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Texas A&M Students Prepare For Global Trends Conference

This story was written by Matt Woolbright, The Battalion

Texas A&M will be the location of the Global Trends conference for the first time.

Every four years the U.S. government compiles a Global Trends report that predicts what the major issues and the problems America will face in the future.

The Global Trends series advances five years with every release. This specific report will be evaluating the major issues and problems the world will likely have in 2025.

Prior to the release of this report, there is a conference with many of the world's brightest minds to get reports and comments on the issues.

"Typically they usually choose some prestigious schools in the northeast and around Washington, D.C., but due to some hard work we were able to convince them to release it at Texas A&M and this different part of the country so we're very excited," said Griffin Rozell, assistant director of the Bush School.

He said that in 2025, most students who attend A&M now will be in the thick of their careers and it would be highly beneficial to know what that world is going to look like.

"This is definitely the best unclassified report you can get your hands on," Rozell said.

Rozell said that it would be especially beneficial for students looking to pursue government, international or military careers.

Students who do decide to attend will not be sitting in the lecture; they will only listen to what the experts have to say. However, there will be an opportunity for them to ask questions.

Freshman general studies major David Meyers said he will be going because of this interactive aspect to the conference for students.

"I'm going to see what the government thinks is going to happen," Meyers said, "along with put in my opinion on what I believe what life will be like."

The 2008 conference is being attended by a prestigious panel including Marianne Kah, the chief economist for one of the world's biggest oil companies, Conoco Philips in Houston, and who will be discussing the future of energy and resources.

"I think we have an outstanding group of panelists and this will lead to an extremely intellectual conference," said Chris Layne, professor at the Bush School.

Ted Carpenter, the vice president for Defense and Foreign Policy at the Cato Institute, will also be in attendance. He will be discussing globalization and defense issues.

Decorated ambassador to Ukraine and current executive director of the Bush Presidential Library Roman Popadiuke will be summing up everything and talking about the big picture.

The keynote speaker will be Lt. Gen. Brent Scowcroft and the closing speaker will be Lt. Gen. James Clapper, Jr.

Scowcroft was the National Security Advisor under Presidents Ford and Bush 41, and Clapper is the Deputy under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence.

"Listening to some of the greatest minds in the world talking about what's next isn't always an opportunity we have," Rozell said.

Layne said that the timing of this conference is perfect given the presidential elections that took place earlier this month.

"This conference comes at a very good time after the election," Layne said, "because these are a lot of the problems the Obama administration is going to face."

The event will be at the George Bush School of Government and Public Service from Nov. 17-18.

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