Jul
18
5:00pm 5:00pm

Oops! Romney Was Right — Happy Hour

To keep your summer happy hour game on geopolitical point, jump into the wayback machine with Franklin Street to 2012 as we humbly toast Mitt Romney for being right all along about Russia being our biggest threat.

Oops! Romney Was Right  

Join us for a collective downing of mea culpa moonshine. Master’s degree in international relations not required—just nostalgia for the dreamy stability of the Cold War and 1980s foreign policy.

$10. Light appetizers provided and happy hour extended to 7:30 just for us! Non-alcoholic drinks will be available for those who want to keep it 100 with Romney.

Venue information is shared only with invited attendees. Click here to request an invitation, join our community, or update your profile.

Happy 4th of July!

Miki & Carol

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Jun
5
6:30pm 6:30pm

First Mondays: June Policy Salon

Venue information is shared only with invited attendees. Click here to request an invitation, join our community, or update your profile.

Alliances (read: geopolitical relationships) first wrangled, then sustained global economic progress and relative stability after two devastating World Wars. The end of the Cold War ushered in a brave new world of threats, notably from non-state actors (Al-Qaeda, ISIS), technology (cyber, biochemical), and climate change. To address these challenges, cooperation among allies with shared values and goals is no less critical. Join us Monday, June 5th for:

Alliances: How Relationships May Shape (and Save!) the New World Order

For the past 80 years, global security and economic alliances such as NATO, the UN, and the EU enabled and facilitated cooperation among nations. These institutions have been responsible for both economic progress and the prevention of major armed conflict among nations. The working theory has been that the economic benefits of capitalism and the social value of upholding fundamental liberties and human rights would make it too costly for nations to go to war with one another.

Today, the value of these alliances is being challenged. Britain has pulled out of the EU despite the benefit to its economy. President Trump has questioned the value of NATO and long-term diplomatic alliances in favor of a transactional approach with both adversaries and friends. A mood of “go it alone” nationalism has emerged in Europe, and China has taken a more globally active role.

Security issues, while paramount—especially in the Middle East—are not the only concern. Pandemics, the refugee crisis and migration flows, environmental degradation, natural disasters, and mass scale global development initiatives all require cooperation and coordination to be effectively addressed. How will we meet these challenges as alliances fray and a more fractured world order emerges?

Suggested readings to guide our discussion:

  1. China and EU Strengthen Promise to Paris Deal with U.S. Poised to Step Away (June 2017)
    China and the EU will forge an alliance to take a leading role in tackling climate change in response to Donald Trump’s decision to pull the U.S. out of the Paris agreement.
     
  2. To Defeat ISIS, Cooperation is Key (April 2017)
    Cooperation is the best hope for defeating ISIS, but countries need incentives to work together, share information, modify their laws, and protect communities that are vulnerable to radicalization.
     
  3. Russia and China’s Enduring Alliance (Feb 2017)
    Sino-Russian ties have been improving more or less steadily since the waning years of the Cold War due to a shared political vision for world order.
     
  4. Merkel, After Discordant G-7 Meeting, Is Looking Past Trump (May 2017)
    Angela Merkel has concluded that the U.S. is not the reliable partner her country and the Continent have automatically depended on in the past.
     
  5. In Praise of a Transatlantic Divorce (May 2017)
    Trump’s trip wasn’t a “home run,” but it’s not bad for Europe to start taking more responsibility for itself.

Additional articles will be posted to our Facebook page.

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May
1
6:30pm 6:30pm

First Mondays: May Policy Salon

Venue information is shared only with invited attendees. Click here to request an invitation, join our community, or update your profile.

China is poised to retake its historical position as ‘The Middle Kingdom’ — that is, a preeminent global economic and political leader. But unlike in China’s ancient heyday, it takes the stage among competing power players and within a global liberal order that is frequently at odds with its domestic modus operandi. Join us Monday, May 1st for:

The China Comeback: Middle Kingdom, Modern World

In recent years, China has become an active international player in global trade, developing country investment, and environmental standard-setting. Its push to assert global leadership has spurred the rest of the world to challenge the country’s dismal record on human rights and individual freedoms, limit its extensive environmental degradation, and contain its aggressive actions toward neighbors.

China’s history includes a long span as global leader, but in a time when it had few peers to challenge its dominance. Today, it is a key player in global security issues due to its influence on North Korea, territorial competition with its neighbors, and nuclear and cyberwarfare capabilities. There’s a critical need for a check on China’s power precisely at a time when the U.S. has signaled (though inconsistently) that it will play a less active global role going forward.

Though China is increasingly willing to contribute in a constructive way to the complex system of international norms — which implies more cooperation than clashes in the long run — the rest of the world must take steps to ensure it. We’ll discuss how great power politics is shifting and how the ripple effects will impact local economies and individual actors.

