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Camden Conference in the World-April 2019

The themes that dominated the 2019 Camden Conference on “Is This China’s Century?,” and the speakers who came to the Midcoast to address them, remain in sharp news focus. Two 2019 speakers, MIT professor Yasheng Huang and retired senior US diplomat Susan Thornton, again shared the stage at an Intelligence Squared debate on The “Techonomic Cold War with China.” The two agreed – in opposition to the other three debaters – that China’s Belt and Road initiative is a “Trillion-Dollar Blunder.” With Chinese President Xi Jinping on a tour of Europe in March aimed in part at furthering the Belt and Road initiative, 2019 speaker and University of Michigan professor Yuen Yuen Ang argued in a Newsweek interview that Europe should be cautiously open to working with Beijing. Likewise, when interviewed by France’s RFI during Xi’s visit, 2019 keynoter and author Martin Jacques suggested that good relations with China could…

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Camden Conference in the World-February 2019

Speakers from the 2018 Camden Conference on New World Disorder have been making news of late, on topics including the 2019 China theme. Harvard professor and 2018 keynoter Stephen Walt argued in Foreign Policy that Europeans who want to keep a skeptical US President Donald Trump committed to NATO would do well to join the US in restraining China’s military might. “European concerns about Chinese ambitions have grown in recent years, as have their fears about a total U.S. withdrawal” from NATO. This might provide a rationale for a “new trans-Atlantic” bargain at a time when “China’s rise continues to draw U.S. attention away from Europe and toward Asia,” Walt wrote. Natalie Nougayrede, who also spoke in Camden last year, took on the sprawling trans-Atlantic debate over truth in the media in one of her recent Guardian columns. “Outlandish claims of secret cabals can arguably go further in Europe than…

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“For the Love of Words”-Profile of CC student volunteer Maggie Samuels

It’s a long way from growing up in rural Maine to a graduate fellowship at Georgetown University in Washington DC.  Maggie Samuels, daughter of a Maine fisherman from Searsmont, is in her first year of a two year master’s degree in the prestigious Thomas R Pickering Foreign Affairs Fellowship Program.  Two uniquely Midcoast programs were part of that journey.  But it all started with a love of words. Maggie was a shy, reserved child. Exploring different languages helped her to step out into the world.  “Words have nuance and shades.  Knowing the right word helps you to convey what you mean.”  She started to study different languages:  Cherokee, Latin, Spanish, Inuit, Farsi, Japanese, and Turkish.  Foreign languages were a completely different way of seeing and broadened her world. “Language shapes a culture; the brain is hardwired from its language.  You can’t literally translate one language to another.  When I realized…

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Camden Conference announces first independent streaming site in Hanover, New Hampshire

The Camden Conference and the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Dartmouth are pleased to announce a partnership that will bring the livestream of the 2019 Conference “Is This China’s Century?” to New Hampshire. The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute is a volunteer organization that provides lifelong educational programs year-round for residents in the greater Upper Valley and North Haverhill. It is based on the campus of Dartmouth College in Hanover, NH. The Camden Conference is a renowned global citizens’ forum and one the largest of its kind in the U.S. Now in its 32nd year, the Conference offers an opportunity to learn from and engage with leading experts on issues that affect our lives and our world. It takes place this year February 22-24 live from the Camden Opera House in Camden, ME. In addition to the Conference, the organization presents a year-round series of mostly free talks, films and discussions…

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Camden Conference in the World-December 2018

Camden Conference speakers past and future have been weighing in on China-US tensions that are dominating headlines worldwide – and will figure prominently in the February 2019 conference Is This China’s Century? The Trump administration has an important story to tell about “the challenge that China poses to the fundamental principles embraced by market democracies globally: free trade and open markets, freedom of navigation, and good governance,” 2019 speaker and director for Asia studies at the Council on Foreign Relations Elizabeth Economy wrote last month in a Council on Foreign Relations blog post. “Understanding the nature of the challenge is the first step toward developing an appropriate strategy to address it,” she continues. American diplomat and author Chas Freeman presents a sharply different take on the tensions in a November interview with Xinhua, the official Chinese state press agency: China and the United States “have no alternative to living and…

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2019 Camden Conference Speaker Roster Complete

