2017 Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative

The Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative (YLAI) builds linkages between younger leaders across the hemisphere. YLAI will help address the opportunity gap for youth, especially women, by empowering entrepreneurs and civil society leaders with the training, tools, networks and resources they need to transform their societies and contribute more fully to economic development and prosperity, security, human rights and good governance in the hemisphere.

YLAI Professional Fellows Program

YLAI aims to empower Latin American and Caribbean business and social entrepreneurs to transform their societies and contribute more fully to economic development and prosperity, security, human rights and good governance in the hemisphere. Twenty-four Latin American and Caribbean entrepreneurs participated in a successful pilot YLAI fellowship program in spring 2016, creating the beginning of a vibrant network of entrepreneurs in the Western Hemisphere. Following the success of this YLAI pilot, an additional 250 YLAI fellowships were awarded to rising young business and social entrepreneurs in fall 2016. They traveled to the U.S. in October 2016 for a six-week exchange, which included an orientation in Dallas, Texas, placements with Fellowship Hosts at businesses and organizations in 21 city hubs across the United States, and a culminating YLAI Summit from November 9-11 in Washington, DC.

YLAI hopes to generate $1 billion for emerging business and social entrepreneurs by the end of 2017 by helping Fellows attract new investments and in-kind resources for their businesses or organizations each year.

YLAI Network

The YLAI Network is a vibrant community of young entrepreneurs and changemakers from Latin America and the Caribbean who are committed fostering economic development and prosperity, security, human rights and good governance in the hemisphere. The YLAI Network is a signature part of the U.S. government’s efforts to increase partnerships with future leaders to help promote economic growth and strengthen civil society.

Join the network and gain access to digital resources, training and networking opportunities, and the chance to connect with senior leaders in business and government as well as other young leaders working to create change in their communities.

Learn more about the YLAI Professional Fellows Program and YLAI Network.

 

The Un-Natural World: The Race to Remake Civilization

Cost:

Free, Members
$10, Students
$20, Public

+$30 for included dinner

Thanks to a generous donation by the William E. Barth Foundation, we are now able to provide a limited number of complimentary tickets for students who wish to attend our World at Home speaker series. If you are an educator or student and would like more information on reserving these tickets, please contact mckenzie.nalley@worldkentucky.org.

About this Event:

We now live in a world in which every year is the hottest year on record, in which Ocean levels are rising, species are dying, and pollution is growing. With the regularity of grim forecasts about the future of the planet it is easy to despair about impact of human progress. Imagine, however, drones that can count trees, a stove fueled by human and animal waste, extinct animals brought back to life, and rocks that can absorb greenhouse gas. If human beings are capable of destroying the environment, then we should also be capable of saving it.

Join us as David Biello examines the more hopeful side of human technological advancement. From Elon Musk and electric cars to the sewers of London, Biello will give an overview of the history of artificial environmental change. More importantanly though, he will look at the scientists, leaders, innovators, and entrepreneurs today who are trying to engineer an environment better for both the world and the people who inhabit it.

5:30 Reception
6:00 Program
7:30 Dinner

David Biello is the current Science Curator for TED and an award-winning journalist who writes on issues of energy and the environment. In the past he was the Environment and Energy Editor at Scientific American, and is the host of PBS documentary shows Beyond the Light Switch and The Ethanol Effect.

Register for this Event

The Envoy: From Kabul to the White House

Cost:

Free, Members
$10, Students
$20, Public

+$30 for included dinner

Thanks to a generous donation by the William E. Barth Foundation, we are now able to provide a limited number of complimentary tickets for students who wish to attend our World at Home speaker series. If you are an educator or student and would like more information on reserving these tickets, please contact mckenzie.nalley@worldkentucky.org.

About this Event:

Zalmay Khalilzad is one of the most experienced and respected American diplomats today, having helped guide American policy in the Middle East through the most turbulent years of the Iraq and Afghanistan occupations. Raised in Kabul, Afghanistan, he spent time as a teenager in California as an exchange student and later received his PhD from the University of Chicago. In 2001 he was made Special Envoy to Afghanistan by George W. Bush and was later appointed as Ambassador to Afghanistan, Ambassador to Iraq, and Permanent US Representative to the UN, becoming the highest ranking Muslim American in the Bush Administration.