Suggested readings to guide our discussion are below. Additional articles will be posted to our Facebook page.

  1. America and China’s strategic relationship (April 2017)
    For seven decades, America has been the hegemon in East Asia, China’s historical backyard; but now China is indisputably back.
     
  2. Beijing is no champion of globalization (Jan. 2017)
    China may well emerge as the savior of globalization at some point in the future when its deeds better match its words; global leadership must be earned on merit. 
     
  3. China in the middle (Jan. 2015)
    (NB: Useful primer that gives historical context for the modern geopolitical scenario.) China’s growth enables it to be truly, for the first time, a Eurasian power between East Asia and the West. A pan-peripheral grand strategy would suit it best.
     
  4. China steps up as U.S. steps back from global leadership (Jan. 2017)
    China is increasingly accepting opportunities to lead on global issues; its domestic development and global ascendance require steady engagement and honest efforts abroad.
     
  5. Why China will be able to sell itself as the last liberal great power (Jan. 2017)
    (NB: Watch out for the snark, but filled with great links to other resources.) In some respects, China has acted like a responsible stakeholder in the liberal international order, but China is pretty far away from being a free-trader.
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Apr
3
6:30pm 6:30pm

First Mondays: April Policy Salon

Venue information is shared only with invited attendees. Click here to request an invitation, join our community, or update your profile.

Behind the headlines of squabbling policymakers and contentious CEOs are deeply interconnected yet disaggregated threats. Though the sources and targets of these threats may seem disparate, the impact is global and requires a unified response with cohesive solutions from all the players at the table. Join us Monday, April 3rd for:

Food, Water, and Energy Security: Cross-Sector Opportunities and Solutions  

For the past six months, we’ve successfully tested a thematic quarterly format to allow a deeper, nuanced look into timely, cross-sector challenges. Beginning last fall, our first theme focused on city-led global development. With the new year and administration, we looked at the integral role of formal and informal institutions in global growth. 

This quarter, we’ll examine how challenges that arise from local or unlikely sources have the potential for global impact, and how to craft a unified response. April’s discussion will focus on the interrelated challenge of food, water, and energy insecurity, why this is not a “Third World” problem, and the cohesive response needed from governments, industry, and civil society leaders. 

Click here for suggested readings to guide our discussion.

 

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Mar
6
6:30pm 6:30pm

First Mondays: March Policy Salon

Venue information is shared only with invited attendees. Click here to request an invitation, join our community, or update your profile.

Could the new protectionist trend spur local job creation, bolster national security, and protect our pocketbooks? Or are we walling off our wallets and more by limiting cross-border trade and movement? Join us Monday, March 6th for:

Protecting Your Pocketbook or Walling Off Your Wallet?

We'll discuss how proposed U.S. economic and foreign policies affect us where we'll feel it. Suggested readings are below:

  1. Trade, At What Price? (Apr. 2016)
    Trade has a positive impact on the American economy but not all benefit equally.
     
  2. 5 Ways President Trump Will Affect U.S. Workers (Dec. 2016)
    How policies on tax cuts, healthcare, infrastructure and more will affect U.S. workers.
     
  3. Immigrants’ Roles in Entrepreneurship (Oct. 2016)
    Do immigrants take slices of a finite economic pie, or do they refill public coffers as baby boomers retire?

Additional articles will be posted on our Facebook page

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Feb
6
6:30pm 6:30pm

First Mondays: February Policy Salon

Venue information is shared only with invited attendees. Click here to request an invitation, join our community, or update your profile.

Necessary period of adjustment to globalization and balance-of-power shifts… or The End Of The World As We Know It (cue music)? Join us Monday, Feb. 6th for:

Liberal World Order 2.0?

The latter 20th century liberal world order that brought relative stability, enabled democracy’s spread, moved poor nations toward greater wealth, and precipitated technological progress has hit a rough patch. Is 2016 the year the bubble burst or are we at the cusp of an inevitable evolution to the next cycle? We’ll discuss whether we are indeed in crisis, what actions leaders should take to ensure continued progress toward shared prosperity and rights, and civil society’s role in shaping Liberal World Order 2.0.

Below are suggested readings (additional articles will be posted on our Facebook page):

The Collapse of the Liberal World Order (June 2016)
The world is entering a period where once-robust democracies have grown fragile; now is the time to figure out where we went wrong.
 
World Order 2.0 (January 2017)
Today’s realities call for an updated international system based on “sovereign obligation,” the notion that states have not just rights but also obligations to others.
 
The Twilight of the Liberal World Order (January 2017)
The liberal world order that has held sway for the past seven decades is fragmenting under the pressure of economic stress, growing tribalism and nationalism, and a general loss of confidence in established institutions.
 
