Asia expert Jamie Metzl contends that fast-rising China is changing not only Asia, it is fundamentally transforming the global order. China’s military expansion, aggressive behavior in the South and East China Seas, growing presence around the world, and increasingly emboldened foreign policy, he argues, present a growing challenge to the US-led global system created in the aftermath of the Second World War. In Metzl's view, with America less able to serve as guarantor of the international system, and Europe incapable of realizing a coordinated foreign policy strategy and unwilling to invest sufficiently in military readiness, efforts to address major crises, promote a single set of rules governing the global economy, and support human rights around the world are faltering. In his lecture, Metzl will focus on the challenges of living in what may well be an anarchic post-American world, and the kinds of action needed to help build a stable future.
The Zero Marginal Cost Society: The Internet of Things, the Collaborative Commons, and the Eclipse of Capitalism
In his new book, The Zero Marginal Cost Society (Campus, 2014), social theorist Jeremy Rifkin argues that capitalism is becoming a victim of its own success: machines powered by alternative energies are undermining our sense of private property, taking away jobs, and turning consumers into free agents in a global “sharing economy.” While intense economic competition is forcing the introduction of ever newer technologies, productivity is reaching a point where the marginal cost of making additional units is so low they are essentially free. Rifkin describes how the emerging “Internet of things” will accelerate the beginning of an era of free goods and services, precipitating the rise of a global collaborative commons and the shutdown of capitalism: profits dry up, property ownership becomes meaningless, and an economy based on scarcity gives way to an economy of abundance, changing the very nature of society itself. In the wake of these developments, Rifkin envisions a new and more fulfilling form of communitarianism that spreads across the globe.
Location: Allianz Forum; Pariser Platz 6, Berlin
In cooperation with Campus Verlag
Joshua Cohen's Four New Messages offers four short stories that are, publisher Graywolf Press writes, "urgent and visionary dispatches that seek to save art, sex, and even alienation from corporatism and technology run rampant."
In "Emission," a hapless drug dealer in Princeton is humiliated when a cruel co-ed exposes him exposing himself on a blog gone viral. "McDonald's" tells of a frustrated pharmaceutical copywriter whose imaginative flights fail to bring solace because of a certain word he cannot put down on paper. In "The College Borough" a father visiting NYU with his daughter remembers a former writing teacher, a New Yorker exiled to the Midwest who refuses to read his students' stories, asking them instead to build a replica of the Flatiron Building. "Sent" begins mythically in the woods of Russia, but in a few virtuosic pages plunges into the present, where an aspiring journalist finds himself in a village that shelters all the women who've starred in all the internet porn he's ever enjoyed. All told, these four new stories explain what happens when the virtual begins to colonize the real—they harness the torrential power and verbal dexterity that have established Joshua Cohen as one of America's most promising younger writers.
Location: Haus der Berliner Festspiele, Schaperstraße 24, 10719 Berlin Tickets (€ 8/€ 6/€ 4): literaturfestival.com/tickets
In cooperation with Schöffling & Co. and internationales literaturfestival berlin
Generously supported by Daimler-Fonds
Joshua Cohen will also hold readings in Frankfurt, Berlin, Cologne, Freiburg, Vienna, Tübingen, and Würzburg.
The presention of the fall 2014 class of Berlin Prize fellows, with welcoming remarks by Donald Runnicles, General Music Director, Deutsche Oper Berlin; Chief Conductor, bbc Scottish Symphony Orchestra; and Music Director, Grand Teton Music Festival
Writer Adam Ross will read from his novel-in-progress, Playworld, which draws on his experiences as a child actor. A Bildungsroman set in Manhattan between the fall of 1980, just before Jimmy Carter loses his re-election bid to Ronald Reagan, and November 1999, immediately before the burst of the dot-com bubble, Playworld tells the story of Griffin Hurt, a child actor who finds himself surrounded by adult children—by adult actors who are wittingly or unwittingly borrowing against his emotional future, who are so indulgently at play that they function as terrible role models. Playworld describes Griffin’s formative years in show business and their aftermath. Growing up in the age of an actor president, Griffin spends most of his adult life after quitting professional acting trying to find a role to play.
In a world where globalization reigns, we are all connected by the threads of interdependence, denser in some areas than in others. We share economies, information networks, currencies, and problems, all of which make mockery of our archaic state borders. The European Union is a prime example of an attempt to move beyond the classical structures in order to deal productively with these shifts, and yet the difficulties experienced in recent years have clearly revealed that the union remains a work in progress. Overall, within today's global landscape, the search is on for the locus of responsibility: where does it lie, and who will take it? What will it take to ensure responsible governance of our interdependent world? These and additional timely considerations will be addressed in this lecture by this fall's Richard von Weizsäcker Distinguished Visitor, Javier Solana, the high-profile former EU High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy, Secretary General of the Council of the European Union, and Secretary General of NATO.
As chairman of the United States Securities and Exchange Commission, Mary Schapiro presided over one of the busiest rule-making agendas in the SEC’s history, during which the agency also executed a comprehensive restructuring program to improve protections for investors. President Obama praised her leadership by saying the SEC had become stronger and the financial system had become “safer and better able to serve the American people — thanks in large part to Mary’s hard work.” This evening's discussion, between Schapiro and Thomas Kluth, the Berlin bureau chief of the Economist magazine, covers the current state of financial market regulation and market structure, as well as corporate governance developments. She will also discuss the increasingly important role of the board in oversight of financial institutions and the expectations of regulators for risk governance of large banks and capital markets participants, as well as trends in US corporate governance.