FIU’s fourth State of the World conference opened Monday with leading FIU experts speaking on the global pandemic; former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright talking about the future of democracy; and two sitting congressmen discussing polarization in the U.S. Capitol and across the nation.
“I think we can agree that the timing for this conference could not be better," said FIU President Mark B. Rosenberg in opening the five-day event, hosted by the Steven J. Green School of International & Public Affairs. “It’s the start of a new administration in Washington and the start of a new year. We face challenges on so many fronts, from the pandemic and the economic crisis to deepening polarization and inequality.”
Speaking on the future of democracy, Albright quipped: “I often say that people want to vote and eat. Democracy has to deliver.’’ Unifying the country and repairing its democracy should be among the new administration’s top priorities, she noted.
“Democracy is fragile and it’s also resilient,’’ she added. “It’s a journey and it’s self-correcting. I describe myself as a worried optimist, a problem solver and a grateful American.”
Congressman Ted Deutch (D-FL) and Congressman Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) appeared together to demonstrate that despite these polarized times, the spirit of bipartisanship is not dead.
Co-sponsored by the McCain Institute at Arizona State University, State of the World is the signature event of the Dorothea Green Lecture Series, endowed by Ambassador Steven J. Green and the Green Family Foundation.
“Organizing a conference like this is a huge undertaking in any year,’’ said David J. Kramer, senior fellow at the Green School and the lead organizer of the event. “Doing so remotely during a pandemic presented a different sort of challenge. We were determined not to let anything get in the way of our mission to bring the best to FIU and for the world to see the best of FIU.”
State of the World continues Tuesday, Feb. 2, at 9 a.m. with Peter Baker of the New York Times and Susan Glasser of the New Yorker on their new book about former White House chief of staff James Baker.
To view the first day of State of the World, visit FIU YouTube