The future of investing with Mohamed El-Erian  

From quantitative easing to negative interest rates, central banks around the world have become, in the worlds of mega-investor Mohamed El-Erian, “the only game in town” when it comes to reviving economic growth. But when does too much central bank intervention start to become a risk to the global recovery? Mohamed El-Erian thinks this could happen sooner than we think with profound consequences for the global economy, investing and our collective future.

The future of protest and revolution with Micah White  

Are we living in a post-revolutionary age? From the Arab Spring uprisings in the Middle East to Occupy Wall Street movement in the West, mass social movements have failed spectacularly in recent years to achieve meaningful and lasting social change. Author and activist Micah White thinks mass movements today are fundamentally misunderstanding the task before them. Success isn’t getting tens of thousands of people out in the public square in non-violent protest. Instead it is it creating a mass global movement that a seize the machinery of government peacefully through the ballot box. Only then is real social change a possibility in our time.

The future of China’s economy with Stephen Roach  

For weeks now financial markets have been in turmoil over whether a cooling Chinese economy will drag the world into recession. Renowned economist and Asia expert, Stephen Roach, thinks fears of a China “crash” are exaggerated and reveal how little we actually understand about the growing strength of China’s domestic economy. For Stephen Roach, China is undergoing a challenging but ultimately manageable transition from an export to consumer lead model of economic growth.

The future of Saudi-Iranian relations with Vali Nasr  

The international communities’ hopes for pushing back ISIS and ending the humanitarian crisis in Syria have been dealt a major blow by Saudi Arabia as it doubles down its regional rivalry with Iran. Vali Nasr, one of the world’s top authorities on the Middle East, thinks the worsening conflict between Riyadh and Tehran could be a tipping point for an already dangerously destabilized Middle East.

The future of Putin’s Russia with Garry Kasparov  

From Crimea to Eastern Ukraine to Syria, Russian President Vladimir Putin has taken on an outsized role in global events in the last 18 months. For Russian dissident and chess grandmaster, Garry Kasparov, Putin’s ambition to reassert Russian power on the world stage represents a dangerous and destabilizing force in international relations, one the West ignores at its own peril.

The future of Europe’s refugee crisis with Anne Applebaum  

Warsaw-based historian and foreign policy expert, Anne Applebaum, is worried that Europe’s far-right parties, in both the East and the West, are successfully exploiting the continent's refugee crisis to advance their anti-refugee and Euroskeptic agendas. And now this dangerous dynamic is set to intensify after last week’s deadly attacks in Paris. So where does Europe go from here? How can its leaders respond to the largest refugee crisis in half a century without further emboldening their far right political opponents?

The future of evolution with Matt Ridley  

We are taught that the world is a top-down place. Generals win battles; politicians run countries; scientists discover truths; inventors make breakthroughs; and Goldman Sachs rules the world. But is this really the case? Matt Ridley, in his provocative new book ‘The Evolution of Everything’ argues that it is bottom-up trends that shape the world. The growth of Internet, the eradication of diseases, the quadrupling of farm yields are examples of powerful emergent evolutionary phenomena that have no single, director, designer or diviner.

The future of race in America with Shelby Steele  

It is a controversial thesis: Black Americans have struggled to attain the full promise of the American Dream because of government’s efforts to level the playing field that citizens compete on for everything from educational success to employment. The solution to racial inequality in America is more, not less competition, between groups where no individual is given preferential treatment over another. Is this vision of America realistic in age of growing economic inequality? And does it live up America’s ideals of freedom and fairness?

The future of global affairs with Janice Gross Stein  

Are we at once in a generation inflection point when comes to international relations and how the global order -- circa 2015 -- is working or not? Janice Stein, one of Canada’s most respected commentators on foreign affairs, thinks an era of nostalgic thinking about the state and purpose of global affairs is at an end. Instead, the world urgently needs leaders and governments willing to completely rethink how they engage with an increasingly unstable world order where regions and nations lack the basic means to address their greatest challenges.

The future of the past with Margaret Macmillan  

How do we understand the past? Is history at its essence the sweep of nations and empires and the large impersonal social, economic and environmental forces that drive change? For historian Margaret MacMillan the past is more complicated than this. It is in the lives of individuals, great and small, and the human characteristics of leadership, curiosity and hubris, to name a few, that we find some of the most important insights into our shared humanity and the meaning of humankind's common past.

