani, blames these deteriorating views on a relationship between these two countries that has always been based on mutual incomprehension and the belief that one can play the other. Drawing on his experience with his homeland and his time in the US as an ambassador and a professor, Haqqani will lay out his views on the US-Pakistani relationship and why the two just can't seem to understand each other.

Husain Haqqani is the Director for South and Central Asia at the Hudson Institute.

For more information about this event, visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/events/2013/pakistan-and-the-us.html

Direct download: 11_7_13_Pakistan_US_Alliance.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 8:00pm PST

Recently, international attention has been focused on the impact of the Syrian civil war, which has driven over 2 million individuals out of the country, turning them into refugees overnight. This vast relocation puts a strain on the resources of neighboring countries and threatens to spread instability throughout a region that has been dealing with refugee crises for decades. In addition to those who have fled to other countries, hundreds of thousands of civilians are also displaced within Syria.

While the situation in Syria has grabbed headlines, a longer term refugee crisis continues. For over 60 years, Palestinian refugees have lived across the region, receiving services including education, health care, relief and social services, food assistance and other forms of emergency assistance from the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA). Many of these individuals were seeking refuge in Syria and have now been forced to move once again.

What is the impact of the Syria crisis on the situation of Palestine Refugees and their unresolved status? Are there lessons to be learned from the ongoing plight of Palestinian refugees in the international community's response to the Syrian crisis? Filippo Grandi will discuss UNRWA's efforts in the region, the displacement caused by the Syrian civil war and long-term issues and instability in the region.

Filippo Grandi is the Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East.

For more information about this event, visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/events/2013/seeking-refuge.html

Direct download: 11_4_13_Palestinian_Refuge.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 2:12pm PST

The meaning of North American energy independence and how to achieve it has been a hot topic of debate for years.  The oil crisis of 1973 brought into focus the stark reality that the US was reliant on other nations for access to oil. Determined to prevent similar incidents, the Strategic Petroleum Reserve was created in 1975 and today the US has the capacity to hold up to 727 million barrels of emergency fuel. Though it sounds like an immense amount of oil, it equates only to an estimated 36 days of use. So the search for an alternative, safe, clean and affordable domestic source of energy has continued. Scientists had known for years about natural gas trapped in a dense layer of sedimentary rock—known as shale—buried a mile or more underground all over the country. The problem with shale gas was it was too difficult to access; a problem solved by 'hydrofracking', commonly referred to as, 'fracking'.  A little over a decade ago scientists created a process to inject water under high pressure into shale, breaking it and releasing trapped gas and oil. This simple idea of injecting water into the ground effectively lit the fuse that has caused an American energy explosion. Shale gas is cleaner than coal and oil. Fracking has created jobs, lowered emissions, kick-started industry and for the first time in decades created an energy surplus in the US.  However, fracking comes with its own environmental costs.

Inspired by his previous book, "The Ripple Effect: the Fate of Freshwater in the Twenty-First Century", author and journalist Alex Prud'homme began researching the impact fracking has on the quantity and quality of fresh drinking water. The result is a guide that weighs the evidence both for and against fracking. Prud'homme will give an unbiased presentation of the present state of hydrofracking to bring clarity to a debate that, in his words, "has been exacerbated by an absence of hard data and an excess of hyperbole on both sides".

Speaker Alex Prud'homme is a journalist and he is the author of "Hydrofracking: What Everyone Needs to Know".

For more information about this event, visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/events/2013/hydrofracking.html

Direct download: 10_29_13_Hydrofracking-1.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 8:00pm PST

The World Affairs Council and Bloomberg present "mInnovation: What's on the Horizon?"

Tomorrow's smartphones will be equipped with capabilities almost unimaginable today. Engineers are working on ways to make portable devices faster, smarter, wearable and more secure. These powerful mini-computers will boast bendable screens, liquid-cooling systems and sensors that follow touch-free commands. We'll use wireless phones to project holograms, combat disease, chart climate change, track migration patterns, and enable an array of innovative and contextual products and services.

At the same time, outfitting handheld machines for an ever widening range of tasks and ensuring that these benefits are enjoyed equitably remains a challenge.

This engaging discussion about disruptive innovations in mobile technology features Mike Abbott, Guy Bar-Nahum, and Timothy Morey. Pui-Wing Tam moderates the discussion.

For more information about this event, visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/audio-video/minnovation-whats-on-the.html

Direct download: 10_29_13_mInnovation_Bloomberg.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 7:00pm PST

Six years beyond the world financial crisis, the European Union may be recovering from its struggles with fiscal policy. However, judging from recent cases such as Greece, Portugal and Spain, the political divide between northern and southern Europe persists, creating potential road blocks for the continent's expected turn around.

Olli Rehn, European Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs and the Euro, will discuss the difficulties the EU has faced over the past few years and how it can forge a path to a strong recovery.

Speaker Olli Rehn is the Vice President of the European Commission.

For more information about this event, visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/events/2013/european-recovery-and-revival.html

Direct download: 10_28_13_European_Recovery-1.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 8:00pm PST

The nature of warfare is changing. Over the past decade we have seen a dramatic increase in the use of Special Operations Forces (SOF) not just in short targeted missions, but in long-term missions meant to train and build local security forces around the world. These forces are highly skilled small teams that are more cost-effective, are able to keep a lower profile and can be deployed more strategically than traditional forces. The importance of military Special Operations was highlighted in President Obama's 2008 campaign when he promised to increase funding and further build these forces. This promise has largely been kept. According to Politifact via the Pentagon, from fiscal year 2009 to fiscal year 2012 the SOF personnel increased from 55,890 to 63,779 and the SOF budget increased from $8.9 billion to $10.5 billion over the same period.

