Camden Conference: Day Two

Journalist Indira Lakshmanan is the Moderator; you may have seen her on CNN. She did a masterful job, including tactfully reining in one of the male presenters who lapsed into mansplaining. He happened to be on a panel with four extremely competent female presenters when he launched into a long and convoluted reflection that seemed to have no end. The audience grew restive. I was moved to wonder whether women — contrary to stereotypes — simply have less of a need to fill any available airspace with words.

Here were the topics for the day:

Nationalism, Populism in the U.S. and Their Impact on American Foreign Policy.

Open Versus Closed Europe? The New Cultural Divide within the European Union.

Politics, Nationalism and their Impact on U.S. China Relations and China’s Role in World Affairs.

Sovereigny, Solidarity, and New Rules for a Changing Global Economy.

The Importance of Mulitilateral Frameworks and Mechanisms for Addressing Threats Against the United States.

The “3Geos” Reshaping our World.

That last was presented by Cleo Paskal, a Canadian Associate Fellow at the Royal Institute of International Affairs, Chatham House. She is an expert on how geography and the environment affect geopolitical affairs. Her simple but memorable phrase: “We build into the environment that is already there.” This young woman is one smart cookie, and a great presenter. I found her perspective fascinating and fresh.

The other compelling presentation for me asked the question of whether we are near the end of the populist turbulence that culminated in Trump, or near the beginning. The expert view point, alas, was the latter.

Sunday morning is the end of the Conference. I’ll be at Paul and Jeanne’s for the afternoon, when Jerry and Paul’s sister Amy and her husband Will are coming for dinner, and then on Monday we are driving to Boston.

4 thoughts on “Camden Conference: Day Two

  1. Pam,
    Sounds like a full brain experience. To whom might I send a comment about the lack of discussion re policy and climate change—-THE overwhelming issue of our times, as you have heard from me previously.


  2. for Ada: Really a stimulating three days. And it lifted my brain and spirits out of the daily firestorm that Trump creates for us. That said, the speakers were realistic about the damage being done. I think they tried to end on a “this too shall pass” hopeful note, with varying degrees of success.

  3. for Linda: In a couple of weeks you can go on the web site and listen to the presentations. Chloe Paskal grounded her presentation in the environment and how changes already underway are a major strategic threat — that’s her precise area of expertise. She was asked point blank if staying in the Paris Accords would have been the key to managing climate change and she said no — the changes that are happening are very far advanced and not easily managed by any one specific focus — although she said that our leaving was a terrible decision. That said, she listed off a number of things we could and should be doing, even aside from the Paris accords. Listen to her presentation — and of course she said much more on the panels when questions were directed at her, if you want to listen to those as well. Then, if you still think climate change wasn’t adequately addressed, there’s a “Contact Us” on the web site.

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