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Pandemics, AI, and climate change—Eurasia Group president Ian Bremmer on how these three looming threats will change the world

Podcast & Video

This episode of Hub Dialogues features host Sean Speer in conversation with Ian Bremmer, founder and president of the Eurasia Group, about his provocative book, The Power of Crisis: How Three Threats—and Our Response—Will Change the World.

You can listen to this episode of Hub Dialogues on Acast, Amazon, Apple, Google, and Spotify. The episodes are generously supported by The Ira Gluskin And Maxine Granovsky Gluskin Charitable Foundation and The Linda Frum & Howard Sokolowski Charitable Foundation.

SEAN SPEER: Welcome to Hub Dialogues. I’m your host, Sean Speer, editor-at-large at The Hub. I’m honoured to be joined today by Ian Bremmer, the founder and president of the Eurasia Group, a leading political risk consultancy firm, and a much sought-after commentator on economics, geopolitics, and technology. He’s the author of several books, including his latest, The Power of Crisis: How Three Threats—and Our Response—Will Change the World, which is now out in paperback. The book, which counterintuitively has been described as his most optimistic, sets out how global criseswhat social scientists call “collective action problems”will necessitate global coordination and cooperation, and in so doing, helped to rebuild global governance in spite of the various trends that threaten to tear it apart.

I’m grateful to speak with him about the book, including the idea that new and emerging crises, such as the rise of digital technologies, may be a catalyst for much-needed attention and energy dedicated to the renewal of the international order. Ian, thanks for joining us at Hub Dialogues, and congratulations on the book.

IAN BREMMER: Oh, thanks, Sean. Appreciate it.

SEAN SPEER: Before we get to your counterintuitive argument that crises may help to reverse the decline of the global order, let’s start by discussing what has led to its decline in the first place. You’ve thought and written a lot about globalization. What do you think policymakers have gotten wrong in the pursuit of trade liberalization and globalization? How much responsibility do we, the royal “we”, have for the rise of public animus towards free-trade, global institutions, and what you called “globalism” in a previous book?

IAN BREMMER: I guess if I really wanted to break that down, I’d say there were three big things that we got wrong. One was after the Soviet collapse, there was an inadequate effort to bring the Russians into Western institutions. We can argue about whose fault that is, how much that’s the West, how much that’s Russia. But obviously, they’re now a great power in very significant decline, and that’s a serious problem for globalization. And the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the response to that makes it clear.

Number two, China was brought into Western institutions on the largely unspoken presumption that as they got wealthy and powerful, they would become Americans. They’re still Chinese, and the United States is not really prepared to accept that. The Americans, I would argue, should have recognized that they were still going to be Chinese. I wrote a whole book called The End of the Free Market about how, as China was becoming the largest economy, it would still be state capitalist. And so that would mean you’d have a hybrid global economy, and you wouldn’t have a free market-driven economy anymore globally. But sometimes hope gets ahead of you.

And then third, the fact that in the developed world, more the U.S. than Canada, but across all of the advanced industrial democracies, tens of millions of people felt left behind by globalization for lots of reasons. And now, as a consequence, don’t trust their systems as much; don’t trust their leaders, their media, scientists, I mean, their business leaders, their political leaders, you name it. And they’re following much more and supporting much more anti-establishment trends. And I think that if you were to look at all of the geopolitical challenges in the world today, over 90 percent of them come from some combination of those three factors.

SEAN SPEER: Staying on how we’ve got to this point, you have similarly written a lot about the U.S.-China relationship, including in the latest book. Ian, do you think the growing antagonism between the two countries was somewhat inevitable? If not, I’d just have you elaborate on where you think things went wrong.

IAN BREMMER: It’s somewhat inevitable in the sense that the institutions that govern our global system were set up by the United States and its like-minded alliesthe Bretton Woods Institutions, the IMF, the World Bank. I mean, the conditionality that’s discussed is about liberal democracy fundamentally, right? The human rights set out in the charter are more of a Western perception of what that should look like than that of an authoritarian state capitalist state. And yeah, I mean, I think that to the extent that the balance of power shifts more dramatically and the institutions are sticky, then that’s going to lead to a level of conflict that you wouldn’t have seen if, say, it was Canada that was becoming the largest economy in the world and the U.S. that was becoming number two. As implausible as that is to argue or imagine, I think that that’s the case.

