Parag Khanna, futurist, TED speaker and founder of Futuremap, joined us to discuss his book “The Future is Asian”. We kick off the conversation on the main themes of the book, and taking the Asian perspective on how we should look at world history. We discuss the geopolitical landscape of Asia, and why China’s Belt and Road Initiative will not led to a bi-polar world but will shift the rest of Asia towards independence and have the ability to assert their identity in the next century. Last but not least, Parag shared his advice for those out there who might want to come to Asia and why the future is truly Asian.

Here are the interesting show notes and links to the discussion (with time-stamps included):

  • Parag Khanna (@paragkhanna, LinkedIn, personal site) Founder and Managing Partner of Futuremap and author of “Technocracy in America”, “Connectography” and “The Second World”. [0:22]
    • Since our last conversation, what have you been up to since we last spoke? [1:00]
    • On your recent book “Technocracy in America”, does the US move towards a technocratic state or still dominated by two partisan political parties? [2:14]
  • “The Future is Asian: Commerce, Conflict & Culture in the 21st Century” published by Simon & Schuster (Amazon) [4:02]
    • Can I start with the conversation on why is the Future Asian? [4:19]
    • What are the main themes of your new book? [6:47]
    • One of the interesting starting points of the book is that you start the history of Asia from the Asian perspective, how does that differ from how the West has viewed Asia in the past century? [9:28]
    • If we are a century from now, when is the real tipping point in the recent years that propelled Asia asserting its own independence globally? [13:56]
    • From your perspective, what has the Belt and Road Initiative from China signifies another shift for the rest of Asia? [16:33]
    • While we are optimistic about the future of Asia, what are the bottlenecks or challenges that might pop up to disrupt that growth? [21:01]
    • US-China escalating trade tensions (which are currently defused for another 90 days): Where do you think that the US and China negotiations heading after their recent declared truce for another 90 days? [23:50]
    • I enjoyed the chapter on Asia-nomics which described the third Asian growth wave, and it starts from China where the watchers of the country has predicted either the country is on the brink of collapse or will devour the world. How are the different parts of Asia are growing and how will the advanced economies of Asia such as Japan, Korea and Singapore impact that new growth wave? [26:44]
    • Did you foresee whether Asia is going to assert its own independence or being dependent on US and China, and probably India in the future? [29:58]
    • What will be your advice for the Asians in America and the Amercians in Asia for the next few decades? [33:01]
  • Closing [34:49]
    • Can you recommend a book, podcast or anything else that has impact to your work and personal life recently? [35:03]
      • Parag’s recommendation: “The World in a Grain: The Story of Sand and How It Transformed Civilization” by Vince Beiser
    • How do my audience find you? [36:13]

Podcast Information:

The show is hosted by Bernard Leong (@bernardleong & weibo) and are sponsored by Ideal Workspace (Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn) with their new Altizen Desk (Twitter, Facebook, Medium). Sound credits for the intro music: Taro Iwashiro, “The Beginning” from Red Cliff Soundtrack and this episode is edited by Carol Yin, and co-produced by Carol Yin and Bernard Leong.