Globsec Forum 2018
Press release

GLOBSEC 2018 Day 2: Round up


The vibrancy of day 1 of GLOBSEC Bratislava Forum 2018 continued into day 2 with some outstanding panels and  discussions sparked by questions from the audience and moderators alike.

Here are the highlights.

Facing Cyber Futures

  • While the World has made huge progress in this area, there are still l around 140 countries  that aren’t at any table discussing cyber security. This must change for the simple reason that so much of the global population are now  online, but governments don’t know to protect their citizens,  Consequently, the most digitally advanced states must stop  looking at each other and start inviting other countries which have no to little cyber security capabilities.
  • That said, cyber security is a bit of a misnomer. If anything, cyber resilience would be a more appropriate term, and one that  more accurately describes what is possible in terms of shoring up our defences

New Days, New Threats: Adapting NATO's Strategy

  • NATO’s current capabilities fall well short of its obligations to protect all member states. Greater coordination is needed to maximise the Alliance’s effectiveness.
  • NATO is currently adapting to better face hybrid and cyber threats. To assist, the upcoming NATO Summit will deliver  reforms of its command structure.
  • There is no doubt that NATO would come to the defence of the Baltic States in the event of a Russian attack.
  • Much attention has been paid to reinforcing NATO’s eastern flank. It is important that the southern flank is also adequately reinforced

GLOBSEC Sustainability Platform: The Role of 21st Century Companies in Achieving the UNSDGs

  • Reaching UN sustainability goals depends on an individual state’s commitments and efforts. That’s why implementation has been uneven. Take the case of Canada. Despite being one of the world’s most developed states, it claims that reaching all sustainability goals is not going to happen any time soon.
  • Companies play important role in fostering sustainable development

One size does not fit all: Multispeed & Multi-shaped Union

  • The opening speech by Slovak Prime Minister Peter Pellegrini made clear that Slovakia has a resolute commitment to pursue deeper EU integration. Doing so will not only not only boost the country’s economic development but also help it to meet its commitments to the EU and NATO.
  • Both speakers agreed that differentiated integration is a fact. They also encouraged all EU member states to do their  utmost efforts to build a pro-European agenda. However, even these  statements varied in their degree of commitment, particularly when it came to membership of the Eurozone
  • Both prime ministers underlined the formidable economic performance of their countries, a welcome development that will shape their EU agendas
  • The Visegrad Group was praised for its coordination on the Multiannual Financial Framework negotiations. As the region’s leaders see it, talks on the EU budget will obviously be linked to EU policies on asylum, migration and Schengen. This will place a lot of tension on discussions.

Populism: Is the tide over yet?

  • Like it or not, populism is a defining feature of today’s politics.
  • People need to be listened to and want solutions for various problems. Without solutions, the populist surge will only increase
  • If we consider EU as a good liberal project that’s capable of containing populism, then we should change style and content. Its message should be clearer, shorter and more vulgar - observed Jakub Wiśniewski

Middle East in Turmoil: Achieving lasting stability

Peaceful solutions for the turmoil that regularly engulfs the Middle East include:

  • The formation true alliances and coalitions of like-minded Arab states. These should be free from interference by hostile internal actors ( Turkey and Iran)
  • Coalitions between armed forces, cooperation with NATO and other stabilisation missions
  • International cooperation with India, Europe and Africa
  • Not sweeping problems under the carpet to deal with extremist issues
  • Pragmatic diplomatic solutions
  • Democratic solutions for problems related to economics, the rule of law etc.
  • Governance adjusted to ethnic, religious and historical roots, where diversities should be an advantage and not an obstacle.

Education Disrupted: Building Skills in the Age of AI

  • Education is about learning how to think and developing the ability to work with others (both individually and a a team). Training is focused on vocational activities. Unfortunately, these two activities are quite often conflated by governments.
  • Currently, AI is not developed to a level where it could replace teachers. However, it can aid learning in specific areas, such as language skills. however, it can aid in learning especially in specific areas.
  • While STEM is important, STEAM (which incorporates Arts) is growing in significance

The Western Balkans Chessboard

  • The EU is the most important player in Western Balkans. That’s the region’s access to the EU is a necessity.
  • NATO and EU accession is seen as a stabilising factor for the region and full stability will be achieved when the last country joins the latter.

