Dr. Parag Khanna presented How to Run the World: Collective Leadership in a Turbulent Age, as a part of the Academic Lectures Series, Nov. 14 in Marillac Auditorium.
The lecture focused on the developing economy and political landscape in the 21st century.
Khanna discussed his book How to Run the World, critically-acclaimed by The Economist and Fortune, with the audience. During his presentation, Khanna went into detail to describe the “No longer globalization, rather regionalization,” of the world.
The presentation itself lasted more than an hour, followed by a question and answer session. However, even before taking questions from the spectators, Khanna tailored his speech to the students.
Khanna called this generation the “Millennials,” relating most of what he offered to their current situation and saying that, “Students can be diplomats, everyone is a diplomat today.”
Khanna is an expert in global affairs and politics, who advised President Barack Obama on foreign policy during his presidential campaign. Esquire included the speaker on its list of the “75 Most Influential People of the 21st Century,”
as well as one of the 15 featured on the WIRED “Smart List.”
Khanna was introduced by St. John’s student Joel Scott. Khanna began the presentation with, “Is Globalization Coming to an End?” stating the distrust between the Arab and American world. Khanna interacted with the audience throughout, asking multiple questions on the future of the planet to his listeners.
One of the questions he asked of the audience was where their loyalty rested? Rather than with a
racial/ethnic group or with religion, many of the audience raised their hand for their cause or purpose unto which
they have been devoted.
Khanna’s ran through the history of it from the Silk Road to Colonialism to Total Globalization. “Globalization wasn’t global,” he said, “now everyone
He also presented a diagram of the 1990s geopolitical power that showed the United States at the center of the world. Presently, according to Khanna, “there is nothing in the middle. No one is asking our permission to do anything.”
In terms of what students and youth could do in the changing global marketplace, Khanna requested students to “continue to educate yourself, not just in university, after you leave here as well.” Khanna supported the use of Facebook and its usefulness in expression, “Facebook
is the 3rd largest country in the world.”
During the question and answer portion of the event, concerns arose about what students can do themselves to fit into a globalized society, and events happening around the world as well.
One student, Bashek Grimes, asked if there were any careers that would make an impact on globalization.
Khanna answered, “Any career can have an impact. You can even work in an investment bank, teaching English abroad, whatever skills set you have can be used.”
Khanna was critical of the United Nations, as well as the G20, stating that the UN Security Council “can’t stop genocide in Darfur, doesn’t intervene
in crisis after crisis, [it’s] diminished in its legitimacy.” And that, “[The G20] came up with nothing, they never come up with anything, otherwise we wouldn’t be occupying Wall Street.”
Asked by Scott for a mission for the students to close on, Khanna appealed to the audience “go out, go travel, the best thing you can do perhaps.” “There’s
no substitute for that one way plane ticket.”