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Jared Cohen

Director of Google Ideas & Advisor to the Executive Chairman Google, Inc.


Jared Cohen is the director of Google Ideas, an Adjunct Senior Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, and the co-author (along with Google executive chairman and former CEO Eric Schmidt) of the New York Times best-selling The New Digital Age: Reshaping the Future of People, Nations and Business. Previously, he served as a member of the Secretary of State's Policy Planning Staff and as a close advisor to both Condoleezza Rice and Hillary Clinton. He was named one of Time's 100 Most Influential People in 2013.

Cohen has conducted research in Iran, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Afghanistan, and throughout Africa. As part of his research, he has interviewed members of Al-Qaeda, Hezbollah, and the Taliban. He is the author of the books Children of Jihad and One Hundred Days of Silence. He co-authored (with Schmidt) "The Digital Disruption: Connectivity and the Diffusion of Power," which appeared in Foreign Affairs just a few months before the Arab Spring. 2013's The New Digital Age offers a vision of our increasingly interconnected future, answering the question of how everything in the physical world will change over the next decade as five billion new users enter the digital world. Among Cohen's additional publications are Diverting the Radicalization Track (Policy Review), Iran's De Facto Opposition: Youth in Post-revolutionary Iran (SAIS Review), and Passive Revolution: Is Political Resistance Dead or Alive in Iran (Hoover Digest).

In 2011, Vanity Fair named Cohen a member of the "Next Establishment," The Washington Post and Harvard's Kennedy School of Government named him one of six "Top American Leaders," and Foreign Policy listed him as one of the "Top 100 Global Thinkers." He was named by Christian Science Monitor as one of the "Top 30 Under 30"; named by Business Insider as one of the "20 Brazen Young Professionals to Watch"; selected by the Huffington Post as one of "100 Game Changers"; and chosen by Devex as one of the "40 Under 40." He also won the 2010 and 2011 Tribeca Film Festival Disruptive Innovation Awards for his intervention in Iran's Green Revolution and most influential article of the year, respectively. He has been awarded the Secretary of State's Meritorious Honor Award twice, once by Condoleezza Rice and once by Hillary Clinton.

Jared Cohen currently serves as a member of the National Counterterrorism Center's (NCTC) Director's Advisory Board. He received his BA from Stanford University and his M.Phil in international relations from Oxford University, where he studied as a Rhodes Scholar.


The Next 5 Billion: Life in Our New Connected Age

Within the next decade, approximately five billion new people will go online. "The next five billion," as they're being called, are vastly different from the current two billion who populate the digital sphere, however. They will come from the most problematic parts of the world - regions wrought with political and economic instability - and will require drastically different customer service than the current "first world" users.

In this highly innovative and forward-thinking keynote - drawing on his book, co-authored with Google executive chairman and former CEO Eric Schmidt, The New Digital Age: Reshaping the Future of People, Nations and Business - speaker Jared Cohen examines how this shift in online demographics will affect geo-politics and corporations, individuals and groups alike as businesses and financial institutions strive to understand the needs and attributes of their new customer base. This is a highly customizable presentation; Cohen will provide both a big-picture view of the coming decade as well as a granular view of the aspects that affect your organization most - whether it is the future of commerce and trade; the future of identity and citizenship; the future of revolution or terrorism; or the future of conflict and intervention.

Cyber Crimes of the Future

We witnessed a physical attack on our nation on 9/11, as terrorists forcefully hijacked aircrafts and flew them into the Pentagon and Twin Towers. We've also experienced cyber attacks on our networks, as hackers on the other side of the world inserted malicious software into systems that operate some of our critical infrastructures. Now imagine a combined physical and cyber attack.

In this gripping keynote, Jared Cohen looks to the future and predicts that in the new digital age, every state will have two foreign policies and two domestic policies: one for the physical world and one for the virtual world. And to make matters even more complicated, these physical and cyber policies will often contradict each other. Cohen shares his insights on what to expect in the future and what we can do to protect ourselves from coordinated physical and cyber attacks.

21st-Century Statecraft: A New Way of Thinking

In the 21st century, statecraft – the art of leading a country, organizations, and companies – will be as much about relationship-building as it is negotiating. Drawing on his experience both in the government and in the private sector, Jared Cohen makes the compelling argument that governments and corporations must partner in order to develop fresh new solutions to traditional problems. This collaboration and exchange of ideas between the private and public sectors provides new and innovative ways to go about solving challenges, and opens up both parties to opportunities not available without the other. As the world changes rapidly around us, the communication and sharing of ideas between private and public has never been more vital. Throughout this keynote, Cohen shares successful examples and explores the vast possibilities that these collaborations can bring about in the future.

Understanding the Technological Revolution

Jared Cohen pioneered the use of technology in America's foreign policy. Using anecdotes and insights gleaned from his years in the State Department, Cohen explains that the technological revolution is not just about new technologies: it is about how individuals use them. For example, it was Cohen who successfully led the charge from the State Department to urge the postponement of the routine scheduled maintenance of during the Iranian election protests in the summer of 2009, recognizing Twitter as the Iranians' only outlet for voicing what was truly happening in their country. It was also Cohen who led dozens of tech CEOs from Silicon Valley into the most turbulent parts of the world in efforts to connect the industry and foreign policy. In this fascinating keynote, Cohen will use stories such as these to broaden your grasp of what technology is capable of, deepening your understanding of how it can be used creatively and strategically to put you – and your business – on the cutting edge.

Harnessing the Power of Youth

Did you know that over 60 percent of the world's population is under the age of 30? Jared Cohen does, and understands that this generation is the most savvy in connection technology yet, making it also the most individually-empowered generation in the world's history. Yet governments seem to ignore the size and potential influence of this demographic, perhaps failing to understand that the future of the world depends on what happens as this global youth bulge enters adulthood.

Today, young people in democratic societies take full advantage of new technologies, finding it increasingly easy to connect to the new diplomats and change-makers of the 21st century. And where autocracy dominates, the youth of these nations will become the de facto opposition. Cohen deftly articulates this phenomenon, while outlining a path for these young people – from the world's most democratic to its most autocratic societies.

Power Dynamics in the 21st Century

According to Jared Cohen, the 21st century will be all about surprises. The relationships that exist between governments, corporations, and citizens are changing in fundamental ways that are both altering the international system and giving rise to a new world order. The conventional lines of communication that we have known for years have changed right before our eyes. The new centers of power are empowered communities, existing in every corner of the globe – from emerging markets to cyberspace. With experience in and out of government, Cohen has watched these new power dynamics unfold in emerging markets throughout the world. In this riveting presentation, Cohen introduces audiences to this fascinating phenomenon, and helps them navigate through a new world in which individual voices can carry more weight than the traditional influencers of the past.

Modern Economic Statesmanship

Across the world, corporations, industry associations, economic development councils, chambers of commerce, and more are spending tremendous amounts of resources – from goodwill trips and partnership development to lobbying and good old-fashioned money – in developing global economic relationships. Yet we are entering into a dynamic new time, with new tools, new practices, and new behaviors that are already changing world diplomacy and redefining the rules for global business relationships. Join Jared Cohen as he explores the radically evolving nature of modern economic statesmanship as seen through his experiences in changing global diplomacy, both in the State Department and as Director of Google Ideas.

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