- Young Professionals Summit
YPS Session Descriptions 2019
Over the past few years, the transatlantic relationship has seen its fair share of upheavals and disruptions. From a continued rise in populism to the rise of global challengers -- what was once an unshakeable alliance is now in flux. The United States and Europe have had to come to terms with the fact that their relationship, built upon shared values and customs can no longer be taken for granted. What is certain is that a stronger alliance, which is vital in mitigating potential threats, requires active discussion, debate and creative solutions.
In 1989, Francis Fukuyama famously declared “the end of history” in response to the fall of Communism. Thirty years later, history is back with a vengeance. As we near 2020, the buzz word “great power competition” tops front pages and foreign policy strategy documents. Revisionist powers are disrupting the post-Cold War consensus shaped by the United States and its Allies. Russian revanchism, China’s territorial claims in the South China Sea, and Iran’s ambitions to expand its influence in the Middle-East, all challenge the order devised by the West. This session will discuss how cultural memory and identity politics drive domestic and foreign policy priorities and shape geopolitical realities. Against this backdrop, it will assess how nationalism and other forms of sectarianism affect domestic and foreign policy with differing implications -- from reinforced borders to expansionist ambitions.
Not so long ago, the concept of a united Europe with open borders, a single market and collective political system seemed unthinkable. Plagued by centuries of conflict and political divisions, the success of a pan-European project proved to be a modern-day feat. However, democratic backsliding, bolstered by economic crises, on-going Brexit discussions, mounting migration, and internal and external security challenges – has caused fractures within Europe’s cohesiveness. How can a new generation of leaders -- many with no memory of a once divided Europe -- navigate these mounting challenges? How can the European project move forward, especially given the pending Brexit negotiations? How does the Transatlantic relationship come into play as other countries such as Russia and China assert themselves into European matters?
The effects of demographic change have had unprecedented effects on both sides of the Atlantic at the city, state and global level. From the rise in movement and displacement from neighboring regions to dealing with a growing and aging population – these demographic changes have led to global debate and currently underpins many of the largest political challenges we face today. As we enter a new geopolitical landscape, how can the United States and Europe manage their demographics in ways that promote sustainable prosperity and maintain social harmony?
From tackling security challenges to fighting for equal representation, women have been at the forefront in driving global change. Facing many trials and tribulations, it has taken decades of hard work and strong leadership from amazing figures to help pave the way for women to not just be part of the discussion but be part of the solution. As the world grapples with mounting challenges, finding creative solutions that invest in women but also find innovative ways to inspire women are vital in creating global change. This session will follow women working in various fields who are paving the way for the next generation of leaders to help claim their voice and be part of the debate.
Although an interconnected world offers unprecedented opportunities, it also entails many challenges. The transnational nature of cyberspace and cross-border cyber threats make it difficult for individual states to devise and enforce effective solutions in the field of cyberspace regulation and governance. Without a clear-cut global approach to cyber norms and legislation, hostile actors have plenty of opportunities to explore systemic weaknesses and legal gray zones. More needs to be done to protect our societies against the risk of escalating cyber conflicts and incentivize responsible behavior from state and non-state actors. This session will explore how the public and private sector on both sides of the Atlantic can work together effectively to fill gaps in order to protect critical infrastructure, and elevate emergency preparedness and resilience to potential threats while upholding traditional transatlantic values and safeguard the free flow of information.
All societies, all political systems, all types of organizations are constantly in a state of mutation. They move from one state to the other, affecting relations between individuals, governments, and institutions. The pace and magnitude of these mutations vary considerably, with eras of slow, lingering, almost imperceptible change, while others appear to be eras of obvious transformations, often accompanied by societal chocks: an armed conflict, an economic crisis, an innovation, a civic movement, etc. During the latter, mutation is assimilated to disruption: And while some may see this as a welcome change, others refuse any change at all.
This workshop will offer participants the opportunity to take part in a simulation exercise designed to show the intricacies of shifting dynamics and how mutations in political and societal systems influence decision makers. Looking at world powers, it seeks to explore how these eras of mutation between orders are foundational - and how future relations are determined by how each addresses (ie. accompanies, ignores, rejects) them. By immersing themselves in a tailored setting, participants will examine the role power dynamics, national interests, culture and heritage play in forging relations in a world in mutation, how former foes can become allies – or the other way around, and what can be the consequences of trying to solve the challenges of tomorrow with the solutions of yesterday.
What underlying messages do you convey when you speak? Could the words you use to describe yourself be different than the actual message listeners are receiving? Understanding how we resonate as leaders is one key for transformational leadership. During this two-and-a-half-hour session we will share and reflect with the group on our own personal stories, and the ways we describe our leadership journeys. We will explore how words and language send archetypal messages that reflect our own core values. As a participant, you will hone your skill-set in messaging through storytelling, and in this way enhance your ability to convey the quality of your leadership.
While the digital revolution has connected people across the world and made information more readily accessible, it has also saturated the news market with countless partisan outlets, bloggers, fake news companies and voices that seek to undermine social cohesion through disinformation and poignantly false, often damaging stories. Meanwhile, to make qualitative journalism financially viable, many serious news outlets have moved to paywall models that limit access to high-quality reporting.
Against this backdrop, this workshop will discuss how journalists and consumers of news can navigate today’s information landscape. Beyond this, it will focus on key writing and communication strategies for journalists, experts, and others committed to conveying fact-driven and objective information. U.S. journalist and news anchor Richard Lui will draw on his experience in broadcasting and print journalism to share tips of the trade and provide workshop participants with opportunities to test and elevate their storytelling skills with the aim of creating accurate, objective, and trustworthy stories that capture the audience and cut through the noise.
As the Forth Industrial Revolution ramps up, companies are embracing new technologies aimed at enhancing productivity, production, and efficiency – but at what cost? As we enter an era driven by globalization, automation mixed with rising inequality and longevity – these disruptive trends currently challenge the traditional way of work and are navigating the “future of work”. According to the World Economic Forum’s report, “The Future of Work Jobs Report 2018,” 65% of children entering primary school today will ultimately end up working in jobs that don’t even exist today. Today’s workforce already struggles to keep pace with these new technological demands. As we seek to understand the transformational nature of these changes, how can industry leaders from across all sectors and regions meet the challenges of this new era? Given the rate of change and innovation occurring in Asia and other regions, where do the United States and Europe stand in comparison?
The fall of the Berlin Wall and the demise of Communism in Eastern Europe ushered in a period of unprecedented Western unity leaving the generation born around ’89 with sense of stability and freedoms no other generation enjoyed before. Thirty years later, the European Union is deeply entrenched in crisis – and the ‘89ers remain conspicuously quiet. Against this backdrop, Timothy Garton Ash has repeatedly called on the next generation to come into their own and help shape the future of Europe – and by extension the global order. This session will provide an opportunity to hear how the ‘89ers and their peers can help reinvigorate and reimagine the transatlantic partnership and European project before it’s too late.