But that doesn’t mean that the level of conflict needs to be where it is right now. Some of that is driven to a greater degree by the populism, by the fact that the United States has become more polarized. And that means that Biden is more politically vulnerable if he tries to publicly support free trade and a reduction of tariffs on China, which would benefit American voters and consumers. And he knows that, and privately, he wants to do that. And his cabinet will tell you they want to do that, but it’s politically not possible.

And there are many examples of that, where right now there’s a floor under the U.S.-China relationship because of the interdependence. But that floor is being tested repeatedly. It’s holding up, but it’s being tested. And there’s no need, essentially, for that floor to be tested the way it is presently. I think that’s a conscious result of some bad choices and some structural realities. It didn’t have to be that way.

SEAN SPEER: Let’s stay on China for a minute. I’m struck that more than three years after the COVID-19 pandemic started, the Chinese government has still refused to fully cooperate with the World Health Organization and others on confirming its origins and spread. It seems to me a telling case of the limits of Chinese coordination and cooperation. Even faced with something of an existential crisis, its government has largely chosen secrecy and self-interest. Let me just ask you to reflect, Ian, on China’s response to the pandemic and how it fits into your broader story.

IAN BREMMER: Well, let me first challenge the way you asked it. You said it was an existential crisis. I don’t think anyone in China believed that. I don’t believe it was an existential crisis in the United States. I think the reason—let’s also keep in mind, your focus of your question was on China, and I agree with you. Everything we learn about the origins of COVID is that they were not responding with transparency in the early weeks and months of COVID, which made it much worse, certainly made it much harder for us to respond effectively. And they obscured the access for the WHO and their efforts to investigate the origins of COVID, obviously, that matters and undermines the trust and legitimacy of that organization.

Of course, the fact that Trump withdrew from the WHO in the middle of a pandemic is an obscenity. And so you could ask that question too. The fact that the United States was not acting as globally responsible, or the fact that even an American partner like India was desperate for vaccines when they were in the teeth of their pandemic, and the Americans who had plenty, even for booster shots that were not being taken, but they didn’t provide them for India, so weren’t the Americans irresponsible?

The answer to that in the context of my book is shockingly simple. It’s that the crisis wasn’t big enough. It’s just like January 6th. Literally on the evening of the most, I mean, shockingly embarrassing own goal that the United States has scored on its own system in my lifetime, you had a majority of Republicans in the House refusing to certify the result of the election. And the reason for that is because no one was worried about it. It’s like, “This isn’t a coup. They didn’t hang Mike Pence. Our lives weren’t actually threatened. And so we can keep acting the way we did.”

I think that with the pandemic, it’s precisely because you got vaccines in record time. They actually worked; it was largely the infirm and the elderly that were truly threatened in a life-threatening way. The average person on the street, as soon as you started to learn about this thing, really didn’t feel very vulnerable, and certainly not the young people. And I think that that allowed the Chinese and the Americans to keep on keeping on in behaviours that really were completely focused on the national interest and not on the common good globally.

SEAN SPEER: That’s a fascinating insight and something we’ll take up when we get into the specific crises that you identify in the book as possible catalysts for the type of coordination and cooperation that we didn’t see during the COVID-19 pandemic. But before we get there, let’s stay on the subject of U.S. political dysfunction, which looms large in the book. I know it’s a big question, Ian, so I’ll leave it to you to take it any way you want, but what do you think explains the state of American politics? Are voters getting the government and the politics they want? If not, what’s standing in the way?

IAN BREMMER: No, they’re not getting the politics they want. I mean, there are a couple of obvious structural things that are getting in the way. So if you go to any state in the U.S. and you ask a polling question of the population, say, on abortion or on immigration or on trade, gun control, the response you get will be a bell-curve distribution. Most people will be in the middle. They will not be extremes. They’ll not say, “I think abortion should always be legal and available.” They will not say “Abortion should be banned.” And yet the House of Representatives is split into districts that are either holy red or holy blue, and therefore, artificially, you get politicians who reflect polarization as opposed to what the population as a whole actually wants.

That is exactly what has also happened with the preponderance of money and special interests to capture the regulatory environment on interest that those small percentages of the population want but not the population as a whole. That’s exactly what happens when you corporatize media and cable news, and the blogosphere. It’s exactly what happens when you have algorithms that drive social media engagement and addict your population to things that drive outrage.

