Global Issues

Sarasota Wednesday Series


The Consequence of a Major Cyber Breach - A Potential Solution
Terry Roberts

A majority of crime and fraud has moved online. One priority for business today is to assess digital dependencies and to “lock doors and windows.” Those who don’t could be robbed blind. Ms. Terry Roberts will elaborate on positive, and impactful steps to limit the impact and recover quickly from cyber events.


Groundtruthing the Third World
Benjamin Barber

Ben Barber has spent years in the Third World groundtruthing--mingling with the locals from Africa to Asia to Latin America. He believes that the better understanding gained from such firsthand knowledge is the way to reduce misunderstanding and avoid painful conflicts such as the Viet Nam War and the war in Iraq.


Iraq: In Search of Stability
Amb. Zalmay Khalilzad

In a moderated conversation, Amb. Zalmay Khalilzad will explain the progress achieved during his time in Iraq and why he sees the Obama pullout in 2010 as a tragic mistake. He will share his thoughts on approaches for the new administration to stabilize Iraq and defeat ISIS.


Kurds Rising
Amberin Zaman

The world’s 30 million Kurds in Turkey, Syria, Iran, and Iraq are the largest nation without a country. Iraqi Kurds consolidated autonomy and vow to break away. In Syria, Kurds facing a power vacuum claim rights to self-government. Ms. Amberin Zaman asks: If the borders are redrawn, what are the implications?


Middle East: Mess, Muscle or Mission?
Amb. Thomas Pickering

Rapid changes in the Middle East have brought about the destruction of autocratic but reasonably stable regimes. New incursions by Islamic fundamentalists present a challenge, and the long standing Israel-Palestine situation gets worse rather than better without leadership and attention. Amb. Thomas Pickering will discuss what the U.S. can and should do about these threats and problems.


The Aftermath of BREXIT: Could the U.K. and Europe Both Die? What is Next?
Baroness Margaret Jay

The withdrawal of Britain from the European Union will have implications for trade, immigration, regulation, and financial services. Will Brexit create a catalyst for other countries to also exit the EU? Baroness Margaret Jay will address the timing and likely fallout of Britain’s departure from the EU and future implications of the exit.


Personal Privacy vs. National Security
Stewart Baker

In this electronic age, many Americans are concerned about their privacy. Stewart Baker, former general counsel for the National Security Agency, discusses the understandable unease created by new technology and its effects on public safety. What is the responsible balance between personal privacy and national security?


Russia-U.S. Relations: Problems and Prospects
Amb. James Collins

U.S. - Russia relations are at their lowest levels since the Cold War with reduced contacts and reciprocal demonization. The advancement of fundamental interests for both countries requires cooperation. In a moderated conversation, Amb. James Collins will discuss issues and approaches needed for each to find a new balance for relations.


We Remain at War in Afghanistan, Sort of…
Francis J. "Bing" West

In 2014, President Obama declared that the American combat role in Afghanistan was over. In 2015, he said "...our commitment to Afghanistan endures.” Meanwhile, we have been bombing in Afghanistan, and our troops are assaulting terrorist strongholds. Bing West will examine these questions: What role does Pakistan play? Are the Taliban allied with Al Qaeda or ISIS? What choices face our new President regarding our military presence in Afghanistan?"


U.S. Leadership in Refugee Resettlement and the New Administration
Amb. Johnny Young

With a focus on refugees from countries beset by war and terrorism, decades old U.S. policies of refuge are increasingly controversial. Amb. Johnny Young outlines U.S. leadership in refugee settlement and the challenges to the new Administration in leading globally to address an unprecedented crisis, in light of homeland security concerns.


South Africa: In Mandela’s Shadow
Amb. Johnnie Carson

Twenty two years after independence, South Africa faces a growing list of issues that challenge its position as a democratic and economic powerhouse. Amb. Johnnie Carson explains how this regional giant will confront these issues and whether the country can remain a leader in sub-Saharan African politics.


China’s Environmental Challenge
Dr. Elizabeth Economy

China today confronts an environmental crisis. Air pollution, water scarcity, and land degradation threaten economic growth, public health, and social stability. The country’s leaders have declared a “war on pollution.” Dr. Elizabeth Economy will examine these questions: How effective have they been in turning the situation around? What more needs to be done?