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News December 18, 2017

  • Suneel Gupta Discusses Early Missteps of Groupon at FailCon 2012

    SPEAKER: Suneel Gupta

    Wearing Your Failures on Your Sleeve: Suneel Gupta, then a vice president at Groupon, discusses some of the early missteps at FailCon 2012 in San Francisco.  


  • Fortune editor speaks on importance of civility in business

    SPEAKER: Geoffrey Colvin

    (Greenwich Time) – Geoff Colvin, Fortune magazine's senior editor at large, found himself in an interesting situation a couple of years ago, squaring off against IBM's super computer Watson in a practice round of Jeopardy at a large conference.

  • How Silicon Valley’s teen phenom will help blind

    SPEAKER: Shubham Banerjee

    (CBS News) – In a room full of entrepreneurs and investors, 13-year-old Shubham Banerjee, may seem out of place.

    But the eighth grader is already a star; the youngest person ever to get venture capital investment for a start-up, reports CBS News correspondent John Blackstone.

    It all began last year, during a conversation with his parents.

    "I just asked a simple question, 'how do blind people read?'" Banjeree asked. "They said, 'go Google it.' And I found out that braille printers cost $2,000 onwards."

    Read more or click here to watch the video. 

  • 13-Year-Old Creator of Lego Braille Printer Is Youngest Ever to Receive Venture Capital Funding

    SPEAKER: Shubham Banerjee

    (NBC Bay Area) – Shubham Banerjee designed a functioning Braille printer made out of a Lego robotics kit when he was 12. This week, Intel Capital announced it is investing in the boy’s startup, Braigo Labs.

    Read more or click here to watch the video.

  • Marine Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi freed from Mexican jail, returns to US – Gov. Bill Richardson Comments

    SPEAKER: Bill Richardson

    After 214 days in a Mexican prison, Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi returned home to Florida Saturday, having been freed Friday night after a strong diplomatic push appeared to help convince a judge to release the former Marine on humanitarian grounds.

  • 10 Parting Thoughts for America’s Diplomats

    SPEAKER: William Burns

    By: William J. Burns

    As one of America's foremost diplomats hangs up his spurs, lessons from 33 years at the State Department.

    Diplomacy is not quite the world’s oldest profession, but it remains one of the most misunderstood. It’s a predictable and recurring habit to question its relevance and dismiss its practitioners, especially at moments like this, when international affairs are rocked by powerful and tumultuous transitions.

  • Carly Fiorina Procures Supplies to Fight Ebola in Africa

    SPEAKER: Carly Fiorina

    The former CEO of Hewlett Packard and onetime candidate for U.S. Senator from California, is now tackling a new role as the board chair of Good360, a nonprofit in Alexandria, Virginia. She is now spearheading the organization that has taken on the task of distributing donated goods to vetted charities, including disaster relief and humanitarian organizations across the globe. From hand soap to children's toys, there is no shortage of needed goods, and Fiorina is up for the task. She is recruiting her business contacts to get involved in the donations, and behind her leadership they are stepping up to the plate. 

  • Gary Locke, Selects WWSG For Exclusive Representation

    SPEAKER: Gary Locke

    Gary F. Locke, the former U.S. Ambassador to the People’s Republic of China, has selected Worldwide Speakers Group for exclusive representation of his global speaking activities. A former U.S. Secretary of Commerce and Governor of Washington, Locke is widely recognized as one of the world’s foremost authorities on U.S.-China relations, global expansion, and business growth.

  • Elaine Chao Talks Foreign Policy With Chinese Students

    SPEAKER: Elaine Chao

    Secretary Chao’s government career includes serving as the Director of Peace Corps, Deputy Secretary of Transportation, Chairman of the Federal Maritime Commission, and Deputy Maritime Administrator. Prior to her government service, she was Vice President at Bank of America and a banker with Citicorp.  She was also a White House Fellow.  Chao is a graduate of Harvard Business School and the recipient of 34 honorary doctorate degrees.  Currently, she serves on a number of corporate and nonprofit boards.

  • Donna Brazile – In Sacramento California


    Donna Brazile is a Veteran Democratic political strategist  who regularly speaks on political issues. She recently spoke at the Pac15’s “Third Annual Fundraiser Event,” at the Guild Theater in the Oak Park neighborhood of Sacramento, California.  Brazile an adjunct professor, author, a syndicated columnist, and the Vice Chair of Voter Registration and Participation at the Democratic National Committee. She is also the founder and managing director of Brazile & Associates LLC, a general consulting, grassroots advocacy, and training firm based in Washington, D.C.