It does not reflect what the Americans actually want, nor does it affect the actual distribution of the population. You are artificially distorting and productizing American citizens. That is good for narrow outcomes, whether it’s profit or whether it is the benefit of a political party or an individual actor in that political party; it is a horrible thing for the country as a whole.

SEAN SPEER: If I could just follow up on your answer, Ian. In light of what you’ve just said, is there an opportunity for a politician to break through those contextual and institutional forces pushing to the extremes and reach that convergence in the middle?

I should just say in parentheses, I’ve often thought that it’s regrettable that J. D. Vance in Ohio chose the path to elected life that he did, because it seems to me there was an alternative path reflected in his book, Hillbilly Elegy, which I don’t know what the electoral outcomes would’ve been, and I trust that he has a good sense of his own self-interest, but may have represented a future politics of greater convergence.

IAN BREMMER: Yeah. I feel personally a little certainly disappointed but maybe a little fooled by J.D. Vance because when I read that book when it first came out, as so many people did, I saw myself in that story. His mamaw from Appalachian, Ohio, was very much like my mother who—my dad died when I was four; he was an enlisted man. My mom left high school to elope with him, and she raised me by myself around an environment where nobody else was going to have the opportunities that I did. And so I reached out to him. I had him on my—at that point new PBS show that I had just started—and I spent an hour with him talking after, having the interview, just trying to get to know his background. I found him an inspirational figure. Now, it was pretty clear that he was already thinking about politics at this point.

But, look, I’ve never been a part of a political party. And for me, what I get from my background is gratefulness and a sense of opportunity, and an obligation to use my skills in ways that can make a difference. I just presumed that J.D. would be the same. And obviously, from what we’ve seen from J.D. over the last few years, that’s not been true. I’m not saying that because he became a Republican. I don’t think I could ever join a political party because just it’s not authentic to me. But I don’t have problems with people that join political parties. I have a problem with the fact that J.D. Vance has embraced the worst kind of performative political bullshit. And there’s more of that under Trump than there is on the Left, but there’s plenty of it on the Left as well.

He’s just become largely a bad actor. I don’t know why. Is it because he felt like he wasn’t making any money and he really needed it? Was there nothing he was really passionate about? Did he just love to be on the stage? Was he anointed by the Don and said, “Hey, this is my meal ticket.” Was his wife behind it? I really don’t know, and I don’t know, but for whatever reason, I suspect he’s going to be a deeply unfulfilled and unhappy person. And that’s so sad.

America is a country that ultimately creates more opportunity for people with nothing to make something of themselves than any country I’ve ever experienced. We have lost some of that as I’ve grown up. But it’s still true. And when you see someone that has that and then ends up just abusing the gifts that come with that and hurting people, manipulating people, that angers me. It doesn’t anger me quite as much as people that grew up with incredible entitlement who think they’re all that, that annoys me more. I have more of a bias against that, but that’s because there’s just a lot more of that. But J.D. was someone that I wanted to be a pal with. I wanted to actually connect with, do great things with, and that just ain’t happening.

SEAN SPEER: Yeah, that’s an insightful answer. Thanks, Ian.

IAN BREMMER: It’s a sad answer. It’s a personal answer. I haven’t seen him in a couple of years, even though I was talking about him, believe it or not, this morning with Pete Buttigieg, because J.D. actually did support that bipartisan Senate bill on rail safety after the East Palestinewhich I’ve now just learned how to pronouncederailment in Ohio. It’s not like everything he’s done is hideous, and that was a positive thing.

SEAN SPEER: Let’s stay on this topic in broad terms. The Economist magazine recently published an issue dedicated to the proposition that the U.S. economy continues to hum along relative to much of the rest of the world in terms of dynamism, innovation, et cetera. How do you reconcile that disconnect, Ian, between the relative performance of the U.S. economy in spite of its government and politics?

IAN BREMMER: Well, I mean, I guess I would argue there are two sides of the same coin. I don’t see thatI mean, when a coin has two sides, that doesn’t strike me as a disconnect. So the United States is the singular country in the world that most lionizes individual wealth and entrepreneurship. Corporate taxes are pretty low, the ability that when you have money to use that money to build more money, and you see that in the financial system and in the support for taking much more risk than the Canadians do than the Europeans do, for example. You see it in subsidies for entrenched and powerful actors to make more money. You see it with the undermining of organized labour. You see it with Americans believing that Canada’s socialist, never mind the crazy Swedes, right? I mean, all of that stuff.

