Year-End Roundup: Best Blogs of 2014


Nathan Gardels is the editor-in-chief of Noema Magazine.

Historians may look back and see 2014 as the tipping point when the world started falling apart instead of coming together.

Visionary scientists remain enthusiastic that, thanks to converging new technologies from artificial intelligence to regenerative medicine, genetic synthesis and green energy, our civilization is on the threshold of a new and harmonious singularity. Yet, all around us the signs of splintering abound in revived nationalisms, ardent religious wars and the reappearance of geopolitical blocs. Even the global connectivity of the Internet once thought to embody a world spirit is balkanizing.

At this contested historical moment, the open mind of Malala meets the caliphate dogma of Boko Haram, the Islamic State and the child-massacring Pakistani Taliban. The hopeful Xi-Obama deal on climate change meets obstructionist deniers at home in Congress. The other AI — authentic ignorance — is aggressively asserting itself. The good news is that vaccines are conquering the world. But impoverished urban hot zones in West Africa are nourishing the spreading Ebola epidemic.

The Syria carnage goes on. Another Gaza war has generated even more hatred. The U.S. is sending troops back into the Middle East. Desperate immigrants are drowning at sea. China and Japan are rattling each other’s historical nerves. Putin is trespassing on the post-Cold War rules. North Korea is threatening American moviegoers with a 9/11 type attack. It is no wonder Pope Francis declared earlier this year that we are already in “a piecemeal World War III.”

Since launching in Davos last January, The WorldPost has been one place where first person voices from around the world have met to address whether we are headed toward a new Renaissance of human flourishing or back into the Dark Ages.

In this year-end review, and on the current blog rail, we highlight only an eclectic sampling of some of The WorldPost’s best and most popular blogs and interviews among the hundreds we have published in the year gone by.

Yo-Yo Ma gives us a rare look behind the cello into his views on creativity and the mind. Turkish novelist Elif Shafak makes an urgent appeal for the “cosmopolitan ideal” to fight resurgent nationalism. Jack Miles, editor of the acclaimed Norton Anthology of World Religions, looks back at the wars within Christianity as a guide to how the wars within Islam will finally come to a conclusion. MI6 legend Alastair Crooke explains the Saudi Wahhabist roots of ISIS.

Tesla and Space X entrepreneur Elon Musk discusses the key innovations that will change our lives.

Indian novelist Chetan Bhagat takes on the recent rape epidemic in his country, which conservatives have blamed on women because of the way they dress. Bina Shah writes about how women’s bodies have become the “ultimate battleground” of the wars in 2014.

Bill Gates has some good news to share: Vaccines are conquering the world. World Bank President Jim Yong Kim reports that, for the first time, more Latin Americans are middle class than poor.

Historian Walter Russell Mead asks whether we are now in a “pre-war” instead of a “post-war” period. Russian analyst Artyom Lukin spins out a scenario for WWIII in 2034 if the present geopolitical conflicts consolidate into new rival blocs. In an exclusive interview with The WorldPost, Chinese President Xi Jinping raises the peril of the historical conflict between rising and established world powers. On the other end of the hierarchy, Chinese college students offer WorldPost Senior Editor Kathleen Miles their surprising views about America.

In an interview, Turkish Nobel laureate Orhan Pamuk explains the concept behind his Museum of Innocence in Istanbul, “a museum for the person, not for power.” Before she passed away this year, South African Nobel laureate Nadine Gordimer talked with The WorldPost about her “post-Mandela disillusion.”

Rock musician Moby makes the case against eating meat. Genome mapping pioneer Craig Venter explains why we are on the brink “of a new phase of [human] evolution.” And Mexican poet Homero Aridjis cries “Enough!” over the impunity and corruption in his country that led to the horrific massacre of 43 students in Iguala by drug gangs linked to local authorities.


EDITORS: Nathan Gardels, Senior Advisor to the Berggruen Institute on Governance and the long-time editor of NPQ and the Global Viewpoint Network of the Los Angeles Times Syndicate/Tribune Media, is the Editor-in-Chief of The WorldPost. Farah Mohamed is the Managing Editor of The WorldPost. Kathleen Miles is the Senior Editor of the WorldPost. Alex Gardels is the Associate Editor of The WorldPost. Katie Nelson is the National Editor at the Huffington Post, overseeing The WorldPost and HuffPost’s editorial coverage. Eline Gordts is HuffPost’s Senior World Editor. Charlotte Alfred and Nick Robins-Early are Associate World Editors.

CORRESPONDENTS: Sophia Jones in Istanbul; Matt Sheehan in Beijing.

EDITORIAL BOARD: Nicolas Berggruen, Nathan Gardels, Arianna Huffington, Eric Schmidt (Google Inc.), Pierre Omidyar (First Look Media) Juan Luis Cebrian (El Pais/PRISA), Walter Isaacson (Aspen Institute/TIME-CNN), John Elkann (Corriere della Sera, La Stampa), Wadah Khanfar (Al Jazeera), Dileep Padgaonkar (Times of India) and Yoichi Funabashi (Asahi Shimbun).

CONTRIBUTING EDITORS: Moises Naim (former editor of Foreign Policy), Nayan Chanda (Yale/Global; Far Eastern Economic Review) and Katherine Keating (One-On-One). Sergio Munoz Bata and Parag Khanna are Contributing Editors-At-Large.

The Asia Society and its ChinaFile, edited by Orville Schell, is our primary partner on Asia coverage. Eric X. Li and the Chunqiu Institute/Fudan University in Shanghai and also provide first person voices from China. We also draw on the content of China Digital Times. Seung-yoon Lee is The WorldPost link in South Korea.

Jared Cohen of Google Ideas provides regular commentary from young thinkers, leaders and activists around the globe. Bruce Mau provides regular columns from on the “whole mind” way of thinking. Patrick Soon-Shiong is Contributing Editor for Health and Medicine.

ADVISORY COUNCIL: Members of the Berggruen Institute’s 21st Century Council and Council for the Future of Europe serve as the Advisory Council — as well as regular contributors — to the site. These include, Jacques Attali, Shaukat Aziz, Gordon Brown, Fernando Henrique Cardoso, Juan Luis Cebrian, Jack Dorsey, Mohamed El-Erian, Francis Fukuyama, Felipe Gonzalez, John Gray, Reid Hoffman, Fred Hu, Mo Ibrahim, Alexei Kudrin, Pascal Lamy, Kishore Mahbubani, Alain Minc, Dambisa Moyo, Laura Tyson, Elon Musk, Pierre Omidyar, Raghuram Rajan, Nouriel Roubini, Nicolas Sarkozy, Eric Schmidt, Gerhard Schroeder, Peter Schwartz, Amartya Sen, Jeff Skoll, Michael Spence, Joe Stiglitz, Larry Summers, Wu Jianmin, George Yeo, Fareed Zakaria, Ernesto Zedillo, Ahmed Zewail, and Zheng Bijian.

From the Europe group, these include: Marek Belka, Tony Blair, Jacques Delors, Niall Ferguson, Anthony Giddens, Otmar Issing, Mario Monti, Robert Mundell, Peter Sutherland and Guy Verhofstadt.


The WorldPost is a global media bridge that seeks to connect the world and connect the dots. Gathering together top editors and first person contributors from all corners of the planet, we aspire to be the one publication where the whole world meets.

We not only deliver breaking news from the best sources with original reportage on the ground and user-generated content; we bring the best minds and most authoritative as well as fresh and new voices together to make sense of events from a global perspective looking around, not a national perspective looking out.