  • Richard Branson Is The Best Boss You Never Had

    SPEAKER: Richard Branson

    Hiring and investing in employees is his top priority. He has even given a second chance to an employee caught stealing who then became one of his most loyal workers. Richard Branson is one of history’s most influential moguls and he has made his way to the top by empowering the people who work below him.  Read this interview where he talks about what makes an important employee.

    Branson is always involved with hiring senior executives in any of his organizations.  He even flies out candidates to his private island retreat, Necker Island, with seldom a complaint! Google CEO Larry Page has also learned from Branson and realizes how important it is to be hands on in the hiring process.

  • Eleanor Clift on the House Race in Arizona

    SPEAKER: Eleanor Clift

    Ron Barber and Martha McSally are in a heated race for the House of Representatives in Arizona, in Gabrielle Gifford’s former district.  McSally has ran an aggressive television campaign, where she boasts about her multiple tours in combat as a former Air Force Fighter Pilot.  However, those TV ads may or may not be enough to convince the voters to elect McSally, as Barber is a former staff member of the popular Giffords, who survived an attempted assassination in 2011.  The voters will have the ultimate say in the coming election.

  • Jill Dougherty Is Shaking Up the Speaking World After Retirement from CNN

    SPEAKER: Jill Dougherty

    After a 30-year career at CNN the veteran foreign affairs correspondent, who was also the White House correspondent for the channel, and Moscow bureau chief is now speaking for WWSG.

  • Joe Torre On Derek Jeter Retiring And The Impact On Baseball

    SPEAKER: Joe Torre

    Former New York Yankees Manager talks about the legacy of one of the team’s and major league baseballs most recognized heroes, Derek Jeter.

  • Hank Paulson Appears In Court To Comment On the 2008 AIG Bailout

    SPEAKER: Henry M. Paulson, Jr.

    Former US Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson testified as an expert witness as part of a lawsuit alleging the 2008 federal rescue of American International Group Inc. (AIG) cost shareholders billions of dollars.

    Mr. Paulson fielded questions about possible private-sector solutions for AIG, that plaintiffs contend the government wrongfully ignored. While his testimony was slated for a 6 hour time slot, Mr. Paulson was dismissed in two hours due to his strong testimony.

  • Newt Gingrich Speaker At The Annual GOP Reagan Bean Dinner

    SPEAKER: Newt Gingrich

    The Reagan Bean dinner is  held weeks before the November election in Indiana to rally support and energize voters for GOP candidates and this year they had a special surprise when former Speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich, joined as the guest speaker.

    With the November 4th elections just a few weeks away, Gingrich is optimistic that the Republican party will pick up seats stating that, “People are so uncomfortable with the economy, with a very confused foreign policy, with the health problems we’re seeing with Ebola and the confusion in the Administration there, that I just think it’s very difficult for the Democrats to regain their balance between now and Election Day.”

  • Wozniak credits ‘Builders’ more than dreamers for tech advancements

    SPEAKER: Steve Wozniak

    Recently Woz mesmerized the crowd when he spoke at the Gartner Symposium in Orlando Florida. He talked about how technology is advancing the future and that "Builders know which new things can be developed and made into a final product," said Wozniak. "I credit builders for all the advancements." Woz encourages engineers to develop technology and products that matter to you personally instead of the masses. Woz is not only the co founder of Apple, but his Fusion-IO a flash solution to deliver data faster.

  • Don’t Do As the Romans Did…

    SPEAKER: Michael Auslin

    (Politico Magazine) – It’s not just the Islamic State. Obama must wage a two-front war for civilization, just like Ancient Rome.

  • Former Deputy Secretary Of Defense Ashton B. Carter Joins Markle Foundation


    NEW YORK, Sept. 3, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — Markle President Zoe Baird today announced the appointment of former Deputy Secretary of Defense Dr. Ashton B. Carter as Senior Executive at the Markle Foundation.  He will help develop the Markle Economic Future Initiative along with Baird and Initiative co-chair Howard Schultz, chairman, president and ceo of Starbucks.  The Initiative is advancing transformative strategies that use technology and globalization to help all Americans flourish in the economy of a networked world.


  • Allen West Endorses Carlos Curbelo And Democrats Rejoice

    SPEAKER: Allen West

    At a recent event in Washington D.C., Former U.S. Rep. Allen West backed fellow Republican Carlos Curbelo of Miami against Democratic Rep. Joe Garcia. Curbelo’s campaign has yet to trumpet the endorsement, but Democrats did it for him, emailing the news story to reporters.

