“Is the World Heading Towards a Fusion of Civilizations?’’, a Conversation with Prof. Kishore Mahbubani

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  • DATE / TIME:
    2016•05•24    18:30 - 19:30

    On 24 May 2016, UNU will host “Is the World Heading Towards a Fusion of Civilizations?’’, a conversation with Prof. Kishore Mahbubani, Dean of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore. This event will start at 6:30 p.m. on 24 May 2016 at UNU Headquarters in Tokyo.

    We live in deeply pessimistic times. The terrorist attacks in Paris, California and Brussels have convinced many, especially in the West, that the world is heading inevitably towards a “clash of civilizations”, as predicted by Samuel Huntington, where cultural and religious identities will be a primary source of conflict. Geopolitical competition is also rising between the US and China.

    Prof. Mahbubani will join UNU Rector David M. Malone for a conversation exploring the main global trends driving our world today. Building on Prof. Mahbubani’s and Larry Summers’ recent essay “The Fusion of Civilizations” (Foreign Policy, May/June 2016), the discussion will question if humanity is becoming better off or worse off with each passing day, and whether more conflicts are likely. The conversation will examine today’s key global challenges and if/how the world can manage them. It could also shed some light on the G7 Summit getting under way in Japan the following day.

    The UNU Conversation Series aims to foster audience participation: you are encouraged to engage with the speakers during the conversation and at the reception that will follow, where all audience members are invited to enjoy the food and drinks that will be served while exchanging ideas and making new contacts.

    Please note that this event will be in English only; Japanese interpretation will not be provided. Advance registration (by 23 May) is required. Please click on the REGISTER button above to access the online registration page.

    About the speaker

    Kishore Mahbubani has had the good fortune of enjoying a career in government and, at the same time, in writing extensively on public issues. He was with the Singapore Foreign Service for 33 years (1971–2004). He served as Singapore’s Ambassador to the UN and as President of the UN Security Council in January 2001 and May 2002. He was Permanent Secretary at the Foreign Ministry from 1993 to 1998. Currently, he is Dean of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore.

    He is the author of Can Asians Think? (1998), Beyond the Age of Innocence (2005), The New Asian Hemisphere (2008), The Great Convergence (2013 — selected by Financial Times as one of the best books of 2013), and Can Singapore Survive? (2015).

    He was conferred the Public Administration Medal (Gold) by the Singapore Government in 1998 and the Foreign Policy Association Medal in 2004. He was listed as one of the top 100 public intellectuals in the world by Foreign Policy and Prospect magazines in 2005, and included in the 2009 Financial Times list of top 50 individuals. He was selected as one of Foreign Policy’s Top Global Thinkers in 2010 and 2011. Most recently, he was selected by Prospect magazine as one of the top 50 world thinkers for 2014.


    2F Reception Hall
    United Nations University
    53-70, Jingumae 5-chome
    Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 150-8925