Think Global

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Nearly everything we do is part of a complex web of global interactions. How does that web work? Where do we fit in? WNYC, New York Public Radio will be one of many public radio stations participating in and broadcasting "Think Global," the third annual Public Radio Collaboration.

Each Collaboration considers a central theme, and 2005's "Think Global" tackles a wide range of issues related to globalization, including: America’s place in an increasingly interconnected world; China's growing economic influence; the impact of free trade on poor countries; the role of oil in international politics, and "glocalization," or the tailoring of global products and media coverage to local markets.
» More on "Think Global", The Public Radio Collaboration

"Think Global" Documentaries

The Cost of Corruption

Monday, May 16 at 2PM and 9PM on AM 820
Until recently, bribes and other forms of corruption were considered business as usual for western corporations and governments operating overseas. Now, transnational institutions see corruption as a major obstacle to development. But in the hyper-competitive global marketplace, can corruption ever be eradicated? Produced by Michael Montgomery and including extraordinary tape from Peru, Sao Tome and the Republic of Georgia, “The Cost of Corruption” will explore corruption from the inside. The focus will not just be on the problems besetting these countries, but on attempts at finding solutions.

Global 3.0
Tuesday, May 17 at 2PM on AM 820
Combining the talents of American RadioWorks' Chris Farrell and John Biewen, "Global 2.0" cuts through the globalization jargon to show how the high-speed movement of goods, people, capital and ideas is transforming everyday life at home and abroad. This lively documentary takes listeners to Pittsburgh, a manufacturing city devastated by global competition that rebuilt itself as an information hub in the '90s. Now the city and its knowledge workers face new competition from the low-cost, high-skill workers in the developing world. The documentary visits China and India, home to more than two billion people, and two of the world's fastest growing economies. It looks at the impact the fast-growing prawn industry has had on Bangladesh, among the poorest of nations. Even as much of the world tries to improve its standard of living, globalization shakes up the status quo. Pervasive insecurity is in the nature of the beast.

Worlds of Difference: Local Culture in a Global Age
Wednesday, May 18 at 2PM and 8PM on AM 820
The six-hour series “Worlds of Difference” launches during Collaboration week with a documentary about the efforts of traditional societies to find their place in the global economy. Hosted by María Hinojosa, the hour is enlivened with music, collected sound and interview cuts from leading thinkers. Features include a lyrical report on the cultural impact of the collapse of the Newfoundland cod fishery (Chris Brookes), a visit to Scotland's Outer Hebrides, where entrepreneurs are using the Internet as a cultural lifeline (Vera Frankl), an up-close look at a tiny Mexican town's attempt to market its hand-made local liquor (Marianne McCune), and an eyewitness account of an Andean village's anguished decision about whether to sell its colorful native potatoes to city buyers (Jon Miller).

Security Check: Confronting Today's Global Threats
Thursday, May 19 at 2PM on AM 820
Globalization confers a mixed blessing on the world. While people, information and money move more freely than ever across national borders, so too do threats to health and security. How can these threats be contained? What is America 's role? Hosted by David Brancaccio, featuring interviews with Kofi Annan and other leaders, with reporting from Russia, South America, Asia and Africa, "Security Check" brings listeners face to face with some of the greatest dangers facing the world today: weapons of mass destruction, HIV/AIDS, civil war, small arms, terrorism and organized crime. Produced by Simon Marks, Keith Porter and Kristin McHugh, "Security Check" is a production of the Stanley Foundation and KQED Public Radio.

Thomas Friedman at the Fitzgerald Theater
Friday, May 20 at 2PM and 8PM on AM 820
New York Times columnist and Pulitzer Prize winner Thomas Friedman explains the ideas in his latest book “The World is Flat: A Brief History of the 21st Century.” The book is being called “an essential update” on globalization. Friedman describes what he calls the “flattening” of the world at the dawn of the 21st century, and tells what governments, companies, communities, and individuals need to do to adapt. The presentation is a co-production of the 2005 Public Radio Collaboration and the Broadcast Journalist Series of Minnesota Public Radio.

America Up Close
Friday, May 20 at 9PM on AM 820
What's the world to make of a superpower that pushes values as aggressively as it pushes goods and services? In the Middle East, China and Russia, America's most visible exports are no longer Mickey Mouse and McDonalds but ideas like “democracy,” “freedom,” “dignity” and “faith.” But even longtime allies are skeptical. To Canadians, for instance, the signals America sends look decidedly mixed. Americans complain about the loss of manufacturing jobs but buy the cheapest goods regardless of their origin. They talk about family values but blanket the world with pornography. Produced by CBC Radio and hosted by Rick MacInnes-Rae, “America Up Close” puts America under the microscope, presenting a warts-and-all portrait of the United States as seen by its closest neighbor.

