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Camden Conference in the World-October

Upcoming 2020 conference speaker Can Dundar, exiled former editor of renowned Turkish opposition newspaper Cumhuriyet and now a news commentator in Germany, took a place of prominence among dozens of Turkish and Kurdish intellectuals who issued a declaration last month supporting peace and democracy in Turkey.  This summer, Can and his wife Dilek gave an interview to German news magazine Der Spiegel about their reunion after three years of separation when Turkish invalidation of Dilek’s passport left her stranded in Turkey, while Can was in exile due to his conviction on a charge of publishing state secrets related to Turkey’s  arming of Syrian extremists. Also, five other Cumhuriyet journalists were released from Turkish prisons after winning a legal appeal of charges similar to those made against Can, bolstering the hope Can and Dilek express of one day returning to Turkey.    Two other prospective speakers published reports over the last month…

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Keynote speaker at 2020 Camden Conference announced 

Nicco Mele is one of America’s leading forecasters of business, politics, and culture in our fast-moving digital age. He is on the faculty at the Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics, and Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School. From 2016 to 2019, Nicco was the Director of the Center, where he started new programs focused on understanding misinformation on social networks; sustainable models for local journalism; institutional anti-racism in media and algorithms; and platform accountability. He continues to teach classes on technology’s impact on media, politics, and public policy. Since his early days as one of Esquire Magazine’s “Best and Brightest” in America, Nicco has been a sought-after innovator, media commentator, and speaker. His prior experience includes founding technology companies, working on political campaigns, and a stint as a media executive at the Los Angeles Times. He advises several startups, including Blueprint Robotics (on-demand manufacturing), Optimus Ride (autonomous vehicles), Plympton (publishing), and Cignify (data analytics). Nicco’s book, The End of Big: How…

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Education Chair-Peter Imber

Peter Imber moved to Maine in 2010 with his Rockland born wife, Jo Dondis, after a 28-year career in network television news. For most of that time he was a producer for ABC News and worked for its broadcasts, including World News Tonight, Nightline and Good Morning America. His work was nominated for National News Emmys four times, winning once. He has also received a DuPont-Columbia Award and a National Press Club Award. Peter grew up in Pennsylvania, graduated from Dartmouth College in 1969 and lived in Israel during the 1970s where he was a member of a kibbutz and served in the Israel Defense Forces. After returning to the U.S. he received an M.F.A. from U.C.L.A. in Motion Picture/Television Production. He has taught several classes at Belfast Senior College and is teaching another at the Camden Library this spring. He has been a volunteer with the Camden Conference and served…

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CAMDEN CONFERENCE IN THE WORLD-SEPTEMBER 2019

Want to hear some good news on the state of the global media for a change? The keynote speaker for our 2020 Camden Conference on The Media Revolution: Changing the World, Nicco Mele, provides just that in a report he co-authored for the Shorenstein Center on Media, where he teaches. His report, Digital Pay-Meter: Playbook, finds that the paid digital subscriber business model is catching on among publishers, in preference to sole reliance on advertising revenue. That may not sound like good news at first, but what it means, Mele and his colleagues find, is that publishers are not only more likely to stay in business. They are also coming to prioritize “high-quality, meaningful, trustworthy content” over the sensationalist headlines that put a premium on grabbing the “clicks” advertisers want over quality news coverage and analysis. The news is anything but good on another scheduled 2020 CC speaker, famed Mexican…

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CAMDEN CONFERENCE IN THE WORLD-AUGUST 2019

Susan Thornton, a 2019 Camden Conference speaker and former senior diplomat, joined two other distinguished China experts last month in penning an open letter to President Donald Trump and members of Congress expressing deep concern “about the growing deterioration in U.S. relations with China, which we believe does not serve American or global interests.” The letter was later signed by an impressive list of diplomats and others including at least three Camden Conference alumni: Director of the Kissinger Institute on China and the United States Robert Daly, Career Ambassador and former Under Secretary of State Thomas Pickering, and academic and senior Central Intelligence Agency veteran Paul Pillar. These and other past Camden Conference speakers have of late been actively debating the pros and cons of a threatened and extended “cold war” between the US and China in numerous forums. Martin Jacques, 2019 keynoter and bestselling author on China, told the…

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CAMDEN CONFERENCE IN THE WORLD-July 2019

Camden Conference alumni are a diverse group, engaged in a remarkable range of issues. Just the last month alone provides an array of contributions spanning everything from the risk of war in Iran to Nigerian domestic politics to the aging of America’s farmers. John Piotti, moderator and star of the 2014 Camden Conference, who subsequently moved up from Maine Farmland Trust to become head of American Farmland Trust, was featured in May in a segment of the BBC documentary series Follow the Food (minute 12) called “Generation Farmer” on the aging farm population and efforts to bring young people back to the land. Also, in the Farm Journal’s Over He(a)rd podcast, Piotti recently outlined the importance of halting the disappearance of farmland. On a strikingly different topic, 2010 Conference speaker Paul Pillar assessed President Donald Trump’s Iran policy in “The Fog of Selling a War” on the investigative and analytical…

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Oceanside and Medomak Valley high school students talk of ‘China’s Global Ascendancy’

Pen Bay Pilot article, posted June 10, 2019 Students from Oceanside High School in Rockland and Medomak Valley High School in Waldoboro addressed the public Wednesday evening, May 22, with presentations on China’s Global Ascendancy as part of the continuing Informed Young Leaders Series. At the conclusion of the presentations, the students engaged with the audience in an active round of Q & A, answering questions such as ‘What was the biggest surprise you encountered when researching this topic?’ to which a number of the students replied, “Finding out how quickly China’s economic and technological gains are accelerating,” according to the Series, in a news release. One member of the audience commended the students, saying, “I learned a lot about China tonight that I suspected but never knew. I can’t tell you how impressed and grateful I am for your thoughtful presentations.” Jake Newcomb of Medomak Valley High School, and…

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CAMDEN CONFERENCE IN THE WORLD-June 2019

With trade and other geopolitical mayhem seeming to greet us in the headlines each morning over the last month, it’s hard not to see the 2018 Camden Conference theme of “New World Disorder” as prescient. Stephen Walt, 2018 keynoter and Belfer Professor of International Affairs at Harvard, has been thinking along similar lines, listing on his Foreign Policy blog five global problems that “are getting worse – and may never get better.” These “Bad Things” start with climate change, move onto the potential collapse of both the two-state solution for Israelis and Palestinians and of the European Union, and conclude with a nuclear crisis with Iran and the collapse of America’s long-standing Asian alliances due to its clash with China. Our 2019 keynoter, best-selling author and Cambridge professor Martin Jacques, discussed the impacts of that American clash with China on not just the US’ Asian allies but also on its…

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