The Future of the Liberal World Order (June 2011)
World politics is experiencing not just a changing of the guard but also a transition in the ideas and principles that underlie the global order.

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Jan
9
6:30pm 6:30pm

First Mondays: January Policy Salon

Venue information is shared only with invited attendees. Click here to request an invitation, join our community, or update your profile.

2017: Out with the old, in with the…? As we ponder how a new administration will shake things up at home, populist movements abroad promise substantial change. The Brexit vote, rejection of constitutional reform in Italy, rise of right-wing parties in Europe, and Sanders' and Trump's popularity are all indicators of a growing lack of faith in leaders, political systems, and government. Join us Monday, Jan. 9th for:

Politics and Public Trust – Why Institutions Still Matter

Public trust in the institutions that have guided both national and international systems since World War II has eroded, and globalization, technology, and geopolitical conflict continue to bring change faster than bureaucracies – and sometimes the public – can adapt. It’s timely to explore the role of these institutions, whether they still matter, and the impact of populations’ lack of faith in government. We will discuss the current climate of public distrust and what institutions must do to perform effectively in a world that moves faster than the speed of bureaucracy.

Below are suggested readings (additional articles will be posted on our Facebook page):

1) No One to Trust: Anger That Connects Brexit, Trump, Le Pen (June 2011)
There is a growing lack of faith in the institutions that secured relative peace and prosperity for three generations of Europeans and Americans.

2) How Americans Lost Trust in Our Greatest Institutions (April 2012)
It's not just Washington. Across the country, citizens' faith in their city halls, newspapers, and churches is fading.

3) Lost Legitimacy (November 2013)
Growing dissatisfaction with political elites makes makes effective public and private leadership much more difficult. The result is a global crisis of legitimacy.

4) What Race Tells Us About Anti-Government Attitudes (April 2012)
Communities of color have been failed time and again by federal institutions, yet the same pillars of the American system are responsible for pushing through and upholding progressive advances – from integration in the military and beyond to voting rights equality.

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Dec
5
6:30pm 6:30pm

First Mondays: December Policy Salon

Venue information is shared only with invited attendees. Click here to request an invitation, join our community, or update your profile.

The divide between rural and urban areas is starker than ever across social, political, and economic markers. This division influences everything from the pace of economic development in China to sectarian strife in the Middle East to political pivots in the U.S. Join us Monday, Dec. 5th for:

Rural-Urban Divergence in Perceptions, Experience, and Values

In the 2016 U.S. election, “red” and “blue” counties each deepened their political positions for Republican and Democratic candidates, respectively, often delineated by rural, exurban, and urban geographies. Around the world, urbanization continues apace as rural populations in developing countries migrate to cities in search of better economic opportunity. How will these demographic shifts influence the political, economic, and security prospects of growing cities and shrinking rural communities? How do policy makers and business leaders reconcile the respective resources, needs, and constraints of serving these different populations? We will explore this divide and how it can be bridged at our monthly roundtable discussion.

Suggested reading (additional articles will be posted on our Facebook page):

  1. How the Election Revealed the Divide Between City and Country
    The 2016 election exposed a chasm between urban and non-urban America that will likely widen under a Trump administration.
     
  2. Leaving the Land: China’s Great Uprooting – Moving 250 Million into Cities
    This series looks at how China's government-driven effort to push the population to towns and cities is reshaping a nation that for millenniums has been defined by its rural life.
     
  3. Why the War for Syria’s Future Will Be Fought Over the Country’s New Urban Villages
    Urban conflict in Syria is a byproduct of over ten years of rural village migrations – fueled by economic necessity and a persistent drought – into the outskirts of Syria’s ancient cities.
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Nov
7
6:30pm 6:30pm

First Mondays: November Policy Salon

From China’s new Silk Road initiative that connects dozens of cities across three continents to urban behemoths like Lagos and Mumbai in the developing world, cities are more connected, concentrated, and influential than ever. Join us Monday, November 7th, to explore:

Opportunities and Risks in the Century of Cities

Our special speaker, Col. Patrick J. Mahaney, will anchor our discussion with his expertise on megacities, the focus of his role as Senior Military Fellow of the U.S. Army’s Strategic Studies Group.

The city is one of mankind’s oldest and most abiding social structures. The great ones have been destroyed and rebuilt many times over, outlasting empires and nations. Megacities – cities with populations of 10 million or more – are expected to grow from 20 today to close to 40 by 2025. We’ll discuss the improved connectivity that accompanies this growth, the opportunities for innovation and inclusiveness, and the challenges in terms of resources, infrastructure, and security.