  • Texas Ebola Hospital Admits To Huge Mistake

    SPEAKER: Sanjay Gupta

    Dr. Sanjay Gupta explained the Ebola patient’s condition in an interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper on Wednesday; they discussed how the recent exposures could have been prevented.

  • Kerry visit to India: Preparing for Modi's pivotal visit

    SPEAKER: Evan Feigenbaum

    By Evan A. Feigenbaum  

    (South Asia Monitor) – John Kerry visits India Wednesday as a raft of crises consume American diplomacy. By contrast, US-India relations are at a moment of opportunity, but the US Secretary of State faces challenges in New Delhi that are significant in their own way.

    For one thing, after a decade of disengagement with Narendra Modi, Washington is eager to make a fresh start. The US is sending three cabinet secretaries to India in quick succession – Kerry (State), Penny Pritzker (Commerce), and Chuck Hagel (Defence) – and Washington is preparing to host Modi himself in September. From the US perspective, Modi’s government offers a welcome respite from years of perceived strategic and economic drift under UPA-2. 

  • China's Reform Imperative

    SPEAKER: Evan Feigenbaum

    By: Evan A. Feigenbaum and Damien Ma

    (The Paulson Institute / Foreign Affairs) – After thirty-five years of unprecedented growth, China’s prevailing growth model is running out of steam. Predicated on investment in fixed assets, such as infrastructure, and, to a lesser extent, reliance on exports, the economy is delivering diminishing returns to the Chinese people. For this reason, establishing a new, and more sustainable, growth model is perhaps the most intense challenge now facing the eighteen month-old administration of President Xi Jinping.

    In the following series of three essays, originally published in Foreign Affairs magazine over a one-year period, we dissect China’s reform ambitions from several angles.

  • In Alaska’s remote villages, Begich quietly built an advantage on the ground

    SPEAKER: Mark Begich

    By: Philip Rucker

    (Washington Post) – It’s the personal connection between organizers and villagers that Democrats believe can tilt the balance in the Senate race. Begich said his staffers are not “shipped in from someplace out of state.”

    In Quinhagak, Cleveland was raised in the Yup’ik tradition. She hunts moose and caribou to fill the freezer through winter. She picks medicine plants and tea from the tundra for her grandfather. Yup’ik is her first language, and although she went away to film school in Montana, she missed speaking it every day and moved back home.

  • “Mastering Growth Forum” Co-Sponsored by HSBC and The Financial Times

    SPEAKER: Harry Broadman

    (HSBC and The Financial Times) – The formation of new South-South trading routes, linking Asia with the Middle East, Emerging Europe, Africa and Latin America is revolutionizing the global economy.  Slower growth in the developed world combined with rising consumption and growing middle class, demographics and demand for raw materials is leading emerging markets to create mutually beneficial economic and financial connections between each other, which are fundamentally reshaping traditional patterns of world trade.

  • Response by Ayaan Hirsi Ali to the Statement from Brandeis University

    SPEAKER: Ayaan Hirsi Ali

    Yesterday Brandeis University decided to withdraw an honorary degree they were to confer upon me next month during their Commencement exercises. I wish to dissociate myself from the university’s statement, which implies that I was in any way consulted about this decision. On the contrary, I was completely shocked when President Frederick Lawrence called me—just a few hours before issuing a public statement—to say that such a decision had been made.

  • Diplomat Who Led Secret Talks With Iran Plans to Retire

    SPEAKER: William Burns

    (NY Times) – Washington – William J. Burns, a career diplomat who led the Obama administration's back-channel negotiations with Iran, plans to step down as the State Department's second-ranking official in October, administration officials stated on Friday. 

  • Boy makes braille printer from Legos

    SPEAKER: Shubham Banerjee

    (MSNBC) – Shubham Banerjee, a 12-year-old in California, has created a low-cost braille printer made from Legos, and he is MHP’s Foot Solider of the Week.

    Click here to watch the video.

  • Boy Builds Braille Printer Out Of Lego

    SPEAKER: Shubham Banerjee

    (NPR) – What do you get when you put a Lego robotics kit, basic tools and a creative mind together? A Braille printer. Shubham Banerjee, 12, talks to NPR's Scott Simon about his project to help the blind.

