The Phil Lind Initiative presents our January-March 2018 (Term 2) speaker series on The Unravelling of the Liberal Order. The world is undergoing a wrenching process of geopolitical transformation. The liberal order that dominated for the past half century is unravelling. Presumptions of US hegemony no longer apply and new power centers are emerging in Asia and Europe. Nation states are re-asserting their sovereignty as nationalist movements gain strength. The world´s major cities are also rewiring global supply chains. Yet, multilateral institutions developed in the mid-twentieth century are coming under assault by some of the very countries that were central to their formation. Digital connectivity and new technologies are accelerating political, economic and social transformation and literally changing the rules of the game, pulling at the seams of global stability. Will the liberal order hold, or is its disassembling inevitable? What kinds of global order(s) does the future hold? The Phil Lind Initiative’s Spring 2018 series will explore these and other questions, with visits from the world’s leading intellectuals on the subject.

The Phil Lind Initiative is an annual dialogue series hosted by the Liu Institute for Global Issues and made possible by a generous gift from Philip Lind (BA’66, LLD’02). Created to address the most urgent issues of our time, the initiative invites prominent American scholars, writers and intellectuals to UBC to conduct research and share ideas with students, faculty and the wider community on a particular theme.

Please join us by registering for our events on our Current Series page or by clicking on a speaker’s name below.

Please note that we will live tweeting each event from @LiuInstituteUBC and @UBCPolicySchool using the hashtag #Lind18.


Old Auditorium, UBC
Thursday, January 11th,  6:00 PM – 7:30 PM

Edward Luce (over)

Chief U.S. columnist and commentator for The Financial Times, Edward Luce is one of the paper’s most popular writers and “one of the finest journalists of our time.” His new book, The Retreat of Western Liberalism, examines the weakening of western hegemony and the crisis of democratic liberalism ― of which Donald Trump and his European counterparts are not the cause, but a symptom.


Thursday, January 25th, 6:00 PM – 7:30 PM
Old Auditorium, UBC

Francis Fukuyama (this event is sold out)

Francis Fukuyama is one of the world’s most prominent scholars of the liberal order. He has held several positions throughout his illustrious career, and is currently a senior fellow at Stanford University. His 1992 book, The End of History and the Last Man, in many ways began the conversation about the longevity of global liberalism.


Thursday, February 1st, 6:00 PM – 7:30 PM
Old Auditorium, UBC

Steven Pinker (this event is sold out)

Steven Pinker is one of the world’s most influential intellectuals, with multiple bestselling and award-winning books on language, mind, and human nature. His forthcoming book, Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress, challenges prophecies of doom to provide a sobering and more optimistic account of the future.


Thursday, February 8th, 6:00 PM – 7:30 PM
C.K. Choi Building, Room 120, 1855 West Mall, Vancouver, BC Canada V6T 1Z2

Misha Glenny (this event is sold out)

Misha Glenny is a multiple award-winning writer, broadcaster and sought after keynote speaker. His best-selling book, McMafia, about the globalization of organized crime is broadcast this year as a major dramas series by the BBC and AMC.


Thursday, February 15th, 6:00 PM – 7:30 PM
Old Auditorium, UBC

Susan Rice (this event is sold out)

Susan Rice is the former US Ambassador to the United Nations (2009-2013) and former National Security Advisor to the Obama administration (2013-2017). She was influential in garnering support through the UN for sanctions for Iran and North Korea, and oversaw the coordination of military and intelligence efforts in a period marked by battle with ISIS, civil war in Syria, Russian aggression, and the ongoing emergence of China.


Monday, February 26th, 6:00 PM – 7:30 PM
Old Auditorium, UBC

Anne-Marie Slaughter (this event is sold out)

Anne-Marie Slaughter is the President and CEO of New America, a think tank devoted to bridging the gap between technology and policy in the Digital Age. She served as director of policy planning for the US Department of State from 2009-2011.