Vail Symposium tackles geopolitical concerns with 2-day, 4-session seminar Jan. 24–25 |

Vail Symposium tackles geopolitical concerns with 2-day, 4-session seminar Jan. 24–25

Weekly staff report
Ambassador Christopher Hill
Wayne Armstrong |

If you go …

What: Is It the End of the World as We Know It? Addressing Geopolitical Concerns in a Time of Uncertainty

When: Wednesday and Thursday, Jan. 24-25. Doors open at 5:30 p.m.; program begins at 6 p.m.

Where: Donovan Pavilion, Vail.

Cost: Tickets are $25 for each evening’s program prior to 2 p.m. on the day of the program; tickets are $35 after 2 p.m. on the day of the program. Tickets are $40 for both evening’s programs.

More information: Visit or call 970-476-0954.

VAIL — In this age of immediate information, international news is no longer regulated to daily updates. Instead, our news bubble now encompasses the globe and, as such, Americans are paying even more attention to worldwide concerns and our nation’s foreign policies.

However, even with a deluge of information, the question still remains: Is it the end of the world as we know it? In a special two-day, four-session program taking place Wednesday and Thursday, Jan. 24-25, from 6 to 8:45 p.m. at Donovan Pavilion in Vail, the Vail Symposium will provide an in-depth focus on international issues that the United States and the rest of the world are facing, helmed by world-renowned experts.

“We’re very excited to welcome these experts to Vail for what promises to be an interesting, educational and thought-provoking discussion on these timely, global issues,” said Kris Sabel, executive director of the Vail Symposium. “Presenting four sessions in two days is a new format for us, but we feel as though this will give our speakers and audiences time to truly delve deep into the issues that concern not only the United States, but also the world.”

Schedule of events

Wednesday, Jan. 24

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Session 1: Is Europe Falling Apart? with Julie Smith (6 to 7:15 p.m.)

European countries, especially since the development of the European Union, have been increasing their economic power. Where is this economic power going and are there signs of it diminishing? What’s the relationship to political power?

Smith is a senior fellow and director of the Transatlantic Security Program at the Center for a New American Security. She is a contributing editor to Foreign Policy and from 2012-2013, she served as the deputy national security adviser to the vice president of the United States.

Session 2: The Future of Democracy and Dictators in the Non-Western World with Thomas Wright (7:30 to 8:45 p.m.)

It seems like many countries are favoring strong-armed leaders, even in more advanced countries. What are the reasons for this? What is the future for democracy? What does this mean for the United States?

Wright is the director of the Center on the United States and Europe and a senior fellow in the Project on International Order and Strategy at the Brookings Institution. Wright works on U.S. foreign policy and grand strategy, President Donald Trump’s world view, the future of Europe and Asian security.

Thursday, Jan. 25

Session 3: Is China Destined to Rule the World? with Ambassador Christopher Hill (6 to 7:15 p.m.)

The economic boom in China has created a significant world power and revived the Chinese perception of filling their rightful place at the top of the world order, economically and politically. What does this mean for the U.S. and the world?

Hill is the chief adviser to the chancellor for Global Engagement and professor in the practice of diplomacy at the University of Denver. Hill is a former career diplomat, a four-time ambassador, nominated by three presidents. Hill served as assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific Affairs from 2005 until 2009 during which he was also the head of the U.S. delegation to the Six Party Talks on the North Korean nuclear issue.

Session 4: Is the Post War Order Collapsing? With Jamie Metzl (7:30 to 8:45 p.m.)

Since World War II, and especially the collapse of the Soviet Union, there has been a relatively consistent world order. This is now in question. Each of the previous sessions will cover pieces, but this presentation will provide an integrated, worldwide view.

Metzl is a senior fellow of the Atlantic Council, novelist, blogger, syndicated columnist, media commentator and expert in Asian affairs and biotechnology policy. He has served in the U.S. National Security Council, State Department, Senate Foreign Relations Committee, as executive vice president of the Asia Society and with the United Nations in Cambodia.

Moderator Greg Dobbs is a professional speaker on global affairs, the author of two books and has been a journalist for almost 50 years, spending most of his time as a correspondent — including roughly two decades as a foreign and war correspondent — for two American television networks.

For more information or to purchase tickets for one or both of the evenings, visit or call 970-476-0954.

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