Event Recaps

On December 12, 2017 the Atlantic Council’s Northern Europe Office and the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung hosted a public conference in Stockholm to discuss the need to bridge perspectives and start forming a merged agenda to successfully face the security challenges in Northern Europe following Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea and aggression in Eastern Ukraine in 2014.

Keynote addresses were made by H.E. Peter Hultqvist, Defense Minister of Sweden; Minister Carl Bildt, former Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Sweden; and Ms. Tone Skogen, State Secretary, Ministry of Defense, Norway.

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On December 6, 2017, the Atlantic Council's Global Business and Economics program co-hosted an event with the Bay Area Council Economic Institute in San Francisco, CA. The discussion focused on the progress of the EU’s Digital Single Market (DSM) strategy and its implications for businesses in the United States and the transatlantic digital marketplace. Our panel included Usman Ahmed, Head of Global Public Policy at PayPal; Bruce Andrews, Managing Director at Rock Creek Global Advisors LLC; Andrea Glorioso, Digital Counsellor at the Delegation of the European Union to the United States; and Luke Kowalski, Vice President of the Corporate Architecture Group at Oracle. Melissa Blaustein, Founder and CEO of Allied for Startups, moderated the discussion.


Mr. Ahmed stressed how European and US businesses, especially small and medium-sized enterprises, could benefit from ongoing DSM reform efforts to boost e-commerce that include a ban on unjustified geo-blocking, lower prices for parcel delivery, and a simplified VAT framework. Mr. Andrews emphasized the role the DSM could play to elevate the US-EU commercial relationship to another level. Mr. Glorioso provided participants with an update on the implementation of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which will be enforced across the EU beginning in May 2018. In addition, representatives from Stanford University, the University of California, Berkeley, and large Silicon Valley companies, including Mozilla Inc., Stripe, and PayPal, took part in the discussion which ultimately transitioned from the EU’s DSM to the future of work and its implications for the transatlantic digital marketplace.
On October 10th, the Atlantic Council’s Cyber Statecraft Initiative and DEF CON hosted a public event on the vulnerabilities in US voting infrastructure and recommendations for a path forward in securing our democracy. Panelists included Ambassador Douglas Lute, former US permanent representative to NATO; Jeff Moss, founder of DEF CON and senior fellow for the Cyber Statecraft Initiative; John Gilligan, chairman of the board for the Center for Internet Security; Sherri Ramsay, former director of the NSA/CSS Threat Operations Center; and Harri Hursti, founding partner of Nordic Innovation Labs and organizer of the DEF CON Voting Village. The panel was moderated by Jake Braun, a lecturer at the University of Chicago and opening remarks were given by Fred Kempe.

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The Atlantic Council’s South Asia Center hosted its first ‘Nuclear Strategy and Security in the Second Nuclear Age Conference’ on November 16 and 17, 2017 in Washington, DC. The conference brought together experts, officials, and leaders from across the world and multiple international organizations with the aim of understanding the emergence of Asia as the epicenter of the second nuclear age.

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On November 30, 2017, the Atlantic Council’s EuroGrowth Initiative hosted an informative discussion on Catalonia’s bid for independence and upcoming elections on December 21. The session was led by the new Director of the Global Business and Economics Program, Bart Oosterveld. 

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On Tuesday, November 29, the Africa Center at the Atlantic Council launched its newest report, Forging a New Era in US-South African Relations.

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On November 8th, 2017, the South Asia Center at the Atlantic Council hosted a panel discussion with Mr. Javid Ahmad, Mr. Ahmad Nader Nadery, Dr. Vanda Felbab Brown and Ambassador James Cunningham on the civilian elements of the new U.S. strategy for Afghanistan, including the reform process, internal politics, economics, and how the Afghan government plans to deliver on its pledges. 

As part of its ambitious reform and self-reliance agenda, the Afghan government has made considerable progress towards improving the capacity of civilian management, leadership, human resources, as well as in addressing formal corruption. This panel sought to address the key challenges and prospective solutions. The discussion was moderated by Mr. Javid Ahmad. 
On November 7, the Atlantic Council’s Cyber Statecraft Initiative launched its first-ever report on Aviation Cybersecurity—Finding Lift, Minimizing Drag, underwritten by Thales. The event featured a keynote by Jeanette Manfra, assistant secretary for cybersecurity and communications at the US Department of Homeland Security. Opening remarks were provided by The Hon. Jane Holl Lute, CEO of SICPA North America, former deputy secretary of the US Department of Homeland Security and Atlantic Council Board Director, as well as Alan Pellegrini, CEO of Thales North America and Atlantic Council Board Director.
In an increasingly connected aviation ecosystem, the ever-expanding and complex cybersecurity issues that affect aviation stakeholders are immense. The launch convened a group of leading aviation industry and cybersecurity experts that discussed the report's key findings and examined the threats, vulnerabilities and potential solutions. Panelists included Pete Cooper, author of the report and senior fellow at the Atlantic Council's Cyber Statecraft Initiative; Christian Espinosa, white hat hacker and CEO of Alpine Security; Steve Luczynski, former deputy director of cyber plans and operations at the Office of the Secretary of Defense; David Silver, vice president of civil aviation at the Aerospace Industries Association and Elizabeth Wharton, senior assistant city attorney for Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.

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On Monday, November 6, the Africa Center at the Atlantic Council, in partnership with the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change, hosted a panel discussion on how governments and the private sector can tackle Africa’s jobs gap. The event coincided with the US launch of the Institute’s new report: The Jobs Gap: Making Inclusive Growth Work in Africa.

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The Atlantic Council’s South Asia Center hosted the “Unlocking US-India Trade Potential Conference” in Bengaluru, India from November 6-8, 2017. This conference, launched in partnership with the US Consulate, Chennai, the Federation of Karnataka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FKCCI), US-India Strategic Partnership Forum (USISPF), the Indo-American Chamber of Commerce (IACC), and the Takshashila Institution, explored the economic partnership between the United States and India. This conference convened American and Indian sector experts to enable direct interactions among global economic leaders and cultivate economic policies to bolster bilateral trade.

The conference addressed topics such as trade facilitation, ease of doing business in India, special economic zones, infrastructure, smart cities, intellectual property rights, development of information and communication technology, and global economic trends. Prominent speakers at the conference included Mr. Nandan Nilekani, Dr. Paula Stern, Consul General Robert Burgess, Mr. Philip Shaw, Mr. Michael Koch, Dr. Rupa Chanda, Mr. Bobby Majumder, Dr. Robert F. Ichord, Mr. Siddharth Roy and Ms. Sharmila Barathan among others.

By identifying factors that may impede increased trade and developing potential solutions to overcome these challenges, the conference managed to help the two countries reach new heights in their trade relations.

Watch the highlights of the conference here:

1) Opening Remarks by Dr. Bharath Gopalaswamy

2) Welcome Remarks by Dr. Mukesh Aghi  

3) Remarks by U.S Consul General Robert Burgess

4) The Honorable Paula Stern on US Trade Policy: A First-Person Account  

5) Keynote Speech by Mr. Nandan Nilekani  

6) The Honorable Dr. Paula Stern and Mr. Nandan Nilekani in Conversation with Ms. Maya Mirchandani