What if you were able to bring together great thinkers, put them in one room, and present them with the world’s most pressing questions? What would the results be?
York alumni Irvin Studin (BBA ’99, PhD ’11) and Sam Sasan Shoamanesh (BA ’99) hope to find out during a special conference they have organized for Nov. 14 and 15 in Toronto. The conference titled, Navigating the Strategic Dark: Framing the Security Environment for the Next Decade, will mark the debut of the Institute for 21st Century Questions, or 21CQ, a new vision and strategy think tank affiliated with Global Brief magazine, an international affairs magazine that began in 2009 in partnership with the Glendon School of Public and International Affairs at York University.
21CQ will be dedicated to tackling the world’s most pressing problems, including the future of the former Soviet space, international criminal justice, cybersecurity, the Middle East, the Quebec and Aboriginal questions, and, among many others, science policy and the Congo war. “The focus of this particular conference will be analysis, dialogue and problem-solving,” says Studin.
Navigating the Strategic Dark conference participants will debate questions around the global strategic narrative for the next decade. They will consider the current crisis between the Ukraine and Russia and whether it can be solved. They will also examine security questions related to situations in the Middle East, Africa, China and Latin America.
Structured as a series of panels, some of the experts attending include: Hubert Védrine, former foreign minister of France; John E. McLaughlin, former CIA director; Yoram Schweitzer, senior researcher and program director at National Institute for Security Studies in Tel Aviv; Jon Finer, the deputy chief of staff for the United States Secretary of State; Adama Dieng, the UN Secretary-General’s special adviser for the prevention of genocide; Fatou Bensouda, the chief prosecutor for the International Criminal Court and the former Attorney General and Minister of Justice of the Republic of the Gambia; and David Skilling, director of the Landfalls Strategy Group based in Singapore (to name but a few). They will be joined by a large international cohort of academics, some of whom include: York University Professors Simone Bohn and Michael Barutciski; Arabinda Acharya, professor at the National Defense University in Fort Bragg, Texas; Michael Morgan, professor, University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill; Vyacheslav Tolkovanov, former Ukrainian civil service head and professor, Higher School of Public Administration, Kiev; and Katerina Dalacoura, professor, London School of Economics.
The conference will also mark the fifth anniversary of Global Brief. The award-winning publication publishes four times a year, to a global readership, in English and French and features articles by leading and rising star writers on world affairs writ large, including international politics, business, culture movements and trade.