Drawing on her experience on multiple tours in Afghanistan, RAND senior international policy analyst, Linda Robinson will share her experiences on the ground with America's 'new' military; a small group of strategically thinking forces who rely more on persuasion, bonding and negotiation instead of firepower to gain local trust and ensure the population's security.  

Speaker Linda Robinson is a Senior International Policy Analyst at the RAND Corporation.

For more information about this event, visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/events/2013/special-operations-forces.html

Direct download: 10_24_13_Special_Ops.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 7:30pm PST

Five years ago, the world's urban population surpassed the rural population for the first time in history, and the number of city dwellers is expected to double in the next century. This dramatic change has created new challenges in urban living that require innovative new solutions. Cities have long made use of information technology to streamline city planning and daily life, from power grids to phone lines to wireless networks. As cities continue to grow, new technologies will arise to manage energy use, crime, traffic patterns and other urban issues and turn cities into finely tuned machines.

Anthony Townsend, an urbanist and technology expert, will explore the conflict between top-down and bottom-up approaches to implementing new technologies, as well as the promises and risks of building tomorrow's smart cities.

Speaker Anthony Townsend is the Research Director at the Institute for the Future.

For more information about this event, visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/events/2013/building-smart-cities.html

Direct download: 10_22_13_Smart_Cities.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 8:00pm PST

Agreed on as the most authoritative survey available on the question of energy security, "Energy and Security: Strategies for a World in Transition" assesses how the United States can integrate its energy and national security interests.  On the 40th anniversary of the Arab oil embargo, we revisit the perennial question of energy security with a panel of distinguished experts in the energy field,  including co-editors Jan Kalicki and David Goldwyn and contributing author Amy Jaffe, to discuss the North American energy renaissance, new energy frontiers, energy poverty and climate security in the current political environment.

The panel will be moderated by Peter Robertson, Chairman of the World Affairs Council Board of Trustees. The speakers include David Goldwyn, President and Founder of Goldwyn Global Strategies, Amy Myers Jaffe, Executive Director of Energy and Sustainability at the Graduate School of Management and the Institute of Transportation Studies at the University of California, Davis, and Jan Kalicki, Senior Scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.

For more information about this event, visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/events/2013/40-years-after-the-arab-oil-embargo.html

Direct download: 10_16_13_Oil_Embargo.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 7:30pm PST

Research demonstrates that investing in girls is key to increasing economic growth, improving health outcomes and promoting global development. In honor of International Day of the Girl, this dynamic panel will feature renowned leaders working to advance girls' health, education and well-being around the world. Panelists will draw from examples of successful strategies to demonstrate the power and promise of investing in girls, from increasing girls' access to education through girl-led advocacy in Guatemala, to ending child marriage by engaging village chiefs in southern Malawi, to combating violence against girls through national policy advocacy in Liberia.

The panelists will also present a new interactive media platform launched at the Social Good Summit showcasing how girls are leading change for their communities, countries and the world.

Claire Brindis is the Director of the Philip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies at the University of California, San Francisco. Denise Dunning is the Executive Director of the Adolescent Girls' Advocacy & Leadership Initiative at the Public Health Institute. Elizabeth Gore is Resident Entrepreneur at the United Nations Foundation. Riya Singh is the Co-Chair of the Teen Advisory Board at Girl Up.

For more information about this event, visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/events/2013/let-girls-lead.html

Direct download: 10_9_13_Girls_Lead.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 8:00pm PST

There was a time when civility and compromise lay at the heart of politics in Washington; when political and ideological rivals could serve together to forge compromises for the benefit of the country. Today it's hard to believe that this was ever the case, and it begs the question: will civility and compromise ever return to American politics? Having served as the Chief of Staff for Tip O'Neill, Chris Matthews offers a unique perspective on a time when the Speaker of the House and the President, Ronald Reagan, were able to "temper their philosophical divide with a public, and sometimes personal, cordiality." Chris Matthews sits down with the World Affairs Council to discuss a political heroism that once was and the lessons it offers for today's political climate.

Speaker Chris Matthews is Host of Hardball on MSNBC.

For more information about this event, visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/events/2013/will-politics-in-washington.html

Direct download: 10_8_13_Chris_Matthews-new.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 8:00pm PST

Is it possible to manipulate our environment or are we victims of forces beyond our control? Lawrence Freedman, a professor of war studies at King's College London and former foreign policy advisor to Tony Blair, will discuss how strategy has come to pervade every aspect of our lives. He provides examples ranging from Achilles and Odysseus to the military innovations of Carl von Clausewitz to today’s corporate strategy, in order to create a picture of strategy which is fluid and requires continual reappraisal.

This event is presented in partnership with the King's College Alumni Association and the Marines' Memorial Association.

For more information about this event, please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/events/2013/strategy.html

Direct download: 10_3_13_Freedman_Strategy.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 8:00pm PST

Sixty-eight years after the Holocaust, governments continue to struggle with preventing genocide and mass atrocities. In 2005, United Nations member states agreed that nations share a responsibility to protect their citizens from genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and ethnic cleansing. Join Mike Abramowitz, Director of the Center for the Prevention of Genocide at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum, and Richard S. Williamson, former presidential special envoy to Sudan, for a discussion about how the responsibility to protect has been applied in recent crises such as Libya and Syria.

