A democracy cannot function if you basically have a political civil war: The sense that politics is a zero-sum game, where one side loses everything and the other wins everything, and it's all about winning against the other side. That can bring you political wins for a certain amount of time, but it doesn't stabilize democracy itself and it doesn't lead to more what in Germany we call sozialer Friede — 'social peace,' a sense of togetherness.
— Bastian Hermisson
Bastian Hermisson is the executive director of Heinrich Böll Foundation North America, a political foundation affiliated with the German Green Party. In this conversation, we discuss the origins of German political foundations and the work they do to foster an engaged citizenry.
Do we want to build a secure and resilient system for powering . . . our country? And do we want to attack the biggest challenge of collective action in the course of human civilization? And those are the two questions that we have to answer.
— Michael Wu
Michael Wu is the founder and CEO of Converge Strategies. In this interview we discuss how thoroughly the power grid permeates every aspect of contemporary life. Michael describes the array of threats facing the power grid today — both familiar one and those that we can only imagine. He explains the difficulty of allocating resources to counter high-risk, low-frequency threats, and what we must do to build a more resilient, clean-energy power grid.
"Take a look at the mirror. Reflect on the values and the traditions that have brought what I would call the Transatlantic Civilization into existence as a civilization that has ensured individual rights and liberties and economic success to billions of people around the world."
— Dr. Aykan Erdemir
Dr. Aykan Erdemir is a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. In this episode we discuss the intersection of religion and politics, focusing on what happens when political elites use religion as a pretext for personal enrichment. This phenomenon has recently been named kleptotheocracy. Find out how to spot nascent kleptotheocracy in your midst and what you can do to prevent its spread.