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Whose Century Is It?

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"Whose Century Is It?" is a biweekly podcast, exploring the ideas, trends and twists shaping the 21st century. Is this century China's, or once again America's, or someone else's entirely? It's too early to say; but creator and host Mary Kay Magistad offers interviews, stories and perspectives from around the world that provide informative — and often surprising — ways to think about the question. "Whose Century Is It?" is a co-production between PRI's The World and Magistad, a former foreign correspondent and Asia hand who has reported from some 40 countries, on both sides of the turn of the 21st century. Funded by a grant from the Henry Luce Foundation.

"Whose Century Is It?" is a biweekly podcast, exploring the ideas, trends and twists shaping the 21st century. Is this century China's, or once again America's, or someone else's entirely? It's too early to say; but creator and host Mary Kay Magistad offers interviews, stories and perspectives from around the world that provide informative — and often surprising — ways to think about the question. "Whose Century Is It?" is a co-production between PRI's The World and Magistad, a former foreign correspondent and Asia hand who has reported from some 40 countries, on both sides of the turn of the 21st century. Funded by a grant from the Henry Luce Foundation.
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United States

Description:

"Whose Century Is It?" is a biweekly podcast, exploring the ideas, trends and twists shaping the 21st century. Is this century China's, or once again America's, or someone else's entirely? It's too early to say; but creator and host Mary Kay Magistad offers interviews, stories and perspectives from around the world that provide informative — and often surprising — ways to think about the question. "Whose Century Is It?" is a co-production between PRI's The World and Magistad, a former foreign correspondent and Asia hand who has reported from some 40 countries, on both sides of the turn of the 21st century. Funded by a grant from the Henry Luce Foundation.

Twitter:

@PRI

Language:

English


Episodes

Endangered Languages

4/7/2018
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Half the world’s 7,000 languages may disappear by the end of this century. If that doesn’t alarm you, it should. Embedded in each language is a reflection of life as lived by its speakers, over thousands of years. When a language disappears, all that is lost. As the world grows more connected, and as dominant cultures push their own languages for wider use – think English, Chinese and Arabic, for starters -- ever more languages are disappearing, at an accelerating rate. The good news is...

Duration:01:02:02

Ethnic cleansing, human tragedy & the future few saw coming for Burma

3/5/2018
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Not so long ago that Myanmar (Burma) was a good news story, with democratic reforms, a booming economy and falling poverty rates. Then came ugly military-led attacks on Rohingya Muslims, who killed, raped and burned houses, and forced more than 700,000 Rohingyas to flee to camps in Bangladesh, with little pushback from pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi. What does this mean for Myanmar's democratic future? Khin Ohmar, an exiled Burmese human rights and democracy activist for 30 years,...

Duration:00:44:31

We'd All Love to Change the World

1/22/2018
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What happens when you mix the efficiency and energy of the entrepreneurial world with the idealism of philanthropy? A growing number of social entrepreneurs say, you can do a world of good. But just like real entrepreneurs, more such efforts fail than succeed, and both smarts and resilience are needed for the long haul. Jonathan Lewis, author of The Unfinished Social Entrepreneur and founder of the microcredit funder MCE Social Capital and cofounder of Copia, a kind of mail-order catalogue...

Duration:00:49:16

China's counterintuitive bet

12/30/2017
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Can China become a global leader in innovation by protecting state-run companies from competition at home, while acquiring innovative companies abroad? Can that innovation be sustained in a society where free speech and intellectual inquiry is sharply curtailed? China's leaders are betting on it, and in this episode, journalist-turned-business analyst Jim MacGregor, chairman of APCO Greater China, mulls over the odds.

Duration:00:43:37

Follow the leader?

11/19/2017
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Populist leaders and strongmen often rise at times of dizzying, unsettling change. But what if that's exactly the wrong kind of leadership to face the challenges and seize the opportunities of this century? Futurist Bob Johansen argues the era ahead will be one with less hierarchy, more shared and shifting leadership, and clarity and agility will be rewarded, while rigid certainty will be punished.

Duration:00:35:28

In the Amazon

10/16/2017
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Breathe in. Breathe out. The oxygen that keeps you going, that keeps life going on earth, comes in part from the vast Amazon rainforest, most of which is in Brazil. Lush, vast and rich in biodiversity, it is the lungs of the planet. But it also attracts miners, loggers, farmers and developers who, over the past 40 years, have contributed to reducing forest cover by some 20 percent. Foreign investors have played a role too -- American, European and now, Chinese. Many dams have been built....

Duration:01:08:06

Young China

8/27/2017
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Few generations in the world face a reality as dramatically different from all that have come before, as China's one-child generation. Since the one-child policy started in the early '80s, China has gone from aspiring developing country to powerful global player. It has shifted from being majority rural to majority urban, with per capita annual GDP rising from $300 to over $8,000 now. Young Chinese are more connected with the world than previous generations, thanks to the internet,...