This event is co-presented by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, with promotional partner Lehrhaus Judaica.

Mike Abramowitz is the Director for the Center for the Prevention of Genocide of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Richard S. Williamson is the Former Presidential Special Envoy to Sudan.

For more information about this event, visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/events/2013/preventing-genocide.html

Direct download: 9_30_13_Genocide_Prevention.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 8:00pm PST

Once a quiet region mostly governed by authoritarian leaders, the Arab world since 2010 has seen profound changes, and has become a top talking point for pundits, political leaders and at dinner tables the world over. The changes brought about by the Arab Spring have forced many to reevaluate their understanding of the region and its people. For some the uprisings seemed sudden, but to Professor Shibley Telhami the Arab peoples' present-day grievances, priorities and desires have been fomenting for decades.  

Based on 20 years of public polling data from Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Jordan, Lebanon and the UAE, Professor Telhami argues the uprisings were not just in reaction to corrupt leaders and decades of perceived humiliations at the hands of the West, but fueled by a desire for respect by the outside world and for political systems similar to the West. Professor Telhami will discuss differences in Arab polling, notions of Arab identity, how no government in the Arab world is immune from revolt and how Arab public opinion will reshape the Arab world.

Speaker Shibley Telhami is the Anwar Sadat Professor for Peace and Development at the University of Maryland, College Park.

For more information about this event, visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/events/2013/the-world-an-arab.html

Direct download: 9_25_13_Arab_Perspective.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 8:00pm PST

With the election of a new, moderate president, questions remain over the future of Iran's foreign policy and the country's nuclear intentions. While President Rohani campaigned on a reformist platform, Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Kahmenei has directed national security and foreign policy decisions in the past and there is no indication this might change. Whoever holds the reigns, the relationship between Iran and the US is complicated, with questions centering on how the US should respond to Iran's nuclear program. Are the current sanctions effective? Should the US consider a military option?

Kenneth Pollack, a former CIA analyst, will explore Iran's nuclear capabilities, the complex US-Iranian relationship and potential options for US policymakers. This event is presented in partnership with the Marines' Memorial Association.

Speaker Kenneth Pollack is a Senior Fellow with the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution.

For more information about this event, visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/events/2013/responding-to-a-new-iranian.html

Direct download: 9_23_13_Iranian_Leader.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 10:31pm PST

In recent years we have seen diseases spread around the globe at an alarming rate, from West Nile virus to SARS to swine flu. Globalization has magnified the potential reach of these diseases, increasing the speed with which they spread and the size of the population that can be affected. Rapid transmission over a large area, rather than the severity of the disease itself, is what transforms an illness into a pandemic.

Nobel Laureate Peter Doherty emphasizes that pandemics can be fought effectively, both through simple health practices and new research. Drawing on his extensive experience in the fields of pathology and immunology, Dr. Doherty will discuss pandemics, how they spread and what we can do to prevent them.

Speaker Peter Doherty is the Michael F. Tamer Chair of Biomedical Research at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.

For more information about this event, visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/events/2013/disease-in-a-borderless-world.html

Direct download: 9_17_13_Borderless_Disease.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 8:00pm PST

The world is awash in change. What can be done to re-create the relative stability which emerged from the creative efforts of statesmen after the end of World War II?

"Issues on My Mind" contains some of George Shultz's most compelling analyses on relevent topics. In this how-to guide, Shultz charts a path to a better future for the United States and the rest of the world, including how to govern more effectively, get our economy back on track, take advantage of new opportunities in the field of energy, combat the use of addictive drugs, apply a strategic overview to diplomacy and identify necessary steps to achieve a world without nuclear weapons.

Moderator Jane Wales, President and CEO, World Affairs Council, speaks with George Shultz, Former Secretary of State.

For more information about this event, visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/events/2013/issues-on-my-mind.html

Direct download: 9_12_13-George_Shultz.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 7:00pm PST

The 'Arab Spring' has brought both the promise of reforms around women's rights and the potential for setbacks in the movement. Human Rights Watch has documented the violations associated with the old regimes and the uprisings and has sought to make recommendations to new governments that will strengthen and protect women's rights. As political reforms take place in these transitional countries, will the status of women progress as well? And how can organizations like Human Rights Watch positively influence this progress in the region?

Liesl Gerntholtz, the executive director of the women's rights division at Human Rights Watch, and Hillary Margolis, the women's rights division's researcher on women's rights in Syria, will explore the impact of political transitions on the position of women, drawing on examples from Libya, Yemen, Egypt and Syria.

For more information about this event, please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/events/2013/womens-rights-in-transition.html

Direct download: 9_11_13_Women_in_Transition.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 8:00pm PST

The World Affairs Council is honored to host the Ambassador of the Republic of Korea to the United States of America, his excellency Ahn Ho-young. Ambassador Ahn is a graduate of the Department of International Relations at Seoul National University and Georgetown University. Ambassador Ahn joined the Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1978. During his career he has lead Korean Delegations to the Organisation of Economic Co-operation and Development and the World Trade Organization. He has held numerous ministry-level positions within Korea, including the Director-General of the Multilateral Trade Bureau and Deputy Minister for Trade. Prior to his appointment in the US, Ahn was Ambassador to the Kingdom of Belgium and the Korean Mission to the European Union.

Direct download: 8_21_13_Ahn_Ho-young.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 5:00pm PST

In the past few decades, China has experienced remarkable growth. It is a member of the United Nations, the World Trade Organization and the G-20. It has the world's largest standing army, the world's second largest economy and has reduced national poverty by more than half. How did China emerge from the decline and unrest of the 19th century to become the global power that we see today?

