Hosted by Dan Runde, William A. Schreyer Chair and Director, Project on Prosperity and Development, Building the Future explores topics at the intersection of global development, foreign policy, and national security. In each episode, Dan sits down for a discussion with a leading expert from government, the private sector, and international organizations to discuss the challenges and opportunities facing the world today.
The History and Modern-Day Presence of American Propaganda
In this episode of Building the Future, Dan speaks with Jack Hamilton who is the Hopkins P. Breazeale Professor at Louisiana State University for the Manship School of Mass Communication and a Global Fellow at the Wilson Center. Jack and Dan begin this podcast by discussing Jack’s most recent book Manipulating the Masses: Woodrow Wilson and the Birth of American Propaganda.” They talk about why Jack chose to write the book and the ways in which he conducted its necessary historical research. Jack and Dan then talk through the Presidency of Woodrow Wilson and analyze both the backgrounds and important roles played by some of the individuals in the book. Furthermore, they consider the ways in which the book is relevant to debates today about misinformation and how news will be spread and consumed in the future.
The Legacy of Secretary James A. Baker III
In this episode, Dan Runde sits down with Dr. Diana Negroponte who is a current Global Fellow at the Wilson Center. Dan and Dr. Negroponte begin their conversation by discussing her new book, Master Negotiator: the Role of James A. Baker, III at the End of the Cold War. They talk about why Dr. Negroponte wrote the book and in particular, how she decided to write about his legacy during the end of the Cold War. Dan and Dr. Negroponte discuss Baker’s open-mindedness, intellect, and determination, and how these personal attributes, in addition to his close friendship with President George H.W. Bush, ultimately shaped his success as Secretary of State. They move on and talk through the landmark events that occurred during the Cold War era as well as the history of the U.S. relationship with the Soviet Union. Finally, they discuss the important legacy that Baker will leave behind.
Power Competition: Changes Amidst the Covid-19 Pandemic
In this episode, Dan Runde is joined by Paul O’Brien. When this episode was recorded, Paul was the Vice President of OXFAM America and on secondment to OXFAM International to co-lead the Global Corona Virus Advocacy Task Force. He has since been hired as the Executive Director at Amnesty International USA. Dan and Paul start off their conversation by talking about Paul’s recent book Power Switch- How We Can Reverse Extreme Inequality. Dan and Paul go on to discuss why and how power switches occur during moments of deep disruption, and some of the implications of not addressing the global challenges the world is facing today. Finally, they discuss how power competition could shape the future of economics, technology, supply chains, and ultimately the way the Covid-19 pandemic is addressed.
Transparency and Accountability to Build a Better Future
In this episode, Dan Runde is joined by Michael Jarvis, Executive Director of the Transparency and Accountability Initiative, a donor collaborative working to expand the impact and scale of transparency, accountability, and participation interventions. Dan and Michael kick-off their conversation by talking about the importance of transparency and accountability at both the national and sub-national levels in a variety of sectors. They also discuss the role that Covid-19 has played in the global transparency agenda and further, how it will be critical in the vaccine rollout and providing economic relief to those dealing with the consequences of the pandemic. This episode also features Michael and Dan discussing debt transparency and the future role the Biden Administration can play in international engagement. Finally, they discuss Michael’s upcoming objectives at the Transparency and Accountability Initiative and the importance of incorporating transparency into a variety of different agendas as the world transitions to a post-Covid-19 world and into the future.
Religious Liberty: A Cornerstone of Modern Democratic Governance
In this episode, Dan Runde is joined by Christos Makridis, a Digital Fellow with the Initiative on the Digital Economy at MIT and a Research Assistant Professor at the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University. Dan and Christos sit down to discuss Christos’ article, “New Research Shows Religious Liberty Drives Human Flourishing — And Why This Matters Now More Than Ever.” They explore the concept of religious liberty and its two central components, the first being the freedom to choose what to believe, and the second being the freedom to worship as one sees fit. They go on to discuss the history of religious liberty and how it can reduce the likelihood of public and political corruption, foster women’s empowerment, and bolster democratic governance. Furthermore, Dan and Christos talk through the reasons why those who are not religious should care about religious liberty, and the ways in which religion is rooted in the freedom to express one’s beliefs and worldview.
Bridging the Digital Divide
In this episode of Building the Future, Dan Runde is joined by Doreen Bogdan-Martin, the Director of the Telecommunication Development Bureau (BDT) at the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), to discuss the ITU’s critical role in increasing access to global digital connectivity. Dan and Doreen first provide an overview of the history of the ITU and outline the specific mandates of the BDT and other bureaus.
They go on to discuss the ITU’s targeted work and how the BDT aims to connect the world through six main focus areas: bolstering digital infrastructure, capacity building, digital inclusion, measuring impact, forming key partnerships worldwide, and policy regulation that emboldens an enabling environment. The conversation shifts to a discussion about global modernity as well as the future of digital infrastructure, specifically how both Covid-19 and distance learning have had varying degrees of negative impacts on many schoolchildren, especially those in the developing world.