I mean, we in the United States not only have the most powerful entrepreneurs in the world, but we even attract them from other countries, right? I mean, look at Sacha; look at Elon. Look at these people who come from somewhere else and they’re brilliant. They could make it in their own country, but they can do even more in the United States.

The other side of that coin is we don’t teach any responsibility to these people for their country, and we don’t actually force some level of sustainable redistribution; we allow them to believe that they built it themselves. And so you’ve got today two of the wealthiest most powerful people on the planet, Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos, who individually are virtually completely irresponsible with how they think about their role and responsibility, or even the American people, never mind the 8 billion people on the planet. They really don’t care. I mean, the fact that they’re both thinking more about going into space and Mars than they are about what’s the sustainability of the planet that we’re on is an astonishing thing. But I would argue that it’s a feature, not a bug, of the American system. It is actually part and parcel of why those entrepreneurs are worth a hundred billion or more.

SEAN SPEER: One final question before we get to the specific crises outlined in the book and possible solutions. As we speak, Canada faces threats of escalating actions in response to the Trudeau government’s decision to expel a Chinese diplomat for targeting a member of parliament and his family in an effort to influence domestic politics. You and others have talked about the need for something like an “economic NATO.” What’s the basic idea? What’s the need, and how might it work?

IAN BREMMER: I haven’t actually talked about an economic NATO. I think those are other people. I do believe that there needs to be alignment between the United States and its allies in sectors that specifically have direct national security importance. So, for example, semiconductors that are dual-use with military, I understand why you would want to have targeted export controls to ensure that you are not giving the Chinese things that will undermine your own national security.

But I am deeply concerned that the de-risking and decoupling of the United States and China and its allies in China have the potential to go much farther than that and undermine the interdependence that creates a level of stability between our economies and of the global order.

So I wouldn’t go too far, but, I mean, keep in mind the Canadians took five days before they took those actions. They communicated very closely with the Chinese government. They were criticized somewhat for doing so precisely because they did not want unnecessary escalation. And so in that regard, I—and the Chinese response was a very clear, very limited tit for tat that also was a message sent to say, “We are not trying to destroy this relationship or force you into a game of chicken.” So I thought that this was a fairly cool-headed piece of coercive diplomacy on the part of the Canadians.

SEAN SPEER: Okay. Let’s come to the crises that you identify in the book. Why don’t we start with pandemics? Why do you think it’s possible or even likely that we’ll face viruses that are deadlier than COVID in the coming years? What are the factors that have led you to that conclusion?

IAN BREMMER: Well, Bill Gates, of course, has predicted this well before I did. There are a lot of people in the field. I mean, I’m not an epidemiologist, but you understand 8 billion people moving towards 10 or 11. You understand globalization and the resources that are required for that. What that means is that human beings are encroaching on the habitats and the livelihoods of wildlife, and that creates far more vectors for pandemics to emerge. That’s number one.

Number two, people travel a lot more. They engage with far more people, and when they do, those pandemics move much more quickly. And number three, there are a hundred people on the planet today with both the expertise and the available technology to create a new smallpox virus. Those numbers are exploding. So when you put those three things together, yeah, I think it’s a fairly safe bet to say, we’re going to get more pandemics.

SEAN SPEER: You write that “the speed of technological change may be the biggest risk of all.” We’re speaking on May 16th. Yesterday, Sam Altman, the OpenAI CEO, told the Toronto audience that we need a global regulatory body with respect to artificial intelligence. Help me understand the risk here as you see it. How does progress on AI cross the threshold from disruptive but historically familiar to a crisis that, according to some, may even be existential? What, in other words, Ian, makes these technologies different?

IAN BREMMER: I think there are three things that make these technologies really different. One is that human beings increasingly cannot tell the difference between an AI bot and a person, which means that you can no longer tell the difference between information and disinformation. And that is perhaps the critical definition of how you lose your democracy. I mean, if you no longer know what truth is, you can’t function as a legitimate government. You can have a surveillance state. You can have an authoritarian government, but you can’t have people that actually believe in authority anymore. So, number one, any democracy that is in contact with artificial intelligence has to have some ability to ensure that its citizens can continue to understand what is and what is not AI, right? Citizens have rights. AI does not. And when AI encroaches on the fundamental rights of citizens, as they are enshrined in your government, in your national being, they must be protected.

