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Interview with Dr. Benjamin Barber

In this interview with A-Speakers, Dr. Benjamin Barber answers questions regarding the global economy, his book and popular keynotes. Read more below.

What is the message you hope people take away from your presentations?

The urgency of our current democratic deficit and the anger at economic and governing elites, and what can be done to address the crises.


What is the feeling you would like people to take away?

– A sense of realism about the real challenges of the world, but a sense of optimism about how we can respond effectively – whether as citizens, political leaders or corporate executives.

– The urgency of our current democratic deficit and the anger at economic and governing elites, and what can be done to address the crises.


How do you prepare for speaking engagements?

By carefully reading the news from all parts of the world, and adapting my framing thoughts and reflections to current realities. This gives relevance to my concerns and allows me to connect things not immediately linked in the news.


What do you gain personally from being a public speaker?

A sense of gratification at being able to contribute to addressing some of the most difficult problems we face.


How much does humor factor into your keynotes and other speaking engagements?

Reality is pretty funny, so realism to me mandates humor! For example, i often address crisis by reminding listeners of that deep sea diver who, walking the ocean’s floor, gets a message from the ship above: “come up quick, the boat is sinking!”


What are the top three current political trends that people should be aware of, and which you elaborate upon in your speeches?

1. The absolute inevitability of interdependence in all the challenges that face us from ecology and epidemic disease to markets and terrorism.

2. The need for cross-border cooperation in seeking solutions.

3. The vital role, both positive and negative, of digital media in understanding and dealing with the new world.


How are your keynote presentations unique?

I bring a rare combination of the political philosopher’s historical and theoretical perspective, which frames global events and trends, together with extensive social, political and empirical knowledge of global and regional politics.


Do you have any unique memorable moments in your speaking career?

1) President Bill Clinton responding enthusiastically to my remarks at Camp David about interdependence (a term he now uses widely).

2) A lecture in Libya on democratic civil society to academic and constitutional reformers at a meeting in Tripoli.

3) Persuading executives from J.W. Thompson at a global meeting in Istanbul, Turkey understand that marketing is not an unmitigated good.


Can you give some postulations as to where the global economy is headed?

Deep trouble and continued crisis, not just for economic reasons, however, but because of an underlying crisis in trust and democracy that is not being addressed.


Click here to see Dr. Benjamin Barber’s profile!

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