‘Billionaire George Soros has unveiled a new ambitious project: creating a global university network that would save the world from climate change and rescue democracy itself from ‘dictators’ like US President Donald Trump.
The 89-year-old grey eminence of liberal globalism announced “the most important project of my life” on Thursday at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Describing the current state of the world as dire, with the strongest powers “in the hands of would-be or actual dictators,” Soros said he would put forth $1 billion towards the creation of the Open Society University Network, revolving around his own Central European University (CEU).
Soros revealed that the CEU has already partnered up with Bard College in the US and a network of European social science schools called CIVICA, which includes the London School of Economics and the Paris Institute of Political Studies, also known as Sciences Po. He is seeking to expand the network into something “truly global” in the coming years.
The announcement came as part of Soros’ meandering speech to the gathering of global elites, which painted a dire picture of the world in the hands of “would-be or actual dictators” – he singled out Trump, Chinese President Xi Jinping and India’s Narendra Modi by name – and paragons of “open society” such as the European Union being defeated by the UK decision to vote in a pro-Brexit government.
Soros described Trump as a “con man and the ultimate narcissist who wants the world to revolve around him,” accusing the US leader of wanting to “impose his alternative reality not only on his followers but on reality itself.” Just moments later, however, he praised Trump’s hard-line China policy and lamented that it does not go far enough.’