Foreign Policy CEO & Editor David Rothkopf Addresses The Creativity Crisis in American Power In TED Talk and New Podcast


News Story from: 9/15/15

September 15, 2015 – Washington, D.C. – If new ideas are supposed to be the fuel that drives the world’s societies forward, what is Washington’s contribution to the conversation? According to Foreign Policy’s CEO and editor, David Rothkopf, the American capital is too obsessed with fear, and stalled by ignorance, to be the global thought leader it was before the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. This creativity crisis in American power was the thrust of his remarks in Vancouver at TED2015, a talk that is now available in full, as well as an interactive transcript, on

While Washington is overrun by political squabbles, “there are bigger problems than that dysfunction,” Rothkopf said in his 18-minute talk. The dysfunction “that makes it impossible to get anything done in the richest and most powerful country in the world is far more dangerous than anything that a group like ISIS could do, because it stops us in our tracks and it keeps us from progress,” he said.

“On 9/11, we had a crisis because we were looking the wrong way. Today we have a crisis because of 9/11 we are still looking in the wrong direction, and we know because we see transformational trends on the horizon that are far more important than what we saw on 9/11.”

The theme of American power at a crossroads is also at the heart of the second episode of “The E.R.,” the FP Podcast Rothkopf hosts with Foreign Policy columnists Rosa Brooks of Georgetown University, Kori Schake of the Hoover Institution, and historian and Washington Post columnist Robert Kagan. It is posted live on the Foreign Policy websiteiTunes and Stitcher.

Coincidentally, after his appearance at TED, Rothkopf wrote his own thoughtful reflection on the program and its role in a world of ideas. It appeared as his regular Foreign Policy “Voices” column: