We live at a moment of exponential change at an exponential rate, in almost every domain: geopolitics, economics, culture, science and technology, etc. Inevitably, the risks seem to outweigh the opportunities. All we know for sure is that all we know is passé. The global order – and supporting institutional framework – that produced unprecedented prosperity and human development since 1950 is breaking down. The coincidence of the global population explosion, the proliferation of disruptive technologies and the early impacts of climate change make the global scenario even more unpredictable and more uncertain. The global economy, burdened by a structural slowdown in China and excessive public and private sector leverage almost everywhere (except the US), is slowing. A new debt crisis is looming; is there another Lehman Brothers out there?
Populism – right and left – and nationalism are on the rise, in Europe, in the Americas, and in Eurasia. This further undermines coordinated or consistent global reaction to global problems like climate, terrorism, and cyber, while dramatically complicating the ability of private companies to operate outside their domestic markets. The dominant and emerging powers – the U.S. and China – both face significant internal (but very different) challenges which are likely to preoccupy their leadership. The United States is again turning inward, with less need and less interest in playing a global role as it copes with the erosion of its middle class, the consequences of underinvesting in economic infrastructure and a renewal of what we used to call “the cultural wars”. China’s leadership is coping with the transition from an exhausted economic model, the political challenges of a dramatic slowdown in domestic wealth creation, and an almost endless set of international economic and political opportunities that reflect America’s retrenchment and Europe’s existential crisis.
The new normal is that nothing is normal.
About the Speaker:
Alan Stoga is a strategist and entrepreneur with extensive experience in communications and public relations, corporate consulting, digital media, geopolitics, banking and government. Currently, he serves as Senior Adviser at Kissinger Associates, the international consulting firm chaired by Dr. Henry Kissinger, as well as president of Zemi Communications, L.L.C., a New York based firm that provides communication counsel and services.
Kissinger Associates is a geopolitical consulting firm that provides advice to companies around the world. The firm helps companies manage complex opportunities, issues, and negotiations that have a significant potential to impact on their operating performance. Zemi, organized in 1996, provides strategic communication advice and a wide range of services including leadership communications, media relations, investor relations, and internal corporate communication programs. Zemi’s digital media practice evolved from FLYP, an online digital magazine published by Mr. Stoga from 2007 through 2009. The award-winning magazine leveraged the functionalities of the Internet to produce a new kind of online, multimedia experience.
Mr. Stoga devotes considerable time and effort to non-profit activities aimed at promoting global conversation about and action on the issues that challenge modern society. In that context, Mr. Stoga is Chairman of the board of the Tällberg Foundation (based in Sweden), Vice Chairman of the boards of the Americas Society and the Council of the Americas, and Chairman-designate of the board of the Tinker Foundation. Earlier in his career, Mr. Stoga founded a private equity firm (1995-96); was managing director of Kissinger Associates (1984-95); served as chief economist for the Bipartisan National Commission on Central America, created by President Reagan (1982-3); established and managed the country risk management activities for the First National Bank of Chicago (1977-84), a large global bank; and served as an international economist in the U.S. Treasury (1975-77). During the 1990’s Mr. Stoga was also a director of the Alliance Capital international mutual funds.
Mr. Stoga is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and has economics and international relations degrees from Michigan State and Yale University, respectively. He is a frequent lecturer and writer on international and U.S. politics and economics.