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Innovators. Trail Blazers. Boundary Breakers. These are the people you will meet on the Breaking Boundaries podcast. This podcast series from Northwestern University's Roberta Buffett Institute for Global Affairs, illuminates how leaders and experts across sectors, national borders and cultural identities are joining forces to tackle our greatest global challenges and achieve United Nations Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.
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Northwestern Buffett Institute for Global Affairs

Northwestern Buffett Institute for Global Affairs

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Listen in to all of the events hosted by Northwestern University's Buffett Institute for Global Affairs. We believe that relationships – among individuals and institutions, globally and locally – can fuel knowledge and develop solutions to global challenges. The views and opinions expressed within our podcast episodes are those of the interviewees and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the Buffett Institute for Global Affairs.
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show series
 
The season of the podcast focused on the role of technology in global affairs. In this episode, Professor Jacqueline Stevens, Professor of Political Science at Northwestern University and Founding Faculty Director of the Deportation Research Clinic at the Northwestern Buffett Institute for Global Affairs shares her expertise on the use of big data …
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Democracies around the world are grappling with the best uses of artificial intelligence (AI), the ethical and legal challenges it can pose as well as the benefits it can bring to citizens. In this episode, Catherine Régis, expert in AI governance and regulation talks about the importance of involving experts and citizens to address AI's ethical ch…
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As more consumer-focused companies harness the power of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, research on human-machine interactions is becoming increasingly important. In this episode, Venus Jin, PhD, Director of the Communication Program at Northwestern in Qatar, talks with Annelise Riles about her research in this area and examines …
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As the 24th President of France, François Hollande was leading the country at the launch of the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals—calling them one of the UN’s “most decisive steps toward ensuring the collective well-being of people and the planet.” In this episode, Hollande reflects on progress towards the goals and addresses the ne…
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Health and environmental risks surrounding disasters at nuclear power plants have become all the more urgent over the past year as Russia’s war in Ukraine persists and the threat of nuclear disaster looms at the Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Station in southeastern Ukraine. In this episode, radiation expert Gayle Woloschak, PhD, share…
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This season on the podcast, we are exploring the intersections between emerging technology, global affairs and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. In this episode, Annelise Riles dives into a topic she is personally passionate about: the power of multilingual engagement. Multilingualism has been identified as key to achieving the 17 U…
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In this episode, Annelise Riles talks Beatrice Fihn, the Former Executive Director of ICAN - the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons. Under her leadership, ICAN was awarded the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize and played a key role in the adoption of the landmark UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.…
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Many deepfakes are designed to spread disinformation or cause confusion and mistrust, and therefore are a threat to UN Sustainable Development Goal 16: Peace, justice and strong institutions. How do we combat deepfakes, and can technology help us in any way to address this global challenge? Annelise Riles talks about this topic with V.S. Subrahmani…
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Combating climate change, and its impacts, is at the heart of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. More specifically, public education is key to addressing UNSDG number 13, which is climate action. In this episode, Spencer Glendon PhD. talks about his efforts to create a public utility for climate change through his nonprofit climate l…
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The impact of Russia’s war in Ukraine is far-reaching with some scholars arguing that the conflict threatens progress on all of the UNSDGs, especially UNSDG 16: peace, justice and strong institutions. In this episode, international law expert Oona A. Hathaway, discusses legal recourse to prosecute Vladimir Putin and other top Russian leaders for th…
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Three members of Northwestern University’s delegation to the United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP27) reflect on their experiences at the event, which was held November 2022 in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt.Niloufar Sarvian is a PhD candidate in Earth and planetary sciences at the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences, Regan Seckel …
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In this episode, two foreign career diplomats explain why facilitating communication and cooperation between their homelands and the communities of Chicago is essential, and the role of local diplomacy in addressing the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 17, which is partnership for the goals. The current Consulate General of the Republic …
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Former Ambassador Susan Jacobs spent much of her career in diplomacy focused on international children's issues, including a position as the United State’s first Special Advisor for International Children's Issues, helping to uphold The Hague Conventions on adoptions and abductions. In this episode, Jabobs joins Annelise Riles to talk about her car…
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Collaboration is a skill set that requires training and practice and it is an essential part of UNSDG 17, which focuses on partnerships between governments, the private sector and civil society. In this episode, guest Blythe McGarvie, shares expert advice on how to collaborate across global spaces and be a better global citizen. McGarvie is an expe…
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Racism is a human rights issue and eliminating racism is essential to UN Sustainable Development Goal 16: just, peaceful and inclusive societies and Sustainable Development Goal 10: Reducing inequalities. But what is done globally to combat this problem? Vilna Bashi, PhD, aims to blend her work as an artist and sociologist to explore answers to thi…
