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The Camden Conference

The Camden Conference was founded in 1987 as a nonprofit, non-partisan educational organization whose mission is to foster informed discourse on world issues.



Today, when increasingly there is an inclination to oversimplify complex questions, the Camden Conference is proudest of its steadfast commitment to nonpartisan and in-depth discussion of the critical global challenges facing the world. We know we reach an audience hungry for a clearer understanding of the most important issues of our times. With a vibrant 34-year tradition, the Conference has never veered from its most basic mission and dedication to “Foster informed discourse on world issues.” Our attendees are presented the most current thinking from policy makers, scholars, journalists, and whoever else we believe can illuminate the annual topic we select and focus on. We provide extensive question and-answer opportunities for our audience—a hallmark of the Camden Conference for three decades.

  • 33rd Annual Conference
  • 11 Reknowned Speakers
  • 4 Venues + Online
World Class Speakers

For over 30 years the Camden Conference has been inviting the best and the brightest minds to Maine to share their perspectives with an engaged and enthusiastic audience. To date, nearly 500 speakers from five continents have participated in our Conferences. Many have also been our best ambassadors, praising the high quality of our programs as well as the warm hospitality they have experienced here in Camden, Maine.

More than Just a Weekend
The Camden Conference plans and sponsors dozens of related events in communities around Maine, drawing thousands of people throughout the year. > View year-round events list
Beyond Camden, ME

Since the Conference’s beginning, its organizers have been confronted with a call to expand the event’s valuable content beyond Camden. With the advent of the Internet, we have been able to make that possible. In addition to our Camden Opera House audience, we have been streaming the Conference live to other venues, including Rockland, Belfast, Portland and Hanover NH and to people’s living rooms as well — increasing our weekend attendance to over 1200. The little forum that began in 1988 with a few dozen participants gathered in the Camden Public Library has now evolved into one that reaches the entire world.

Student Education

Students in particular benefit from their Conference experiences. Our Student Education Fund makes it possible for hundreds of students from Maine colleges and high schools to attend the Conference annually. Our contribution to helping prepare tomorrow’s citizens for the world they will inherit is an important component of what we do.





(Feb 20-21, 2021) The 2021 Camden Conference will explore the Arctic, one of the world’s least-known regions. The Arctic already is undergoing dramatic, irreversible changes traceable to global warming, and as these changes impact the pace of climate change, they forewarn of the challenges ahead for human, animal and plant habitats in this and other regions.

We will examine how this transformation of the Arctic is creating a new arena for global power and competition. With the retreating ice mass will come new opportunities to pursue exploration and extraction of vast resources. Will there be unregulated competition, or cooperation among governments and industries? What kinds of security challenges will come with ice-free borders? The territories of eight nations extend into the Arctic, but others —especially China— will assert rights of access and passage. Open waters will make shipping between Pacific and Atlantic ports much cheaper. What could all this mean for Maine with its accessible northern ports, maritime industry, and vulnerable location on a rising ocean?

Please plan to join us on this voyage into the future of global affairs in the Arctic and our planet.

  • 33rd Annual Conference
  • 11 Reknowned Speakers
  • 4 Venues + Online