Surveying Geopolitical Risk and Opportunity

Global Disruptive Forces (GDF) – A course-length survey of geopolitical risk and opportunity

Geopolitics, terrorism, global health, technology, corruption, resources, demographics, and crime are among the many topics examined in the course-length offering of Global Disruptive Forces. This interactive seminar draws on 20 years of field-work across 70 countries and more than 2,000 interviews — revealing the texture, connectivity, and implications of the challenges confronting the world today and in the future. Sources include militants, refugees, traffickers, clergy, bloggers, scientists, business leaders, and NGOs. Film, photos, and interviews from war zones to boardrooms offer vivid testimony and analysis along the frontlines of global conflict and transformation.

Courses consist of in-depth, 50-minute explorations of topics chosen from a menu of 25 options. A concluding review draws connections between discussion issues, and also provides guidance on careers, graduate study, field-work methodologies, sourcing, and content delivery to the media and policy-makers. The courses include a detailed syllabus with readings, websites, and podcasts; materials collected during field-work; photographs and film footage; and, on occasion, guest speakers.

Presentation duration: one half-day to two days (sample schedules below)

Course Goals

  • Review and better understand disruptive forces
  • Widen aperture on the state of the world
  • Recognize the immense impact of poor governance
  • Understand the nature of today’s great power rivalries
  • Comprehend the impact of demographics, marginalization, migration
  • Grasp the nature and variety of non-state threats
  • Understand the rhetoric and reality of U.S. foreign policy
  • Identify opportunities and risks moving forward
  • Apply knowledge in/out of the classroom with a broader context
  • Prepare for future learning, career choices, impact

Sample schedules for half-day, one-day, and two-day GDF courses:

Half-day seminar schedule: (10-minute break between each topic)

Time Topics
10:00 – 11:00 Systemic Disorder: A World in Chaos
11:00 – 12:00 Contemporary Special Operations Forces
12:00 – 12:30 Lunch Break
12:30 – 1:30 Refugees, Migrants, and Human Trafficking
1:30 – 2:30 Energy, Food, Water: Emerging Trends in Critical Resources
2:30 – 3:00 Intersections, Policy, Careers, Graduate Study, Sources, Delivery

 

 

Sample one- & two-day seminar schedule: (10-minute break between each topic)

Day 1

Time Topics
8:00 – 9:00 Systemic Disorder: A World in Chaos
9:00 – 10:00 Terrorism and Insurgency
10:00 – 11:00 Demographics: Youth Bulges, Youth Marginalization, Aging Populations
11:00 – 12:00 Refugees, Migrants, and Human Trafficking
12:00 – 1:00 Lunch Break
1:00 – 2:00 Social Media: Force Multiplier for States, Corporations, & Militants Alike
2:00 – 3:00 Energy, Food, Water: Emerging Trends in Critical Resources
3:00 – 4:00 Intersections, Policy, Careers, Graduate Study, Sources, Delivery

 

Day 2

Time Topics
8:00 – 9:00 Transnational Organized Crime
9:00 – 10:00 Geostrategic Competition: Economic and Military Rivalries
10:00 – 11:00 Russia: Foreign and Security Policy
11:00 – 12:00 Religion and Ethnicity in Global Affairs
12:00 – 1:00 Lunch Break
1:00 – 2:00 Travel and Field-Work in Hostile Terrain
2:00 – 3:00 Africa’s Sahel Region: Drivers and Dynamics of Insecurity
3:00 – 4:00 Intersections, Policy, Careers, Graduate Study, Sources, Delivery

Topics in Global Disruptive Forces include but are not limited to:

  1. Systemic Disorder: A World in Chaos
  2. Geostrategic Competition: Economic and Military Rivalries
  3. Cyber Threats
  4. Frontier Market Political Risk
  5. Terrorism and Insurgency
  6. U.S. and Foreign Intelligence Operations
  7. Special Operations Forces
  8. Travel and Field-Work in Hostile Terrain
  9. Corruption and Bad Governance: Twin Pillars of Insecurity
  10. Refugees, Migrants, and Human Trafficking
  11. Transnational Organized Crime
  12. Africa’s Sahel Region: Drivers and Dynamics of Insecurity
  13. Europe: Populism, Migration, Division
  14. South and Central Asia: Heartland of Insecurity
  15. China: Foreign and Security Policy
  16. Russia: Foreign and Security Policy
  17. Pakistan, Turkey, Saudi Arabia: American Allies or Adversaries?
  18. Conflict Across the Middle East and North Africa after the Arab Spring
  19. Energy, Food, Water, and the Environment: Resources under Stress
  20. Religion and Ethnicity in Global Affairs
  21. Demographics: Youth Bulges, Youth Marginalization, Aging Populations
  22. Social Media: A Force Multiplier for States, Corporations, and Militants Alike
  23. Silver Linings: Progress and Promise Around the World
  24. Peering Around the Corner at Future Trends
  25. International Perspectives: How Other Governments & People View America