Feet in Two Worlds: Immigrants in the Global City
Friday, May 20 at 3PM on 93.9 FM and 9PM on AM 820
Saturday, May 21 at 4PM on AM 820
Sunday, May 22 at 6PM on 93.9 FM

For generations, immigrants who came to the US were forced to make a clean break with home. Today, many find themselves in constant contact with their home countries, and the key to survival is not just learning how to live in America, but learning to live in two places at once. Hosted by author Frank McCourt, and set in New York 's immigrant communities, “Feet in Two Worlds” features personal stories from reporters from the city's ethnic press, as well as from WNYC reporters. Stories include a look at the emotional and financial ties that link Haitian immigrants to their desperately poor country; Ecuadorian immigrants using videoconferencing technology to connect with children they left behind; and South Asian gays who find sexual liberation in New York, but also embrace traditional Indian and Pakistani family values.

For Richer, For Poorer: A Global Call-In
Saturday May 21 at 2PM
Hosted from London, Boston and Los Angeles, and reaching audiences on five continents, this special two-hour call-in program will explore the impact of globalization on your way of life, wherever you live. How does global economic change affect the lives of ordinary people? What are the cultural pluses and minuses of the global marketplace? How can poor nations compete in a world where multinationals and their brands have global reach? Hosts Robin Lustig (BBC's Talking Point), Dick Gordon (WBUR's The Connection) and Larry Mantle (KPCC's AirTalk) will guide a lively global conversation between experts from around the world and listeners who call, e-mail or send text messages.

"Think Global" Specials

On The Media
Saturday May 21 at 7AM
Sunday May 22 at 3PM on AM 820 and 10AM on 93.9 FM

On the Media takes on one of America 's most popular exports: images of itself in movies and television. How has America 's image changed since the golden era of Hollywood ? Has the exporting of Americana via Hollywood won hearts and minds around the world, or just the opposite? The special Think Global show also considers the wide-ranging implications of the burgeoning global online news media. The laws and ethics at work in one nation don't apply to a global news market. Whose rules should they follow? Should there be a global first amendment?

Studio 360
Airs Saturday May 21 at 10AM on 93.9 FM
Sunday May 22 at 7PM on AM 820

Studio 360 looks at the history of cultural cross-pollination in art, and explores where the current commerce in global culture is taking us. Artists have always looked outside their home cultures in an effort, in Ezra Pound's words, to “make it new.” Most people aren't bothered by Pound's use of Chinese ideograms in his poems, but the comfort level seems to drop when we see Madonna singing Sanskrit slokas at the MTV Music Video Awards. Where do we draw the line between appropriation and exploitation? How do people in other parts of the world manage the tide of foreign cultural products? What does this mean in an age when “cultural values” have become a call to arms?

Sound Money
Sunday May 22 at 1PM on AM 820
More foreign nations and foreign investors own US stocks and US government debt than ever before. Some Americans worry that those foreign investors might withdraw and leave our economy in the lurch. How does globalization impact the security of our investments, and consequently, of our retirement?

Speaking of Faith
Saturday May 21 at 3PM on AM 820
Common wisdom once had it that modernization would diminish the force of religion in politics, economics and society. As the 21st Century progresses, exactly the opposite is true. Religion is surging as a force across the world, and religious movements are driving "alternative globalizations" that challenge western models of development. In a special Think Global program called "Globalization and the Rise of Religion," Krista Tippett speaks with eminent sociologist of global religion, Peter Berger, who heads the Institute on Culture, Religion, and World Affairs at Boston University . He has fascinating insights into how religious energies go hand in hand with global cultures, economies and politics, from Bangalore to Indonesia to Brazil . Also, Harvard Business School professor and globalization guru Rosabeth Moss Kanter on the rising influence of religious voices in world economic decision-making circles.

Living on Earth
Saturday May 21 at 6AM on AM 820
Globalization is typically analyzed in terms of social, political and economic issues. But there is a larger context. This year, Living on Earth's participation in the Public Radio Collaboration puts globalization in a truly global perspective: that of the environment. A special Think Global edition of NPR's weekly environmental magazine will look at the ways in which environmental problems can no longer be contained within national borders, and ask what that means for the search for solutions. How we share the planet provides what may be the essential context for understanding our interconnected world. After all, we are Living on Earth – where else?

Latino USA
Sunday May 22 at 6:30AM on AM 820
With a mix of field-based features and interviews, Latino USA's special Think Global program examines the widely held perception among Latin Americans that globalization is in fact “Americanization.” The program looks into the reasons for the growing polarization in the hemisphere of right-leaning governments intent on “cozying up” to the United States and left-leaning governments bent on defying American power. Reports come from both Latin America and the US, and seek to frame the political debate in terms of the interests and aspirations of communities in the region.