According to John Delury and Orville Schell, the country's past provides an understanding of the forces that molded modern China. Many influential figures in China's history were driven by their pursuit of wealth and power, and a desire for the restoration of national greatness, ambitions that have come to define the modern Chinese character. Delury and Schell will offer insights into how China's past shaped its present, and what we might expect in the future.
Speakers: Orville Schell, Arthur Ross Director, Center on US-China Relations, Asia Society
http://www.worldaffairs.org/speakers/profile/orville-schell.html

John Delury, Assistant Professor of East Asian Studies, Yonsei University
http://www.worldaffairs.org/speakers/profile/john-delury.htm

Moderator: Thomas Gold, Professor of Sociology, University of California, Berkeley
http://www.worldaffairs.org/speakers/profile/thomas-gold.html

Learn more: http://www.worldaffairs.org/events/2013/modern-china.html

Direct download: 7_31_13_Schell_Delury.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 9:30pm PST

Following the burst of the housing bubble in 2008 and the subsequent worldwide financial crisis, governments began looking for ways to tighten their purse strings. Austerity (the sequester in the US) is one of the main policy options to deal with heavy public debt. Sometimes a painful process and not without controversy, austerity generates substantial cuts to many public services. According to Dr. Basu, when approached incorrectly austerity can also have deadly consequences. Drawing on case studies starting during the Great Depression up to the present day Basu has found that certain austerity measures have led to large public health problems such as HIV and malaria outbreaks, medicine shortages, increased heart attacks and even a recent outbreak of West Nile virus in California. However, it doesn’t have to be this way, according to Basu. Several countries such as Iceland and Japan have actually improved their public health situations in tough economic times. Which direction will the sequester take the US and California? Join the conversation with Dr. Sanjay Basu to find out.

Speaker: Sanjay Basu, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Stanford Prevention Research Center, Stanford University

http://www.worldaffairs.org/speakers/profile/sanjay-basu.html

Direct download: 7_24_13_Sanjay_Basu.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 9:00pm PST

Turkey has been enmeshed in a wave of nationwide anti-government protests in recent months. The unrest began in late May when police used harsh tactics against campaigners opposed to plans to redevelop a central Istanbul park. The police reaction ignited broader demonstrations against Prime Minster Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his government. The unprecedented expansion of the demonstrations and riots suggests that the outburst of anger and opposition was fueled by more than a simple determination to save a green space in central Istanbul. For many Turks, the unrest appears to have been a reaction to the perceived autocratic leanings of the prime minister and resistance to the direction of Turkish democracy, freedom of expression and the role of religion in society.

The crisis comes at a delicate time for Prime Minster Erdogan, who is in the midst of a fragile peace initiative with the Kurdish minority, dealing with an escalating war next door in Syria, and trying to convince parliament to strengthen the office of the president, which he is expected to run for as his final term as prime minister winds down.

Former White House Director for Turkish Affairs Jeffrey Collins, prominent Turkish political commentator Mustafa Akyol and Turkish academic and activist Tuğba Tanyeri-Erdemir will discuss the underlying causes of the recent protests, and assess their likely impact on Turkey’s domestic and foreign policy.

Speakers:

Mustafa Akyol, Turkish political commentator and author
Jeffrey Collins, Senior Counsel for International Policy Affairs, Chevron Corporation
Tuğba Tanyeri-Erdemir, Lecturer, Graduate Program of Middle Eastern Studies, Middle East Technical University
Moderator:
Nancy Jarvis, Trustee, World Affairs Council
Direct download: 7_17_13_Edited_Understanding_Unrest_in_Turkey.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 11:30am PST

Hurricane Sandy, record wildfires and intensified cycles of drought and flood have awakened the American public to the climate crisis at hand. What few know is that, in large part because of successful environmental activism, including the retirement of dirty coal plants, the United States has become a global leader in the fight to reduce carbon pollution, while innovations in wind, solar and other renewables are generating more power, more jobs and a healthier quality of life every day.

As  the leader of America's largest and most effective grassroots environmental organization, Michael Brune will discuss how averting the potential global catastrophe caused by climate disruption is also a historic chance to create a better world, powered by clean energy prosperity.

Speaker: Michael Brune Executive Director, Sierra Club
http://www.worldaffairs.org/speakers/profile/michael-brune.html

Moderator: Maureen Blanc, Trustee, World Affairs Council
http://www.worldaffairs.org/about/leadership/executive-committee/maureen-blanc.html

Learn more: http://www.worldaffairs.org/events/2013/climate-crisis.html

Direct download: 7_2_13_Michael_Brune.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 8:30pm PST

Iran's presidential elections take place on June 14, and it is certain that a new leader will replace Mahmoud Ahmadinejad who is constitutionally barred from running for a third term. Of the 700 hopeful candidates who have registered, only a few will be allowed to run by the Guardian Council -- a group of twelve men mostly appointed by the Supreme Leader. What remains uncertain is which candidates will run and how contested this election might be.

In 2009, Iran's previous elections were controversial, sparking a Green Revolution and weeks of violent protests. This year, regardless of who is ultimately chosen, Iran's next president will undoubtedly inherit many challenges, ranging from the country's relations with the Syrian regime to its nuclear program to the need to bolster an economy that suffers from 30% inflation and crippling international sanctions.

Iran expert Abbas Milani will discuss the election's outcome and what the change in leadership means for the region, the US and the world.