More about our speaker:

Col. Patrick J. Mahaney, Jr. is an Army Special Forces Officer currently serving as the Senior Military Fellow of the Chief of Staff of the Army’s Strategic Studies Group. He assumed these duties following assignment as a Military Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. Previously, he commanded the U.S. Army’s Asymmetric Warfare Group, where he was responsible for global support to U.S. and allied ground forces and interagency partners in countering asymmetric and irregular threats. He has also commanded a Special Forces battalion and a Special Operations Task Force in Afghanistan. Colonel Mahaney has served in the 7th Special Forces Group, Joint Special Operations Command, the Special Warfare Center and School, the Combined Forces Special Operations Component Command-Afghanistan, and in a range of combat and operational assignments that include combat operations in Panama, DESERT STORM, and seven deployments to Afghanistan. Colonel Mahaney holds a B.A. from New York University (with honors), and Master’s degrees from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs and from the University of Perugia in Italy. He is a graduate of the Army War College's Fellowship in Italy, and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Suggested reading:

  1. Megacities, Not Nations, are the World’s Dominant, Enduring Social Structures
    Today cities have become the world’s dominant demographic and economic clusters, though connectivity matters more than size.
     
  2. Safe in the City: Urban Spaces are the New Frontier for International Security
    Major cities of the world will increasingly play a large role in the 21st century distribution of global power.
     
  3. How Cities Are Shaping International Relations
    While countries negotiate international security deals, trade partnerships, and climate agreements, the power of cities to develop their own foreign policy is growing.

Additional articles will be posted on our Facebook page

Venue information is shared only with invited attendees. Click here to request an invitation, join our community, or update your profile.

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Oct
3
6:30pm 6:30pm

First Mondays: October Policy Salon

Venue information is shared only with invited attendees. Click here to request an invitation, join our community, or update your profile.

Hitchhiker's Guide to “One Belt, One Road”

All roads may lead to Guangzhou someday thanks to China’s ambitious land and maritime Silk Road redux that reaches as far as London and Djibouti. China's vast and complex connector initiative could trigger major shifts in the global balance of power with ripples across trade, enterprise, development, environment, and human security.

We'll cover the top line intersections at our flagship monthly roundtable discussion on Monday, October 3rd.

Suggested reading:

(1) Our Bulldozers, Our Rules
China’s biggest foreign-economic policy ‘One Belt, One Road’ – which refers to ancient maritime routes and the overland trails between China and Europe (see map) – could reshape a good part of the world economy.

(2) China's Huge 'One Belt, One Road' Initiative Is Sweeping Central Asia
Beijing’s ambitious foreign-economic development initiative is redirecting capital abroad to reduce excessive industrial capacity at home while increasing financial returns.

(3) China Has a Plan to Take Over Eurasia — and America Loves It
Beijing has pledged tens of billions of dollars in investments for new roads, pipelines, power stations, rail lines, and ports to create a network of trade routes that link China to South and Central Asia, and to Europe.

Additional articles will be posted on our Facebook page.

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Sep
12
6:30pm 6:30pm

First Mondays: September Policy Salon

Venue information is shared only with invited attendees. Click here to request an invitation, join our community, or update your profile.

Topic: Sustainable Development + Women and Girls = Powerful Global Growth

Summer has sailed on despite what the weatherman (and climate change) tell us. It's back to business! This year, the must-have color for autumn is: Equality.

Suggested readings (additional articles are posted on our Facebook page):

1) How Advancing Women’s Equality Can Add $12 Trillion to Global Growth. A new McKinsey Global Institute report finds that advancing women's equality could add $12 trillion to global GDP by 2025.

2) Promoting Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment for Sustainable Development in Africa. Promoting gender equality is an essential component of a sustainable development strategy to reduce poverty and improve the standard of living.

3) Free from the Taliban, How the Women of Afghanistan are Saving the Silk Weaving Tradition. 42,500 women are involved in a project to provide a means of subsistence for their families and to lead the international market access for silk producers in the country.

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Aug
15
5:00pm 5:00pm

Changing the World One Drink Special At A Time

Join Franklin Street Policy Group and our event partner NYC Veterans Alliance for a special summer event:

Changing the World One Drink Special At A Time

As usual, we will gather nimble thinkers with an appreciation for good food, great company, and rich ideas as we celebrate summer together.

So that our drinking actually does our bodies and our souls good, we’ve partnered with the NYC Veterans Alliance, a nonpartisan, grassroots coalition dedicated to connecting NYC veterans and organizations, advocating for improved policies that affect veterans and their families, informing the NYC veterans community and the public about policies and news affecting them, and empowering veterans to speak up and take action.

Half of the proceeds from the evening will be donated to NYC Veterans Alliance to support their activities and their advocacy on behalf of veteran service members and their families in NYC.

Click here to RSVP.