  • Boy genius makes braille printer from Lego

    SPEAKER: Shubham Banerjee

    (CNN) – A 12-year-old has invented a low cost braille printer made out of Lego bricks. Maggie Lake speaks to the child inventor.

    Click here to watch the video.

  • California seventh grader makes Lego braille printer

    SPEAKER: Shubham Banerjee

    (CBCRadio) – Student Shubham Banerjee has built a braille printer out of Lego building blocks.  And he’s only in the seventh grade. The keen California student says that his braille printer is much cheaper than what’s on the market. He plans to give away the design and the code for free, so that anyone can make their own.

    Click here to watch the video.

  • Intellectual Ventures Hires Former Washington State First Lady Mona Locke


    Intellectual Ventures has hired Mona Locke, a former journalist best known as Washington State’s former first lady, as its new senior vice president of corporate communications and marketing.<

  • Running the Pentagon Right


    How to Get the Troops What They Need

    by Ashton B. Carter

    War inevitably presents unexpected challenges. From Germany’s use of mustard gas during World War I to North Vietnam’s surprisingly effective use of its air defense system during the Vietnam War, the United States has always faced unanticipated threats in combat that have required agile responses. U.S. troops on the ground continually adjust to changing enemy tactics with the capabilities they have at hand. Yet the part of the Defense Department that trains and equips those troops has rarely been as flexible.

  • Mark Begich fights to put Alaska back on the map

    SPEAKER: Mark Begich

    By: Ben Terris

    (The Washington Post) – ?Sen. Mark Begich found yet another map that made him angry. Settling in for his 10-hour commute back to Alaska from the District last Thursday, he turned to the back page of a Capitol Hill newspaper and saw an ad for the Business Roundtable featuring a drawing of the lower 48 states.

    “I was like, ‘Where’s Alaska?’?” Begich said in a phone call from a remote northern region of his home state. “If I could get enough cellphone data out here, my staff would already have an e-mail about trying to correct this.”


  • Calif. Boy Starts Company After Lego Invention

    SPEAKER: Shubham Banerjee

    (Associated Press) – Eighth-grader Shubham Banerjee has launched a company to develop a low-cost Braille printer for the blind. It’s based on a prototype he built with a Lego robotics kit for the science fair.

    Click here to watch the video.

  • The Invisible Man: Bill Burns And The Secret Iran Talks

    SPEAKER: William Burns

    (Reuters) – The night before a round of high-stakes nuclear talks with Iran, U.S. President Barack Obama told his chief of staff he had "absolute confidence we have the right team on the field."

    Obama was not referring to his public negotiating team… Rather, White House chief of staff Denis McDonough recalled, Obama was talking about a secret group led by Bill Burns, Kerry's discreet, disciplined and self-effacing deputy.

  • The White House's Secret Diplomatic Weapon

    SPEAKER: William Burns

    (The Atlantic) – William J. Burns has been the secret weapon of U.S. secretaries of state for more than two decades, serving consecutively under three Republicans and three Democrats. So it came as no surprise that John Kerry wanted to be the seventh chief diplomat to lean daily on Burns, currently the country's highest-ranking career diplomat, by keeping him on as deputy secretary of state, a position to which Burns was appointed by Hillary Clinton.

  • Categorizing Alaska’s Begich depends what you look at

    SPEAKER: Mark Begich

    By: James Rosen
    (McClatchy DC) – WASHINGTON — Sen. Mark Begich can marshal some impressive evidence to bolster his claim that he is a centrist more in line with fellow Alaskans than with many of his Senate Democratic colleagues.

    Since joining the Senate in January 2009 to replace the late Sen. Ted Stevens, Begich has consistently taken votes and pushed bills to protect oil and natural gas companies, such as preserving their tax subsidies or opposing more federal regulation of them.

  • Ashton Carter: Superhero of the Sequester


    Deputy Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter says he’ll give back part of his paycheck if the sequester leads to furloughs at the Pentagon. Why won’t more politicians follow his lead? By Michelle Cottle.

    Raise your hand if you can tell me who Ashton Carter is.

    Wrong! He is not the hot but mediocre model turned actor who rose to fame via a mélange of cheesy TV shows, clever self-promotion, and a seven-year marriage to Demi Moore

  • An inquiry into human nature and the cost of the wealth of nations

    SPEAKER: David Martin

    Addressing global systems failure through an integral systems paradigm for sustainable development

  • Mona Locke, untapped at U.S. Embassy in China


    If you listen closely outside the U.S. Embassy in Beijing, you just may hear the chants: “Free Mona! Free Mona!”

