Global Issues - Sarasota Thursday Series


Understanding Iran’s Dynamics
Mohsen Milani

Iran is a complex society differing substantially from the simplistic views promoted by news coverage which prefers sensationalism over serious analysis. As Iran becomes better educated and more urban, what changes? Dr. Mohsen Milani will discuss Iran’s domestic realities and its foreign policy choices and provide insight into where things might be heading.


US-China Relations from Cold War to Cold War
David Lampton

Starting as a trade war, China's self-serving economic policies propelled the U.S. into a cold war with Donald Trump imposing tariffs on Chinese goods and restricting purchases of U.S. companies. Biden has continued these policies and implemented additional sanctions. Dr. David Lampton will elaborate on these policies and the future outlook.


Artificial Intelligence: Reality Catching Up to Science Fiction
Peter Singer

With the emergence of public artificial intelligence products, there is increased focus on how they may affect our society and lives. At recent hearings, Congress heard of the progress and dangers. Dr. Peter Singer will examine the scope of AI development, the benefits it offers, and the ethical challenges to human society.


Europe’s Double Trouble UK’s:  Ukraine and the UK
Martin Walker

Martin Walker explains that Europe has two “UK” problems, Ukraine and the UK. War fatigue will be growing for a negotiated settlement between Russia and Ukraine and its financial supporters, the U.S. and the EU. New elections in Britain could deliver a center-left government committed to moving closer to the EU.


Why Americans Love and Hate Government
Jeremy Suri

After communism's collapse, many Americans believed free markets and limited government would bring widespread democracy and prosperity. With terrorism, a financial crisis, and COVID, American attitudes shifted from free market advocacy to defense of authoritarian policies. Dr. Jeremi Suri will explore why this shift occurred, and implications for the future of democracy.


Me Worry? – Non-Traditional Threats to Global Security
Carla Koppell

Global travel, communication, and technology bring benefits and threats to humankind. Environmental degradation, public health crises, population dynamics, refugees, inequality, suppression of women and minorities, cyber manipulation -- all impact conflicts and challenge global stability. Carla Koppell discusses strategies to mitigate conflicts and promote peace and prosperity.


Adapting to the Ebb of U.S. Middle East Focus and Influence
Dennis Ross

As America devotes less attention and resources to the Middle East and its friends and Allies there, regional relations shift. Amb. Dennis Ross will examine how countries, notably Israel, are adjusting and what that portends for the region, for U.S. interests and shared values, and for our global competitors.


Soft Power Diplomacy: America’s Hidden Treasure
Harriet Elam-Thomas

Amb. Harriet Elam-Thomas will draw on her 42 years in the U.S. Foreign Service and 18 years in academia to discuss the value of soft power in 21st century diplomacy. With examples from her assignments in Greece and Turkey, she will highlight how mutual respect builds lasting relationships that reduce global threats.


Can Nuclear Energy Help Save the Planet?
Rod Adams

Rod Adams, publisher of Atomic Insight, discusses nuclear energy as a proven, ultra-low carbon energy source. Concerns about climate change and energy supply security are stimulating new interest. Nuclear advances are being led by innovators at large companies. Efforts are focusing on systems that will lower costs and shorten schedules.


Insurrection in America: The Rise in Political Violence
Russel Honore

Escalating incidents of violence across the U.S. pose the biggest threats to the nation, according to retired Army Lt. Gen. Russel Honoré. Police violence has also increased. What is causing this increase and how can we deal with it? General Honoré will share his thoughts.


New Campaign Challenges in 2024: Reaching a More Diverse Electorate
Susan MacManus

Dr. Susan MacManus will focus on the 4 M's of effective campaigning: 1 - Choosing the right message and messengers; 2 - Utilizing the most impactful means of communication; 3 - Identifying and micro-targeting key constituencies; 4 - Raising enough money and spending it wisely.


Putin’s Russia: The Man, The People, The War
Jill Dougherty

The conflict raging in Ukraine is Vladimir Putin's war. He started it; only he can end it. Power, in Putin's Russia, is personal and his long standing obsession with Ukraine is having drastic consequences not only in that country, but in Russia itself. Jill Dougherty will discuss whether Putin has a plan for Russia, what the Russian people think about the war and Putin's leadership, and what kind of Russia will emerge when the guns fall silent.