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Parag  Khanna

Parag Khanna

The World's Leading Geo-Strategist

Biography

Parag Khanna is the world's leading geo-strategist and the next generation voice on the future of global affairs. He is currently a senior fellow at the Lee Kuan Yew School in Singapore and director of Hybrid Reality, a global advisory firm. Parag's latest books include Technocracy in America: Rise of the Info-State and Connectography: Mapping the Future of Global Civilization (2016). He is also co-author of Hybrid Reality: Thriving in the Emerging Human-Technology Civilization (2012) and author of How to Run the World: Charting a Course to the Next Renaissance (2011) and the international bestseller The Second World: Empires and Influence in the New Global Order (2008), which was translated into more than twenty languages. In 2008, Parag was named one of Esquire’s “75 Most Influential People of the 21st Century,” and featured in WIRED magazine’s “Smart List.” Read More >

Parag has been an adviser to the U.S. National Intelligence Council’s Global Trends 2030 program and served as the foreign policy advisor to President Barack Obama during his historic presidential campaign. From 2006-2015, he was a senior research fellow at the New America Foundation. During 2007, he served in Iraq and Afghanistan as a senior geopolitical advisor to the United States Special Operations Forces. From 2002-05, he was the Global Governance Fellow at the Brookings Institution; from 2000-2002 he worked at the World Economic Forum in Geneva; and from 1999-2000, he was a Research Associate at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York.

A widely cited global intellectual, Dr. Khanna appears frequently in media around the world such as BBC, CNBC, Al Jazeera and other international broadcasters. He is a contributing editor to WorldPostand serves on the editorial board of Global Policy. His 2008 cover story for the New York TimesMagazine titled “Waving Goodbye to Hegemony,” is one of the most globally debated and influential essays since the end of the Cold War. His articles have appeared in major international publications such as the Wall Street JournalFinancial TimesWashington PostHarvard Business ReviewTIMEForbesThe AtlanticQuartzForeign PolicyHarper’s, BusinessWeekThe GuardianThe National InterestMcKinsey QuarterlyThe American InterestEsquire, Slate.com, and Die Zeit. In 2010, he became the first video blogger for ForeignPolicy.com and from 2010-12 co-authored the Hybrid Reality blog on BigThink. From 2008-09, Parag was the host of “InnerView” on MTV. He spoke at TED Global 2009 and was a guest host of TED Global 2012.

Parag lectures frequently at international conferences and gives executive briefings to government leaders and major corporations on global trends and scenarios, systemic risks and technological disruptions, and market entry strategies and economic master planning. He serves on the advisory boards of Graticule Asset Management Asia and the Duet Group, and previously on the Innovation Advisory Board of DBS Bank.

Dr. Khanna holds a Ph.D. in international relations from the London School of Economics, and Bachelors and Masters degrees from the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. In 2015-2016, he was awarded the Richard von Weizsaecker Fellowship of the Bosch Foundation. He has been a Senior Fellow of the Singapore Institute of International Affairs, Visiting Fellow at LSE IDEAS, Senior Fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations, Distinguished Visitor at the Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto, Distinguished Visitor at the American Academy in Berlin, Next Generation Fellow of the American Assembly, Visiting Fellow at the Lee Kwan Yew School of Public Policy in Singapore, Non-Resident Associate of the Institute for the Study of Diplomacy at Georgetown University, and a Visiting Fellow at the Observer Research Foundation in New Delhi. He has received grants from the United Nations Foundation, Smith Richardson Foundation, and Ford Foundation.

Born in India, Parag grew up in the United Arab Emirates, New York, and Germany. He is an accomplished adventurer who has traveled to more than 100 countries on all continents. Some of his lengthy journeys include driving from the Baltic Sea through the Balkans and across Turkey and the Caucasus to the Caspian Sea, across the rugged terrain of Tibet and Xinjiang provinces in western China, and eight thousand miles from London to Ulaanbaatar in the Mongolia Charity Rally. He has climbed numerous 20,000-foot plus peaks and trekked in the Alps, Himalayas, and Tien Shan mountain ranges. Parag is also a competitive tennis player.

