Go beyond international headlines and hear from expert speakers on a variety of global topics, with podcasts of our past programs. 

Global Conversations MINNEAPOLIS: Information Wars

Author and former Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Richard Stengel discusses his new book, “Information Wars: How We Lost the Global Battle Against Disinformation and What We Can Do About It.”

The Future We Want: The UN We Need

Stéphane Dujarric, Spokesman for UN Secretary-General António Guterres, discusses what is needed to address emerging global risks and opportunities.

American Foreign Policy in an Age of Uncertainty

Ambassador Thomas A. Shannon, Jr. shares his perspective on current foreign policy challenges and opportunities, the Trump administration’s understanding of the world, and its approach to promoting U.S. interests.

Global Conversations: Challenges and Change in Latin America

Hear Inter-American Dialogue President Michael Shifter discuss the complex and often strained relations between the U.S. and Latin America including a look at immigration and trade policies, the reversal of the Cuban thaw, the Trump administration’s return to a more militant war on drugs, and the implications of recent developments with Venezuela and China.

Global Conversations: State of the State Department and Diplomacy

Hear Tom Hanson, former U.S. Foreign Service Officer, discuss how changes within the U.S. Department of State are impacting ongoing relationships between the United States and its allies and adversaries.

Global Conversations: Internationally Hacked – World Wide Weapons

Hear Andrew Borene, Senior Director, U.S. Federal National Security Group Leader at Symantec Corporation, discuss the United States’ ability to respond to growing cyber threats.

A Conversation with Ambassador Awad on the Current State of Somalia

Hear Ambassador Ahmed Isse Awad, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of The Federal Republic of Somalia, speak about economic, political, and cultural aspects of Somalia as well as the country’s efforts to rebuild after years of war.

Global Conversations: A Rwandan Story of Healing and Forgiveness

Hear author and Rwandan genocide survivor Denise Uwimana shares her testimony and discuss Rwanda’s turbulent history and the projects and programs established to promote healing, renovation, and community building in the region.

Saving the Majestic Rhino: Conservations Challenges and Successes Across South Africa

Hear Nicole Benjamin-Fink, wildlife biologist and founder of Conservation Beyond Borders, discuss the work being done across political and geographic boundaries to engage communities in the socio-economic implications of policies that endanger the rhino.

Global Conversations: Women in International Development

Hear Lauren Hendricks, Executive Vice President for Program Strategy and Institutional Relations at Grameen Foundation, and a panel of international women entrepreneurs discuss creating new opportunities for women around the world by closing gender gaps.


Global Conversations: The Middle East – Regional Disorder

Hear Paul R. Pillar, Senior Fellow at the Center for Security Studies at Georgetown University, discuss the United States’ path forward in the Middle East and future relations with Iran.


Minnesota Responds to Climate Change: A Report from COP24

Hear J. Drake Hamilton, Science Policy Director at Fresh Energy, and a panel of industry experts discuss developments from the most recent global climate summit and share ideas about productive next steps in Minnesota.


2019 U.S. Foreign Policy Update with Tom Hanson

Hear former career Foreign Service Officer Tom Hanson explain the latest foreign policy developments, trends, and challenges facing the U.S. in the year ahead.

















Global Conversations: U.S. Global Engagement and the Military

Hear retired U.S. Navy Commander Jon Olson discuss how the military functions in today’s international order, and how might it be balanced with diplomatic and foreign assistance capabilities.


Global Conversations: The Waning of Pax Americana

Hear former U.S. Foreign Service Officer Tom Hanson discuss the shift away from Pax Americana and what it means for U.S. geopolitics and foreign policy.


Global Conversations: Iran, the U.S., and the Challenge of Nuclear Security

Hear Trita Parsi, author and Middle East foreign policy expert, discuss the challenge of nuclear security, followed by a Q&A with former Ambassador to Turkey Ross Wilson.


Global Conversations: Putin’s Re-election – Stability or Stagnation?

Hear Jill Dougherty, Global Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson Center and former Moscow bureau chief and correspondent for CNN, discuss the future of Russian foreign policy and power in the region following Vladimir Putin’s re-election in Russia.


