New Thinking for a New World - a Tallberg Foundation Podcast

Tällberg Foundation

Aiming to provoke people to think — and therefore act — differently about the global issues that are shaping their future, the Tällberg Foundation is sharing some of its conversations in podcast form. The podcast invites you to hear from leaders from different sectors and geographies as they explore issues that are challenging and changing our societies.

All Episodes

We live in a digital society. Unfortunately, some of the results include cybercrime, illegal spying, intimidation and identity theft. It’s bad enough when these activities are aimed at you or me; much worse when they target dissidents, crusading journalists, etc. Ronald Deibert and his colleagues at the Citizen Lab are in the business of fighting back, using cutting-edge technologies to protect citizens and civil society from digital predators. Listen as he explains how they do the voodoo they do so well.

Nov 24

37 min 53 sec

Rapidly accelerating climate change is uniquely modern — but climate change is not. Can indigenous people who understand nature differently than most of us teach us how to cope with today’s terrifying challenges? Tero Mustonen is a climate scholar who combines indigenous knowledge with academic research. He is also a leader of the SnowChange Cooperative and is currently the head of his town of Selkie in North Karelia, Finland. Listen to his insights on how to promote positive change on a damaged planet.

Nov 18

36 min 15 sec

Under President Xi Jinping, China has shown a growing willingness to act outside the accepted geopolitical, economic and even diplomatic global framework and practices. Australian Kevin Rudd has spent a considerable part of his life thinking about, working on, and negotiating with China — as a diplomat, twice as his country's prime minister, and currently as president of the Asia Society. Arguably no other western leader knows China better. Listen as he assesses where China is today, and where it wants to be tomorrow.

Nov 11

37 min 34 sec

The disastrous impacts of climate change are evident. Do we have the technologies in hand to decarbonize economies in ways that are compatible with how people want to live? Can we do this? Saul Griffith, the Australian inventor and engineer, insists that the answer is emphatically yes. We have all the technology we need to transform the United States from laggard to leader in the effort to change the arc of the warming climate. And, if the United States can do it, everyone can.

Nov 4

39 min 7 sec

What is actually being done about climate change? The gap between rhetoric and action is critical. Santiago Gowland, CEO of the Rainforest Alliance has spent years working with businesses, NGOs and citizens around the world to mitigate some of the biggest impacts of climate change. Listen as he discusses urgent efforts to reverse the degradation of rainforests and to create truly sustainable supply chains that are good for people as well as for the planet.

Oct 28

31 min 59 sec

As we in the West become more conscious of inequalities that have been part of our societal fabric for a long time, we're becoming less sure of our identities. If art is a window on the soul of a nation, what does ours look like? Who do we think we are in the sense of identity? What's our mood? Of course, these are questions without answers or, at least, unique answers. Shirin Neshat, an acclaimed Iranian visual artist, and Jonathan Burnham at HarperCollins, discuss our evolving zeitgeist.

Oct 21

36 min 15 sec

Listen as Tomas Anker Christensen, Denmark’s Climate Ambassador, and Daniel Martinez-Valle, Chief Executive Officer of Orbia, a Mexico based global company, discuss the need to develop effective partnerships between government and corporations, to find a better balance between globalism and nationalism, and to innovate solutions that assure the transformation to a low carbon economy creates, rather than destroys, jobs, growth and economic opportunity.

Oct 7

30 min 21 sec

The Taliban's surge to power in Afghanistan is one of those events that will have repercussions for years to come. Jamila Afghani succeeded in getting out with her family. Jamila is an educator and an activist. Her work to elevate the rights and improve the education of women and girls is based on her studies of Islamic law, which she believes is typically misinterpreted to give them second-class status. Listen as she talks about escaping the Taliban, and what she expects for her country.

Sep 30

27 min 38 sec

Rapidly accelerating climate change is uniquely modern — but climate change is not. Can indigenous people who understand nature differently than most of us teach us how to cope with today’s terrifying challenges? Tero Mustonen is a climate scholar who combines indigenous knowledge with academic research. He is also a leader of the SnowChange Cooperative and is currently the head of his town of Selkie in North Karelia, Finland. Listen to his insights on how to promote positive change on a damaged planet.

Sep 23

36 min 15 sec

Over the years Latin America has seen more than its share of coups, dictators, autocrats, and stolen elections. Why hasn't liberal democracy developed deeper roots in Latin America? Why do many Latins seemingly embrace “strong man” rather than democratic solutions to their social, economic, and political problems? Brian Winter, editor-in-chief of Americas Quarterly and a journalist who has covered the region for twenty years, has some answers—but also lots of worries.

