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Anders Fogh Rasmussen - Technology & Geopolitics: New frontiers in the battle for global leadership

Anders Fogh Rasmussen has been at the centre of European and global politics for three decades as Secretary General of NATO, Prime Minister of Denmark, Danish Minister of Economic Affairs, and a leading Danish parliamentarian.

Anders Fogh Rasmussen is known for delivering straight-forward messages on the current geo-political situation, global trade relationships, foreign policy and power balances.

Already in 1978, at the age of 25, Anders Fogh Rasmussen won his seat as then youngest Member of the Danish Parliament. In 1987, Anders Fogh Rasmussen took his first governmental role as Minister for Taxation and later for Economic Affairs, where he led the Danish negotiations for the Economic and Monetary Union in the EU. After his Danish Liberal Party came in opposition in 1993, Anders Fogh Rasmussen led the Danish political opposition and won the Chairmanship of his party in 1998. In the next parliamentary elections in 2001, he led his party to a landslide victory, which made it the biggest party in the Danish parliament, a position held by the Social Democrats since the 1920s. He formed his first government and became Prime Minister of a coalition consisting of the Liberal Party and the Conservative People’s Party.

During his tenure as Prime Minister, Anders Fogh Rasmussen overhauled the tax and pension systems to ensure a historic increase in the labour supply to sustain the growing Danish economy. Meanwhile, his government put education, research and innovation on the agenda to prepare Denmark for the challenges of globalization. A strong advocate for the rules-based international order and universal liberal values, Fogh Rasmussen placed Denmark on the world stage by engaging in international missions for the promotion of democracy and the fight against terrorism. His government was re-elected in 2005 and 2007 respectively, and he held the position as Prime Minister until he was elected as future NATO Secretary General in April 2009.

Anders Fogh Rasmussen Lecture Topics

The post-Covid world
Covid-19 has ensured the world can never go back to business-as-usual. The pandemic exposed three systemic crises at once: public health, financial and global governance. Adaptation in public and private lives has brought upheaval in our economies and changed how we think about health challenges. It has made us question the vulnerability of our interdependency and put the security of supply chains under a microscope. Anders Fogh Rasmussen draws on his extensive geopolitical knowledge from his time as Prime Minister of Denmark and his tenure as Secretary General of NATO to evaluate trade policy and global cooperation in light of the pandemic. Bracing businesses for the new geopolitical reality and highlighting the need for stronger EU cooperation, this presentation looks at political and economic life post-Covid-19.

Technology & Geopolitics: New frontiers in the battle for global leadership
As the United States and China vie for global influence, technology will be central to the balance of power. 5G and artificial intelligence will bring major geopolitical challenges and present ethical and existential questions that must be tackled, from availability and use of data, to the development of fully autonomous weapons systems. Drawing on his own experiences as Secretary General of NATO and founder of the Alliance of Democracies foundation, Anders Fogh Rasmussen examines the influence of technology on geopolitics, and makes the case for more cooperation among democracies. And as a co-chair of the Transatlantic Commission on Election Integrity – a group he co-founded with Joe Biden – he discusses how technology can be deployed to undermine and divide democracies.

A Changing Geopolitical Landscape – Risks & Opportunities for Financial Institutions
The last two years brought significant change to the world’s existing geopolitical structures, and these years are likely to increase their complexity even more, causing financial investors to be additionally meticulous. This new climate requires a solid basis for balancing risk and reward. In this presentation, Anders Fogh Rasmussen explores the ever-changing geopolitical environment with a sharp focus on the intersection between multinational business and trade, security and stability, economic growth, innovation, and governance. Anders Fogh Rasmussen describes the impact of changing US Administrations on global cooperation, the growing tensions with China from the US and the EU, the impact of the global pandemic, and the increasing need for a transition to green energy as the climate crisis wreaks havoc across the globe.

US foreign policy – A Future of Risks and Opportunities
Drawing on his own experiences as Prime Minister of Denmark and Secretary General of NATO, Anders Fogh Rasmussen examines Donald Trump’s leadership on the world stage and its role in the changing global order. Warning against American isolationism, he explores the geopolitical risks as well as the opportunities of Mr. Trump’s presidency. Critical, but hopeful, he argues political observers should focus more on the underlying political dynamics of Trump’s presidency instead of squawking nervously about every tweet.