He still maintains close ties with high-level leadership throughout the Middle East and Central Asia, and is regularly called upon to provide strategic advice to numerous heads of state. He appears frequently on US and foreign media outlets to share his foreign policy expertise.

Join us as Former Ambassador Khalilzad discusses his childhood in Kabul, his experiences moving to the United States, his extensive foreign policy experience and role in post 9-11 Middle East policy, and his insights into the state of Middle East politics today.

Time:

5:30 Reception
6:00 Program
7:30 Dinner

Register for this Event

2017 Iraqi Young Leaders Exchange Program – Youth Activism in Civil Society

The U.S. Department of State, World Affairs Council of Kentucky and Southern Indiana, and World Learning once again present the Iraqi Young Leaders Exchange Program!

Iraqi Young Leaders Exchange Program: Louisville, Kentucky

Exchange Dates: August 3 – September 3, 2017

Host Community Dates: August 13 – 27, 2017

Participant Numbers: 12 – 13 Iraqi students / 1-2 Iraqi Adult Mentor(s)

 

The goals of the Iraqi Young Leaders Exchange Program are to:

  • promote mutual understanding, respect, and collaboration between the people of the United States and Iraq;
  • develop a cadre of young adults in Iraq who have a strong sense of civic responsibility, a commitment to community development, awareness of current and global issues, and strong interpersonal leadership skills;
  • foster relationships among youth from different ethnic, religious, and national groups in Iraq;
  • include significant interaction with American peers and/or families; and
  • prepare youth leaders to become responsible citizens and contributing members of their communities.

In addition to the primary goals mentioned above, each program will also have one of following three sub themes:

  • Peacebuilding, Dialogue, and Reconciliation
    • Topics may include: political reconciliation, dialogue among diverse groups, interfaith dialogue, innovative peacebuilding methods, bipartisanship, pluralism, conflict transformation, conflicts within school settings, teen courts.
  • Youth Activism and Countering Violent Extremism
    • Topics may include: youth mentorship, gangs and drugs, youth councils, community centers and interventions, education initiatives, youth employment, sports, LGBTQ support centers, race and identity.

The programs has a three segment structure. During the first segment in Vermont, students will focus on large program themes and concepts, teambuilding, leadership skills, cross cultural communication, and program educational expectations.

The second segment, for which Host Communities will be responsible, will provide opportunities for students to practice their leadership and cross cultural communication skills, and experience program themes. This should be achieved through site-visits, practical hands-on training and skills building sessions, home stay placements, volunteer opportunities, and cultural activities.

During this period, the participant objectives are as follows:

  1. Participants will develop and model leadership, problem solving, public speaking, organizing, and critical thinking skills through hands-on experience
  2. Participants will strengthen understandings of civic engagement, the subtheme, and the role of various actors in society (local government, NGO’s, businesses, citizens)
  3. Participants will further expand their tolerance and empathy for diverse cultures and perspectives, strengthen their cross-cultural skills, and extend their comfort zone
  4. Participants will develop strong relationships with host families, youth in the host communities, and within the cohort
  5. Participants will be exposed to “real life” in the U.S. and further break down stereotypes

The final segment of each exchange takes place in Washington, DC and will focus on synthesizing the initial program segments and developing community project plans that the students will implement when they return home.

Please contact the World Affairs Council of Kentucky and Southern Indiana if you would like to volunteer as a host family for one of these amazing young students!

The Rise of Fake News

Cost:

Free, Members
$10, Students
$20, Public

+$30 for included dinner

Thanks to a generous donation by the William E. Barth Foundation, we are now able to provide a limited number of complimentary tickets for students who wish to attend our World at Home speaker series. If you are an educator or student and would like more information on reserving these tickets, please contact mckenzie.nalley@worldkentucky.org.

About this Event:

Public distrust of the media is at the highest it has ever been, and the recent election has brought the term “Fake News” to the forefront of the American political consciousness. It seems as though every news source from every part of the political spectrum has at some point in the last year and a half been accused of advancing an agenda or publishing fake news. How did this climate of distrust and disinformation emerge? What are the standards which make a news organization credible? Can news be unbiased? What is the difference between between bias and credibility? What comprises journalistic ethics and does that ultimately blur or clarify the line between the two?