Speaker: Abbas Milani, Hamid and Christina Moghadam Director of Iranian Studies, Stanford University
http://www.worldaffairs.org/speakers/profile/abbas-milani.html

Moderator: Charles Frankel, Honorary Consul, Republic of Botswana

Learn more: http://www.worldaffairs.org/events/2013/iranian-presidential-elections.html

Direct download: 6_27_13_Abbas_Milani.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 8:30pm PST

Remarkable advances in existing technologies, from hydraulic fracturing to horizontal and deepwater drilling to renewables such as solar and wind, have brought America to a new level of energy production. However, as America's energy demands continue to grow, the debate over where this energy should come from intensifies, with some arguing in favor of fossil fuels and others championing renewable power.

Believing that this head to head clash of old versus new is unproductive, Michael Levi argues that neither side presents a perfect solution and that both emerging movements in American energy offer great opportunities for the US to strengthen its economy, bolster its security and protect the environment. Levi will discuss the future of American energy and offer a new strategy that blends the best of both sides.

Speaker: Michael Levi, David M. Rubenstein Senior Fellow for Energy and the Environment and Director of the Program on Energy Security and Climate Change, Council on Foreign Relations
http://www.worldaffairs.org/speakers/profile/michael-levi.html

Moderator: Michael Levi, Senior Adviser, TPG Capital
Learn more: http://www.worldaffairs.org/events/2013/americas-energy-opportunity.html

Direct download: 6_20_13_Michael_Levi.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 8:30pm PST

In conjunction with our summer exhibition The Last Iceberg, this program is an opportunity to go in-depth behind Camille Seaman's journey of documenting the polar regions of our planet. For the last decade, she has traveled repeatedly to the Arctic and Antarctic to take portraits of polar ice, witnessing the beauty and loss of a part of Earth most of us will never see.

An award-winning photographer and Ted Fellow, Camille will elaborate on the concepts behind her portraits of icebergs and discuss her knowledge of what is happening in these fragile areas.

Speaker: Camille Seaman, Photographer
http://www.worldaffairs.org/speakers/...

Moderator: Craig Miller, Science Editor, KQED

Learn more: http://www.worldaffairs.org/events/20...

Direct download: 6_19_13_Camille_Seaman.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 8:30pm PST

Subnational conflict is the most widespread, enduring and deadly form of violent conflict in Asia. These conflicts are among the world's longest running armed struggles; more than half of the countries in South and Southeast Asia are affected by subnational conflicts; and millions of people in Asia are living in areas of protracted conflict. The international community has provided nearly $6 billion in official development assistance to subnational conflict areas in Asia over the past 10 years. The Asia Foundation's major new study, "Contested Corners of Asia: Subnational Conflict and International Development Assistance," assesses the impact - or lack thereof - of international assistance to these areas. The research team includes leading experts on conflict and foreign aid in Asia who use in-depth case studies, based upon extensive mixed-method research, including village-level ethnographic field work, perception surveys and interviews with key informants ranging from international donors to insurgents. The report presents case studies of conflicts in Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines. This event is presented in partnership with The Asia Foundation and the Asia Society.

Speakers:

Nils Gilman, Director of Research, Monitor 360

Ben Oppenheim, Simpson Fellow, Institute of International Studies, UC Berkeley

Thomas Parks, Regional Director for Conflict and Governance, The Asia Foundation

Moderator:

Alastair Gee, Correspondent, Monocle

Learn more: http://www.worldaffairs.org/events/2013/subnational-conflicts-in-asia.html

Direct download: 6_17_13_Subnational_Conflicts_Asia.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 12:00pm PST

The opening of the Arctic is the most significant physical event to occur on our planet since the end of the last ice age. The changing Arctic, and the increased activity that will take place there, present challenges and opportunities in energy and mineral development, environmental stewardship, the welfare of indigenous people and national security.

What does this mean for the United States and what are the key economic and policy considerations facing the United States in the coming years?

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


Speaker: Gary Roughead, Annenberg Distinguished Visiting Fellow, Hoover Institution
http://www.worldaffairs.org/speakers/...

Moderator: Maj Gen Mike Myatt, USMC (Ret.)
President and CEO, Marines' Memorial Association

Learn more: http://www.worldaffairs.org/events/20...

Direct download: 6_12_13_Gary_Roughead.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 9:00pm PST

"I have come to learn that the power of personal stories is that they can touch people deeply, with the potential to evoke great passion, dedication and commitment to a cause. I never cease to be inspired and encouraged by such reactions to my story, and this gives me further strength to continue sharing my painful past. Sharing can bring about human connection, understanding, acceptance and motivation for change. As an activist, to be able to foster love and positive action for those in need is a dream come true. I often say that 'life is love,' a meaningful life must contain love, and in order to love we must share our lives, our stories, our hearts."

These are the words of Somaly Mam, a Cambodian human rights activist and human trafficking survivor. She has been honored as one of Fast Company's 2012 League of Extraordinary Women, one of Fortune Magazine's Most Powerful Women in 2011, one of Time Magazine's 100 Most Influential People of 2009, a CNN Hero and Glamour Magazine's 2006 Woman of the Year. In addition she is also the recipient of the Prince of Asturias Award for International Cooperation and The World's Children's Prize for the Rights of the Child (WCPRC) Award, among others.

Don't miss the opportunity to sit down for a discussion with Somaly Mam.

This event is presented in paternship with the International Museum of Women and Vital Voices.


Speaker: Somaly Mam, Founder and President, Somaly Mam Foundation
http://www.worldaffairs.org/speakers/...