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Jul
11
6:30pm 6:30pm

First Mondays: July Policy Salon

Venue information is shared only with invited attendees. Click here to request an invitation, join our community, or update your profile.

Topic: The Brexit Club

From Brexiteer to Bregretter, what does the walk of shame look like when half the country is scuttling home, disheveled from a night of impetuous decision-making, wondering how they ended up in such a mess? 

In honor of our own American Brexit of 1776, we’ll do a post-mortem on last week’s historic U.K. referendum to leave the European Union. We’ll look at likely implications for the international order, the E.U., and the U.S.

Below are suggested readings to bring you up-to-speed:

EU Referendum: What are the Pros and Cons of Brexit?
The final result went 52% to 48% in favor of Brexit - so what are the pros and cons of leaving the European Union?

Please Leave: Why Brexit Would Benefit Europe
The EU is showing grave sclerosis, and voices are calling for its dissolution; the moment has thus come to prune the dead wood of the tree to save the trunk.

Brexit 101: What Just Happened, and Why it's Important for Americans
It does sound hyperbolic, but there are actually a couple arguments for why a Brexit may hurt the rest of the globe.

Brexit Is Good News for Russia but a Headache for NATO
Britain’s exit from the EU will undercut its role as America’s key ally in Europe, leaving the continent more divided and distracted — just the way Putin likes it.

** Save-the-Date for our summer special event, “Making the World A Better Place One Drink Special At a Time,” Monday, August 1, 5:30-8:30 p.m. Details to follow. **

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Jun
6
6:30pm 6:30pm

First Mondays: June Policy Salon

Venue information is shared only with invited attendees. Click here to request an invitation, join our community, or update your profile.

Topic: Frontier Market Entrepreneurship and Private Sector Development in Fragile Communities

This month Selim Sazak, Ben Homer, and Miki Noguchi will lead a discussion on the role of frontier market entrepreneurship and private sector development in spurring economic activity in under-resourced and fragile communities. They will focus particularly on creating employment opportunities for refugees.

Our discussion this month will inform an op-ed that Selim, Ben, and Miki will be co-authoring on the topic as part of a larger initiative.

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May
2
6:30pm 6:30pm

First Mondays: May Policy Salon

Venue information is shared only with invited attendees. Click here to request an invitation, join our community, or update your profile.

The policy salon meets the First Monday of each month for an issue-driven discussion on the concerns of the day. The salon is an opportunity for participants to gain a multi-sector perspective, foster connections, and expand their knowledge.

Digital Inclusion in Fragile Communities from NYC to Cité Soleil

This month's discussion will follow our April 27th workshop on extending digital inclusion in fragile communities, from fully-resourced but under-accessed areas of urban and rural America to growing but struggling informal settlements in developing countries. We will discuss the ideas generated at the workshop and solicit new solutions for expanding digital capacity and access in these special needs environments.

Here are suggested readings to guide our discussion:

Failures of our Global Imagination
How technology is critical in fragile communities for accessing essential services, such as clean water, as well as information about health, employment, and educational resources.

Bridging a Digital Divide that Leaves Schoolchildren Behind
As more schoolwork requires students to use resources on the Internet, children whose families cannot afford access are being left behind in communities across the U.S. 

The Digital Inclusion of Women and Girls
Columbia alumnus Jason Riffe discusses how lack of access to relevant technologies restricts girls and women from professional development, a livable wage, and a strengthened community in Port-au-Prince’s Cité Soleil. 

Getting to Equal: How Digital is Helping Close the Gender Gap at Work
Accenture report on how digital access is a key enabler of women to achieve parity in the workplace

Additional articles will be posted on our Facebook page.

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Apr
27
12:30pm12:30pm

Workshop on Digital Inclusion in Fragile Communities from NYC to Cité Soleil

Civic Hall
156 Fifth Ave.
2nd Floor

This workshop will focus on extending digital inclusion in fragile communities, from fully-resourced but under-accessed areas of urban and rural America to growing but struggling informal settlements in developing countries. Help us think through barriers and solutions to expanding digital capacity and access in these special needs environments.

Click here to join our community and receive invitations.

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Apr
4
6:30pm 6:30pm

First Mondays: April Policy Salon

Venue information is shared only with invited attendees. Click here to request an invitation, join our community, or update your profile.

This month's topic:

The Impact of Domestic Politics on Foreign Policy

Suggested readings:

Are Domestic Politics Evil? 
The seemingly opposed but inherently linked face-off between domestic political pressures versus "National Interest" on a global stage.

Putin and Politics Are Behind Obama's Decision to Send Troops to Syria
When military moves seem too small to make a difference, there's usually another (political) reason for them.

