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

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.