SaddleBrooke Great Decisions concludes its 2024 program with meetings on Friday, April 1 and Friday, April 15 from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. in the East Ballroom of the MountainView Clubhouse.

Great Decisions is America’s largest discussion program focused on world affairs. SaddleBrooke Great Decisions strives to serve as a catalyst for developing awareness, understanding and informed opinion on U.S. foreign policy and global issues.

Our thanks to the March presenters. Darlene Carlson’s presentation on Monday, March 4 described the cross-border implications of new technologies, with a focus on artificial intelligence and solar radiation modification. George Kramer led a discussion about Indonesia, the role it plays in Asia and current issues in U.S.-Indonesian relations on Monday, March 11.

At these meetings, members watched a documentary film prepared by the Foreign Policy Association, listened to a presentation followed by a brief question and answer period, and then split up into small groups and discussed issues related to each meeting’s topic. Finally, each group reported the most pertinent takeaways gleaned from its discussion.

April MeetingsFriday, April 1: Pandemic Preparation. Discussion leader: Art Triester. Looking back at the COVID-19 pandemic, there are many lessons to take away in terms of domestic and international policies. Although this pandemic seems to have waned, how can we apply these lessons to future pandemics? Will countries cooperate, and will a consensus emerge on how to manage global health challenges?

Friday, April 15: High Seas Treaty. Discussion leader: Harry Sloan. Areas of the seas beyond national jurisdiction comprise the high seas, which are facing a degradation of ecosystems due to climate change and the increase in human activities, such as shipping, overfishing, pollution and deep-sea mining. The recently negotiated High Seas Treaty, also known as the Biodiversity Beyond National Jurisdiction treaty, will attempt to address these issues. How difficult will it be to convince nations to participate?

The Great Decisions 2024 Briefing Book with readings on these topics is available for purchase through Tucson Great Decisions at tgda.org by clicking on the Materials tab. The cost is $29 plus $5 shipping. This year, the Great Decisions 2024 Briefing Book is not available to purchase on Kindle/Amazon. However, the digital version is available on platforms such as Apple Store, Nook, iBooks, Kobo and Barnes and Noble. Prior to meetings, members are encouraged to read the Briefing Book summary for that meeting’s topic.

Further information about SaddleBrooke Great Decisions is available online at sbgreatdecisions.wordpress.com. Questions can be addressed by email to Sandy Epstein at saddlebrookegreatdecisions@outlook.com or by calling Sherry Kaplan at (847) 528-1968.

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