Feb 2015 24

Career: political theorist, author of bestseller ‘Jihad vs. McWorld’ and ‘If Mayors Ruled the World’; defender of “strong democracy”
Interests:  Theater, Opera and Film (active as playwright, lyricist and film-maker)
Hometown: living and working in New York City (where he was born in 1939)


Benjamin R. Barber burst into the media spotlight on 9/11 when his book Jihad Vs. McWorld, published in 1995, assumed newly horrific relevance. With his prophetic analysis of the emerging collision of tribalism and globalism, Barber established the parameters for 21st Century political debate.

Prof. Barber is a Senior Research Scholar at The Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society of The Graduate Center, The City University of New York, President and Founder of CivWorld/ the Interdependence Movement, and Walt Whitman Professor of Political Science Emeritus, Rutgers University and initiator of The Global Parliament of Mayors Project. He was an outside adviser to President Bill Clinton and a foreign policy adviser to Howard Dean’s 2004 Presidential campaign. Barber has advised political parties and political leaders in the U.K., Germany, Austria, Denmark, Finland and Italy on civic education and participatory institutions, and has done the same, more controversially, with civil society and government leaders in Turkey, the Emirates, Libya and China.

Barber’s 17 books include Strong Democracy (1984), Jihad vs. McWorld (1995 translated into thirty languages), How Markets Corrupt Children, Infantilize Adults, and Swallow Citizens Whole, (2007), If Mayors Ruled the World (2013).
A passionate advocate of democracy’s power, Barber continues to explore solutions for dysfunctional systems and political paralysis.  Barber shows how decentralized local governments can be more flexible – and more in tune with their constituents – than their federal counterparts.

Benjamin Barber on Wikipedia
Benjamin on Facebook and Twitter 
The Interdependence Movement
Global Parliament of Mayors on Facebook
If Mayors Ruled the World on Facebook
Benjamins books on Amazon

Other articles/videos:
TED Talk: Why mayors should rule the world (TEDGlobal 2013)
Richard Florida in CITY LAB: Why Mayors Need a UN-Like Organization of Their Own
The European: Nation states no longer work (03/2014)
Video: Opening of Global Parliament of Mayors Planning Session on 19 Sept. 2014
Video: Benjamin Barber at Falling Walls Conference in Berlin in 2013

Mar 2012 28

Career: Executive Director, Research Department,
China International Capital Corporation Limited (CICC)
Interests: Reading, Travel, Cooking, Interior Decoration, Hiking
Background: born & raised in Shanghai, China; studied in China (mathematics) and USA (economics); worked 14 ys in Washington D.C.; since 2009 in Hongkong

Olin Liu heads the macroeconomic research at China International Capital Corporation Limited (CICC). Prior to this position, she served as Deputy Division Chief, Asia and Pacific Department/ Mission Chief/ Senior Economist/ Economist at the International Monetary Fund from 1994 to 2008. Her past experience also includes Lecturer and Teaching Assistant at Boston College and in offshore oil services as Chief Accountant at Schlumberger.
The latest market revolutions expose the competitive weaknesses of Europe and US through their fiscal and debt issues and also demonstrates to newcomers like China that the fast pace of globalization could give rise to unintended consequences.
In order to solve the debt crisis, she suggests Europe to go three steps: The ECB and the EFSF need to take on some of the European debts, the creditors have to make sacrifices and Europe needs to create a fiscal union. If each European nation-state regulates itself independently, there will be an imbalance in a long term. A change would also create the prospect that China is involved in resolving the debt crisis.

The China International Capital Corporation Limited (CICC) is China’s first joint venture investment bank and provides both institutional and private investors a guide in turbulent markets with an international perspective. It is the first and still the largest investment bank in the country. The company was founded in 1995 and a year later, it went to the Shanghai Stock Exchange.

Falling Wall Conference, where this interview was taken, is an annual global gathering of forward thinking individuals from 75 countries. Each year, 20 of the world’s leading scientists are invited to Berlin to present their current breakthrough research. The aim of the conference is to connect science with industry, politics, media and culture, identify trends, opportunities and solutions for global challenges, make research understandable to a broad audience, inspire people to break down the walls that we face today.


Liu on
Falling Walls

Falling Walls on Twitte: @Falling_Wallsr

Other articles/links/videos:

Company overview on Bloomber.com: China International Capital Corporation Limited

“Falling Walls”-Konferenz in Berlin on ARD.de
Falling Walls Conference 2011 on BMBF.de

Article: Die Zeit “Schaffen Sie eine Fiskalunion!” (2011/11)
Article: Sex, Daten und das Universum on Der Tagesspiegel (2011/11)

Video: Livestream Falling Walls Conference

Publications by Liu Olin on Worldcat
Falling Walls Documentation (ed. Nathalie Martin-Hübner, Sebastian Turner)

Liu Olin – Breaking the Wall of Global Debt @Falling Walls 2011 from Falling Walls on Vimeo.