Number two, and we got at this briefly, is proliferation risk: AI will be available to anyone with the internet. And that is—I’m an enthusiast; I mean, that means education. It means better health. It means better efficiency. It means better energy. It means all of these wonderful things, but it also means that large, large numbers of people have the ability to blow shit up. And even if the Microsofts and the Googles are putting very strict guidelines that are unhackable on their AI, and that is a presumption that I wouldn’t make, but it still means that you’re going to have a democratized access to tools that are almost that good to pretty much everybody in very short order. And some of those actors are bad actors, and some of those actors are curious tinkerers who will do bad things by mistake. And that level of proliferation, if you’re talking about nuclear weapons, you cannot handle when you’re talking about millions of people. We will die, right? I mean, that’s existential. And that’s a real existential risk. That’s not the existential pandemic that you mentioned when you talked about China. This is an actual existential risk that threatens humanity.

And third, which is the smallest risk, but we shouldn’t forget about it, is the displacement of productive work, which we’ve seen through globalization and trade and we’ve seen through robotics and automation, but over the course of decades that gives you time to respond. Here, we’re talking about that level of displacement within one generation. And the ability of governments to ensure that those people have something productive to do and can be trained to do something else is really urgent. And if it’s not addressed, it will lead to revolution. So I would say those are the three boxes of stuff that actually really needs to be responded to.

SEAN SPEER: In light of those risks, as you know, there have been calls, including from Elon Musk and others, to pause or slow down AI development. In light of the growing antagonism between the U.S. and China that we talked about earlier, is it possible to get a global agreement on something like that? What might a vision for global AI governance look like?

IAN BREMMER: Hey, there’s no pause button. So I mean, it was cute that Elon said, “Let’s pause for six months.” He knows it’s not going to happen. He’s also behind. So, I mean, six months is a tweaky shitposting catch-up idea. It’s fine. He’s a smart guy. He knows what he’s doing. But there are things that one can do that are achievable. And I’m going to give you—I want to go move away from AI for a second to give you the example. The example is climate change. So climate change, we now have an agreement among almost every government in the world that climate change is real and it’s caused by man. There’s 1.2 centigrade degrees of warming already, 420 parts per million of carbon in the atmosphere. We know the methane. We know the implications. We all agree on that. Basic science.

Now, we don’t necessarily agree on how we’re going to address it, but we agree on what the problem is. And as a consequence of that agreement, we have gotten extraordinary amounts of movement on investment into EVs and supply chain and critical minerals and solar and wind and transition natural gas and we are moving on deforestation and on biodiversity and all those things that—I’m not suggesting we’re doing it as fast as we should, but I’m suggesting that to the extent that there are actions, even if they’re not coordinated, they are responding to the same problem.

So what I would suggest we do in artificial intelligence is we start with something that should be simple but is not being discussed, which is we have to all identify the problem; we have to identify the problem space, and that means that we need an intergovernmental panel on artificial intelligence in the United Nations, populated by all the countries and scientists that are identifying what are the problemsand I already talked to you about what the three general issue areas arehow urgent are they? Who has power over them? Who’s responsible for them? How quickly are they changing? How dangerous are they? And then, once you’ve agreed on that more or less, then you can start talking about which are the areas that you might actually deploy resources to start to respond, which ones are important, which ones are not. Who should be in those rooms? They’re different rooms with different people. Then you can start talking about that. That, I think, is how you start.

SEAN SPEER: One more technology question, Ian, and then we’ll get to climate change before we wrap up. You dedicate a considerable section of the book to quantum computing. Why? What makes it particularly noteworthy, and how could it contribute to heightened tensions between the U.S. and China?

IAN BREMMER: I mean, it’s not coming as quickly as artificial intelligence, frankly. But it is important in the sense that successful quantum computing, which an increasingly large number of people think is going to happen, would also mean that all previous cybersecurity tools would be rendered obsolete. And that means that all of the national security and the industrial secrets, and personal data as a consequence would also be obsolete. And the danger there is it is conceivable that if a company or a government were to be able to make a leapfrog into that technology and the other country or competitors were not, that that could lead to an unacceptable breach and gap in a balance of power that exists presently. You think the missile gap was bad, like this is much more dangerous. And that could create the impetus for a preemptive strike on the country that was about to make that breakthrough. So I think now, to be fair, that there are a much smaller number of actors involved in that than in AI. It’s farther away, and it’s an issue that is being discussed and prepared for. So I’m less worried about that today than I am about AI developments.