The future of China and global growth with Dambisa Moyo  

All eyes were on China this week as financial markets in the world’s second largest economy spurred fears of a global economic slowdown. Is China’s multi-decade economic miracle finally faltering? While international economist and best-selling author Dambisa Moyo is sanguine about China’s immediate prospects she is less than optimistic that political elites in the western world are up to the task of dealing with an extended period of slower economic growth.

The future of oil with Daniel Yergin  

With oil prices testing decade lows the commodity that powers the planet is unsettling financial markets and upending our expectations about the future of economic growth. How long could oil’s slump last? What is driving prices down and supply up? And, what is the fate of high cost producers such as Canada’s oil sands in this new and uncertain environment?

The future of a German-led Europe with Josef Joffe  

It has been as tumultuous summer in Europe as the continent struggled to keep Greece in the Euro Zone. The controversial and harsh bailout terms ultimately imposed on Greece have led many to wonder if Europe is entering a new, uncertain phase in its existence; one where Germany reshapes the Eurozone around its own priorities and values.

The future of North Korea with Hyeonseo Lee  

At the age of eighteen Hyeonseo Lee escaped North Korea, bringing with her remarkable first hand stories of what it was like to grow up in the world’s last remaining totalitarian dictatorship. Her experiences reveal the incredible lengths the reclusive North Korean regime goes to control every aspect of its citizens lives.

The future of war with Ian Morris  

It is a disturbing thesis: war is the engine of human civilization. The remarkable decline in rates of violence from the Stone Age to our own time did not happen by coincidence. It is the product of millennia of violent conflict producing larger and more stable societies that lower the benefits of using violence – for individuals, states and empires. Bestselling author and Stanford Classics professor Ian Morris on the past and the future of War.

The future of the South China Sea with Robert D. Kaplan  

Man-made islands rising out of the empty sea. Military planes and ships threating each other. A growing drumbeat of nationalist rhetoric on all sides. Seemingly out of nowhere the South China Sea has emerged as a global flash point pitting a rising China and its regional ambitions against is neighbours and the U.S. military. Is a major international conflict brewing in South China Seas’ contested waters? Can China, America and the nations who share one of the world’s most valuable pieces of geopolitical real-estate peacefully resolve their differences?

The future of Syria with Lyse Doucet  

The statistics are mind numbing. 200,000 dead. 10,000 children killed. Upwards of 4 million refugees. Now in its fifth year, the Syrian crisis has emerged as the greatest humanitarian disaster of our time. But where is this crisis headed? Does the West and the international community have a strategy to stabilize this traumatized nation? Lyse Doucet, the BBC’s chief international correspondent thinks the West’s tinkering at the edges of the conflict needs to stop and global humanitarian action must start now.

The future of revolt and rebellion with Chris Hedges  

It's a controversial thesis: The system of global capitalism is breaking down. The economic social and environmental grievances of millions of the poor and disempowered are growing. The consequence will be nothing less than a new age of revolt and rebellion unparalleled in our time. The proponent of this radical argument is no fly by commentator. It's Chris Hedges, a respected Pulitzer Prize winning author and decade’s long foreign correspondent for the New York Times.

The future of economic inequality with Joseph Stiglitz  

More than just about anyone else, Joseph Stiglitz is the intellectual father of the global debate on economic inequality and what governments, corporations and citizens should to do about it. His new book, The Great Divides, explores his writing and advocacy on economic inequality since the issue first bosomed in the public consciousness in 2011 with the Occupy Wall Street Movement. But where is this debate headed? Is progress on social and economic equality now finally possible? Or is this a debate and movement that is struggling to gain wider spread traction as the economic recovery takes hold?

The future of artificial intelligence with Nick Bostrom  

It sounds like science fiction: a computer many times smarter than any human being wiping out civilization. But the existential risks associated with thinking machines is an increasingly hot top topic in Silicon Valley and high-tech hubs everywhere. Renowned artificial intelligence expert Nick Bostrom thinks the dangers are real, and the sooner we take them seriously the more likely we can prevent a super intelligent machine from becoming humankind’s last invention.

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