How to Run the World according to Parag Khanna

First aired on George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight (03/07/11)

Author Parag Khanna's latest book is a manifesto on how we should run the world today -- and he's got some impressive credentials to back it up.

Part of a foreign policy advisory group for Barack Obama during his run for president and named one of Esquire magazine's "Most Influential People of the 21st Century," Khanna made a splash with his first book, The Second World: Empires and Influence in the New Global Order, which was an international bestseller and was translated into more than a dozen languages.

In his latest book, How to Run the World: Charting a Course to the Next Renaissance, the international relations expert doesn't shy away from the big subjects. From war to human rights abuses and environmental devastation to financial disaster, Khanna says he can chart a course to solve them all.

The problem, according to Khanna, is the fragmentation of power. No single country can run the world any longer, and no one organization can fix it. Instead, all the various key players of the new world order (governments, businesses, aid organizations, even celebrity activists) have to work together to make the world a better place. It's all a part of what Khanna calls "mega-diplomacy."

"People think you run the world through military force, through domination," Khanna said in a recent interview with George Stroumboulopoulos. "They forget this most basic of human institutions -- diplomacy, dialogue and communication."

RunWorld-200.jpgThe diplomacy he's talking about is not your standard, run-of-the-mill meeting of government representatives, but rather the encounter between groups of authorities joining forces to decide on something.

And it's not just talk that he'd like to see more of, but action. In How to Run the World, Khanna stresses the importance of moving toward a diplomacy that sets change in motion.

According to Khanna, that change can come from anywhere, and not just from the top down.

"The best things that have happened in the last few decades for poverty alleviation, like microcredit, that didn't come from the World Bank of the United Nations, It really came from Bangladesh and other places, and it spread because other people learned. These twin revolutions right now of communications technology and of capitalism are really empowering," he said. "You can see what other people are doing and learn from it. You don't have to wait for someone to tell you what do."

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