Global Conversations: Turkey – A Partner in Crisis

Listen to the Global Conversations: Of all NATO allies, Turkey represents the most daunting challenge for the Trump administration. In the wake of a failed military coup in July 2016, the autocratic trend in Ankara took a turn for the worse. One year on, an overwhelming majority of the population considers the United States to be their country’s greatest security threat. In this age of a worsening “clash of civilizations” between Islam and the West, even more important than its place on the map is what Turkey symbolically represents as the most institutionally Westernized Muslim country in the world.


U.S. Foreign Policy Update 2018

Listen to the ever-popular annual U.S. Foreign Policy Update with Diplomat in Residence and former career Foreign Service Officer, Tom Hanson. Tom will explore and explain the latest foreign policy developments, trends, and challenges facing the U.S. and President Trump in the upcoming year, including nuclear security, international trade, and U.S. relations with China. This timely and thought-provoking presentation is recommended for anyone interested in international relations.


Great Decisions Conference: The Future of Europe

November 03, 2017

The outcome of the United Kingdom referendum on EU membership sent shockwaves across the globe and even caught some British voters by surprise. The EU has helped secure peace in Europe for the past 60 years. Now it faces an uncertain future. Amid a refugee crisis, lingering financial recession, and the constant specter of terrorism, unity seems more imperative than ever. But the Brexit vote underscores the complexities of integrating an extremely diverse continent. What will post-Brexit Europe look like, and how can U.S. foreign policy adapt?

Featured speakers and panelists, including former U.S. Foreign Service Officer Tom Hanson, offer their assessment of how these changes will affect the future of U.S.-European relations.


Global Conversation: Afghanistan/Pakistan

October 11, 2017

Major internal conflict has plagued Afghanistan for four decades. The U.S., for its part, has conducted military operations in the country nearly continuously since 9/11. Today, war with the Taliban persists, and tensions between the U.S. and Pakistan have gradually deteriorated. Dr. Manju Parikh, offers insight into what’s needed next and the Trump administration’s proposed foreign policy efforts in Afghanistan and Pakistan.


Global Conversations: Geopolitics of Energy

September 13, 2017

Climate change and the need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in concert with others, and the rapid change in global markets will increasingly affect how energy and foreign policy come together. Former Ambassador to Turkey Ross Wilson discusses these factors and their impact on U.S. foreign energy policy in the years to come.


Global Conversations: Nuclear Security

August 09, 2017

Augsburg College Professor Joseph Underhill, Ph.D., discusses the way forward for U.S. nuclear security policy. Nuclear nonproliferation was a top priority for the Obama administration. While the Iran Deal was a diplomatic victory toward this end, major threats persist from both state and non-state actors.

Global Conversations: African Folktales to Contemporary Authors

July 12, 2017

St. Olaf College Associate Professor Joseph Mbele and Augsburg College Associate Professor Mzenga Wanyama discuss how African stories – from ancient oral traditions to contemporary literature – find expression today, both in Africa and in the African diaspora.

Love, Africa: Insights from Pulitzer Prize-Winning Journalist

May 30, 2017

New York Times East Africa bureau chief and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Jeffrey Gettleman speaks about his “Love, Africa” story and the impact of U.S. policies in East Africa.

Global Conversations: Trade and Politics

March 9, 2017

University of Minnesota Professor Varadarajan V. Chari discusses the current U.S. political mood toward international trade and the development of policy solutions for the challenges at hand.

Latin America: Prospects for Peace and Progress

February 22, 2017

Hear Inter-American Dialogue President Michael Shifter speak about the challenges facing Latin America – including trade and economic development, security and drug policy, and international migration. Moderated by John Rash, Star Tribune Editorial Writer and Columnist.

Global Conversations: The Future of Europe

February 9, 2017

Foreign Policy expert Bill Davnie discusses what post-Brexit Europe will look like and how U.S. foreign policy can adapt.

2017 U.S. Foreign Policy Update with Tom Hanson

January 24, 2017

Listen to the ever-popular annual U.S. Foreign Policy Update with former career Foreign Service Officer, Tom Hanson. Tom explores and explains the latest foreign policy developments, trends, and challenges facing the U.S. and Trump administration in the upcoming year, including nuclear security, international trade, and U.S. relations with China and Latin America. This timely and thought-provoking presentation is recommended for anyone interested in international relations.

Global Conversations: Cuba and the U.S.

December 14, 2016

Gary Prevost, political science professor at the College of Saint Benedict/Saint John’s University, discusses how American and Cuban leaders today are trying to find common ground on issues of mutual interest even as they continue to see the world through very different lenses.