PS21 update week ending March 4

Another solid week of events this week, with both a very successful networking drinks in central London and a great discussion last night in Washington DC on social media, data and the changing US electoral landscape. You can watch the latter discussion on our YouTube channel here. Serious thanks to all of those who attended as well as our great panel, Frank Spring and Scott Talan.


I like to think I generally avoid going too far in the spirit of self-promotion but actually both pieces published this week just happen to be by me.

Firstly, in the latest of our Imagining 2030 series, I imagine what it might be like to look back from that date as a potential Donald Trump presidency. Am I underestimating how much damage he could do? I’d love to hear your thoughts. You can see the piece here.

Secondly, as many as you already know, this month I’m beginning my new gig as global affairs columnist at Reuters [Although I will continue my PS21 responsibilities]. On Reuters this week, I gave my best shot at exploring what the Syria civil war tells us about the state of the world.

Some really great events coming up this month in London, New York and DC — particularly a really good year of discussion in Washington on Monday and what should be a fascinating US perspective on Britain’s “armed diplomacy” in Whitehall later in the week. Sign-up details below.

Once again, thanks to all all for being part of the journey.




Monday, March 7 – Europe, a perfect storm of crises?

From the migrant crisis to a resurgent Russia, potential British EU exit to ongoing straivns within the Europe, the European project faces  multiple strains on a scale not seen in decades. Can the European Union itself when the storm? Which countries are most likely to see the next domestic political crises? And what can the United States do to influence events on a continent that had been presumed to have entered a new era of stability. The discussion will be moderated by Peter Apps, global affairs columnist for Reuters news and Executive director, PS 21. The panellists will include Sir Michael Leigh, former Director General for EU Enlargement, European  Commission and currently Senior Adviser at the German Marshal Fund, Heather Conley former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State in the Bureau for European and Eurasian Affairs. Now Senior Vice President, Europe program, Center for Strategic and International Studies as well as Simona Kordosova Lightfoot, Campaigns  Manager,  Future Europe Program, Atlantic Council.

Thomson Reuters, 1333 H St. NW., Washington DC, 3 PM. Sign up here


Tuesday, March 16 — US Foreign Policy — How Much Does the Election Matter?

From a resurgent Russia to the fight against ISIS, foreign policy has — periodically at least — firmly on the agenda for the 2016 election. But what impact will the vote really have on what the US does? What do the various advisers of candidates tell us about how they would operate in office? And how much difference can any US president make on the really big issues facing the country.

Peter Apps [moderator] — global affairs columnist , Thomson Reuters

Nikolas Gvosdev — professor of national security studies, US Naval War College

Other speakers to follow. Sign up here

Wednesday, March 16 – National Security Op-Ed Masterclass  

A chance for current and potential PS21 global fellows and other collaborators to discuss the art of writing and pitching op-ed pieces. Attendees are also invited to bring along a draft piece. This session will be led by Reuters global affairs columnist and PS21 founder Peter Apps and Reuters opinion editor Jason Fields.
Thomson Reuters, 1333 H St. NW., Washington DC, 6 PM.
E-mail here to apply. Numbers limited.


Thursday, March 10 — The British Experience of Armed Diplomacy

Whitehall, exact location to be confirmed to attendees, registration from 5:30 PM

A talk by Christopher D Kalenda, Senior Military Fellow, Kings College London

Christopher D Kolenda served as the Senior Advisor on Afghanistan and Pakistan at the US Department of Defense and served four tours of duty in Afghanistan. In 2009, he was hand selected by the Undersecretary of Defense for Policy to develop a new US strategy for the conflict and also co-authored the assessment of counterinsurgency strategy for US Gen. Stanley McChrystal.

In conjunction with Kings College London Diplomacy Society. Sign up here


Tuesday, March 15 — Geopolitics of the Energy Price Crash

Midtown Manhattan, 6 PM. In conjunction with Women in International Security

Having spent much of the first decade of the 21st century worried about ever rising energy prices, recent years have seen an almost unprecedented crash. What are the geopolitical implications of that for some of the globe’s most  major powers and unpredictable regions? PS21 pulls together a panel to discuss the winners and the losers, the risks and the opportunities.

Carolyn Kissane — Associate Professor, Center for Global Affairs, NYU

Other panelists to follow

Sign up here

Finally, we’d like to draw the attention of our younger subscribers to the following travel/mentorship opportunity from the Future Leaders Network. Note that the deadline for applying is at the end of next week.

The Future Leaders Network is seeking a delegation of five talented young people to represent the UK at the Y7 Summit in Tokyo, Japan.

The Y7 Summit is a global gathering of future leaders from the G7 nations, that seeks to generate policy recommendations through pragmatic and evidence-based negotiation. In 2016, the Summit will be held in Tokyo, Japan from April 30th to May 4th.

The closing date for applications is noon on Friday 18 March 2016

If you would like to find out more about this opportunity and to apply, please click here.

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