Thousands of Americans in Great Decisions groups across the country kicked off the 2023 program in January. The Foreign Policy Association, throughout the years, seeks to engage with participants hoping to gain a more profound understanding of global challenges and to gather facts that underpin effective policies. The purpose is not to impose a particular view, but to consider and weigh many viewpoints. The one common theme is that the discussion processes stay issue-focused and not be partisan or political and that rules of civility be respected.
Here in SaddleBrooke, our year began with two separate meeting topics. The first, led by Mary Jo Swartzberg, “Famine, a Renewed Threat in the 21st Century,” touched on its history and causes. In addition, policy options for famine prevention and response were discussed, keeping in mind the impact of the current situation in Ukraine and Russia and its repercussions in the Middle East and Africa. A week later, Harry Sloan ably tackled “Climate Change, Environmental Degradation, and Migration.” Discussion was two pronged: The problem—how we think about, talk about, and measure climate-related migration and policy responses. And, finally, a look at new approaches to climate-related displacement and migration.
Following each presentation and related video, small discussion groups consisting of about 10 members were characterized by respectful listening that encouraged the sharing of honest opinions. The discussion material, presentation, and video ensured a focused and informed exchange of ideas.
In February we will meet three times. Lockwood Carlson will give background for our discussion on “Energy Geopolitics” on Feb. 13. “Economic Warfare and U.S. Policy” is our topic for Feb. 20. John Sommers will introduce the discussion with his thoughts. Finally, on Feb. 27 Boyd Bosma will talk about “China and America: Back to the Future?” All three meetings will begin at 3 p.m. in the East Ballroom of the MountainView clubhouse.
Members are always encouraged to read the article related to the meeting topic and consider the questions at the end of the reading. Additional background material may be available on our website sbgreatdecisions.wordpress.com or on the Tucson site tgda.org.
If you need further information or have questions about SaddleBrooke Great Decisions, please contact Sandy Epstein at [email protected] or call Sherry Kaplan at 847-528-1968.