Once again this year, the Camden Conference will focus on a timely and compelling topic. The 32nd annual Camden Conference, “Is This China’s Century?” will explore China as it emerges as a major global power, and faces complex challenges in its domestic economic, social, environmental and political affairs and its relations with Asian neighbors, the United States and the broader international community. The Keynote speaker, Martin Jacques, will introduce the topic on Friday evening. He is the author of the global bestseller When China rules the World: The End of the Western World and the Birth of a New Global Order. Dr. Jacques is a senior fellow in the Department of Politics and International Studies, Cambridge University, and a visiting professor at Tsinghua University, Beijing.  Saturday Morning will begin with a focus on Chinese society today. Yuen Yuen Ang, an associate professor of political science at the University of Michigan…

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Piscataquis Community High School Teacher and Camden Conference in the Classroom educator, Joe Hennessey, Named Maine 2019 Teacher of the Year

Press release from Maine Department of Education: In an all-school assembly today at Piscataquis Community High School, Maine Department of Education Commissioner Robert G. Hasson, Jr. named English teacher Joseph Hennessey Maine’s 2019 Teacher of the Year. Hennessey was selected earlier this year as the 2018 Piscataquis County Teacher of the Year. He began his teaching career in 2012 and has held teaching positions as both an English teacher and a teacher for at-risk youth ever since. He specializes in English literature and composition and has taught speech and debate as well. In his current position at Piscataquis Community High School, Hennessey has implemented a college prep, literature based interdisciplinary course that focuses on students’ interests and aims to prepare them for life after graduation. “Mr. Hennessey is a unique and highly effective teacher. His formal manner and personality combined with a dry sense of humor and setting high standards…

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CAMDEN CONFERENCE IN THE CLASSROOM TEACHERS PREPARE FOR THE 2019 CONFERENCE ON CHINA

On Saturday, September 29, the participants in the coming year’s Camden Conference in the Classroom program (CCC) gathered at Rockland Public Library to discuss their respective plans for classes based on the theme of the upcoming 2019 Conference, “Is This China’s Century?”  Teachers representing fourteen high schools from across Maine met with Education Committee Chair, Elaine Keyes, and members of her committee for a full day to confer on ways to present the China material. The teachers appreciate the opportunity to network with each other and share their ideas with colleagues they might not meet otherwise.  The pilot program for the CCC originated in 2015 with 56 students from 7 schools. In 2018, the program had expanded to include 11 schools from 10 of 16 Maine counties.  In each participating school, a course curriculum is designed by that school’s CCC teacher within the school’s guidelines.  These for-credit courses range from a…

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Maine Public is a Media Sponsor for the 2019 Camden Conference

The Camden Conference is pleased to announce that Maine Public will be a Media Sponsor for the 2019 Conference. Maine Public will be promoting the Conference, airing many of the presentations after the Conference and airing a segment of Maine Calling on Friday, February 22 from the Camden Opera House with Conference keynote speaker Martin Jacques. The Camden Conference is offering early registration for the February 2019 Conference to Maine Public members. Registration opens to the general public November 26, 2018, but Maine Public members can register starting October 26, 2018. This is an early chance to sign up for this always sold out Conference. Call the Conference office to register at 207-236-1034. Registration for the Conference live at the Camden Opera House is $275 and at the live stream venues in Portland, Rockland and Belfast is $150. See the Conference website at www.camdenconference.org for more information.

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Camden Conference in the World-November 2018

“When developing countries and partners think of the China Model, they often, incorrectly, think of it as purely a top-down model,” 2019 Camden Conference speaker Yuen Yuen Ang told an audience in Cambodia recently, in a display of the “fresh perspectives” for which she was named an Andrew Carnegie Fellow earlier this year. In fact, “different parts of China have followed many different paths to economic and social development over the last several decades. Their commonality is the adaptation of central mandates to local conditions.” Praising attempts to revive the traditional Cambodian silk weaving industry, University of Michigan professor Ang suggested that China itself needs to learn that other countries “want to build their future their own way, too.” MIT Professor and fellow 2019 Camden Conference speaker Yasheng Huang, who has his own insightful take on the Chinese development model, argued recently in the MIT Technology Review that China’s adoption…

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