April 16, 2016
To members and friends of the Providence Committee on Foreign Relations (thepcfr.org; email@example.com)
Hedrick Smith gave us a stirring talk on April 12 as he vividly described his view of an America paralyzed by extreme income inequality and political deadlock, and proposed ways to right the ship of state. The PBS Frontline star and Pulitzer Prize-winning former New York Times foreign correspondent noted that America’s domestic crises inevitably limit its ability to operate effectively abroad.
Next, on Wednesday May 11, comes the internationally known expert on cities, transportation and workplaces around the world, journalist, urbanist and futurist Greg Lindsay.
As this Amazon summary of that book, co-written by Mr. Lindsay and John D. Kasarda, put it:
“This brilliant and eye-opening look at the new phenomenon called the aerotropolis gives us a glimpse of the way we will live in the near future―and the way we will do business too.
“Not so long ago, airports were built near cities, and roads connected one to the other. This pattern―the city in the center, the airport on the periphery―shaped life in the twentieth century, from the central city to exurban sprawl. Today, the ubiquity of jet travel, round-the-clock workdays, overnight shipping, and global business networks has turned the pattern inside out. Soon the airport will be at the center and the city will be built around it, the better to keep workers, suppliers, executives, and goods in touch with the global market. This is the aerotropolis: a combination of giant airport, planned city, shipping facility, and business hub.’’
Mr. Lindsay is also a contributing writer for Fast Company, author of the forthcoming book Engineering Serendipity, a senior fellow of the New Cities Foundation — where he leads the Connected Mobility Initiative — a non-resident senior fellow of The Atlantic Council’s Strategic Foresight Initiative, a visiting scholar at New York University’s Rudin Center for Transportation Policy & Management, and a senior fellow of the World Policy Institute.
Heprovocatively notes, on a topic of particular interest to coastal New Englanders: “Rising sea levels is no longer the twenty-second century’s problem; it’s ours. Will we be forced to abandon coastal megacities? Will we manage to wall them off, or float them? The answer is probably ‘all of the above,’with the wealthiest districts of the wealthiest cities deploying some mix of technological and infrastructural fixes while the rest are submerged.
As usual, the dinner will be at the Hope Club, 6 Benevolent St., Providence. Drinks start at about 6, dinner by 7, then the talk and a Q&A and the evening ends by 9.
Please let us know whether you will join us April 12 by replying to firstname.lastname@example.org or, in a crunch, calling (401) 523-3957.
Thanks very much to those who have already let us know!
The Hope Club needs good estimates no later than the day before a PCFR dinner.
Dues and dinner cost information may be found at: thepcfr.org. Other membership information may be found there, too. (A member asked if (the modest) duesand dinner fees for this nonprofit educational and civic membership organization aredeductible for business purposes. In some cases. Ask your tax adviser.)
On Tuesday, June 7, Michael Soussan, former UN whistleblower; acclaimed author; widely published journalist; NYU writing professor, and women's rights advocate, will speak. His satirical memoir about global corruption, Backstabbing for Beginners: My Crash Course In International Diplomacy (Nation Books / Perseus) is being adapted for a feature film, starring Ben Kingsley and Josh Hutcherson
He will speak about the subject of his next book TRUTH TO POWER: how great minds changed the world. A brief history of thought leadership.
Evan Matthews, a key thought leader at the North Atlantic Ports Association and director of the Port of Davisville, has very kindly offered to talk to us on Wednesday, June 22, on changes in world shipping, including the widening of the Panama Canal and other changes of huge interest to New England ports, especially Quonset/Davisville.
We plan to getexperts on the Zika virus, chaotic Brazil, the geopolitical effects of global warming and ocean fishing in the next season. Expert on Central Asia Morris Rossabi, former Ambassador to Slovakia Tod Sedgwick, German General Consul Ralf Horlemann and the Silk Road Project’s Laura Freid will be among those speaking in that season, which starts soon after Labor Day.
Suggestions are appreciated.
We look forward to seeing you.