Sep 16

37 min 34 sec

The Taliban victory in Afghanistan and the abrupt U.S. withdrawal are the most dramatic evidence of a profound realignment in the politics of the Middle East. How are these developments seen in Iran? What kind of Middle East do the leaders, including president Ebrahim Raisi, want and what are they prepared to do to get it? Listen as Ambassador Seyed Hossein Mousavian, Middle East Security and Nuclear Policy Specialist at Princeton University, describes his view of what happens when the U.S. loses a war.

Sep 9

36 min 29 sec

Can Bolsonaro bully his way into reelection? Will the country’s democratic institutions be so damaged by him that Brazil’s future stability could be at risk? Most importantly, what do the Brazilian people want? Sergio Amaral has a long career as a top Brazilian diplomat, presidential policy advisor, and consultant to some of São Paulo’s global companies and has an insider's perspective on how his country actually works. Listen as he discusses the future of Brazilian democracy.

Sep 2

30 min 35 sec

Cyber insecurity is a reality of life in the digital age. We all worry about being hacked, about losing personal or corporate secrets. But what happens when nations do it? Is that war? Who makes the rules of cyber warfare? Are there already cyber powers? Marcus Willet has spent decades thinking about such questions at the UK Government Communications Headquarters, and at London’s International Institute for Strategic Studies. Listen as he discusses the risks and challenges facing us in the digital age

Aug 26

31 min 12 sec

2021 may go down in history as the year of the Great Awakening. Can we really innovate our way out of the mess? Are we smart enough to translate discoveries into tangible benefits for people? And, can we do so faster than pathogens mutate, accumulated emissions change weather or draughts destroy land? Livio Valenti sits at the intersection of cutting-edge science and the demand for innovative solutions in healthcare, biotech, and material sciences. Listen as he discusses why he thinks we can do this.

Aug 19

34 min 16 sec

The world is a mess: climate change in real time, the pandemic, widespread social and political unrest, high pitch geopolitical tensions. In the midst of this firestorm, people are suffering. Climate migrants need to escape fires, hurricanes and floods. Families flee wars and oppression. Where do they go and who will take them? Lawyers Becca Heller and Kristine Rembach are in the business of finding answers, one refugee or migrant at a time.

Aug 12

35 min 18 sec

The 20th century ended when the Berlin Wall fell and the collapse of the Soviet Union. If you've come of age since then, the struggles of The Cold War are the stuff of history books. German millennials who are starting to come to power in society look at the world differently than their predecessors. How will this change the country? What does it mean for Europe and Germany's role in the world? Ulrike Franke, senior policy fellow at ECFR, is a German millennial who has thought about these questions.

Aug 4

34 min 33 sec

Neuroscientists today know more about how the brain works than ever before; unlocking the brain's potential could transform our world. But it could also be abused, with nightmarish consequences.  Dr. Rafael Yuste works at the forefront of neuroscience, based at Columbia University. His pioneering work has led him to become a champion for protecting individual neuro-identity and neurorights. In that initiative, he is joined by Jared Genser, a leading international human rights lawyer

Jul 28

35 min 38 sec

What does China—or, China’s leadership and the Chinese Communist Party— want from the rest of the world? Jonathan Ward, an American who is rapidly becoming one of that country's leading China experts, thinks they want victory. Dr. Ward, who has lived and worked in China and has a deep affinity for the Chinese people, recently published a new provocative book, China's Vision of Victory. Listen as he shares his perspective on the issue that could literally change the course of history.

Jul 22

34 min 29 sec

As we in the West become more conscious of inequalities that have been part of our societal fabric for a long time, we're becoming less sure of our identities. If art is a window on the soul of a nation, what does ours look like? Who do we think we are in the sense of identity? What's our mood? Of course, these are questions without answers or, at least, unique answers. Shirin Neshat, an acclaimed Iranian visual artist, and Jonathan Burnham at HarperCollins, discuss our evolving zeitgeist.

Jul 15

38 min 47 sec

By any measure, Latin American democracy is in trouble. From Mexico to Argentina there has been an accelerating erosion of representative democracy. Is the witches’ brew of the pandemic, underperforming economies, weak rule of law, and structural inequalities more than democracy can bear? Eduardo Amadeo, Argentine economist and politician; Sergio Guzman, Colombian political risk analyst and commentator; Patricio Navia, Chilean political scientist and academic have some answers.

