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Barber

Dr. Benjamin Barber

travels from USA

Political Theorist and Author

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Our keynote speaker Dr. Benjamin Barber brings an abiding concern for democracy and citizenship to issues of politics, globalization, culture and education in America and abroad. Benjamin Barber's 17 books include the classic Strong Democracy(1984) reissued in 2004 in a twentieth anniversary edition; the international best-seller Jihad vs. McWorld. 

Political theorist and author of Jihad vs McWorld

Benjamin R. Barber is a Senior Research Scholar at The Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society of The Graduate Center, The City University of New York, the President and Founder of the Interdependence Movement, and Walt Whitman Professor of Political Science Emeritus, Rutgers University. An internationally renowned political theorist,  Dr. Barber brings an abiding concern for democracy and citizenship to issues of politics, globalization, culture and education in America and abroad. He consults regularly with political and civic leaders in the U.S. (former President Clinton, Howard Dean) and around the world (Germany, U.K., Libya, Italy).

Benjamin Barber is the author of If Mayors Ruled the World, to be published by Yale University Press in fall 2013. His 17 books include the classic Strong Democracy (1984); the international best-seller Jihad vs. McWorld (1995 with a Post 9/11 Edition in 2001, translated into thirty languages) and Consumed: How Markets Corrupt Children, Infantilize Adults, and Swallow Citizens Whole, published by W.W. Norton & Co. in 2007 (eight foreign editions).

Barber’s honors include a knighthood (Palmes Academiques/Chevalier) from the French Government (2001), the Berlin Prize of the American Academy in Berlin (2001) and the John Dewey Award (2003). He has also been awarded Guggenheim, Fulbright, and Social Science Research Fellowships, honorary doctorates from Grinnell College, Monmouth University and Connecticut College, and has held the chair of American Civilization at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales in Paris.

Barber presented “Why Majors Should Rule the World” at TEDGlobal in 2013. He appears often on television, including CNN, Fox News, Fox Business, the Tavis Smiley Show, Bill Moyers Journal, Charlie Rose, and GRITtv. With Patrick Watson he wrote the prize-winning ten-part PBS/BBC series The Struggle for Democracy and contributed to the British series Greek Fire. He wrote and narrated the film Music Inn, featured at the Tribeca and Munich film festivals. His plays have been produced off-Broadway and at regional theaters, while his song lyrics for British tenor Martin Best appear on the EMI concept album Knight on the Road.

Barber blogs regularly for The Huffington Post and writes for The Nation, Harper’s Magazine, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Atlantic Monthly, The American Prospect, Le Nouvel Observateur, Die Zeit, La Repubblica, El País and The Guardian. He was a founding editor and for ten years editor-in-chief of the distinguished international quarterly Political Theory. He holds a certificate from the London School of Economics and an M.A. and Doctorate from Harvard University.

See keynotes with Dr. Benjamin Barber

    Speaker Dr. Benjamin Barber Keynote Topics

    • Democracy
    • Politics
    • Economic Trends
    • Political Trends
    • Global Trends
10.09.2014

Interview with Dr. Benjamin Barber

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?

  • The absolute inevitability of interdependence in all the challenges that face us from ecology and epidemic disease to markets and terrorism.
  • The need for cross-border cooperation in seeking solutions.
  • 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?

  • President Bill Clinton responding enthusiastically to my remarks at Camp David about interdependence (a term he now uses widely).
  • A lecture in Libya on democratic civil society to academic and constitutional reformers at a meeting in Tripoli.
  • 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.

See keynotes with Dr. Benjamin Barber
Non-binding request for Dr. Benjamin Barber

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Keynote topics with Dr. Benjamin Barber