Join us as Colleen Nelson, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, tackles these questions and others as she explores the drastically changing landscape of American news.

5:30 Reception
6:00 Program
7:30 Dinner

Colleen Nelson is the Editorial Editor for the Kansas City Star. From 2012–2016 she was the White House Correspondent for the Wall Street Journal and with them covered both the 2012 and 2016 presidential elections. In 2010 she and two others at the The Dallas Morning News won the Pulitzer Prize in Editorial Writing for their work exploring and exposing economic disparity in Dallas.

Register for this Event

2017 Jóvenes En Acción Young Leader Exchange Program from Mexico – July 18-30

The U.S. Department of State, World Affairs Council of Kentucky and Southern Indiana, and World Learning once again present the Jóvenes En Acción Young Leaders Exchange Program from Mexico!

Jóvenes En Acción Young Leaders Exchange Program: Louisville, Kentucky

Host Community Dates: July 18 – 30, 2017

World Learning Participant Numbers: 10-12 Mexican students / 1 American Adult Mentor(s)

 

 

Jóvenes En Acción Young Leaders Exchange Program:

Country: Mexico

Duration: September 2012 to April 2017

Funders: Secretaría de Educación Pública , US Dept. of State – Bureau of Educational and Cult

Contact: youthprograms@worldlearning.org

The program taught me I can be a part of change in the world, and that I can influence another generation.

2016 Jóvenes en Acción participant

Program Description

Jóvenes en Acción (Youth in Action), is a four-week summer exchange program in the United States focused on civic education, community service, and youth leadership development for Mexican high school students. The program includes subthemes that focus on how local communities can develop a culture of lawfulness by addressing problems related to gangs, violence, substance abuse, bullying, human rights, or social disintegration.

Participants engage in a variety of activities such as workshops on leadership and service, community site visits related to the program themes, interactive training, presentations, and visits to high schools, supplementary English language classes, local cultural activities, and more.

Follow-on activities with the participants are an integral part of the program, as the students apply the knowledge and skills they have acquired by planning and carrying out service projects in their home communities.

Program Cycle

Students travel to the United States in July to World Learning’s SIT Graduate Institute in Brattleboro, VT; followed by homestays in cities across the United States; concluding their program in Washington, DC.

Alumni conferences are held regionally throughout Mexico, as well as annually in Mexico City.

Program Goals & Objectives, as defined by the Department of State

The goals of the program are to:

Promote mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of Mexico;

Prepare youth leaders to become responsible citizens and contributing members of their communities; and

Nurture a cadre of students to be actively engaged in addressing issues of concern in their schools and communities upon their return home, and to be equipped with the knowledge, skills, and confidence to become citizen activists.

“The whole program was an amazing experience…I learned a lot and met some of the most important people I may ever know.” -2015 Jóvenes en Acción participant

Examples of Jóvenes en Acción Alumni Projects

¡No te bajes, espera tu parada! Don’t get off, wait for your stop! – Youth in Ciudad Acuña, Coahuila created a peer tutoring program in their school to help students succeed in their studies. They are also coordinating workshops and motivational speakers for after school events.

No conoces mi historia. You don’t know my story – Youth in Monterrey, Nuevo León have been facilitating anti-bullying, leadership, and positive values workshops in their high school as well as a local preschools and elementary schools.

Alza la mano por un hogar sano. Raise your hand for a healthy home – Youth in Matamoros, Tamaulipas have been leading monthly workshops and conferences for parents and high school-aged students to teach tools for managing healthy relationships.

“I can tell that I am part of a complicated society but when you are willing to help your community in different activities, I feel so happy and proud that my example and my actions are the guide for other young people.” -2014 Jóvenes en Acción participant

The final segment of each exchange takes place in Washington, DC and will focus on synthesizing the initial program segments and developing community project plans that the students will implement when they return home.

Please contact the World Affairs Council of Kentucky and Southern Indiana if you would like to volunteer as a host family for one of these amazing young students!