Jul 8

29 min 30 sec

Increased poverty and malnutrition; greater inequality; damaged and depleted health care systems; rising social and political tensions. But is this a crisis or opportunity? This week’s guests are dedicated to trying to make the world the kind of place it could and should be. Vidhya Ramalingam is a recognized expert on the use of technology to disrupt violent extremism online. Sarah Durieux focuses on mobilizing citizens online, to help them achieve policies they care about.

Jul 1

37 min 38 sec

Lithuania is a frontline state in the growing confrontation—some think it is already war—between East and West. Dalia Bankauskaitė, a security expert at Vilnius University, and Marius Laurinavičius an analyst at the Vilnius Institute for Policy Analysis, are both in that camp. They insist that Russia’s hostility, partly exercised through its puppet Belarus, is aimed not just at Lithuania, but at Europe and the U.S. Is this what war in the 21st century feels like? What do Putin and Lukashenko wan

Jun 22

35 min 1 sec

2020 will be remembered as the Pandemic Year, when a deadly pathogen somehow moved from bat to human—and the rest is history still being written. Six out of 10 infectious diseases are zoonotic: everything from COVID and the other coronaviruses to rabies, West Nile, even the plague. Dr. Gladys Kalema-Zikusoka has a better idea, she believes that zoonotic disease is controllable by simultaneously working to improve the health of humans and animals, at the points where they meet.

Jun 17

25 min 34 sec

Is the Middle East going through a realignment as significant as after World War I or since Israel was created in 1948? New realities are emerging: peace among key Arab countries and Israel and growing confidence that local leaders can best produce peace, prosperity and security in the region. Ambassador Yousef Al Otaiba, the United Arab Emirates long-serving ambassador to the U.S. s and also a key player in the process of creating this new Middle East, discusses the future of the Middle East.

Jun 10

31 min 3 sec

By any measure, Latin American democracy is in trouble. From Mexico to Argentina there has been an accelerating erosion of representative democracy. Is the witches’ brew of the pandemic, underperforming economies, weak rule of law, and structural inequalities more than democracy can bear? Eduardo Amadeo, Argentine economist and politician; Sergio Guzman, Colombian political risk analyst and commentator; Patricio Navia, Chilean political scientist and academic have some answers.

Jun 2

29 min 30 sec

Agriculture as it is practiced today—industrial scale ranching and farming—is already a huge contributor to the accelerating pace of climate change. Is there a better alternative? Can we produce enough food to meet humanity's growing needs and wants, without further environmental damage? Our guest this week has positive answers to those questions. Didier Toubia is co-founder and CEO of Aleph Farms, a company that grows steaks from cow cells. Real steaks—without the downsides of factory farming.

May 27

28 min 48 sec

How is Africa doing? In one sense, that's a nonsensical question to ask about 55 countries and almost 1.4 billion people, but even dumb questions can sometimes have smart answers. In this episode, Michela Wrong, who has spent nearly three decades writing about Africa, as a journalist and author, talks about the people, the politics, and the day-to-day realities. Her book, Do Not Disturb, takes a deep dive into President Kagame’s Rwanda which can be read as a window into Africa’s present and its futur

May 20

34 min 54 sec

In this special episode, you will meet two Tällberg-SNF-Eliasson Global Leadership prize winners. Listen as two prize recipients and friends, scientist, inventor, and entrepreneur Fio Omenetto and social innovator and entrepreneur Bright Simons, discuss how great leaders can change everything.

May 17

19 min 59 sec

“Youth is the hope of our future.” When it comes to governance, is that a good thing in a world where there is a growing body of evidence that youth's satisfaction with democracy is declining in many countries? This episode is part of Tällberg Foundation's exploration of the future of democracy. Listen as Cristóbal Marín Rojas and Julien Richard, discuss the challenges of making democracy work. Both are students at the Paris School for International Affairs at Sciences Po.

