WNC Great Decisions group concludes successful year

Jun 24, 2013
Photo by: donated photo WNC Great Decisions 2013 members

The WNC Great Decisions 2013 group, which hosts foreign policy advocacy activities, increased membership in Waynesville for the year. The group concludes their year June 30.

This year’s group programs covered eight topics developed by the Foreign Policy Association (FPA), a national, independent, nongovernmental and nonprofit educational organization.  The Great Decisions program is intended both to inform the public on selected topics and also to gather feedback from individual citizens via surveys associated with each session.  The 2013 topics included: future of the euro; Egypt; NATO; Myanmar; humanitarian intervention; Iran; China in Africa; and threat assessment/defending America on a budget.

After June 30, input from citizens nationwide is consolidated into a National Opinion Ballet Report, which is provided to national leaders, such as the president, secretary of state, secretary of defense, members of congress, the media and concerned citizens.

Topics covered in 2012 include: Middle East realignment; promoting democracy; Mexico; cybersecurity; exit from Afghanistan and Iraq; oceans; Indonesia; and Energy geopolitics. The 2012 results are available online at www.fpa.org/great_decisions/.

In Waynesville, the WNC Great Decisions 2013 group grew to 35 participants, including local builders, communications experts, dentists, legal service providers and former employees of the Centers for Disease Control, Kellogg Foundation, state department and World Bank.

The group met in the Haywood County Public Library in Waynesville for roundtable, small group discussions. All participants commented favorably on the nonpartisan nature of the presentations and the wide range of viewpoints covered during the discussions.

The group plans to continue next year as WNC Great Decisions 2014 as early as January and meet in the library with the support of Friends of the Library.  Potential plans for the group next year include soliciting the World Affairs Council of Western North Carolina to add Haywood County as a fifth site on its rotational guest speaker program and conducting a parallel domestic policy related discussion group.  A potential source for nonpartisan materials is the National Issues Forums, which includes topics such as Immigration in America and Democracy’s Challenge.  Additionally, group members hope to collaborate with Haywood Community College to provide another forum for student participation on selected topics of international, national, regional and local interest.

For more information, call David McCracken at 550-5980.