Great Decisions 2014

WACC members who would like to find a group that fits their time can use this website to create a printable sign-up form to mail with your check.  

ORGANIZATION

A Coordinating Committee (CC) manages WACC's Great Decisions program.  Responsibilities of the CC include promoting GD participation, selecting discussion group managers and facilitators, determining the number of discussion groups and the day/time of meetings, providing a liaison to the WACC Board, collecting fees, and ordering materials.  CC members include: Chairman, Jack Slapcinsky, js12@homesc.com  (278-0864); Marty Yonas, myonas@bellsouth.net (768-0119), Bill Prewitt, bill@charlestonfinancial.net (722-3331), Alan Bowen, algbowen1@verizon.net (886-4456), and Margaret Dobson Riley, mmdobson@live.com (300-9453).

BACKGROUND

The Foreign Policy association (FPA) is the NY City affiliate of the World Affairs Council.  It developed the Great Decisions (GD) program in 1954.  It is the largest and oldest grassroots organization of its kind.  Currently 400,000 Americans are members of Great Decisions discussion groups.

The GD program is centered on the Great Decisions briefing book.  Published annually by FPA, the briefing book covers eight timely global and thematic topics related to U.S. foreign policy.  Each topic is written by experts, providing a concise yet comprehensive overview of the current national debate, historical background and policy options concerning each topic.

WHAT: Groups of 8 - 14 interested WACC members will meet twice a month to discuss a current foreign policy issue.  The Great Decisions program book provides the text for the eight topics, one each session.  Discussions are focused with people freely exchanging and considering a variety of views.  The goal is not to master a lot of facts but to deepen understanding of and judgment about international issues to be discussed.

TOPICS for 2014:  Political Islam in Africa, China’s Foreign Policy, Turkey, Israel, Energy Independence, Economic Statecraft and Trade, Defense and the Rise of New Technologies, and Food Security and Climate Change.

WHEN: Discussion groups will meet February through May. 

WHERE: Groups will meet in WACC members' homes, offices or any convenient location.

COST: The fee to participate will be $20 per individual/couple. This cost includes a copy of the Great Decisions program book.

HOW TO PARTICIPATE:

Involvement of those interested may be as:

  • Participant makes a commitment to read the program material (about 12 pages of text) and attend most of the eight discussions.
  • Group Manager finds home hosts for the discussion meetings, contacts group members about dates and location of meetings.
  • Discussion group facilitator leads one (or more) of the bimonthly discussions.