The Big 5 and the Sad State of Foreign Policy in 2016
How the most recent leading candidates might "do" foreign policy if they ended up in the Big Seat.  

 Check our Facebook page for additional readings.

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Mar
22
6:30pm 6:30pm

Social Enterprise Spotlight

Venue:
General Assembly NYC
GA New York City (East) 
902 Broadway, 4th Floor
New York NY 10010

Click here to RSVP.

This is a public event and a partnership with Serval Ventures

Social Enterprise Spotlight

We’ve all heard of the Warby Parker and Tom’s Shoes success stories of the “Doing Well by Doing Good” world, but what does the social enterprise model look like when it’s in its boot-strapping first years? How do social enterprises stay on mission when budget choices need to be made between measuring impact and keeping operations going? Could a social mission be the special sauce in a small enterprise’s success?

We'll examine these questions and dig into some real challenges with a featured panel of social entrepreneurs, who will share their lessons learned and startup stories. Participants will also have the opportunity to convene in small groups with the entrepreneurs to exchange one-on-one perspectives and gain from a whole-group knowledge exchange.

Featured social entrepreneurs

Jenn Shaw is the COO and Cofounder of ConBody, a fitness studio that offers prison-style bootcamps and encourages community members to push themselves in ways they cannot imagine – both physically and emotionally. ConBody is a re-entry program in gym clothing that employs formerly incarcerated individuals who are reintegrating into the community. Jenn is also Founder of BellaMinds, which creates educational programs that empower women to learn, create, and lead with technology.
 
Manal Kahi is the CEO and Cofounder of Eat Offbeat, which delivers authentic and home-style ethnic meals that are conceived, prepared, and delivered by refugees resettled in NYC. Eat Offbeat introduces adventurous eaters to new “off-the-beaten path” cuisines through ready-to-heat artisan meals, delivered to their door. By ordering from Eat Offbeat, customers help to create opportunities for talented refugees resettled in the NY area and contribute to making them feel valued and welcome. Manal holds an MPA from Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs.
 
Cuthbert Ayo Onikute is the CEO and Founder of Dechets a l'Or, or Garbage to Gold, which addresses social and economic issues in secondary cities of West Africa. Dechets a l'Or takes an innovative approach to waste management that generates revenue for communities, improves cities’ environmental footprint, and promotes public health by reducing pathogens that cause disease. Ayo completed a MSc in Urban Planning with a focus on International Development and Planning at Columbia University. He has worked on urban development challenges in Guinea, India, and NYC.
 
Georges Clement is the Cofounder of JustFix, an application that allows residents in exploitative and neglectful housing situations to better track, organize, and take action in order to ensure that their fundamental rights as tenants are being met. Georges is also the Cofounder of UniFi Scholars, a non-profit provider of financial education for low-income high school students focused on helping them articulate their projected return on investment of college. 

Click here to RSVP.

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Mar
7
6:30pm 6:30pm

First Mondays: March Policy Salon

Venue information is shared only with invited attendees. Click here to request an invitation, join our community, or update your profile.

The policy salon meets the First Monday of each month for a rigorous, issue-driven discussion on the concerns of the day. The salon is an opportunity for participants to gain a multi-sector perspective, foster connections, and expand their knowledge.

This month's topic:

Dickens to Davos: The Fourth Industrial Revolution – What It Means and How Business and Policy Leaders Can Respond 

Suggested reading and viewing:

You bring the ideas, we'll make sure there's good food and great company!

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Feb
1
6:30pm 6:30pm

First Mondays: February Policy Salon

Venue information is shared only with invited attendees. Click here to request an invitation, join our community, or update your profile.

This month's salon will be led by member Debi Spindelman, who is considering the issue for future PhD work. This will be her first public exploration of the topic.

Topic: Why the Richard Bransons, Ben Bernankes, and Bill Brattons of the world should care about stunting (a.k.a. chronic, early-life malnutrition)

Combating stunting (a.k.a. chronic, early-life malnutrition) is thought to be primarily a humanitarian concern – “no child should starve” is presumably a platform that both Bernie and Ted could get behind. Beyond the morality of the issue, however, stunting’s negative effects on cognitive development touch multiple points across society – e.g., a capable, productive labor force is necessary for a thriving business and economic environment, and anecdotal evidence suggests that these children may be more susceptible later in life to enrollment in the criminal activity that everyone from defense secretaries to beat cops expend so much blood, treasure, and energy to counter. The long-term threat posed by stunting is not only an issue for development practitioners in poor countries, but also for policy makers in fast-developing economies like India, law enforcement in conflict-impacted areas of the U.S., and business leaders from Wall Street to Delhi.

Here are some suggested readings to guide our discussion. We recommend reading these in the order listed below.