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This episode focuses on United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 16: peace, justice and strong institutions and the role data and information can play in helping developing countries achieve sustainable development. Jean-Louis Sarbib has built a career working across boundaries of public and private international organizations and national gover…
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The world – and human species – will reach a new milestone. Scientists estimate that the global population will cross the 8 billion mark on November 15th, 2022, ushering in a new age of potential challenges for countries across the globe. What does this population growth mean for achieving the United Nations sustainable development goals? To discus…
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Combating climate change was at the forefront of the historic U.S.-Pacific Island Country Summit, which was recently held in Washington. It resulted in an important new declaration signed by leaders of 14 Pacific Island countries and the United States. Steven McGann, former U.S. ambassador to Fiji, Nauru, Kiribati, Tonga and Tuvalu, joins Annelise …
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Education is a basic human right and the foundation for peace and sustainable development according to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). UNSECO recently released the Futures of Education report: "Reimagining our futures together: a new social contract for education." Noah Sobe, PhD, worked on the creatio…
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Building scientific capacity is essential to strong institutions and supporting problem-solving and innovation, especially in the Global South. Romain Murenzi, PhD, Executive Director of The World Academy of Sciences (TWAS) joins Annelise Riles to talk about United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 16, peace, justice and strong institutions, and…
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Russia’s ongoing war in Ukraine is no longer a short-term event and its impact is going to shape global affairs for a long time to come, according to Fiona Hill, a leading expert on Russia and Vladimir Putin’s regime. In this episode, Hill shares insight on Putin’s actions, what could happen next, and how the war may impact our world for decades to…
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Solving the world's most complex problems, such as those the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals aim to tackle, requires new ways of thinking. In this episode, Julio M. Ottino, Dean of the McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Sciences at Northwestern University, discusses his new book “The Nexus,” which is a call to “augmenting” our…
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Today’s guest is working towards UN Sustainable Development Goal 16: peace, justice and strong institutions. Alison E. Dilworth is a Foreign Service Officer with more than 20 years of experience, serving in countries such as Paraguay, Israel, Egypt, Poland and the United Arab Emirates. She is currently the Director of the Office of Children’s Issue…
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Good cybersecurity is critical to protecting people's rights to privacy and also the security of our economic markets. The companies behind popular digital platforms are critical players in this effort that is central to United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 16, which is peace, justice and strong institutions. Roland Cloutier is the global ch…
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Marwan M. Kraidy is a scholar of global communication, a leading authority on Arab media, and the CEO and Dean of Northwestern University in Qatar. One of his first major initiatives as Dean was the creation of the Institute for Advanced Study in the Global South. The Institute will produce and promote evidence-based storytelling focused on the his…
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Maria Hadden brings a global point of view to her position on the Chicago City Council as the alderwoman of the 49th Ward. Since being elected in May 2019, she has pushed forward issues of local, national and international importance, such as recognizing Juneteenth as a city holiday, exploring reparations to Black people and supporting a treaty out…
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On this episode of Breaking Boundaries we welcome Juliet Sorensen, a Clinical Professor of Law at Northwestern’s Pritzker School of Law and the director and founder of the Northwestern Access to Health Project. Sorenson is an international human rights champion whose work is changing the lives of women and girls around the world. Gender justice is …
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In recent weeks, Russia has assembled tens of thousands of troops on its border with Ukraine, actions that led to a phone call on Dec. 7, 2021, between President Biden and Vladimir Putin about consequences should Russia plan any attack. On this episode of the Breaking Boundaries podcast, two former U.S. ambassadors weigh in on the current tensions …
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Using the power of narrative film to explore a current global crisis is not only a delicate art, but a personal passion for Rana Kazkaz. She is an award-winning filmmaker and Assistant Professor of Communication at Northwestern University in Qatar where she teaches narrative filmmaking. Her work focuses on Syrian stories with many of her short film…
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Breaking down silos, trying to help people to work together across boundaries of discipline, profession and culture, is a difficult job and one that Christian Madsbjerg has spent much of his career trying to accomplish with much success. Madsbjerg is the co-founder of the consulting company, ReD Associates, Professor of Applied Humanities at The Ne…
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The Northwestern delegation that attended COP26 in Glasgow is back on campus. Of the many topics discussed at COP26, climate change and the roles and rights of Indigenous peoples was top of mind for our delegation.Here to discuss this topic is Reynaldo Morales. He’s a member of our delegation and an assistant professor at the Medill School of Journ…
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Righting injustices in energy and climate change regulation is an important part of addressing the global climate crisis. Hari Osofsky, Dean of Northwestern University’s Pritzker School of Law, talks about working with business, government and nonprofit leaders to make bipartisan progress on climate, energy and equity issues.…
