The Camden Conference is pleased to announce that Eileen Griffin from the University of Maine, Orono, is the winner of its college and university student essay contest which focused on the 2018 Conference theme: New World Disorder and America's Future.  Her essay was titled The Great Powers and the New Great Game: Central Asia, Kazakhstan and the Balance of Power Between China and the United States. The Conference congratulates her. This award was established by Captain Bill Taylor who was a longtime supporter of the Camden Conference and of education programming. Captain Taylor had a distinguished career as a Naval Officer, an Academic in Warfare Science, and Director of Long Range Strategic Planning for Anti-Submarine Warfare at the Pentagon. His career took him all over the world during various wars, and his creative influence on Naval Warfare lingers. College and University Essay-Eileen Griffin Read More


The Camden Conference is pleased to announce the winners of its third high school student essay contest which focused on the 2018 Conference theme: New World Disorder and America's Future. First prize was a tie and went to Levi McAtee from Lincoln Academy for his essay A Virtual Threat to Democracy: The Threat of Fake News to Modern Democracy and How It Can Be Mitigated. The second winner was Jonathan Meserve from Edward Little High School for his essay The Minsk Peace: A Critical Analysis. Lareina Zhang from Gould Academy won the second prize for her essay Britain, the United States, and Isolationism. Third prize went to Hannah Sylvia Bagley from Piscataquis Community High School for her essay Preservation of a Nation. The Conference congratulates our winners. The essay contest is part of a special program for eleven Maine high schools in 2017-18 called “Camden Conference in the Classroom” (CCC). Essay contest winners were enrolled in a... Read More

Volunteer Spotlight-Bruce Cole

The Camden Conference is almost entirely an all-volunteer organization. The Camden Conference truly relies on volunteers to make it happen! As a new newsletter feature, we would like to shine a light on the special people that have created and continue to sustain our year-round programs and our Conference weekend. Bruce Cole is the President of the Camden Conference Board of Directors and the focus of our first spotlight. Tell us how you first got involved in with the Camden Conference . . . In 2010, I was working on a Climate Change Symposium for the First Congregational Church of Camden and learned from Camden Conference’s President Bob Hirsch, and Brewster Grace, that the Camden Conference was also interested in a program on climate change.  We combined our efforts and held the program in October of 2010 at the Camden Opera House.  I was invited to join the Camden Conference program…

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Camden Conference in the World-June 2018

Former US Ambassador to Nato Nicholas Burns, minced no words in recent criticism of President Donald Trump’s May decision to pull the US out of the Iran nuclear deal of 2016, terming the move “reckless and one of the most serious mistakes of his presidency.” While many 2013 Camden Conference attendees will remember Burn’s tough engagement on the side of the US with former Iranian nuclear negotiator Seyed Hossien Mousavian, Burns is now recalling how the subsequent 2016 accord “has dismantled Iran’s nuclear apparatus and denied it the possibility of developing a nuclear weapon for more than a decade.” Not surprisingly, Mousavian in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, took the criticism a step further: “Trump has officially declared a regime-change policy towards Iran, as his speech made clear, setting himself on an all-out confrontational path against Iran. A dangerous new US-Iran escalation will now ensue, and it will have…

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Watershed School celebrates 15 years of education, community engagement

  May 31, 2018 Courtesy of: Watershed School   CAMDEN — Watershed School is throwing a 15th Anniversary party June 9, from 6 to 9 p.m. at its new home at One Free Street. The public is invited. The festive gathering, with food from community sponsors, contra dancing and live music, celebrates a legacy of quality learning and rich community and school partnerships. Watershed School, Midcoast Maine’s only independent high school, opened its doors in 2003 in Rockland. Since 2012 the school has called Camden home, but Watershed students consider Midcoast Maine their campus. Over the course of 15 years Watershed School has combined intellectual rigor and courage, with project-based learning, design thinking, consensus building and a joy of learning, together with a commitment to purposeful work within a community setting. “Our students work on projects from Belfast to Boothbay,” Head of School Will Galloway observed. Relevant research and applied problem-solving…

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Camden Conference in the World-May 2018

Chatham House associate fellow Cleo Paskal recently explored another fascinating niche angle of the changing geopolitical landscape: Britain’s expanding post-Brexit role as a counter to China in several small Pacific countries that are also in the Commonwealth. Paskal, a popular favorite at the 2018 conference on New World Disorder and America’s Future who will be returning to Camden Aug. 14 for a Camden Conference friendraiser, writes regularly for India’s Sunday Guardian and other Indian newspapers. Natalie Nougayrede, a companion speaker of Paskal’s in Camden in 2018 and a regular columnist in Britain’s Guardian newspaper, calls French President Emanuel Macron “a poster boy for radical centrism in an age of democratic retrenchment and rampaging populism,” in an assessment of Macron’s recent state visit to Washington.   Those already looking forward to next year’s conference on China might want to check out this conversation from last month on US-China relations between 2018…

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Camden Conference in the World-April 2018

The news this month has been filled with former Camden Conference speakers discussing national and international rising tensions. Two speakers from 2015’s Russia Resurgent Conference have discussed the relationship between the West and Russia following the nerve-agent attack on a former spy in Britain. Quoted in The Irish Times: “A multi-faceted diplomatic war has begun between Russia and the West,” Fyodor Lukyanov, the editor-in-chief of the respected Russia in Global Affairs journal, wrote on his Telegram account on Monday. Diplomacy was supposed to preserve lines of communication at times of crisis, he said. “But what is happening today seems like a negation of that function.” In an article in US News and World Report, Russia expert at the Wilson Center think tank in Washington, Matthew Rojansky said, “The risk of escalation doesn’t just come from tit-for-tat punishments.” Rojansky cited the potential for more aggressive moves from the Middle East to the cyber…

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World Affairs Council of Maine event: Women’s Roles in Peace + Security: Lunch with Ambassador Swanee Hunt

In Celebration of International Women’s Day,  the World Affairs Council of Maine + Pierce Atwood are pleased to present:    Women’s Roles in Peace + Security A luncheon with Ambassador Swanee Hunt.       Friday, March 9th 11:30am: Buffet Lunch from Sisters Gourmet Deli 12:00pm: Amb. Hunt’s Presentation and Q+A   at Pierce Atwood, 5th Floor 254 Commercial St, Portland, ME 04101 Limited seating available.  Also available for sale will be copies of the book, Rwandan Women Rising, and jewelry by Same Sky.   Members: $20 Non-members: $25     Ambassador Hunt, who served as US Ambassador to Austria during the Bosnian War, is the founder of Women Waging Peace, a global network of women seeking to transform and resolve conflict across the world. She is also the Founding Director of the Women and Public Policy Program at Harvard’s Kennedy School. Her most recent book, Rwandan Woman Rising, outlines the incredible role that Rwandan…

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Camden Conference in the World-March 2018

Both the opening and closing speakers at the February Camden Conference on “New World Disorder” addressed ongoing attacks on diplomacy and its contemporary practitioners last month in other forums, as well. Chas Freeman looked back to historic examples of successful US diplomacy in Southern Africa and on the China-Taiwan question to argue for better attention to the Rusting Tool of American Statescraft in a lecture to a combined audience from three top US foreign policy schools delivered just before he came to Camden. Stephen Walt took a different angle, proposing means to fix a “rot” that “runs deep” in the now highly professionalized US foreign policy establishment, in this article published just after the Camden Conference. Seyed Hossein Mousavian, a 2013 Camden Conference speaker, applies the call for more and better diplomacy to the specific context of the Middle East in calling on Saudi Arabia and Iran “to openly and…

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