  1. How Poverty Stunts Kids' Brain Development
    Poverty is not just a social issue; it is a biomedical problem that negatively affects children’s brain/cognitive development and their ability to lead a productive life.
     
  2. America's Real Criminal Element: Lead
    Extremely well-researched, easy to read article that links cognitive impairment and security, which is critical to our discussion of the impact of stunting on the economic and security environment. New research finds that lead is the hidden villain behind violent crime, lower IQs, and even the ADHD epidemic.
     
  3. A Booming Economy Doesn't Save Children From Malnutrition
    A flush economy does not ensure against malnourished children if policy makers only invest in high-return business sectors and not in their human capital. 
     
  4. Jobs and Jail Might Not Keep Young Men Out of Crime, But How About Therapy? 
    Investing in cognitive behavior therapy may be a crucial tool to mitigate the effects of childhood and adolescent trauma. Training young men on how to control anger and impulses has had success from Liberia to Chicago.

Additional articles will be posted on our Facebook page.

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Jan
20
6:00pm 6:00pm

Launch Party & Shinnenkai with Franklin Street Policy Group

Venue information is shared only with invited attendees. Click here to request an invitation, join our community, or update your profile.

Official Launch Party & Shinnenkai

We're excited to formally launch Franklin Street Policy Group nearly a year after we first had the idea to bring together people working in and across the security, business, and development sectors and put their collective energy and expertise to address global challenges. 

A shinnenkai (sheen-nen-ka-ee) is a Japanese celebration of the New Year with friends or colleagues, with plenty of promises of collaborative work and rounds of drinks for the year ahead. Since ideas exchanged over good food, wine, and spirits is a basic premise of our business model, we thought this was the perfect way to kick off 2016.

Kampai!

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Jan
4
6:30pm 6:30pm

First Mondays: January Policy Salon

Venue information is shared only with invited attendees. Click here to request an invitation, join our community, or update your profile.

Topic: Sub-Saharan Africa – Past Successes and Potential for 2016 with the Solar Energy Revolution, Tech-Enabled Development, and Sustainable Tourism

Suggested readings:

1) Africa's Quiet Solar Revolution
A new generation of startups is bringing sun power to rural Africa and transcending the fossil fuel era.

2) Leapfrogging Infrastructure Development in Africa? 
How digital innovation enables African industries to leapfrog formal infrastructure investment.

3) Oil Exploration Threatens Africa's Billion Dollar World Heritage Site
Africa's oldest national park could be worth US$1.1 Billion per year if developed sustainably rather than being given over to potentially damaging oil extraction. 

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Dec
7
6:30pm 6:30pm

First Mondays: December Policy Salon

Venue information is shared only with invited attendees. Click here to request an invitation, join our community, or update your profile.

Topic: Lessons for Syria – What We Can (and Can't) Learn From the Balkans

Featuring special member host Dana Watters

Suggested readings:

1) Syria Isn't Bosnia. And, No, the Problem Isn't "Ancient Hatreds." The "ancient hatreds" thesis is a myth -- especially in Syria, where peace has been more prevalent historically. 

2) What Ends a War: The Limits of Bosnia-Syria Parallels. Explains why Bosnia is not a good model for Syria as the same conditions cannot be met. 

3) Models for Possible Syria Intervention. Useful historical perspective that discusses recent examples of Western military intervention.

Additional readings will be posted on our Facebook page.

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Nov
13
6:30pm 6:30pm

Franklin Street Policy Group's Inaugural Policy Scrum

Topic:  Demise of the Modern Nation State – Implications for Global Security, Economy, & Governments

Featuring Scott Smith, U.S. Institute of Peace

When:    Friday, Nov. 13, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
What:     Franklin Street Policy Group's Inaugural Policy Scrum
Wallet:   $20, includes light refreshments, workshop materials, enlightenment

RSVP and get your ticket here

Over the course of this evening workshop, we will scrum to problem-solve the challenge, drawing from our diverse sector expertise to expose creative and nuanced solutions. After a brief presentation on the background, we’ll have a short time to ask clarifying questions before tucking into a 45-minute scrum session. 

Bring your most practical and impractical ideas, the most useful inspiration may come from left of left field. 

The goal is for all of us to leave the experience with a new understanding of the issue, a new idea, and/or new connection and to present Scott with actionable, integrated insights that may usefully disrupt his thinking.

We’re excited to note we’ll be working from Scott’s in-progress, as yet unpublished essay, a fascinating intellectual obstacle course of a read in itself.