Moderator: Jane Wales, President and CEO, World Affairs Council
http://www.worldaffairs.org/about/sta...

Learn more: http://www.worldaffairs.org/events/20...

Direct download: 6_11_13_Somaly_Mam.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 9:00pm PST

The ongoing nuclear proliferation issues with Iran and North Korea have put nuclear arms high up on the American foreign policy agenda. These media grabbing developments can sometimes overshadow traditional nuclear arms reduction talks and stockpile maintenance. With that said, President Obama made reducing existing nuclear weapons a foreign policy priority during his first term. Now that Obama has begun his second term with the New START Treaty between the US and Russia signed and in force, should the US consider other nuclear arms control steps to enhance American security? Can there be another major US-Russia treaty and, if so, can the tactical and surplus strategic nuclear warheads that have so far escaped control be brought into such a framework? Ambassador Steven Pifer will discuss the differences between Washington and Moscow over missile defense, the proposal to ban further production of fissile materials and the challenges facing the Obama administration in pursuing this agenda.

Speaker:

Steven Pifer, Director, Arms Control Initiative, Brookings Institution

Direct download: 5_30_13_Steven_Pifer.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 10:00am PST

Armed conflict, weak states and transitional societies are a central security challenge for the United States; the State Department’s new Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization Operations (CSO) works to break these cycles of violent conflict by mitigating crises in priority countries. They engage in conflict prevention, crisis response and stabilization, aiming to address the underlying causes of destabilizing violence.

Speaker: Rick Barton, Assistant Secretary of State for Conflict and Stabilization Operations, Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization Operations, US Department of State

Direct download: 5_28_13_Rick_Barton.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 10:00am PST

About 40 children under the age of five die every three minutes, 40% of whom are less than a month old. In the same time frame two women die in child birth. These are startling statistics, but in fact, they have fallen by 35% over the past 20 years. Over the same period malaria deaths have dropped by 50% in eight African countries. And many more could be saved by simple things such as providing prenatal and postnatal care, educating mothers on the importance of clean drinking water and through vaccinations. If these solutions are so simple why are they not being implemented? Dr. Eric Bing has a solution: scale down the healthcare system to help more people. By encouraging people's natural entrepreneurial spirit and training them to open micro-clinics and micro-pharmacies in the hard to reach and most affected areas, these important health education services, medications and treatments can be made available to the most vulnerable at a fraction of the cost of current aid packages. With new technology and a scaled-down bottom-up healthcare strategy, Bing argues we can make these startling statistics a thing of the past.

Speaker: Eric Bing, Senior Fellow and Director of Global Health, George W. Bush Institute


Moderator: Stephen Kahn, President, Abundance Foundation

Direct download: 5_20_13_Eric_Bing.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 1:00pm PST

American foreign policy can —and needs to—begin at home, according to Richard Haass. A rising China and a nuclear Iran, along with a turbulent Middle East and a reckless North Korea are just a few of the serious global challenges currently facing America. However serious those may be, Haass argues that the biggest threats to US security and prosperity come not from abroad but from within. America's burgeoning deficit and debt, crumbling infrastructure, second-class schools and outdated immigration system all contribute to decreased competitiveness and increased vulnerability. America needs to adapt quickly to a changing global landscape, one in which power is widely diffused as a result of globalization and revolutionary technologies. Returning the United States to a leadership role in the world will require a new foreign policy doctrine of Restoration, in which the United States limits its engagement in foreign wars and humanitarian interventions and instead focuses on restoring the economic foundations of its power.

Speaker: Richard Haass, President, Council on Foreign Relations

Moderator: Michael Nacht, Professor of Public Policy, University of California, Berkeley

Direct download: 5_16_13_Richard_Haas.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 9:00am PST

It is often assumed that the advancement of technology will give rise to solutions for all of humankind's problems. With the rise of smart phones and wearable technology we are now able to track everything about ourselves, from our health and biological functions to our work, exercise, sleep and eating habits. Soon technology will go even further in its integration in every facet of our lives. Everything about us will be recorded, saved and made available to us anywhere at any time. Long gone will be the days of waiting in line to vote, instead selections will be made instantly on your phone or computer. Crime prevention will not need people, but will be left to complex algorithms that predict who, where and when crime will occur. Newspapers will be fully customized to each individual reader's views and preferences. Some say this is the way of the future and the path to an efficient, transparent and perfect society. One of today's most respected cyber-philosophers, Evgeny Morozov, takes a different view. While technology can improve our lives, it is not a panacea for all our problems, and the blind acceptance of the technological elimination of the frictions, opacity, ambiguity and imperfection inherent in human life poses a serious threat to society and the democracy we cherish.

Speaker: Evgeny Morozov, Contributing Editor, The New Republic

Moderator: Andrew Woods, Cybersecurity Fellow, CISC, Stanford University

Direct download: 5_15_13_Evgeny_Morozov.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 9:00am PST

The civil war and humanitarian crisis in Syria has produced more than 1 million refugees, and within this staggering statistic is a more troublesome number: 51% of those refugees are children. Other recent disasters, from the earthquake in Haiti to flooding in the Philippines, have produced similar situations. As UNICEF’s Chief of Child Protection, Susan Bissell has seen firsthand how children in disasters and humanitarian crises become easy targets for human trafficking, recruitment by armed forces, and child labor. Working across 170 countries, Bissell guides UNICEF’s programs which work to prevent and respond to children affected by armed conflicts and humanitarian disasters.