    There’s much talk there — and stateside, too — that Mona Locke, wife of Ambassador Gary Locke, is not being utilized as well as she could. The ambassador’s wife, after all, is so wildly popular that she is often referred to as her husband’s none-too-secret weapon. 

  • A Law to Strengthen Our Cyberdefense


    OVER the last decade, the United States has built a sophisticated security system to protect the nation’s seaports against terrorists and criminals. But our nation’s critical infrastructure is not similarly secured from cyberattack. Although we have made progress in recent years, Congressional action is needed to ensure that our laws keep pace with the electronically connected world we live in. The bipartisan Cybersecurity Act of 2012, currently before the Senate, offers a way forward.

  • New and Frozen Frontier Awaits Offshore Oil Drilling

    SPEAKER: Mark Begich

    By: John H. Broder and Clifford Krauss

    (The New York Times) –  WASHINGTON — Shortly before Thanksgiving in 2010, the leaders of the commission President Obama had appointed to investigate the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico sat down in the Oval Office to brief him.

    After listening to their findings about the BP accident and the safety of deepwater drilling, the president abruptly changed the subject.

  • Octavia Nasr: Social media were a “megaphone” for the Arab Spring

    SPEAKER: Octavia Nasr

    (IJNet) – Former CNN journalist Octavia Nasr believes that an Arab media awakening is in the making.

    IJNet talked to the ex-Middle East correspondent Nasr about social media ethics and the influence of social media on the Arab Spring. In the first part of our interview, Nasr stressed the importance of protection for journalists from social media flame wars.

  • O.C. man named Gingrich’s state finance chief

    SPEAKER: Eric Beach

    (The Orange County Register) – Eric Beach, a young Costa Mesa businessman and consultant who’s already racked up an impressive political resume, was today named Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich’s California finance chairman.

  • The CEO’s Role in Business Model Reinvention

    SPEAKER: Chris Trimble

    By: Vijay Govindarajan and Chris Trimble

    (Harvard Business Review) – Consider a few of the great innovation stories of the past decade: Google, Netflix, and Skype. Now ask yourself, why wasn’t Google created by Microsoft? Netflix by Blockbuster? Skype by AT&T?

    Why do established corporations struggle to find the next big thing before new competitors do? The problem is pervasive; the examples are countless. The simple explanation is that many companies become too focused on executing today’s business model and forget that business models are perishable. Success today does not guarantee success tomorrow.

  • Undaunted, Octavia Nasr Tweets to New Heights

    SPEAKER: Octavia Nasr

    (The Huffington Post) – She has no regrets, she looks forward to capitalizing on the many opportunities the Middle East has to offer, and she continues to vigorously promote social media, although it led to her ouster from CNN.

  • Why America No Longer Gets Asia

    SPEAKER: Evan Feigenbaum

    By: Evan A. Feigenbaum

    (The Washington Quarterly) – In the fall of 2006, as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Central Asia, I wandered through a bazaar in Kara-suu on the Kyrgyz—Uzbek border. The bazaar is one of Central Asia’s largest and a crossroads for traders from across the volatile Ferghana ValleyKyrgyz, Uzbeks, Tajiks, and many others. But most remarkably, it has become home to nearly a thousand Chinese traders from Fujian, a coastal province some 3,000 miles away, lapped by the waters of the Taiwan Strait

  • India’s Rise, America’s Interest: The Fate of the U.S.-Indian Partnership

    SPEAKER: Evan Feigenbaum

    By: Evan A. Feigenbaum

    (Foreign Affairs) – Until the late 1990s, the United States often ignored India, treating it as a regional power in South Asia with little global weight. India's weak and protected economy gave it little influence in global markets, and its nonaligned foreign policy caused periodic tension with Washington. When the United States did concentrate on India, it too often fixated on India's military rivalry with Pakistan.

    Today, however, India is dynamic and transforming. Starting in 1991, leaders in New Delhi — including Manmohan Singh, then India's finance minister and now its prime minister — pursued policies of economic liberalization that opened the country to foreign investment and yielded rapid growth. India is now an important economic power, on track (according to Goldman Sachs and others) to become a top-five global economy by 2030. It is a player in global economic decisions as part of both the G-20 and the G-8 + 5 (the G-8 plus the five leading emerging economies) and may ultimately attain a permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council. India's trajectory has diverged sharply from that of Pakistan.

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