Leadership & Negotiation
Drawing on his eight years as Prime Minister of Denmark and five years as Secretary General of NATO, Anders Fogh Rasmussen will deliver accurate and useful points on leadership and international negotiation. In his time as Secretary General of NATO, Anders Fogh Rasmussen transformed the organization into being fitter, faster and more flexible. Fogh Rasmussen has gained an extensive experience driving change and transforming international organisations which he will share with the audience in this presentation. Audiences will receive unmatched, practical insights that prepares them for future challenges. Besides elaborating on his leadership experiences, Anders Fogh Rasmussen will furthermore present the audience with his approach to international negotiations which he successfully utilized during his time as Secretary General of NATO. Fogh Rasmussen’s approach to negotiations include three specific rules, that can be easily applied to any negotiation.

The Will to Lead
Drawing heavily on his book, “The Will to Lead”, Anders Fogh Rasmussen fiercely defends freedom and the importance of America’s global leadership in this impassioned presentation, offering an astute analysis of current geopolitical events. From the Iranian nuclear deal, to the invasion of Ukraine, to the Arab Spring and turmoil in the Middle East, Fogh Rasmussen is forceful but even-handed in his sharp analysis of the decisions made by United States leadership. Critical of the policy to “lead from behind” in foreign affairs, he argues that America must act as the world’s policeman, especially in a world increasingly more dangerous and unstable. Anders Fogh Rasmussen proposes a roadmap for an Alliance of Democracies between America and Europe, joined by other liberal democracies in the fight against tyranny. Weaving together wisdom, history and his personal experiences, this presentation will captivate politically involved audiences on both sides of the aisle.

Anders Fogh Rasmussen held his position as the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s 12th Secretary General until 30 September 2014. During this time, he oversaw the Alliance’s operational peak with six operations on three continents including Afghanistan, Kosovo and Libya, as well as counter-piracy along the Somali coast, a training mission in Iraq and a counter-terrorism operation in the Mediterranean. Anders Fogh Rasmussen’s tenure at NATO marked a fundamental transformation of the Alliance. He developed a new Strategic Concept, which has set the Alliance’s core priorities for the future. In the midst of the most serious economic crisis in recent time, he launched “Smart Defence” to help nations make more efficient use of their resources through more multinational cooperation. And in response to Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, he initiated a “Readiness Action Plan” adopted by Heads of State at a historic summit in Wales to strengthen the collective defence to an unprecedented level since the end of the Cold War. A reformer who made the Alliance leaner and more efficient, Fogh Rasmussen also extended and strengthened NATO’s partnerships with nations around the world, making it the hub of a network of international security partnerships.

Upon leaving NATO, Anders Fogh Rasmussen founded his strategic advisory firm “Rasmussen Global”, which provides geopolitical and strategic consulting services and advises clients on a wide range of issues such as international security, transatlantic relations, European affairs, artificial intelligence, cyber security, and emerging markets. Clients include leading global investment banks, management consulting firms, technology and software firms, industry organisations and national governments: in June 2016, Fogh Rasmussen was appointed adviser to the President of Ukraine, Mr. Petro Poroshenko. In April 2020, Fogh Rasmussen was appointed Senior Advisor to Citigroup’s European, Middle East and Africa business, with a primary focus on the Nordic region.

In addition to his commercial activities, Anders Fogh Rasmussen founded in 2017 the Alliance of Democracies Foundation, a non-profit organisation for the advancement of democracy and free markets across the globe. The chief hallmark of the Foundation is the Copenhagen Democracy Summit, an annual conference dedicated to strengthening the resolve of the world’s democracies by providing a high-level strategic forum exclusively focused on the cause of democracy. Previous speakers include, among many others, former Prime Minister of the UK Tony Blair, former US Vice President Joe Biden, and US Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo.

On the sidelines of the Copenhagen Democracy Summit Anders Fogh Rasmussen together with Michael Chertoff has launched the Transatlantic Commission on Election Integrity, which has John Kerry, Nick Clegg, Toomas Ilves, and Felipe Calderón among its members. The Commission is tasked with bolstering the defences of Western democracies against outside interference.

Born in 1953, Mr. Rasmussen earned an M.Sc. in Economics from the University of Aarhus in 1978. He is married to Anne-Mette Rasmussen with whom he has three adult children.

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