New Year’s message from Karin Look, Camden Conference Board President
The 2023 Camden Conference, Global Trade and Politics: Managing Turbulence, once again will bring us all together in Camden, Belfast, Rockland and Portland Maine in February to learn and engage in informed discourse on world issues.
The last two plus years have been difficult for all of us. While we have learned that technology can help connect us – as we did quite successfully for our 2021 and 2022 Conferences – it is not a substitute for in-person engagement. So, we are very pleased to be back in our venues and also to offer, for those who require it, virtual participation.
Because you stay informed about global developments you know that this year’s topic is incredibly relevant and personal. Trade effects what products we use and when we can get them, the food we eat, whether we and our global partners can transform our impact on the planet by creating a greener economy and, ultimately, the wealth and well-being of our country and that of our allies and friends. Its elements are kitchen table, work place, and national security issues that involve all of us.
Take a moment to look back at 2022 and to think about what might be ahead of us this year and the next.
Last February Russia invaded Ukraine. The united NATO reaction to that invasion and Putin’s retribution to that unity has led both to gas and oil shortages in Europe and to grain and cooking oil shortages and higher prices in numerous countries world-wide. Putin’s war ensures that these shortages will persist in 2023.
When China reacted strongly to very visible U.S. support for Taiwan in August, we became painfully aware that we and the world are incredibly dependent on the manufacture and export of semiconductors from Taiwan. These semiconductors are critical components in electronics needed for an array of products from computers and smartphones to the brake sensors in our cars.
Our planet’s unstable climate was manifest again in 2022 with floods, heat waves and dwindling sea ice. Both global and domestic aspirations for a greener economy that slows or reverses the planet’s changing climate require mining – and trading – raw materials such as lithium, graphite, cobalt and manganese. These materials are needed for the lithium-ion batteries critical to, among other things, solar energy storage and powering your EV. These raw materials are mined and traded around the world – often with unfortunate results for human rights and the environment.
The conversation at our February Conference will explore, with the guidance of our skilled Moderator David Brancaccio, the many aspects of the Global Trade and Politics: Managing Turbulence topic. Our presenters, all experts in their fields, will guide us and challenge us as we consider how trade has evolved, critical controversies, its effect on labor and the workplace and how it all impacts U.S. policies and security.
Please join us on February 17-19, 2023 for a thought-provoking and exhilarating conversation.
Thank you for your support, enthusiasm and participation year after year. You make us who we are and help carry us into the future. Thank you! I hope to see you in February.