Great Decisions 2020
Please join us for in-depth discussions of world issues currently affecting U.S. policymakers. These weekly topics have been selected by the Great Decisions editorial board and are presented through a briefing book, short video program and thought-provoking discussion. The program length is approximately 90 minutes per session.
To sign up for Great Decisions 2020, please complete the registration form and return it to the Library with payment. The program fee includes a briefing book and is for all eight sessions. Briefing books are available for pick-up at the Library after your paid registration is received.
India and Pakistan
Monday, February. 24, 2020 | 7:00 p.m.
Facilitator: Randall Newnham
- India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi rode a wave of Hindu nationalism to a historic reelection in 2019. His first order of business was to revoke the special status granted to the Kashmir region, inflaming the rivalry between India and Pakistan. How will the Kashmir situation affect the region, both economically and politically?
Climate Change and the Global Order
Monday, March. 2, 2020 | 7:00 p.m.
Facilitator: Michelle Mart
- Climate change has become one of the defining issues of our time. As much of the world bands together to come up with a plan, the US remains the notable holdout. What is the rest of the world doing to combat climate change? What impact will the effects of climate change have on global geopolitics?
Red Sea Security
Monday, March. 9, 2020 | 7:00 p.m.
Facilitator: Nevin Hollinger
- The Red Sea has remained vital for global trade since the time of ancient Egypt. Once home to the spice trade, the Red Sea now sees millions of barrels of oil a day transported across its waters. With major nations like Shina, France, Italy and the US building large ports and bases in the region, what does the future of the region look like? How important is Red Sea security for global security? Can the region be a place of global cooperation?
Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking
Monday, March. 23, 2020 | 7:00 p.m.
Facilitator: Sol Lausch
- Almost every nation has enacted laws criminalizing human trafficking, and international organizations, governments and NGOs sponsor a large variety of projects to curb trafficking and slavery. Billions of dollar have been allocated to these efforts. What if the international community doing to combat slavery and trafficking? What are the experiences like for those being trafficked?
US Relations With the Northern Triangle
Monday, March. 30, 2020 | 7:00 p.m.
Facilitator: Larry Cohen
- Combatting illegal immigration has become a priority of the Trump administration. The Northern Triangle of Central America, made up of Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala, is a special target of the administration, which holds the nations responsible for the large flow of migrants from Latin America to the US. With funds from the US cut, how can the Northern Triangle curtail migration?
China’s Road Into Latin America
Monday, April. 6, 2020 | 7:00 p.m.
Facilitator: David Carroll
- As the Trump administration continues to withdraw from the world stage, China is looking to fill the void. 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?”
The Philippines and the US
Monday, April. 13, 2020 | 7:00 p.m.
Facilitator: Dan Cooper
- The Philippines has had a special relationship with the United States since the islands were ceded by Spain to the United States after the Spanish-American War at the end of the 19th century. However, since the election of Rodrigo Duterte, the country has pivoted more toward China, and away from the US. Duterte has also launched a large-scale war on drugs that many criticize for its brutality. What does the future hold for US relations with the Philippines?
Artificial Intelligence and Data
Monday, April. 27, 2020 | 7:00 p.m.
Facilitator: Kevin Coots
- Policymakers in many countries are developing plans and funding research in artificial intelligence (AI). Global growth is slowing, and not surprisingly, many policymakers hope that AI will provide a magic solution. 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?