About Scott S. Smith
We like to describe Scott as one part Professor Jones (minus the whip and the fedora) plus a dash of Ernest Hemingway (minus the alcoholism and misogyny) plus a heaping spoonful of Afghanistan, but he’s got a real job too. Scott is Director of Afghanistan and Central Asia programs at the U.S. Institute of Peace (USIP) as well as a SIPA alum and adjunct faculty. Prior to joining USIP, Scott spent 13 years at the United Nations, focusing primarily on Afghanistan and democratization issues. He holds a B.S. in foreign service from Georgetown University and a master's degree in international affairs from Columbia University, SIPA. Click here for Scott’s full biography.

Pre-readings for the scrum will be shared with registered attendees.

We look forward to seeing you there!

 

 

 

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Nov
4
6:30pm 6:30pm

Special Event: Columbia University SIPA Alumni Workshop

Topic: Security, Development, and Private Sector Engagement, Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs

Please RSVP here to join us.  Light refreshments will be served. 

The Franklin Street Policy Groupcofounded by Miki S. Noguchi (MDP ‘14) and Carol Marie Tuite (ISP ‘14), invites you to an alumni-only workshop to get creative about actionable ways that SIPA alumni currently working or have strong interest in the global security, business, and development sectors can connect, engage, and partner with one another to advance concrete collaboration

Our goal is to identify ways alumni can build connections across the sectors, refresh and enhance their expertise, and identify opportunities for partnerships and mutual benefit.

We want to generate and solicit ideas and feedback from the group about your needsresources, and interests in terms of building a cohesive NYC-based community.

Special thanks to the SIPA Management Specialization for their cosponsorship of this event.

Please share this with other SIPA alum who might be interested.

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Nov
2
6:30pm 6:30pm

First Mondays: November Policy Salon

Venue information is shared only with invited attendees. Click here to request an invitation, join our community, or update your profile.

Topic: Technology, Terrorism, and Territoriality

How does technology enable transnational crime syndicates and terrorist groups? How can governments respond? What is the responsibility of media companies and role of corporations in addressing this complex intersection?

Suggested readings:

1) Why Containment Won’t Work Against Putin’s Russia

2) How ISIS Games Twitter

3) Why the Islamic State Leaves Tech Companies Torn Between Free Speech and Security

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Oct
5
6:30pm 6:30pm

First Mondays: October Policy Salon

Venue information is shared only with invited attendees. Click here to request an invitation, join our community, or update your profile.

Topic: Brain Drain or Brain Gain? The Economic Development Cost of a 'Lost Generation' and the Impact on Destination Countries

Suggested readings:

1) Hope: The Greatest Weapon Against the Dogs of War in Syria
Addresses missed education years and fleeing populations of skilled workers/professionals
 
2) Brain Drain and Fragile States 
Includes practical policy options and discussion of Brain Drain vs. Brain Gain
 
3) Reverse Brain Drain: Economic Shifts Lure Migrants Home
Discusses human capital flows from developed to developing markets

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Sep
14
6:30pm 6:30pm

First Mondays: September Policy Salon

Venue information is shared only with invited attendees. Click here to request an invitation, join our community, or update your profile.

Topic: Migration & Human Development

In light of the current refugee crisis, will economic strain and domestic politics encourage European states to make decisions that undermine development and security interests for the greater region?

Suggested readings:

1) The Refugee Crisis and Europe’s Defining Moment

2) Article & Photo Essay: The Global Refugee Crisis, Region by Region

3) Article & Photo Essay: Exodus: Family’s Path to Security Lined with Peril and Doubt

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Aug
3
6:30pm 6:30pm

First Mondays: August Movie Night

Venue information is shared only with invited attendees. Click here to request an invitation, join our community, or update your profile.

Topic: The Stanford Prison Experiment

We will honor the height of summer heat, humidity, and languor with a casual movie night. The movie is The Stanford Prison Experiment, a psychological thriller directed by Kyle Patrick Alvarez and written by Tim Talbott. It is based on the notorious true story of Stanford University professor Dr. Philip Zimbardo who in 1971 cast 24 student volunteers as prisoners and guards in a simulated jail to examine the source of abusive behavior in the prison system.

After the movie, we will have a discussion about the way that sadism and violence manifest itself in a seemingly normal group of people from a stable society and the implications of such behavior in conflict-­ridden societies.

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Jul
6
6:30pm 6:30pm

First Mondays: July Policy Salon

Venue information is shared only with invited attendees. Click here to request an invitation, join our community, or update your profile.

Topic: “Boots on the Ground” – Military Intervention in Iraq

We will look at the three scenarios in­­ Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya, ­­and assess current debates over pros and cons of increased U.S. military engagement in Iraq/ISIS territory.

Suggested readings:

1) Weighing the Arguments on U.S. Military Action Against ISIS
Thoughtful, agnostic summation of arguments for and against greater U.S. military intervention in Iraq to combat ISIS.

2) Iraq War: Six Lessons we Still Need to Learn
From 2013, but useful thinking about lessons learned in Iraq.

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