Brian Easley – WAC Visitor Program Manager – brian.easley@worldkentucky.org

America’s Diplomats Film Screening and Discussion

Cost:

Free, Members
$10, Students
$20, Public

Thanks to a generous donation by the William E. Barth Foundation, we are now able to provide a limited number of complimentary tickets for students who wish to attend our World at Home speaker series. If you are an educator or student and would like more information on reserving these tickets, please contact mckenzie.nalley@worldkentucky.org.

About this Event:

2017 America’s Diplomats Film Screening and Discussion – Presented by the World Affairs Councils of America and the American Academy of Diplomacy, and featuring Ambassador Margaret Scobey.

The objective of this program is to examine and analyze what the American public wants to know about foreign policy, what they expect from foreign policy, and what makes people comfortable or uncomfortable with the conduct of American foreign policy. The program features a screening of the PBS film America’s Diplomats, followed by a discussion of the role of U.S. diplomacy with Ambassador Margaret Scobey.

The Academy will provide a copy of the film for screening and also will make available a former ambassador to speak on the importance of contemporary American diplomacy. The event will include a Q&A session with Council audiences. The program also consists of ancillary community outreach activities, including media interviews and a separate roundtable discussion (60 to 90 minutes in length) with a small, diverse group. During these roundtables, Ambassador Scobey would like to hear from local Council membership in order to better understand the foreign policy views and concerns of communities across the WACA network.

Register for This Event

 

IVLP: Multi-Regional Project – Change Makers: Women in Social and Political Sectors

The World Affairs Council of Kentucky and Southern Indiana is pleased to welcome an International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP)  Multi-Regional Project to Louisville under the auspices of the U.S. Department of State!

The program, titled, “Change Makers: Women in Social and Political Sectors,” will take place from June 11th through 15th, 2017. WAC has partnered with Global Ties U.S. and the Institute of International Education to bring the delegation to Kentucky and Southern Indiana.

The Department of State has outlined the following specific objectives for the project:

  • Examine the U.S. political system and the participation of women leaders at the local, state, and national levels;
  • Explore programs and initiatives that encourage young women to get involved in civic activities including politics, run for office, and run effective campaigns;
  • Introduce the role that women’s organizations take in shaping political dialogue and gain an understanding of effective interaction and support among women across various sectors;
  • Highlight legislation and programs that promote equal pay and fair treatment for women in the workplace and promote the value of women’s contributions in the home and as caregivers for the young and the elderly; and
  • Introduce initiatives and legislation that address women’s needs in the social arena including health care and education.

FIVE WARS: A Soldier’s Journey to Peace

 

Join the World Affairs Council of Kentucky and Southern Indiana on Thursday, May 25th at the Tim Faulkner Gallery in Louisville, Kentucky for a Memorial Day special edition of the ‘World @ Home’ Monthly Speaker Series. This May, we’ll be welcoming COL Fred Johnson, USA (Ret.).

Event Description:

This free WAC exclusive book pre-release and lecture will discuss Fred Johnson’s book, “FIVE WARS: A Soldier’s Journey to Peace” and will be followed by a book-signing.

Media Sponsor: 89.3 WFPL NEWS

Discussion Moderated By: WAC Vice Chair and Retired U.S. Air Force Brigadier General Rob Givens

Event Agenda:

5:30 P.M. | Event Registration and Networking Reception
6:00 P.M. | Program Commences
7:00 P.M. | Conclusion of Program and Book Signing

Cost:

General Public (Non-WAC Members and WAC Free Network Members) | Presentation  = FREE
World Affairs Council Paid Members* | Presentation = FREE

*[Members include: Student Backpackers ($25 level), World Travelers ($100 level), & Global Leaders ($250 level)]

 

To register for this event:

WAC has recently transferred to a new online ticketing service! You will now be able to register for events and/or purchase tickets online all in the same place with a lower transaction fee. With this change, all WAC paying members (Student Backpacker, World Traveler, and Global Leader members), free network members and non-members will register and/or purchase tickets through the same webpage. Complimentary tickets for paying members can be claimed on the same page. If you have any questions or concerns about this new process, please feel free to contact our office at 502-561-5422 or at contact@worldkentucky.org. Thank you!

 

WAC Paying Members, Free Network Members and Non-members alike — please click below to register for the event:

 

 

REGISTER FOR THIS EVENT

 

Meet our Featured Guest:

Fred Johnson is a retired Infantry Colonel who served 29 years in the United States Army.