Duration:00:46:37

Rebuilding Brazil's economy requires more than BRICS and China

8/15/2017
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Brazil's economy was blazing along in the first decade of this century, turbo-charged by China's appetite for commodities. And there was the added boost of being named, by a Goldman Sachs exec, one of the rising economies to watch — the BRICS, Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. Then China's economic growth slowed, demand for commodities dropped and Brazil fell into its worst recession in a century, intensified by its worst corruption scandal ever. Brazil is beginning to emerge...

Duration:00:29:08

Seeing into the future

5/28/2017
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Blind seers aside, it's easier to see where you're going, on the road and in life, if you can actually see. More than half of Americans wear glasses; in poorer and more remote regions of the world, it's estimated that some two billion people need glasses but don't have access to them, cutting into their ability to learn, work and live a full life. A social entrepreneurial effort called VisionSpring has reached millions of such people in Asia and Africa, selling glasses at affordable prices...

Duration:00:29:25

Soul searching in China

5/3/2017
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A resurgence of interest in religion in China, after more than half a century of Communism and in the midst of China's rapid economic transformation and global rise, comes as new generations search for spiritual meaning and an ethical foundation. Host Mary Kay Magistad talks with former China correspondent colleagues Ian Johnson, author of "The Souls of China: The Return of Religion After Mao," and Jennifer Lin, author of "Shanghai Faithful: Betrayal and Faith in a Chinese Christian...

Duration:01:13:19

Enemies of the (Corrupt) People

4/18/2017
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With kleptocratic autocrats on the rise, good journalism that explains what's going on matters more than ever. Fresh from sharing a 2017 Pulitzer Prize for Explanatory Reporting, for coverage of the Panama Papers, Drew Sullivan, founder and editor of the Organized Crime & Corruption Project, talks corruption, authoritarian creep and the future of journalism.

Duration:00:44:52

Truth & reconciliation in South Africa, revisited

4/6/2017
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Healing deep social wounds takes time, even with active effort.

Duration:00:41:33

Women's work

3/8/2017
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Women around the world face varying degrees of gender discrimination in the workplace — whether they're hired, how much they're paid, whether they advance as fast as men doing the same job. In Jordan, where girls and women generally do better than their male counterparts in school, and where more women than men attend college, startlingly few women participate in the workforce. Why? Asma Khader, a Jordanian lawyer, women's rights activist and former government official, weighs in, in...

Duration:00:42:29

Badass librarians of the Internet Archive

2/23/2017
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Librarians rock. And Internet Archive librarians, aiming to digitize and make universally available all human knowledge, including saving webpages that would otherwise disappear? They're on a whole 'nother level. In this age of alternative facts and disappearing government websites, hear how this small group of badass librarians is working to preserve knowledge, and empower investigative reporters and ordinary citizens to find webpages those with something to hide would rather you didn't...

Duration:00:42:43

Keeping up with killer technology

2/8/2017
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Drones have only been around for a couple of decades, but already, they're reshaping the contours of conflict and raising ethical quandaries. President Barack Obama launched more than 500 drone strikes during his tenure, 10 times more than President George W. Bush. But Obama's drones strikes killed far fewer civilians than did Bush's intervention in Iraq. Still, how much should drones and robotics be used in conflict, and when, and what unintended consequences might this unleash? Peter...

Duration:00:36:29

Make America Kind Again

1/27/2017
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America became a global leader over the past century through openness, generosity, and soft power —the ability to attract, and to make others want to emulate your way of life, including inclusivity and equal rights. Donald Trump's vision of America, as voiced in his campaign and reflected in his first words and deeds as president, has caused more global dismay than attraction. Will the Trump era mark the end of the American century? Listen in to hear some early takes.

Duration:00:22:01

How trust eroded within America's democracy

1/12/2017
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Trust in government and journalism has plummeted in recent decades, particularly among conservatives. This wasn't a coincidence, nor strictly a result of bad behavior on the part of elected officials or the press, says Thomas Mann, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and co-author of "It's Even Worse Than It Was: How the American Constitutional System Collided with the New Politics of Extremism." He argues that understanding how we got here just might help Americans move to a...

Duration:00:46:19

China, the US and the lessons of history

12/29/2016
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Talk about epic love/hate relationships. From the birth of the United States, China has loomed large in the American imagination, and America in China's, for better and for worse, often with surprising twists. Build a wall across the Mexican border? That was first proposed to stop Chinese immigrants in the 19th century. Mao Zedong's secret vice? American 'kissy' movies, to quote former Washington Post China correspondent John Pomfret, author of "The Beautiful Country and the MIddle...

Duration:01:15:24

A newsroom looks at future past

12/14/2016
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As Americans wonder what changes a new year and a new President will bring, here's a case study of how much things can change, in unexpected ways, in a relatively short time. Host Mary Kay Magistad sits down with some of the early staff of PRI and BBC co-production PRI's The World to chat about what the future looked like in 1996, when The World first went to air, and how change has come in unexpected ways and uneven waves.

Duration:00:34:45

Black Lives Rising (in STEM)

12/2/2016
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Great ideas come from diverse minds, and efforts to get more African Americans into cutting edge fields — science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine — are gaining ground, but with considerable challenges. How might efforts to increase this kind of diversity fare under a Trump presidency and beyond? Host Mary Kay Magistad explores.

Duration:00:42:44