Participants discuss the Middle East at a recent session of the Great Decisions series at the Patagonia Library. Photo by Aisha Sander

Deborah Locke and Gary Vines, part-time residents of Patagonia who are currently the caretakers of the Sonoita Creek Preserve, have brought the Great Decisions program to Patagonia. This year the topics include: Refugees and Global Migration; The Middle East: Regional Disorder; Nuclear negotiations: Back to the Future?; The Rise of Populism in Europe; Decoding U.S.-China Trade; Cyber Conflicts and Geopolitics; The United States and Mexico: Partnership Tested; State of the State Department and Diplomacy.

The Foreign Policy Association (FPA) has been producing a series for PBS called “Great Decisions in Foreign Policy” since 1970. It is the longest running program focused entirely on international affairs topics. 

According to the FPA, “Great Decisions” is the largest public foreign policy and issue discussion group in the United States. The FPA, founded in 1918, is an organization whose mission is to “serve as a catalyst for developing awareness, understanding, and informed opinion on U.S. foreign policy and global issues. Through its balanced, nonpartisan programs and publications, the FPA encourages citizens to participate in the foreign policy process.” (FPA Website)

The meetings are every Thursday at 6:30 p.m. at the Patagonia Public Library. Close to 30 participants are attending the program and there are weekly required readings from the Great Decisions briefing book, which can be found on reserve at the Patagonia Public Library.