Speaker: Susan Bissell, Chief of Child Protection, UNICEF

Direct download: 5_9_13_Susan_Bissell_v2.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 6:00pm PST

On March 5 Hugo Chávez passed away after succumbing to a long battle with cancer, leaving behind a complex legacy, a political movement often referred to as 'Chavismo.' Many around the world mourned the loss of the leader, while others looked ahead to a new future for Venezuela. Indeed his rise to fame and eventual occupation of Venezuela's most powerful position was nothing short of legendary. Democratically elected by wide margins, Chávez was president for fourteen years. During this time he pulled thousands of citizens out of poverty with his '21st Century Socialism' mandate that provided, among other things, healthcare to the poor and massive gas subsidies. Throughout this time he also consolidated government authority under the presidency, jailed and excommunicated political opponents, and courted world leaders such as Ahmadinejad, Gadhafi and Castro. Even though the country sat atop vast oil wealth, Chávez presided over a crumbling infrastructure, a significant rise in crime rates and food shortages. His successor will have huge shoes to fill, and will face the challenging task of rebuilding the country. Rory Carroll, the former Latin America Bureau Chief for The Guardian, is well positioned to speak about the future of Venezuela after Chávez.

Speaker: Rory Carroll, US West Coast Bureau Chief, The Guardian

Moderator: Terry Vogt, Trustee, World Affairs Council of Northern California

Direct download: 5_6_13_Rory_Carroll.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 11:30am PST

Saudi Arabia is the world's largest exporter of oil, a key US ally and one of the last absolute monarchies. It is a country of extremes; while it is controlled by a small group of ruling princes with an average age of 81, 60% of its population is under 20. Healthcare and education are free, gasoline is cheaper than water, there are no taxes and everyone receives subsidized energy. It is considered key to stability in the Middle East, yet it is known for producing terrorists, most notoriously Osama Bin Laden. Only recently were women granted the right to get photo identification and start a business, but they are still not allowed to drive or take on most jobs. Despite all of this Karen Elliot House argues that the majority of Saudis do not want democracy per se, but more transparency and a government based on law instead of royal fiat. House will discuss her assessment of Saudi Arabia's future and the choices facing the next generation of Saudi ruling princes.

Speaker: Karen House, Adjunct Fellow, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University

Direct download: 5_2_13_Karen_House.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 1:00pm PST

Reviewing the past few decades of Burmese history, 2012 might come to pass as one of its most significant years. What started with a visit by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton quickly evolved into a historic visit by President Barack Obama this past November, and as political prisoners have been released and US sanctions eased Burma has shown signs of improved respect for democratic values, but continued ethnic conflict and military resistance to civilian authority still threaten progress. Tom Malinowski will discuss his recent trip to Burma and what the US can do to encourage a full transition to democracy.

Speaker: Tom Malinowski, Washington Director, Human Rights Watc

Direct download: 4_30_13_Tom_Malinowski.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 10:30am PST

Eighty five percent of the world’s population has access to mobile networks, with emerging economies representing the fastest growing markets. China and India alone account for 30 percent of the global subscribers, and there were more mobile connections than people on Earth at the end of 2012. The rapid spread of wireless technology across the planet has the potential to foster economic development in myriad ways, opening students to new avenues of learning, giving entrepreneurs unprecedented access to capital and market data and helping grassroots organizations more effectively agitate for change and transparency. Carriers, developers, electronics makers and equipment manufacturers are harnessing this expansion and adapting their services to reach billions of users, many of them new. Yet barriers remain - be they government restrictions on the wireless Web, a dearth of locally relevant mobile applications or a pervasive mobile gender gap that limits women’s access to mobile technology in some regions.

Speakers: Nelson Mattos, Head of Emerging Markets, Google Katie Jacobs Stanton, Head of International Strategy, Twitter Rodger Voorhies, Director of Financial Services for the Poor Initiative, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Moderator: Tom Giles, U.S. Technology Editor, Bloomberg News

Introduction by: Former Ambassador Terry Kramer, U.S. Head of Delegation for the World Conference on International Telecommunications 2012; Trustee of the World Affairs Council of Northern California

Direct download: 4_23_13_Bloomberg_Event.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 11:30am PST

In the aftermath of the 2007 financial crisis, many argued for stronger banking regulations and more fiscal oversight; yet as the recession carried on some worried that new regulations would hamper an economic recovery and dissuade banks from lending. Are fiscal oversight and a strong banking system mutually exclusive?

Anat Admati suggests that a safer and healthier economic system will not require a sacrifice of our current institutions and can come at no cost to society. She will explore how weak regulations and ineffective enforcement led to a buildup of risks that unleashed the financial crisis, as well as what lessons we have, and have not, learned.

Speaker: Anat Admati, George Parker Professor of Finance and Economics, Stanford Graduate School of Business

Moderator: Sedge Dienst, Trustee, World Affairs Council of Northern California

Direct download: 4_23_13_Anat_Admati.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 11:00am PST

Climate change presents the global community with one of its greatest challenges and one of its greatest opportunities. The choices we make today will determine the future state of the environment, for good or ill.

Christiana Figueres will discuss her unique perspective on what changes will transform the world of tomorrow and how we can make a positive impact.

Speaker:

Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change

Direct download: 4_18_13_Christiana_Figueres.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 3:00pm PST

Power was once concentrated in the hands of a few dominant players, the political, business and social elite who held significant amounts of control within their respective circles. In the modern day, however, power is shifting to a smaller level, wielded by start-ups, revolutionaries and activists, who have less control and influence than the larger players they are supplanting. Moises Naim argues that these "micropowers" have the ability to disrupt the establishment, as seen in the success of the Arab Spring uprisings or in successful Silicon Valley start-ups, but they can also pose a threat to order and political stability.

