Each year public policy groups and academic institutions adopt the Foreign Policy Association’s Great Decisions Program for analysis and discussion of vital international issues. The World Affairs Council has done so for many years, and its members now moderate Great Decisions courses each semester at the Osher Life-Long Learning Institute (OLLI) at the University of Southern Maine. The Great Decisions programs also provide a venue for World Affairs Council members to enjoy lively evening discussions and delicious dinners together.
Great Decisions promotes citizen awareness and discussion about timely foreign policy issues. Run by the Foreign Policy Association in New York, it is the oldest and largest grassroots educational program on world affairs of its kind in the country, with about 350,000 overall participants. The purpose of Great Decisions is to educate citizens about issues of vital importance to American foreign policy, to provide them with the information to make informed decisions about the topics covered, and to enable them to participate in the foreign-policy process. Great Decisions is one of the five Flagship Programs of the World Affairs Councils of America. A Flagship Program is one that is broadly supported throughout the council system. World Affairs Councils use Great Decisions materials in many different ways. They use it for small discussion groups both in person and online, as the basis of public lecture series, to offer course credit to teachers and students in college and high school, and town hall style meetings. Great Decisions celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2004. Councils around the country helped celebrate its tradition and history.
Great Decisions is used by:
- 1000s of small discussion groups nationwide
- 45 participating world affairs councils
- 42 American Academy of University Women chapters
- 17 League of Women Voters chapters
- 124 Institutes for Learning and Retirement
- 1,100 college campuses
- 88 high schools.
Great Decisions is used in 880 US cities and is distributed in every state.
The World Affairs Council of Maine offers Great Decisions to a variety of audiences in different settings:
2010 Topics Included:
The Global Financial Crisis and It's Effects
China Looks At The World:The World Looks At China
The U.S. and the Persian Gulf
Europe's 'Far East'":The Uncertain Frontier
Transnational Crime:Globalization's Shadowy Stepchild
Halting Atrocities in Kenya
The Special Envoys in American Foreign Policy
Enhancing Security through Peace Building