Editor-Emeritus of World Policy Journal and Columnist at USA Today
Foreign affairs and editorial columnist for USA Today, David Andelman has lived in and reported from many international hot spots, and he focuses his keynotes on achieving an inclusive and sustainable global market economy. He is a champion of civic participation and effective governance, and he argues for collaborative approaches to national and global security. Andelman is American associate for the French magazine Politique Internationale, and appears regularly on France 24 TV in both English and French.
Learn Leadership From the Greatest
Top global leaders—dictators and democrats alike—have a lot to teach companies and each of us: how to lead and how to inspire. Every Soviet leader from Brezhnev to Putin, dictators from Qaddafi to Arafat to Rwanda’s Kagami, democrats from JFK to Nelson Mandela, presidents, prime ministers and kings (Mitterrand of France, Begin of Israel, Abdullah of Jordan)—all of whom David Andelman has met and talked with—each has his or her own style, lessons, dynamism, personality that we can all learn from and absorb. How they lead, and why people follow them, are critical lessons for today’s corporate leaders, and for each of us in our personal lives.
Democracy Run Amok: Diplomatic, Social and Financial Threats to Global Stability
Democracy, in its various forms, is becoming the single greatest threat to global stability and indeed the individual stability of so many countries where the United States and its allies are anxious to cultivate its establishment. Yet nearly everywhere we look these days, nations where revolutionary forces are embracing this idea—all too often hoping to lure the West, and especially the U.S. into an alliance—are failing their people and the cause of democracy writ large. At the same time, the establishment of "democracy" in one form or another in no way assures economic stability, a solid investment climate, or job creation, which is the ultimate force for stability and growth. In this sweeping and timely talk, David Andelman points us to other factors, signposts, and metrics that are far more reliable indicators of social stability and economic expansion. He takes us to Saudi Arabia, where an entire generation of mall rats is transforming the social landscape, and to Russia, where a new form of autocratic democracy is growing to stability on a foundation of oil. New challenges are all around us, Andelman says; this keynote charts and embraces them.
Think about how quickly the world is changing all around us—and how tough it’s been to keep pace with those challenges—from the perspective of those reporting from the ground, those who are ensuring that nothing irreversibly bad might happen, and those who are seeking to bend events to their own purposes.
The first war David Andleman covered—the war in Indochina—was really the last of its type: a foreign battle, fought on foreign battlefronts against a threat that was only theoretically existential to Americans. Today’s wars involve ill-defined enemies with pernicious agendas and risks, prepared to carry their battles to our own doorsteps. But even greater risks range from cyber attacks to threats of a new East-West Cold War, overpopulation and malnutrition but especially the resource that is most likely to produce the next world war—water, who controls it, who can use it—as our global population surges from 7 billion today to 11 billion before we know it. Monetizing each of these threats, calculating their costs, may also prove to be the most important business challenge of the coming years. In this essential talk, Andelman shares the global risks we need to be aware of—and how we can prepare for what's to come.
Opportunities in the Middle East: How to Seize the Moment of the Arab Spring
America and the West are losing the Revolution of the Arab Spring on a number of different levels. As has been the case for much of our relationship with the modern Middle East, back to the days following WWI, we are backing the wrong individuals, seizing on the wrong causes, and failing to understand or satisfy the most profound needs and desires of the people of the region—especially the young people. We are in so many ways at a crossroads here. For decades, we have been hostage to our support of Israel over the Palestinian cause. Suddenly, that is no longer center stage. We are at a point where we may still support Israel if we also support the forces of progressive change elsewhere in the region. This can, and should, equally be the posture of any corporation or business seeking to do business in the region. In this comprehensive and timely talk, David Andelman shows us that the right allies, suddenly, may also be the appropriate ones.
The Next China Crisis and How to Cope
Sometime in the next decade, the leadership of China has set as its mission to bring the vast interior of China—representing nearly two-thirds of its population—into the 21st century with one long pull. Imagine: a population twice the size of the United States suddenly becoming consumers of electricity, gasoline (for 500 million new cars!), housing, and the like. At the same time, how can such a 'new' China maintain a centralized, autocratic government? How do we in the West react to all this, and what will the impact be on China's neighbors (and potential competitors) from Taiwan and South Korea to Japan, and even Australia? How much of a role is there for western business, industry, and finance in facilitating this new Chinese revolution? David Andelman answers these questions, and more, in this forward-looking talk.
Surviving a Damaged Heart
For 69 years, David Andelman has lived with a damaged heart. It has taken him to 72 nations—climbed 12,000 foot heights in the high Himalayas, fled just ahead of Khmer Rouge guerrillas in Cambodia, beat solidly in his chest in the tropics of Chad and Ouagadougou, flattened itself on the earth on the Israeli border as Lebanese shells whistled over his head. But now, it was failing and he needed to face facts. Its main valve needed to be replaced, just like the Denver Bronco’s John Fox, or he might not last out the year. He, too, was failing—along with his damaged heart. Thus began Andelman's ascent with the help of a medical miracle—a new aortic valve made from the lining of a cow’s heart, hand crafted by a Chinese worker in a $40 million factory in Singapore, and sewed into his chest in open heart surgery in New York. Now, here he stands, ready for another 20 years traveling the globe.
Boca Grande Woman’s Club
Kudos to David for a talk he did here last week. Our auditorium was full—the audience was overflowing into the aisles and it was standing room only. The question period after his talk was indicative of the quality of his presentation and of the high interest there was from the group.
A Shattered Peace: Versailles 1919 and the Price We Pay Today
For more than half a century, it has been widely recognized that the unfettered revenge against Germany and the Austro-Hungarian Empire that was the cornerstone of the Treaty of Versailles created the circumstances that led inevitably to World War II. Less acknowledged and understood is the treaty's profound impact on many other parts of the world—an impact that echoes to this day in the Middle East, the Far East, the Balkans, and, yes, in Iraq.
In A Shattered Peace, veteran foreign correspondent David A. Andelman takes a fresh new look at the Treaty of Versailles as the point of origin for many of today's most critical international issues. This revealing history exposes the powerful lessons that a six-month period in a long ago era has for us today. Andelman turns the spotlight on the many errors committed by the peacemakers that led to crises and bloodshed from Algeria to Kosovo and wars from Israel to Vietnam. Focusing on the small nations and minor players at the negotiations, including figures such as Ho Chi Minh and Charles de Gaulle who would later become boldfaced names, he traces the outcome of the deliberations through the history of the twentieth century and into the twenty-first. His conclusion is ominous: not only did the paternalism, ignorance, and self-serving approach of the Great Powers who sculpted the treaty lead to disastrous consequences that were predicted at the time, but current policies of the world's developed nations frequently repeat and reaffirm the same mistakes.
Andelman also paints a vivid picture of the glittering and often chaotic social whirl that accompanied the negotiations. Elsa Maxwell threw her first party; young Franklin Delano Roosevelt flirted with Parisian widows to the humiliation of his wife, Eleanor; princesses and young gentlemen in formal attire danced gaily to the hot new sound of American jazz—all this as prime ministers Georges Clemenceau and David Lloyd George ogled huge maps, dividing up territories and cementing their nations' positions as leading world powers for decades to come. Complete with insightful quotations from the diaries and correspondence of participants and previously unpublished photographs of the proceedings and their surroundings, A Shattered Peace will change the way you think about twentieth-century history, its influence on current events, and where we should go from here.
The Fourth World War: Diplomacy and Espionage in the Age of Terrorism
The longtime head of French intelligence analyzes the post-Cold War world, concluding that the new power struggle is between the Western industrial nations and the developing nations.