Great Decisions Global Discussions

Great Decisions 2024 Speakers and Topics

February 6 
What Makes Chinese Tech Tick? 
Kaiser Kuo, host and co-founder of The Sinica Podcast

“Strategic competition” between the US and China can be seen across many sectors, including the race to develop and refine advanced technology like semiconductors and artificial intelligence. How do the US and China differ in their approaches to innovation and market development? Is there room (or desire) for cooperation within the current dynamic? Join us for an evening with China tech expert Kaiser Kuo, host of the Sinica Podcast, as he explains Chinese innovation strategies and how the U.S. might respond.

February 13 
The US-China Business Relationship
Kyle Sullivan, Vice President, Business Advisory Services, US China Business Council

What are the dynamics of the US-China trade and commercial relationship. Kyle Sullivan will offer valuable insights into the trajectory of the US-China relationship in the year ahead, and discuss the latest trade policies, market trends, and impact of geopolitical tensions on US companies that conduct business with China. Mr. Sullivan will also offer views on China’s domestic business environment and the unique challenges and opportunities facing US companies that operate there. 

February 20 
The Indonesian Elections
Dan Slater, James Orin Murfin Professor of Political Science; Director, Center for Emerging Democracies, University of Michigan

Despite its large size, Indonesia remains virtually unknown to most Americans. But as one of the world’s largest democracies, the world’s largest Muslim-majority nation, and as an economic driver of ASEAN, why does it fly below the radar? Join us for a timely conversation with Dr. Dan Slater from the University of Michigan as he contextualizes Indonesia and discusses the impacts of their presidential elections happening in February. With democracies in decline worldwide, what does the future hold for Indonesia?

February 27 
The U.N. High Seas Treaty
Hiroko Muraki-Gottlieb, Elizabeth Haub School of Law, Pace University

The high seas, nearly ⅔ of the ocean, belongs to all but no one in particular. It is a global common. In June 2023, after more than 20 years of studies and negotiations, nearly 200 countries agreed by consensus to adopt a historic treaty to better conserve and sustainably use the high seas. The treaty will address the unprecedented and accelerating biological diversity loss and degradation of the ocean due to climate change, pollution, and unsustainable use. It also aims to advance scientific research, globally, and address inequalities in sharing benefits associated with organisms of the high seas. Join environmental lawyer Hiroko Muraki-Gottlieb as she discusses the challenges and opportunities to effectively implement the treaty to ensure the health of the largest biodiversity of the Earth for the current and future generations.

March 5
The Middle East After October 7

Jane Ferguson, foreign correspondent, PBS News Hour

With the Middle East already at a crossroads, the attack on October 7 by Hamas on Israel upended the region and the world.  Join us for a conversation with Jane Ferguson, foreign correspondent for PBS NewsHour and author of No Ordinary Assignment. She’ll discuss the latest developments in the conflict, the challenges of potential escalation, and the geopolitical implications for the region. What are the new prospects for peace in the region? What role does the U.S. have to play?

March 12
Climate Technology
Neela Banerjee, Deputy Senior Supervising Climate Editor, NPR

Technology is certain to play a key role in limiting and addressing climate change. But is it enough to avert the extreme weather events that threaten millions of people worldwide? Geopolitical rivalries, political inertia, and policy disagreements continue to slow a process that needs to rapidly advance, especially as countries least responsible for the climate crisis become impacted the most. Neela Banerjee, the Chief Climate Editor at NPR, will discuss how we might challenge our current understanding of the climate crisis and suggest ways citizens might respond.

March 19
Global Health Disparities
Dr. Debarchana (Debs) Ghosh, Associate Professor, Geography, University of Connecticut

Looking back at the Covid-19 pandemic and other global health emergencies, there are many lessons to take away both domestically and internationally. Of particular importance is understanding the multi-faceted causes of global health disparities and what we might do to improve equitable access to health services worldwide. Dr. Debarchana Ghosh, a professor of geography at the University of Connecticut will offer insights based on her research in the field of global health.

March 26
General (ret.) Curtis Scaparrotti, former US European Command and Supreme Allied Commander Europe, NATO

Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) has come under increased scrutiny, not because NATO troops are involved in the conflict, but because of its role in relations between Russia and its neighbors. Does the U.S. still have a role to play in European affairs? General (ret.) Curtis Scaparrotti, the former Supreme Allied Commander of NATO will reflect on the organization’s 75 years and offer his insights on what’s ahead.