A note from Board President, Matt Storin, on planning for CC 2021
Dear Members and Friends,
Yes, there will be another Camden Conference in 2021. Despite the world’s current focus on the coronavirus, other pressing issues of mankind have not gone away, and the need for the Conference’s mission are just as important as ever. Our program, “The Geopolitics of the Arctic” (still a working title) will be presented on Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 20-21.
We have a fascinating topic, one that has particular relevance to our region, encompassing diplomacy, climate change, national security, economics, and the fate of indigenous peoples. There is no shortage of experts in these fields and we anticipate having a compelling lineup of presenters.
No, it will not be like our usual communal event with civic-minded citizens gathering in five locations. We will use the best technology available to live stream the two-day program to your home. And you will still have the opportunity to ask questions. Our Program Committee is hard at work, reaching out to experts wherever they are in the world.
Might the public health situation be dramatically improved by February? Possibly. But we make these changes because an event of this size takes a full year to organize and because the health and safety of our members and speakers are of utmost importance. Therefore, we have had to make this unprecedented decision early in our planning process in order to facilitate this change to a virtual setting.
In addition to the February event, we plan to continue our education program for high school and college students, hopefully broadening their world horizons. We also plan to mount our usual program of library talks across the state, beginning in September and extending up to the time of the actual Conference and beyond. Those too will be live streamed. And we hope to add other special events both before and after the February event.
We know that you value the mission of the Conference, a citizens’ forum that has offered the opportunity for informed discourse on world issues since its founding in 1987.
We must contend with unusual financial challenges during this time of international crisis. If we are to continue bringing essential Camden Conference programming to the Midcoast and beyond, we need your help. We hope that your past experiences with us will inspire you to renew your membership despite these trying circumstances.
Registration for our virtual February event will, of course, not be the same as in past years. We would like to reward our members and encourage membership to the Conference so if you join or renew at the $150 level or above you will have access – not only to the February Weekend – but to all of the events through our member portal throughout the year.
We are thinking creatively throughout these extraordinary times and will continue to add new “events” and member benefits as they become possible. Please join us on this journey!
Bottom line: like every other organization and business, we want to survive this crisis. We hope you will continue to support us and sign up for 2021. And please stay healthy and safe.
With warm regards,