May 13

26 min 21 sec

The Tällberg-SNF-Eliasson Global Leadership Prize named in honor of Jan Eliasson, one of the most accomplished global diplomats of our era. In this special episode, Jan and Alan Stoga, chairman of the Tällberg Foundation discuss how great leaders can change everything. What can you do? Take Jan’s call to action seriously and nominate someone who deserves to be honored at tallbergprize.org Music: "Without You" by Oxime © 2021. Permissions granted courtesy of Oxime Audio https://www.oxime-audio.com

May 12

13 min 21 sec

It wasn't that long ago that globalization was universally perceived as a good thing, when policymakers celebrated free trade agreements, and when countries competed to lower barriers to the free flow of goods. But we seem to be moving from a world where markets ruled to one where politics rules. Weijian Shan, chairman, and CEO of PAG, one of Asia's leading investment firms, shares his unique perspective, not just on global markets, but on how the world really works.

May 6

33 min 21 sec

A shape-shifting event like the global pandemic affects almost everyone on the planet—especially children. They have seen their education, social and mental health development, nutrition, and health badly damaged. And, it is worse for girls, because in too many countries, girls don’t have anywhere near adequate access to schools, health care, even food. In this episode, Dr. Maliha Khan, one of the leaders of Malala Fund, talks about how the pandemic has made that goal even more difficult to achieve.

Apr 29

29 min 9 sec

In this episode you will meet Nithya Ramanathan, a 2020 prize winners. Nithya is an engineer and social entrepreneur, saving lives through the innovative application of technology, creating and applying data-driven solutions to global challenges. Listen, as she is interviewed by Cecilia Weckstrom, Sr Director, Diversity, Inclusion & People Innovation, Lego and a member of the 2020 prize jury. Music: “Without You” by Oxime © 2021. Permissions granted courtesy of Oxime Audio https://www.oxime-audio.co

Apr 26

16 min 7 sec

What does China—or, more particularly China’s leadership and the Chinese Communist Party— want from the rest of the world?  Jonathan Ward, an American who is rapidly becoming one of that country's leading China experts, thinks they want victory. Dr. Ward, who has lived and worked in China and has a deep affinity for the Chinese people, recently published a new provocative book, China's Vision of Victory. Listen as he shares his perspective on the issue that could literally change the course of his

Apr 22

34 min 29 sec

Early in 2020, when the global pandemic was still gathering force, UNICEF published a prophetic, deeply disturbing document. If anything, what actually has happened—and continues to happen—to children everywhere is, if anything, probably worse than UNICEF imagined.  Robert Jenkins is leading UNICEF's global education response to the pandemic and brings decades of experience and a global perspective to what might easily be the most important and longest lasting impact of COVID. How worried is he?

Apr 15

28 min 24 sec

Today’s world is short of a lot of things—sustainable environment, peace, prosperity, equality—but what we lack most is innovative, global, values-based leadership. If we can find and nurture that kind of leadership, the rest will follow. In this special episode, Jared Genser (one of the three 2020 prize winners), an international human rights lawyer who is teaching and mentoring the next generation of human rights lawyers, is interviewed by Shahidul Alam, photographer, writer, activist and 2020 J

Apr 12

16 min 49 sec

Increased poverty and malnutrition; greater inequality; damaged and depleted health care systems; rising social and political tensions. But is this crisis or opportunity? This week’s guests are dedicated to trying to make the world the kind of place it could and should be. Vidhya Ramalingam is a recognized expert on the use of technology to disrupt violent extremism online. Sarah Durieux focuses on mobilizing citizens online, to help them achieve policies they care about.

Apr 8

37 min 38 sec

Europe is increasingly divided: between the frugal North and the Club Med South; between the illiberal East and the progressive West. In many ways, the latter is more profound at a time when democracy is under pressure almost everywhere. Our guests are engaged in this conflict. Zuzanna Rudzińska-Bluszcz, Poland's Office of the Commissioner for Human Rights and András Léderer, Hungarian Helsinki Committee. Listen as they discuss the profound conflicts that will shape their countries for decades to com

Apr 1

41 min 48 sec

Today's world is short of a lot of things, but what we lack most is innovative, global, values-based leadership. If we can find and nurture that kind of leadership, the rest will follow.  In this special episode, you will meet Sylvia Earle, one of the three 2020 prize winners. Listen, as she is interviewed by Ashok Mirpuri, Singapore's ambassador to the U.S and a member of the 2020 prize jury Music: "Without You" by Oxime © 2021. Permissions granted courtesy of Oxime Audio https://www.oxime-audio.co

Mar 31

15 min 43 sec

Venezuela has been in a death spiral for years. The country have been devastated by political repression and economic depression; its people suffer from huger, malnutrition, shortages of food, medicine and, perhaps worst of all, opportunity. More than 5 million have fled. David Smolansky was chased from his elected post of mayor of El Hatillo and avoided jail by seeking political asylum in the US. Listen as he imagines how his country can go from a failed, kleptocratic state to a prosperous democracy.