SEAN SPEER: You call climate change the “Goldilocks crisis”. Why? Ian, what do you mean? And talk a bit about the net-zero target. Is it realistic in your mind?

IAN BREMMER: Yes, it’s definitely realistic. It’s just not necessarily realistic in the year goals that are being put forward. Climate change is a Goldilocks crisis: not too big, not too small. And it’s crazy to talk about as it’s not too big because, of course, it affects everything on the planet. But it is so big that it forces action and not so big that it destroys us all. I mean, when you talk about a global crisis, that’s really what it amounts to, right? I mean, I remember when I was in high school and I saw The Day After and I had nightmares for weeks after that. That is not a Goldilocks crisis; that is society as we know it is destroyed. Now, tens of millions of people probably going to die on the basis of us not dealing with climate change until it was much later than it should have been.

And yet, when I look at the amount of money being invested in new technologies for post-carbon energy, it is very clear that within two generations, the world will be powered primarily by cheap, decentralized, sustainable, post-carbon energy. And that’s an extraordinary outcome. And that means that, fundamentally, if you were aliens looking down on the planet, you would go, “Wow, this was a crisis that actually humans were up to and could ultimately defeat.” Now, I mean, they’re going to be knock-on consequences for the changes of 2, 2.5, maybe even three degrees centigrade to society. There’ll be cities that are wiped out by increasing sea levels. There’ll be particular damage from the lack of biodiversity. But when I’m taking a macro lens on the 8 billion, soon to be 10 billion, people on the planet, and when I’m also looking at how well those eight, 10 billion people have done over the last 50 years in terms of their life expectancy, their infant mortality, their education, their treatment of women, all of thatin other words, you can’t just put climate in a box. You’ve got to look at the positive externalities and the negative externalities. You got to weigh all of that. So if I’m some supernatural being looking down at my creation over that 50 to 100 years, I’m saying this was a crisis that humanity was ultimately capable of responding effectively to.

Now, net zero, you’re going to get to net zero, but are you going to get to net zero fast enough to get to 1.5 degrees centigrade, which is what the UN continues to say is the target? No, that won’t happen. I think two is the absolute minimum. Right now, 2.6 is looking most likely. As a political scientist, I could argue three because there is so little coordination at the global level. Having said that, if I were a technologist focused on AI, I could potentially argue 2, because I think that the gains from that at scale are just going to be unprecedented, and people don’t yet have that factored in. I’m not sure which way I would lay myself there if I want to be more optimistic with my technology lens or more pessimistic with my political science lens. That’s an interesting question.

SEAN SPEER: A good segue, Ian, to my final question. As I mentioned near the beginning of our conversation, the book has been characterized as optimistic. What gives you optimism about our collective ability to prepare for and ultimately solve these crises?

IAN BREMMER: I think it’s hopeful. I’m not sure it’s optimistic. I’m not sure this is going to work, right? I mean, I’m not sure we’re going to be here in 50 years if I think about just how fast we’re developing these AI tools. But I think that there is no inevitability about war with the Chinese. There’s no inevitability about us having to use these tools in ways that are going to blow ourselves up.

And I think that anybody in my position—anyone that grew up in the projects and now is directly advising the leaders of this planet—has to be infused with a sense of hope and possibility. Why would I possibly be doing it otherwise? I mean, it’s a requirement to try to do something.

I mean, look, everyone I know that had the science and understood what was happening with climate change over the last 50 years, they weren’t just sitting on their asses, they were trying to motivate a response. And those people got us to a better place. A lot of them are seriously frustrated because they weren’t listened to for a while, but eventually they were.

Look, climate’s not my jam. I’m not a scientist. I’m not a climatologist. I work on geopolitics. But I will tell you that avoiding World War III and avoiding AI blowing up geopolitics, like that, that is firmly in my sights. And to the extent that there is anything that I can do to help us get to a better outcome there, that makes me hopeful. Of course it does. This book is fundamentally about that. I’m just not an existentially pessimistic person. I mean, I just think if my mom were still alive, she’d slap me upside the head with everything that this world has given me, and it’s like, “Oh, woe is me.” She’s like, “What’s wrong with you?” That is so antithetical to my persona.

SEAN SPEER: Well, one contribution you’ve made is this book, The Power of Crisis: How Three Threatsand Our ResponseWill Change the World. Ian Bremmer, founder and president of the Eurasia Group, thank you so much for joining us at Hub Dialogues.

IAN BREMMER: My pleasure.