Since retiring from the Army, Fred has continued his service, now in the Louisville, Kentucky, as the Development Officer for Kentucky Educational Television. Prior to his role at KET, Johnson was the director of workplace giving at Louisville’s Fund for the Arts, served as chief operations officer for Let’s Grow! Kentucky and was also the director of recruiting operations at the U.S. Army Recruiting Command at Fort Knox, Kentucky.

Before launching his career in fund development, Johnson – who holds a master’s degree in strategic studies from the U.S. Army War College in Carlisle Barracks, Pa. – enjoyed a 29-year career in the U.S. Army, during which time he was promoted to colonel and recognized with two Legions of Merit, a Bronze Star with valor device and three Bronze Stars for service.

He first went to war in 1991 during Desert Storm and participated in the liberation of Kuwait. In 1996, he participated in Operation Joint Endeavor in Bosnia, which helped end Serbian genocide of Bosnian Muslims. In 2006-2007, during Operation Iraqi Freedom, and at the height of the Surge, Fred received the Bronze Star for Valor during Operation Arrowhead Ripper and the liberation of Baqubah from Al Qaeda. In his last combat deployment, Fred was the advisor to the most senior military officer in the Afghan National Army, the Afghan Army Chief of Staff, as part of a NATO training mission. Prior to that, he commanded the Accessions Support Brigade at Fort Knox and commanded the Brigade Troops Battalion and served as the Deputy Commander for 3-2 Stryker Brigade Combat Team in Mosul, Baghdad, and Baqubah, Iraq. Johnson also served in Iraq during Operation Desert Storm and in Bosnia during Operation Joint Endeavor.

Johnson is an active supporter of the arts in Louisville and is the co-founder and development manager of Shakespeare with Veterans, a Kentucky Shakespeare program dedicated to helping veterans deal with the challenges transitioning from military service and overcoming combat trauma and PTSD.

Fred is from Centralia, Illinois, received his undergraduate degree in government and sociology from Wofford College in Spartanburg, South Carolina and holds two Master’s Degrees in military arts and science from the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College in Fort Leavenworth, Kan. He is married to Dr. Laura Johnson and his daughter Madelyn attends DePaul University in Chicago. He recently completed and published his memoir, titled “Five Wars: A Soldier’s Journey to Peace,” which is scheduled for release on Memorial Day 2017.

Will China and India Lead The Next Wave of Globalization?

Written by Monish Tourangbam and Pawan Amin.
Read the original article on The Diplomat.

Image credit: Flickr / Narendra Modi

On May 14, while addressing the gathering of 29 heads of state and other high level representatives attending the Belt and Road summit, Chinese President Xi Jinping projected the Belt and Road as a “road of opening up.” He went on to stress that “opening up brings progress while isolation results in backwardness.” Whether this was a jibe at the current protectionist dispensation in the United States or not, Xi did not hold back in comparing the initiative to the Western model of development assistance. While making it clear that China does not intend to interfere in other country’s internal affairs, export its social system or development model, Xi laid out the plan for a new model of win-win cooperation. He also announced new projects in the area of emergency food aid, poverty alleviation, health care and more; areas traditionally the mainstay of development assistance provided by the United States and other western countries. While there remains an ambiguity in the shape of things to come, it is largely acknowledged that Xi’s China has come out of the era of “hide and bide” to an era marked by a “New Type of Great Power Relations,” as Beijing phrases it, when China realizes the “Strong Army Dream.”

In the United States, Donald Trump won the presidency in part on the promise of saving American workers from the onslaught of globalization. He promised to kill the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and followed-through by withdrawing the United States from the agreement.

Meanwhile, the Chinese president has been championing globalization. At this year’s World Economic Forum, President Xi said, “Whether you like it or not, the global economy is the big ocean that you cannot escape from. Any attempt to cut off the flow of capital, technologies, products, industries and people between economies, and channel the waters in the ocean back into isolated lakes and creeks is simply not possible. Indeed, it runs counter to the historical trend.”