Parag has been honored as a Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum and currently serves on the WEF’s Global Agenda Council on Geo-economics and the advisory board of its Future of Urban Development Initiative. He also serves on the Council of the American Geographical Society, the advisory board of Independent Diplomat and board of trustees of the New Cities Foundation. He is a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations, International Institute for Strategic Studies, and a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society. In 2002, he was awarded the OECD Future Leaders Prize. He speaks German, Hindi, French, Spanish and basic Arabic. Read Less ^

Speaker Videos

TEDTalk: How Megacities Are Changing the Map of the World

Transforming the World Map - Connectivity is Destiny

Speech Topics

Trump & the World

The election of Donald Trump as US president shocked the world, but actually represents the growing strength of a rising tide of unrest manifested in the Occupy Wall Street movement, Arab Spring, Brexit, and other turbulent events of the past decade. What comes next? Having served as a senior geopolitical advisor to US Special Operations Forces in Iraq and Afghanistan, Dr. Khanna draws on his deep on-the-ground knowledge of the world’s hotspots to lay out the scenarios — both action and reaction — for American foreign policy in the coming years. Sharing the insights from his world-renowned book on grand strategy, The Second World, Dr. Khanna also lays out a vision for America’s world role resting on the four pillars of security alliances, energy exports, financial capital and advanced technology. With infrastructure playing a major role in Trump's domestic strategy, Khanna leverages the deep analysis of infrastructure stimulus prescribed in his major recent book Connectography to explain the likely course of America's coming overall. With enormous rifts appearing in the global economic system, how can American firms continue to access opportunities in the high-growth markets of Asia — and how should foreign firms navigate the America’s increasingly complex political system? With his newest book Technocracy in America mapping out the direction for the country’s political evolution, Dr. Khanna’s presentation is an up-to-the-minute guide for deciphering the unfolding Trump administration.

Rise of the Info-State

A new type of political and social system is evolving to cope with 21st century complexity: The info-state. The governments that will lead the future have moved beyond stale debates about big versus small government, open versus closed borders, and public versus private sector rule-setting. Countries such as Switzerland and Singapore, and even larger countries ranging from Germany to China, are pioneering new models of governance that blend democratic practice with technocratic management. Drawing on his provocative new book Technocracy in America, Parag Khanna explains the best practices that all societies can learn from as they seek to enhance their security, prosperity and innovation.

Connectography

It is time to reimagine how life is organized on Earth. We’re accelerating into a future shaped less by countries than by connectivity. Mankind has a new maxim—connectivity is destiny—and the most connected powers and people will win. Connectography completes Parag Khanna’s trilogy on the future of world order. In this talk, he guides us through the emerging global network civilization in which mega-cities compete over connectivity more than borders. His journeys take us from Ukraine to Iran, Mongolia to North Korea, Panama City to Dubai, and the Arctic Circle to the South China Sea—all to show how 21st-century conflict is a tug-of-war over pipelines and Internet cables, advanced technologies and market access. Read More >

Yet Connectography is a hopeful vision of the future. Khanna argues that new energy discoveries and innovations have eliminated the need for resource wars, global financial assets are being deployed to build productive infrastructure that can reduce inequality, and frail regions such as Africa and the Middle East are unscrambling their fraught colonial borders through ambitious new transportation corridors and power grids. Beneath the chaos of a world that appears to be falling apart is a new foundation of connectivity pulling it together. Read Less ^

Managing Risks in a Complex World

The global financial crisis, Fukushima nuclear disaster, and Arab Spring are all recent "black swan" events that have rocked markets, transformed energy policy, and destabilized swaths of the planet. They came without warning but in retrospect were predictable. Today’s intensely complex and uncertain world is generating more such disruptions, potentially from the slowing Chinese economy, stalling financial and regulatory reforms, Russian geopolitical aggression, or social unrest caused by heightened income inequality. How can companies prepare for the worst and insulate themselves from the spillover effects of rippling crisis emerging from Eastern Europe, the Middle East and other hotspots, while capitalizing on stable and undervalued markets? Drawing on insights from his widely acclaimed book How to Run the World and his years of experience building scenarios and conducting strategic foresight workshops for Fortune 100 companies and innovative governments such as Dubai and Singapore, Dr. Khanna excels at the connecting the dots for corporate leaders, tailoring his presentations to diverse industries, regions and risk factors, and providing actionable roadmaps to achieve resilience.

