Crisis without borders (Sun) Panel

Philippe Legrain, Miranda Johnson & Hamish Macdonald (chair) & Jane McAdam

The scale of the Middle East refugee crisis is overwhelming authorities. But war, failed states and climate change seem to be the new world normal – and so does the global flow of desperate people. What does it mean for the future?


Philippe Legrain is a critically acclaimed thinker and communicator who has also been a senior policy adviser. A senior visiting fellow at the London School of Economics’ European Institute, he is the founder of Open Political Economy Network (OPEN), an international think-tank. A columnist for Project Syndicate, Foreign Policy and CapX, he commentates for many international media outlets. From 2011 to 2014 he was economic adviser to the President of the European Commission and head of the team providing the president with strategic policy advice. Previously he was special adviser to World Trade Organisation director-general Mike Moore and trade and economics correspondent for The Economist. Philippe is the author of four successful books, including Immigrants: Your Country Needs Them (2007), which was shortlisted for the Financial Times Business Book of the Year, and European Spring: Why Our Economies and Politics are in a Mess – and How to Put Them Right (2014), which was among the FT’s Best Books of 2014. His first study for OPEN is Refugees Work: A Humanitarian Investment that Yields Economic Dividends (2016).


As The Economist's environment correspondent, Miranda Johnson attended UN climate negotiations at COP21, the UN Paris Climate Conference, and the GLACIER conference on the state of the Arctic, in Alaska, last year. She also helped run The Economist's own recent events on energy and sustainability in England. Prior to this, Miranda was the influential UK title’s US southeast correspondent based in Atlanta, Georgia, and has written for its International, Europe, United States, Britain, China, Science and Business sections, on topics ranging from youth unemployment to energy policy and smartphones to fiscal corruption. Miranda also edited online coverage as a science correspondent and served as the editorial assistant for The Economist’s 'The World in 2014' publication.


Hamish Macdonald is an award winning International Affairs Correspondent and Harvard Fellow. In recent years Hamish has covered war in Ukraine, the rise if ISIS in the Middle East, missing Nigerian schoolgirls, and the Gaza conflict. Previously, Hamish worked as anchor and correspondent for Aljazeera English. At Australia’s Ten Network he was creator, Executive Producer & host of prime-time documentary series ‘The Truth Is?’. Hamish has received a prestigious Walkley Award for Journalism and a Human Rights Australia Award for Journalism. Britain’s Royal Television Society named him “Young Journalist of the Year” in 2008 and GQ Magazine named Hamish “Media Man of the Year” in 2012.


Jane McAdam is Scientia Professor of Law and Director of the Andrew & Renata Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law at UNSW. She is a non-resident Senior Fellow in Foreign Policy at The Brookings Institution in Washington DC, a Research Associate at Oxford University’s Refugee Studies Centre, and an Associated Senior Fellow at the Fridtjof Nansen Institute in Norway. Professor McAdam publishes widely in international refugee law and forced migration, with a particular focus on climate change and mobility. She is Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal of Refugee Law, the leading journal in the field. Professor McAdam serves on a number of international committees, and has provided expert advice to organizations including the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, the International Organization for Migration, and the World Bank. She holds a doctorate in law from the University of Oxford, and first class honours degrees in law and history from the University of Sydney. In 2013, she was named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum. In 2015, she was honoured as one of Australia's top ten Women of Influence, winning the ‘global’ category of the Australian Financial Review and Westpac’s 100 Women of Influence awards.

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