Until recently, Western leadership of the globalization era has been taken for granted. So, will the next stage of globalization be led from outside the West, by countries like China and India? Is this the beginning of the much-debated Asian century, where two Asian countries, outside the Anglo-Saxon world, redefine and reshape the future of globalization? While the United States under Trump seems to be pulling inward, at least in terms of global economic leadership, China under Xi and India under Modi, seems more intent than ever to face the brave new world.Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, speaking at the Raisina Dialogue this year, said, “The world needs India’s sustained rise, as much as India needs the world. Our desire to change our country has an indivisible link with the external world. It is, therefore, only natural that India’s choices at home and our international priorities form part of a seamless continuum.”

Do these speeches have any real impact on the way these countries conduct business?

For instance, Trump scrapping the TPP and reviewing multilateral trade agreements might signal a retrenchment from global economic leadership and a fillip to his “America First” sloganeering. However, the jobs that the United States has been offshoring to China are on the lower end of the value chain and mostly in assembling products which are designed and made in the United States. Returning these jobs to the United States would either mean convincing American workers to accept lower minimum wages or risk increasing the price of American products, thereby affecting their competitiveness. The real threat to employment in the United States is not China’s labor market, but increasing automation in manufacturing and other sectors. Moreover, as in the case of Apple, it has been proven that U.S. firms gain most out of offshoring low value manufacturing to China. On the other hand, onshoring high value manufacturing jobs, like Samsung’s chip plant for Apple, might provide high wages but does not contribute significantly to reducing unemployment in the market. Thus, U.S. tech and aerospace giants would be the biggest losers in a trade war with China. The question is, whether these companies could lobby successfully for a course correction.

On the other hand, China has been one of the biggest beneficiaries of globalization. With the support of China’s policy banks and sovereign wealth fund, Chinese firms have been able to outbid competition in the telecom, railways and infrastructure sectors globally. High speed railways is one example where foreign companies are finding it difficult to compete with the lucrative financial terms provided by Chinese companies. China gained expertise in this technology by opening up the sector for foreign investment, preconditioned on technology sharing. In a process which China likes to call “digestion and re-innovation,” it learnt from the technologies of different manufacturers investing in China. India wishes to do the same through the “Make in India” program promoted by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. While the initiative created a lot of interest overseas, transportation connectivity and legislative bottlenecks in land acquisition do not allow India to benefit completely from the forces of globalization.

While the Trump administration focuses on renegotiating trade agreements in order to reduce trade deficits, China has been emphasizing the jobs being created in the United States from investments made by Chinese firms. An editorial in Xinhua, China’s state run news agency, blamed Washington for job losses in China. Since Xi’s Davos speech, China has been taking measures to promote itself as the global leader of globalization. Soon after the speech, China’s State Council declared that it will open its economy for investments in banking, securities, investment management, futures, insurance, credit ratings and accounting sectors.

The banking and insurance sector in India can hope to benefit from these reforms if and when they do take place. However, the present threat to globalization does not come from China’s ability to attract jobs from United States. It comes from the possibility of an eventual trade war between Beijing and Washington. The Trump administration recently decided to drop the category of “re-exports” from its overall calculation of U.S. exports. This is important because the removal of re-exports will inflate the U.S. trade deficit, thereby providing the administration additional leverage to renegotiate trade deals. In light of the impending danger, the Associated Chamber of Commerce and Industry of India suggested that India build bridges with the Trump administration in order to avoid being caught in the crossfire. Soon after, China’s Global Times published an article asking India to not overestimate its economic ties with the United States, but rather focus on boosting domestic manufacturing capacity to become an integral part of the Asian supply chain.

India should indeed be wary of choosing sides between China and the United States. India’s own economic and security interests are intertwined with that of both the countries. While the A recent bill in the U.S. Congress to increase the minimum salary of H1-B visa holders hurts India’s IT sector by making it less lucrative to hire Indian workers, a healthy relationship with the United States remains of strategic significance to India. The importance is further amplified by the increasing economic influence that China stands to gain in Pakistan on successful completion of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). More importantly, it is the economic influence that China will gain across Eurasia as the One Belt One Road (OBOR) project gets underway (of which CPEC is a part), that requires India to prioritize its own economic interest and play its cards prudently.

Monish Tourangbam is Assistant Professor at the Department of Geopolitics and International Relations, Manipal University based in Karnataka, India

Pawan Amin is a Research Scholar at the Centre for East Asian Studies, School of International Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi