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Asia and the Great Convergence

The complex interaction of trade, capital, information, and technology is leading to an unprecedented level of human interconnectedness. This highly networked global society means record numbers of the world's population are moving into the middle class, especially in Asia. However, as illustrated by the global financial crisis, interconnectedness carries risks of contagion as well. Kishore Mahbubani argues that new policies and approaches to governance are needed to solve pervasive problems such as financial volatility and health and climate issues. How does Asia, which accounts for over 60 percent of the world’s population and a significant portion of the emerging global middle class, fit into this era of convergence?

Kishore Mahbubani is the dean and professor in the practice of public policy at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at the National University of Singapore. From 1971 to 2004 he served in the Singapore Foreign Ministry, where he was permanent secretary from 1993 to 1998, served twice as Singapore’s ambassador to the UN, and in January 2001 and May 2002 served as president of the UN Security Council. Mahbubani is the author of Can Asians Think?, Beyond the Age of Innocence: Rebuilding Trust Between America and the World, and The New Asian Hemisphere: the Irresistible Shift of Global Power to the East. Foreign Policy and Prospect magazines have listed him as one of the top 100 public intellectuals in the world, and in 2009 the Financial Times included him on their list of the top 50 individuals who would shape the debate on the future of capitalism.
His most recent book, The Great Convergence: Asia, the West, and the Logic of One World, will be available for purchase and signing following the program.
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