Oliver Steeds is one of the next generation's most admired adventurers. The youngest member of the elite Royal Geographical Society, Olly has competed in grueling physical expeditions around the world and starred in programs on the Discovery and Travel Channels which portray his immersive expeditions with tribes in Papua New Guinea and his reconstructions of great historical episodes. At Britain's "Secret Garden Party," he discusses his coverage of marginalized indigenous populations around the world and his growing focus on the plight of the world's oceans.
Graham Fuller, a former vice-chairman of the U.S. National Intelligence Council and author of the brilliant book A World Without Islam (featured first as an essay in Foreign Policy in 2007), is a long-time resident of Vancouver, Canada. On the longest night of the year and the sidelines of city's bustling music festival, Fuller spoke about the continued excitement and uncertainty of the Arab Spring, the likely independence referendum on Palestine later this year, and the artificially inflated role of Islam in current events in the Middle East.
Peter Schwartz is widely recognized as the world's premiere futurist. Through his founding of the Global Business Network and best-selling books such as Inevitable Surprises, he has earned a reputation as a a reliable out-of-the-box thinker. On the sidelines of the National Intelligence Council's "Trends 2030" workshop, he spoke about catastrophic risks, his work with the Pentagon to understand climate change as a humanitarian issue, views on Ray Kurzweil's notion of the Singularity, and offered a peek into a new cinematic adaptation of Aldous Huxley's classic Brave New World starring Leonardo DiCaprio.
Gap years are not a common phenomenon in the U.S., but increasingly American teenagers are considering alternative options pre-college and seeking opportunities to expand their horizons before committing to particular universities or majors. Now in its second year, Global Citizen Year provides exciting opportunities for cultural immersion in countries such as Brazil, Senegal and Ecuador, with more options to be added in coming years. After a multi-week bootcamp focusing on entrepreneurship and culture, GCY apprentices embed themselves in rural communities and carry out year-long projects in fields such as health, education, environment and technology. Here are some examples of GCY apprentices at work:
Mariela discusses her work on installing and mapping wooden cooking stoves in Brazil:
Naomi Wright and Madeleine Balchan cook a traditional meal from raw fish in Senegal:
Michael Stivers, currently in the Salvador/Bahia region of Brazil, discusses activism with his host:
Peter Saudek shows us inside a classroom using computers for the first time in Ecuador:
Laurence Smith, professor of geography and climate change at UCLA, explains in a fascinating new book The World in 2050 how not all parts of the world will necessarily suffer from rising global temperatures. Here Smith talks about how the contraction of Arctic sea ice is opening up new trade routes, promoting immigration in countries like Canada, and leading to the rise of new economic hubs in Scandinavia. Learn how the discovery of oil in Greenland will fuel its independence, eventually making it the fourth member of a future North American Union!
On the sidelines of the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, Ernest Wilson, dean of the innovative Annenberg School of Communications at USC, speaks to ForeignPolicy.com about the West Coast view of foreign policy, putting civil society at the center of public diplomacy, and how to properly teach and practice the art of communications internationally.
Will the Assad regime survive? What is the fate of the House of Saud? Reza Aslan, best-selling author of No God but God and How to Win a Cosmic War, shares his views on the latest events in the Middle East, from the tentative uprisings in Syria to the complex role of Saudi Arabia.
Veteran professor John Arquilla of the Naval Postgraduate School, who famously pioneered the concept of "netwar," begins by discussing his ambitious cover story for Foreign Policy on "The New Rules of War." As we approach the tenth anniversary of 9/11, Arquilla believes we are starting to learn and apply lessons in Afghanistan such as getting smaller and quicker in engaging with local populations. He also discusses his controversial recent op-ed in the New York Times on the "Pentagon's Biggest Boondoggles." Arquilla believes that Obama is very serious about tackling the most unnecessary and outlandish defense spending programs while at the same time building a better and more agile military.
Parag Khanna is a Senior Research Fellow in the American Strategy Program at the New America Foundation