‘It’s the Most Extraordinary Time’ to Be Young on International Front

[ 0 ] July 3, 2013 |

Today’s Internet is connecting people across the Earth in ways that have never been possible before – and that bodes well for future relations with other countries.

“It’s the most extraordinary time, in a way, in human history,” says Nicholas Burns, a professor of diplomacy and international politics at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, and director of the Future of Diplomacy Project and the Aspen Institute’s Aspen Strategy Group. The former ambassador and told genConnect at the 2013 Aspen Ideas Festival that he believes that the connections being made across continents are vital to overcoming challenges that face us as a nation – and as a world.

Watch Nicholas Burns discuss the challenges our society faces and how we can connect across continents at the 2013 Aspen Ideas Festival:  

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“The big challenges are climate change, trafficking of women and children, drugs and nuclear proliferation,” says Burns. “These are issues that face every person on Earth. It connects the world in a way that has never been connected before.”

Burns believes that these transnational challenges are the biggest issues facing today’s younger generation. Plus, there’s the China factor – that chinaflagcountry is one of the leading countries in politics, business, economics, art and education. It’s a career opportunity ripe with promise for any young person in the U.S. – whether one is looking to be a diplomat, public servant, or in another position in which China would be a focus. “If we clash, it could be catastrophic for the rest of the world,” he says. “If we learn how to work together, it can be reinforcing for the rest of the world.”

First and foremost though, Burns agrees with friend and author Richard Haas and what he writes in his new book, Foreign Policy Begins at Home: The Case for Putting America’s House in Order. “Any country’s power is really a function of its ability to be stable and productive at home,” Burns says. “If you’re not stable at home, then you’re not going to be effective overseas.

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Category: Aspen Ideas Festival 2013

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About Nicholas Burns: Nicholas Burns is Professor of the Practice of Diplomacy and International Politics at the Harvard Kennedy School, Director of the Future of Diplomacy Project and Faculty Chair for the Programs on the Middle East and [...]
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