Can we be sure of anything?

Be sure...
...of anything

2016-2017 annual progress report

In an era of

instant information and alternative facts — economic nationalism and vanishing borders — global migration and nativist retreat — identity politics and the celebration of difference — the common thread running through human experience is uncertainty.

People are divided over what brought us to where we are today – even unsure over what’s happening right now – and above all, anxious over what may be coming next.

There are no simple answers. But we deepen our understanding just by searching for the best questions to ask.

As we examine complex, often contradictory issues, we gradually gain the insights we need to begin figuring out the future. And that in turn builds confidence in the one thing that matters most: our own resilience.

Displaced people from the minority Yazidi sect, fleeing violence from forces loyal to the Islamic State in Sinjar town, walk towards the Syrian border, August 2014. REUTERS/Rodi Said


voting against plans they fear may exclude them. Migrant families hoping to make a fresh start. Innovators disrupting routines we’ve taken for granted. Data thieves eroding the foundations of trust. Shoppers and concertgoers becoming terrorist targets. Farmers finding new ways to thrive in the face of climate change.

The challenges

that confront us are stubborn and complicated, and they seem to multiply daily. Navigating our way toward the best opportunities for change starts with a simple conviction – we can do this – followed by the vital next step in any effort to reinvent the world: understanding how it works.

This is our fundamental purpose at the Munk School of Global Affairs. We’re a forum for exchanging breakthrough ideas, a catalyst for opening up new possibilities and, above all, a vantage point for looking beyond traditional boundaries to help foster political, social and cultural resilience on a global scale.

Through innovative education, collaborative research and robust public engagement, the Munk School has become a leading hub for study and debate, and for dialogue that leads to action. The projects and partnerships we inspire are advancing the field of global affairs – and helping to define it – as we work together to determine what the future can be.

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