The Great Decisions Program is designed by the Foreign Policy Association (FPA) to provide guidelines for starting, leading, and promoting Great Decisions discussion groups in communities across the United States. Since 1918, the FPA has been devoted to inspiring learning around the world. Published annually, the Great Decisions Briefing Book highlights eight of the most thought-provoking foreign policy challenges facing Americans. Today, Great Decisions provides background information, current data, and policy options for each of the eight issues and serves as the focal text for discussion groups.
The VCWA will be hosting a Great Decisions Program to open a dialogue about the most serious foreign affairs issues to Vermont and its people.
The Vermont Council on World Affairs Great Decisions Program is a 16-week course which brings the most serious of foreign affairs issues to Vermont and its people. During each session, participants will have an opportunity to lead a discussion session featuring fellow participants and local, national, or international experts. The VCWA will accept 15 program participants.
Meeting biweekly on Wednesdays, participants will have the opportunity to explore world affairs right from Burlington. Each meeting, participants will have an hour long discussion guided by a local, national, or international expert. Discussions will be held from 12:00 – 1:30 pm at 60 Main Street, Burlington. Free parking is available off of S. Champlain Street in a parking lot adjacent to 60 Main Street.
Great Decisions 2020 Lecture Series
- Climate Change and the Global Order February 19
What is the rest of the world doing to combat climate change? What impact will the effects of climate change have on global geopolitics? Join us as we discuss these questions and others with special guest Rebecca Pincus, Assistant Professor in the Strategic and Operational Research Department in the Center for Naval Warfare Studies at the US Naval War College and a member of the Institute for Future Warfare Studies.
- China's Road into Latin America March 4
How does Latin America fit into China's "One Belt, One Road" plan? How will the relationship with China affect the region? Should the US be concerned about China's growing "sphere of influence" in Latin America? Join us as we discuss these questions and others with special guest Sarwar Kashmeri, Applied Research Fellow at Norwich University's Peace & War Center and Foreign Policy Association Fellow.
- India and Pakistan March 18
How will the Kashmir situation affect the region, both economically and politically? What can be done to improve relations between the two regional powers? Join us as we discuss these questions and others with special guest Sandeep Chakravorty, Consul General of India to New York.
- US Relations with the Northern Triangle April 1
With funds from the US cut, how can countries in the Northern Triangle curtail migration? What are some of the local and regional issues affecting these countries and what policies can international partners enact to offer support? Join us as we discuss these questions and others with special guest Jorge Alberto Figueroa Salguero, Consul General of Guatemala to Providence, Rhode Island.
- Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking April 15
What is the international community doing to combat slavery and trafficking? What are the experiences like for those being trafficked? Join us as we discuss these questions and others with special guests Erin Albright, anti-trafficking trainer, speaker, and consultant; Edith Klimoski, Director of Give Way to Freedom; and Courtney Albert, Founder and President of Give Way to Freedom.
- Red Sea Security April 29
With major nations like China, France, Italy, and the US building large ports and bases in the region, what does the future of the Red Sea region look like? How important is Red Sea security for global security? Can the region be a place of global cooperation? Join us as we discuss these questions and others with special guest Payton Knopf, Africa Program Advisor at the US Institute of Peace.
- Artificial Intelligence and Data May 13
The EU, Brazil, and other Western countries have adopted regulations that grant users greater control over their data and require that firms using AI be transparent about how they use it. Will the US follow suit? Join us as we discuss this questions and others with special guest John Cohn, IBM Fellow and member of the Vermont AI Taskforce.
- The Philippines and the US June 3
What does the future hold for US relations with the Philippines? How has this relationship changed over time? Join us as we discuss these questions and others with special guest David Rosenberg, Professor Emeritus of Political Science at Middlebury College.
GENERAL PRICINGRegister by February 19, 2020
- Non-Member: $360
- Individual Member: $300
- Sustaining Member: $250
Once registered, participants will be mailed their Great Decisions Book and the VCWA Great Decisions Guide via mail on a rolling basis.
Registration for the VCWA 2020 Great Decisions Program includes:
- One FPA 2020 Great Decisions Book
- Access to high level speakers and professionals
- Eight sessions moderated by local or national experts
- Complimentary lunch provided by the VCWA