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Universities are uniquely positioned to take action on climate change. Experts John Robinson of the University of Toronto, and Jennifer Dunn of Northwestern University, discuss how to change the institutional culture of universities to make sustainability an essential component of operations as well as research and education missions.…
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Economic growth at expense of the environment is no longer an option. Chris Canavan, a Partner at Lion's Head Global Partners and Chairman of the Governing Board of the Institute for New Economic Thinking talks about how an outdated economic structure is endangering our planet and new approaches that could save it.…
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Building new and necessary infrastructure while complying with sustainability agendas and agreements is a challenge that must be met in the next decade. Kate Newman, Vice President for Sustainable Infrastructure and Public Sector Initiatives at the World Wildlife Fund, and Jim Hambleton, of Northwestern University, discuss the paths forward to make…
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Innovators. Trail Blazers. Boundary Breakers. These are the people you will meet on the Breaking Boundaries podcast. Annelise Riles is the host of the show and Executive Director of Northwestern University's Roberta Buffett Institute for Global Affairs.This podcast series illuminates how leaders and experts across sectors, national borders and cult…
  continue reading
 
This fall, Northwestern Buffett will launch a new podcast featuring stories of research collaborations and other partnerships fueling progress toward addressing complex global challenges ranging from climate change and food insecurity to poverty and inequality. Episodes will spotlight idea catalysts and innovators blazing new trails toward reaching…
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One’s census tract continues to predict one's access to the learning experiences research shows are essential for developing the skills, identity and interests necessary to access and power STEM possible futures. While this reality is not new, the advancement in technology and data science coupled with America’s growing awareness of the embeddednes…
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Survey evidence from 16 developing countries shows widespread employment loss and declines in income and food security since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. These patterns are apparent in Ghana. In this Northwestern Buffett "Building Sustainable Futures: Global Challenges and Possibilities" webinar, Chris Udry, professor of Economics at Northwe…
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Mexico and Colombia have been theaters of the war on drugs for half a century, yet both Latin American countries continue to be two of the largest producers of illegal drugs in the world, where many regions are hellscapes of violence, corruption and inequality. Why do governments keep insisting on a strategy that has consistently failed according t…
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The last few years have seen a shift in the global balance of power due to evolving political and economic interests. What are the implications of these shifts on existing trade relationships between and amongst countries in the Global South, and what role will the United States, the United Kingdom and the European Union play? How do we assess the …
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Primarily focused on economic inequality, United Nations Sustainable Development Goal #10, “Reduced Inequalities,” also aims to “empower and promote the social, economic, and political inclusion of all, irrespective of age, sex, disability, race, ethnicity, origin, religion, or economic or other status.” Yet today’s global inequities possess long l…
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According to the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, climate change has disproportionately exacerbated many challenges global Indigenous communities face, including political and economic marginalization, loss of land and resources, human rights violations, discrimination, and unemployment. Yet despite these challenges and despite …
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How can we "read" or understand policy responses to climate change? We can "read forwards," drawing on scientific evidence and reasoning to project consequences and dictate policy responses. Or we can "read backwards"; we can look to the human beliefs, values, and goals that impute meaning to the world to understand the many lines of evidence and r…
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Can environmental activism save the world? And if it can, how? This webinar features perspectives on the future of environmental activism and the role of activism in shaping global environmental outcomes, including combating climate change. Northwestern Professor of Management and Organizations Brayden King will be joined by Phil Radford (Founder, …
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Many observers expect that Joe Biden’s presidency will quickly restore federal climate change measures and reverse the U.S. withdrawal from international commitments that we witnessed over the past four years. Many hope for substantial new domestic efforts—some sort of "new green deal"—and for the United States to fuel far-reaching international co…
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How are racial boundaries defined, and who decides where they lie? What aspects of power and privilege are at work in designing the rules that rule race? Why do states make and manipulate racial classification schema, and with what effects? Northwestern University Associate Professor of African American Studies Dr. Barnor Hesse was joined by Dr. De…
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Many observers are excited that Joe Biden’s presidency promises to bring international cooperation back into American foreign policy, but whose interests are advanced and whose are harmed by international agreements? While international cooperation is often presented as a smart, pragmatic and progressive approach, a closer look reveals some reasons…
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Islamophobia is commonly understood to be part of the aftershock of 9/11, but surfaced as a category at the beginning of the 20th century at the height of white supremacy. What does the re-appearance of Islamophobia tell us about white supremacy now? Northwestern University Associate Professor of African American Studies Barnor Hesse will be joined…
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As the United States struggles to resist the crumbling of its institutions in the face of polarization and populism, Ukraine struggles to surpass corruption and foreign domination—including corruption in which wealthy Americans have participated. In some respects, the two countries appear to be converging. What can each country learn from the crise…
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