Paris Minus Washington: Climate Change Persists

  • Climate change is accelerating and requires an appropriate global response.
  • EU tries to lead by example but USA leaving Paris Agreement is highly problematic

Trump's Transatlantic Bond

  • Transatlantic relations are in a state of crisis, particularly as a result of President Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Iran agreement
  • The consequences of Trump’s stance on Iran will first and foremost hit European companies
  • Russia is the main beneficiary of rising oil prices and disagreements between the US and Europe


Remote-controlled Terrorism: What's the Price of Freedom?

  • The amount of coaching that occurs within could be staggering. The “coach” could direct a terrorist several times a day and whenever unexpected developments occur.
  • There is considerable difficulty for AI to determine what constitutes  terrorist propaganda and important events and information that journalists should be covering. As a result, counterterrorism, intelligence, reporting and related activities still require a human element that is often slow and prone to errors.

GLOBSEC chat: Projecting Power in the Post-rule World Order

  • The term ‘soft power’ has been used in security circles over the past few decades to explain the growing influence of world powers beyond traditional military means. Today, however, the liberal international order is changing  to accommodate  powers like China.
  • Power is not power over  (Trump methodology) but  power with
  • Forecasting scenarios for the future, Joseph Nye envisages, among others, the United States outstripping China, Russia’s gradual decline and a growing schism between the US and Europe.  In order to overcome the final challenge, Europe and Washington need to repair ties and reaffirm that their partnership is based on shared values.
  • GLOBSEC Talks: Depth and Darkness of the Web
  • To determine how you feel about Darknets, you  should answer the following question: do we have the right to have unrecorded conversations? If yes, then the very existence of Darknets is more complex and nuanced than a lot of media discussions would have you believe.
  • Contrary to popular opinion, darknets do not fully hide your identity.  Indeed, there are numerous types of attacks which can reveal your IP address.
  • When the internet stops serving the interests of the consumer to focus on businesses, new technologies will develop to meet these unmet needs. This is what is happening with Darknets.

Beyond Survival: Disruptive tech managing migration

  • While we have solutions for practically every problem, we do not universally share them.
  • Disruptive technologies can give dignity back to refugees and allow them to move beyond simple survival. This not only beneficial for them but also their host countries.

Visegrad Refining Relationship

  • Since joining the EU and NATO, the V4 have travelled divergent paths. However, given the numerous challenges facing the region the bloc needs to find a coherent message and show a united front to the EU.
  • You cannot be half pregnant when it comes to European integration and the eurozone, says Ivan Korcok. Slovakia’s State Secretary for Foreign Affairs also reminded the audience that the damaging East-West divide started at the exact moment the V4 became vocal about relocation programmes.
  • Jacek Czaputowicz underscored that the V4 represents liberal values and supports a competitive economy that defies policies advanced by protectionist democracies.

Peace in Korean Peninsula: No longer out of reach?

  • A comprehensive agreement on the Korean Peninsula is further away than recent developments suggest.
  • Trump has personalised the recent thawing of ties with North Korea. In doing so, he has maybe looked to be too desperate for Moreover, Trump could be prepared to accept a deal that makes him look like a peacemaker without going into detail that could ensure actual denuclearisation.
  • A summit between Trump and Kim Jong Un will be a historic first - if it takes place. However, the US President should never lose sight of the type of regime he is dealing with.
  • Russia and China doubt whether North Korea will give up its nuclear capabilities as a result of the summit
  • North Korea has already improved its international image. Pyongyang has convinced China and Russia that it is prepared to compromise. Even if the summit fails other powers would be less willing to blame North Korea for its breakdown.

SuperCompanies: Partners in Leadership?

  • Governments think they are smarter than businesses, while businesses worry that if they get too close to governments  they will be over-regulated.
  • Yet, governments need the data, knowledge and expertise of these supercompanies to help them make informed decisions that will have a profound impact on society.