What is the future of power? What players will we see gaining control and what impact will these changes have? Naím will discuss the new opportunities as well as the potential threats posed by this power shift.

Speaker: Moisés Naím, Senior Associate, International Economics Program, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
http://www.worldaffairs.org/speakers/profile/moises-naim.html

Moderator: David de Wilde, Trustee, World Affairs Council of Northern California

Direct download: 4_10_13_Moises_Naim.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 9:30am PST

There is no doubt that the Arab Spring was a fascinating period on the historical record, with unprecedented changes taking place throughout the Middle East and North Africa. Dictators were toppled, fair elections were administered and political freedoms returned. It appears now, however, that further democratization has slowed and initial expectations may have been too high. The political situation in Egypt remains uncertain with riots and protests continuing, Syria continues to spiral out of control and Islamist rebels with ties to Al Qaeda have wreaked havoc in Mali, Algeria and Libya. What are the implications from the Arab Spring in these regions? Will Al Qaeda, damaged but certainly not dead, regroup in North Africa and what influence will it continue to have?

Seth Jones, Associate Director, International Security and Defense Policy Center, RAND Corporation

Direct download: 4_9_13_Seth_Jones.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 10:00pm PST

The energy mix is evolving and so is the world in which energy is supplied and consumed. Major progress is being made in developing oil, gas, renewable and other clean energy resources, but the increase in population coupled with the industrialization of developing countries will cause energy demand to more than double by mid-century. The international community is grappling with the trade-offs between development and the environment and climate change has fundamentally shifted the nature and urgency of the debate. Historically, it requires decades to explore and produce existing energy resources and to develop new ones. What is a realistic view of the energy mix over the next thirty years and what are the roles for fossil fuels, renewables and nuclear? Join us for a panel discussion of the outlook for the global energy mix over the next 30 years.

Amy Myers Jaffe, Executive Director of Energy and Sustainability, Graduate School of Management and the Institute of Transportation Studies, University of California, Davis

Daniel Kammen, Director, Renewable and Appropriate Energy Laboratory, University of California, Berkeley

Matt Rogers, Director, McKinsey & Company

Direct download: 4_1_13_Jaffe_Kammen_Rogers.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 9:30pm PST

With the rise of the Taliban in Afghanistan and other insurgencies, the tactics of guerrilla war are again at the forefront of modern military strategy, but this is not a new development. From the time of Alexander the Great to the post-9/11 battlefields of today, guerrilla uprisings have had a large impact on warfare. Max Boot assesses this impact through an in-depth look at nontraditional fighting throughout world history. Drawing from aspects of the Jewish rebellion against the Roman Empire, the French-Indochina war and the revolution in Cuba, Boot will provide a new perspective on unconventional warfare and present new ways of thinking about the threats of the future.

Speaker:Max Boot, Jeane J. Kirkpatrick Senior Fellow for National Security Studies, Council on Foreign Relations

http://www.worldaffairs.org/speakers/profile/max-boot.html

Direct download: 2_27_13_Max_Boot_KQED.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 9:00pm PST

In 2004, the Bolivarian Alliance of the Americas (formerly the ‘alternative’) was established under the leadership of Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez. Several countries from Latin America and the Caribbean signed on, including Cuba, Bolivia, Ecuador, and Nicaragua. This seemed to have ushered in the era of a left-leaning Latin America that is a greater challenge for US policy in the region. How have these leftist governments in Latin America fared, and how has US policy toward the region adapted?

Michael Shifter, President, Inter-American Dialogue

Julia Sweig, Director of Latin America Studies, Council on Foreign Relations

Direct download: WA2013_Breakout_03_07_13_Left_Leaning_Latin_America.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 9:00pm PST

Since December 2010 societies across the Middle East and North Africa have experienced social and governmental upheaval ranging from protests, change in governance, civil war, and the complete toppling of government. Among myriad changes taking place, many hope that this is also the beginning of a new era for human rights, governance, and freedom of expression in the region. These transitions have undoubtedly affected millions of people’s lives, but specifically how have the lives of women changed? Are women in the Middle East and North Africa better off than before, has there been no real change, or has life become more difficult for women in the region?

Shirin Tahir-Kheli, Chairman, BLUSA INC., Consulting

Zeina Zaatari, Independent Scholar and Activist; Lecturer, University of California, Davis

Direct download: WA2013_Breakout_03_08_13_Women_in_the_Islamic_World.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 9:00pm PST

With the world’s largest economy, arguably the best universities, and the birthplace of the modern internet-based lifestyle, one can see why the United States is often referred to as “the greatest nation on Earth.” Known for innovation in many sectors—especially technology—the US has long attracted the best and the brightest from around the world to study, invest, and live the “American Dream,” but is the US losing its edge? If experts are correct the US economy will fall behind that of China in 5 years, followed by India by 2050. What is causing the US to slide from the number one position it has held for over 100 years? This session will examine key development factors and government policies to answer the questions: is the US being out-innovated? And if so, what can be done to help the US regain its competitive edge?

Sarah Burd-Sharps, Co-director, Measure of America, Social Science Research Council

Titus Galama, Economist, RAND Corporation; Professor, Pardee RAND Graduate School

Linda Padon, General Manager, Corporate Public Policy, Chevron Corporation

Direct download: WA2013_Breakout_03_08_13_Competitive_Edge.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 9:00pm PST