In partnership with the Sydney Opera House and the US Studies Centre, three-time Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and acclaimed author Thomas Friedman speaks at the Melbourne Town Hall. A long-standing and influential commentator on the Middle East and global affairs, the best-selling author discusses the trends that will shape the future. He’s joined by veteran journalist turned politician Maxine McKew.
Friedman begins with an extended presentation. Key topics covered include:
Friedman starts out by clarifying why US domestic politics are so central to its adventures in foreign policy
the American dream and why it is now ‘in play and in peril’
a reading from his latest book (co-authored with Michael Mandelbaum), That Used to be Us: What Went Wrong With America? And How it Can Come Back, describing everyday signs and comparisons that signal the nation’s struggle to keep up with new powers like China
the four great challenges facing his country
‘hyperconnectedness’, a term that figures prominently in the journalist’s discussions of pervasive media and information transfer – tools which have found their way to even the most remote locations on Earth
how information systems affect labour markets and collapse our traditional understanding of here and there, developed and developing. “The round world is over,” he declares. “We’re now in the flat world”
our need to “find the extra” in ourselves – and explains how that may mean we need to think like an immigrant, an artisan and a waitress
Following his presentation, Friedman is joined on stage in conversation with journalist and former politician Maxine McKew. Key topics covered include:
why, when disaster has been touted so many times previously, this period represents America’s authentic crisis
the US debt crisis and the Tea Party Republicans (they have “Taliban-like qualities”)
Egypt “apolitical” revolution, “the most fascinating story I’ve ever covered.”
how we can educate our societies to become more resilient economic subjects
what keeps him optimistic about the future of the US
Friedman closes his appearance by reiterating his opening point: that in order to progress, America must look inward.
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