Mar 25

34 min 50 sec

Social media has become the lifeblood of modern culture. But it has evolved in ways which reward excessive outrage and which encourage hyper attention to the immediate—untethered from traditions, knowledge, and values. In this week's podcast, Lee Bollinger, President of Columbia University, is considered one of America's leading legal scholars on freedom of speech talks about the challenges of social media.

Mar 18

35 min 12 sec

Europe has had a bad few years. The struggles between North and South mostly over economics, between East and West mostly over values. Brexit, which shifted the locus of power eastward and distracted European leaders from any possibility of a more positive agenda. The pandemic, which among all its other impacts led to interrupted borders in a Europe that prided itself on having no borders. Pierre Lellouche, former French parliamentarian and minister, worries that bad is likely to get worse.

Mar 11

30 min 3 sec

2020 was an awful year for Iran. It started with the assassination of the country's leading general and ended with the assassination of its most important nuclear scientist. American “maximum pressure” combined with mismanagement took a huge toll on the country. Yet, the regime seems more firmly in power today than a year ago. How can that be? Sima Shine, Institute for National Security Studies (INSS) and Dr. Sanam Vakil, Chatham House's Middle East Africa Program, discuss Iran, today and tomorrow.

Mar 4

31 min 43 sec

Even amid optimism about vaccines and declining infection rates, there is mounting evidence that the pandemic is generating a global mental health crisis. How do we cope with the results? Could rising levels of child abuse, spousal abuse, drug abuse, homicide and suicide leave even deeper marks than COVID itself? Dr. Jonathan DePierro, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at the Icahn School of Medicine, Mount Sinai and Michael Niconchuk, neuroscience researcher in Zaatari, try to answer these questions.

Feb 25

34 min 48 sec

The pandemic has forced most of us to move from real life to virtual life and we are mostly unhappy about the results. Is there a cure for Zoom fatigue? For answers, we turned to a magician. Magic used to be fundamentally physical, requiring a lot of interaction between the magician and his audience. Mark Mitton, a world class magician, whose performances produced Springsteen-like enthusiasm explores how magical thinking (or, at least, a magician’s thinking) can help us through this crisis.

Feb 18

26 min 59 sec

Worth Repeating: What are some of the challenges Africa faces in its future? At least so far, what plagues Africa is less Covid-19, than its consequences: collapsed economies, an industrial world that is closing to Africa, a deceleration (if not reversal) in globalization, a new “Cold War”, severe climate change, and the need to develop faster to serve its young population. Alan Stoga talks to Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr, mayor of Sierra Leone’s Freetown, and Carole Wainaina, a leader of Africa50.

Feb 11

29 min 22 sec

We live at a time of pandemic, recession, challenges to democracy, shifts in global power. The response of many organizations, is to hunker down and survive. But some are embracing the challenges and opportunities of change. The Robert Bosch Stiftung, under the leadership of Sandra Breka and others, recently rethought, rebooted and relaunched its operations. Listen as she discusses how they fared and what kind of world she and her colleagues hope to help shape.

Feb 4

31 min 38 sec

The amazing events of recent weeks—Donald Trump’s efforts to undo an electoral outcome, the assault on the Capitol, and the impeachment of the former President —caused many Americans to worry about the stability of their government. Congressman Dick Gephardt, believes America needs bipartisanship to cope with the divisive spirits that are tearing at the country. He talks about some of the things that urgently need to be done, not just in the United States, but everywhere that democracy is under pr

Jan 29

37 min 1 sec

History is replete with leaders drawing real or metaphorical lines in the sand, challenging opponents to cross only if they dare. David Andelman, an American journalist and author, believes that one way to understand global risks and challenges is to explore the nexus of red lines that define global politics. Indeed, Andelman argues that never before have global affairs been so entangled by red lines. Moreover, he says that Donald Trump made everything worse. Can we recover without a catastrophe?

Jan 21

28 min 55 sec

Since the onset of the pandemic, much of life has shifted from the real world to the virtual world. For many, it has been a painful, frustrating experience. For others, it has been liberating and highly productive. For all, we will inevitably emerge changed by the experience. We explore living online with a woman whose job it is to make the experience as productive and pleasant as possible. Jaime Teevan is Microsoft’s Chief Scientist for Experiences and Devices.

Jan 14

34 min 40 sec