A message from Matt Storin to members, supporters, and friends of the Camden Conference
We all have witnessed scenes like this: two people are sitting in a restaurant not talking to each other but intently studying their smartphones in silence. Most of us are not burdened with such addiction to the digital world, but it’s hard to deny that 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.
As we begin a new year, I salute all of you who are members or attendees, because you make the Camden Conference what it is – you engage with each other and you engage in the wider world. You are the essence of our mission – to foster informed discourse on world issues.
We know the Conference is more than just a three-day program. It brings together communities in Camden, Portland, Rockland, Belfast, and Hanover NH that coalesce around the topic of the year. These communities discuss the issues among themselves as well as ask questions of our speakers and panelists. The participation for a full weekend of as many as 1,200 people, including our high school and college students from our education program, never ceases to impress me. So many times I look around the Camden Opera House and note the intent faces of our audience during the presentations. From the Friday evening keynote address through the final panel on Sunday , the attentiveness and involvement is the same.
I’m sure it was impressive when the first Conference was held in 1988 and amid the hectic lifestyle of the digital age it is even more so.
Speaking of technology and communicating, I think our conference this year – “The Media Revolution: Changing the World” – is going to be probing, varied, and probably intense. We will be covering a wide field from oppression and persecution of journalists to the role social media plays in influencing world trends and many subtopics in between. Visit our website www.camdenconference.org to see the full schedule of speakers.
Tickets are selling at an above average pace for this time of year, so don’t hesitate if you haven’t yet committed.
Meantime, please accept my heartfelt thanks your support. Your donations are vital to our continuing existence, including our education program, and the more than 70 talks by experts at libraries throughout Maine between September and February. Ticket sales cover only 40 percent of our annual costs. And a special thanks to those of you who volunteer to serve on our various committee and at the conference venues. We could not do it without you.