The Future of Globalization: Strategic Trends, Economic Competition & Technological Innovation

Globalization has withstood the financial crisis and continues to expand and integrate all markets and societies of the world. For the first time in human history, globalization is actually global, ushering in a new era of total connectivity and strategic competition. Drawing on his international bestseller The Second World: Empires and Influence in the New Global Order, Dr. Khanna provides a tour de force of the foundations of the future world order including: The new geopolitical marketplace emerging with the expanding ambitions of China, India, Brazil and Russia and the opening of new markets such as Myanmar and Iran; the competitive geo-economic environment in which western economies struggle to achieve consistent growth while emerging markets struggle with productivity and inequality; and the rise of “geo-technology” whereby leading sectors such as biotechnology, nano-technology, alternative energy and robotics will re-shape the global balance of innovation.

Winning the Global War for Talent

A new class of global citizen is emerging led by over 250 million expatriates worldwide, more than ever in history. After decades of capitalizing on brain drain, fast-growing markets are reversing the flow of skilled managers in new directions, from North to South and West to East. Attracting the best and brightest to your country, city or company requires understanding the dynamics of global labor mobility and crafting an economic master plan to gain an edge in the war for talent. With his extensive experience advising the most innovative governments and globally distributed multinationals, Dr. Khanna provides insights and case studies that help you strategize your move up the value chain and train strong regional management.

Billions of People, Trillions of Dollars: How Asia Will Shape the World in the Coming Decade

With over $20 trillion in annual GDP, Asia has rapidly become an economic zone on par with North America and the European Union—but encompassing more than half the world’s population and sovereign wealth as well. Asia now needs to be understood beyond China and Japan, especially as India and the Southeast Asian ASEAN nations increasingly flex their economic muscles. Outward Asian investment is on pace to reach $200 billion per year by 2020, and has already reshaped Middle Eastern energy markets, African infrastructure, North American real estate, and South American commodities. From his unique perch in Singapore and constant travel to the most dynamic investment destinations, Dr. Khanna explains where Asian capital is flowing and how it is transforming strategic relationships and building markets for savvy global investors.

Mega-Trends: Technology, Cities & Map of the Future

Ubiquitous technology and urbanization are the two irrefutable mega-trends of the 21st century. Together they are remapping the world towards a hyper-connected matrix of densely populated city clusters and ultra-modern special economic zones (SEZs) that represent the new foundations of a global network economy and society. Elaborating on bold forecasts from his pioneering book Hybrid Reality: Thriving in the Emerging Human-Technology Civilization, Dr. Khanna provides unmatched clarity into the future and strategizes with clients to chart their own map to success.

How to be Global: From Multinational to Metanational

Globalization is entering a new phase in which emerging and frontier markets across all geographies are becoming fully integrated into the world economy. To succeed in this global marketplace, multinational companies must learn to become metanational: truly stateless. This requires thinking long-term about new growth centers, recruiting and training an international workforce comfortable across functions and locations, developing more locally tailored products and services, and restructuring management into partnership models that devolve authority. Leveraging his extensive experience advising some of the world’s foremost global companies, Dr. Khanna shares insights and strategies tailored to your sector and priorities on how to become a truly global company.

Asia's Next Decade: China & Beyond

Asia has defied historical cycles and expectations with its decades long growth boom. Even as China’s economy continues to steam ahead, the Asian growth mantle is now shared with the Southeast Asian ASEAN countries and India, which are also attracting enormous foreign investment as regional cooperation knits the region’s economies closer together. With connectivity rising, capital markets deepening, trade expanding, and economies diversifying, Western corporations need robust strategies for Asia beyond China. Having relocated to Singapore and providing extensive guidance to the region’s governments and companies, Parag Khanna gives audiences an insider’s view of what the coming decade holds in terms of opportunities and risks in the world’s most populous region.