A Message from Matt Storin, CC Board President
A year ago for this newsletter, I wrote about how in this digital age, the Camden Conference in its mission “to foster informed discourse on world issues” fights the isolating aspects of living on our smart phones. I wrote, in part, “… technology has diminished our opportunities to interact personally and directly. The Camden Conference fights this trend. We talk to each other, especially during the Conference itself, but also in our committees and our community events.”
Little did we know.
Here we are a year later, extremely limited in our personal interactions.
Even last April, it was clear that we could not have a “live” conference in February 2021. We had expert advice from our board member, Dr. Jim Hengerer, and education deputy chair, Dr. Tom Oeltmann, a biochemist who taught at Vanderbilt Medical School for many years. But with all that, the Camden Conference is alive and well. On Feb. 20 and 21, we will present, “The Geopolitics of the Arctic: A Region in Peril.” Public radio’s David Brancaccio will return as moderator and, public health conditions permitting, will operate from the stage of the Camden Opera House, just as he did last year. However, he and our production crew will be working in an empty auditorium. Our speakers will be coming to us remotely from various parts of the globe.
It will still be a Camden Conference! Our presenters, all experts in their fields, will come to us via live streaming and your questions will get asked. Panelists will still be heard – agreeing and disagreeing – and we’ll all find ourselves more knowledgeable and perhaps even inspired.
We’ve had great turnouts for our library talks that, as usual, began in September, again all on line. There seems to be great enthusiasm for our topic. But we will miss the in-person engagement. In that way, it’s been a challenging year for the organization. All committee meetings happen via Zoom. But we’ve known all along that you’re still out there with all your enthusiasm for our role and our mission. So thank you.
Our passionate goal is to be back in 2022 with a normal conference, and lots of personal engagement.
Best wishes for 2021,
Matt Storin, Camden Conference Board President