Great Decisions Global Discussions 



Mondays 6 - 7:15 PM

Tuesdays 12 - 1 PM

Know the World, then Change the World

Diplomats, policy makers and practitioners, think tank specialists and journalists

leading the conversation

Past Programs

February 4 through March 26, 2019

Two options to attend:
Monday, 6-7:15 p.m.: Aquinas College Performing Arts Center

Tuesday, 12-1 p.m.: Recital Hall in the Covenant Fine Arts Center at Calvin College

Parking recommended next to the De Vos Communication Building or the Prince Conference Center, with covered access across E. Beltline taking you directly to the Covenant Fine Arts Center

$10 admission per discussion, $60 for a series pass

New topic and speaker each week

Free admission to WACWM corporate members and their employees; Senator members; and the faculty, staff and students of our educational partners.

No reservations needed. Free, convenient parking.

Buy your series pass now

Support the series through our Friends of Great Decisions campaign. 

Hear from our experts
Feb. 4 and 5
"State of the State Department"
Ambassador Barbara Stephenson 
President, American Foreign Service Association
sponsored by Calvin College
Feb. 11 and 12
"Democracy on the Run: Dispatches from Eastern Europe"
Carol Schaeffer
freelance journalist
sponsored by the Friends of Great Decisions
Feb. 18 and 19
"Immigration Policy Beyond the Border"
Ambassador Jim Nealon
Former U.S. Ambassador to Honduras
sponsored by the Ash Lectureship at Montcalm Community College
and Varnum Law
Feb. 25 and 26
"A New Nuclear Arms Race?"
Kelsey Davenport 
Arms Control Association
sponsored by The World Affairs Council Endowment Fund
Mar. 4 and 5
"China-U.S. Trade War" 
Amy Celico
Albright Stonebridge Group (ASG)
sponsored by AlphaMax Advisors
Mar. 11 and 12
"Life in the aftermath of the Arab uprisings and the Islamic State"
Rania Abouzeid
author of No Turning Back: Life, Loss, and Hope in Wartime Syria
sponsored by Aquinas College
Mar. 18 and 19
"Global Cyber Threats"
Special Agent Peter Jolliffe
sponsored by Price Walgren: A Division of George Koch Sons
Mar. 25 and 26
"Mexico and the U.S.: The Economic Ties that Bind"
Carlos Capistran
Bank of America Merrill Lynch, New York City
sponsored by Bank of America Merrill Lynch
Image of Carol Schaeffer
Image of FBI Seal

Click on speakers' images or topic titles for more information on topic and speaker

Great Decisions is America's largest discussion program on world affairs, initiated by the Foreign Policy Association in New York City. 

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Series Sponsor:

Sponsor logo: Wolverin Worldwide

Livestream Sponsor:

Media Sponsors:

Topic Sponsors:

Host campuses:


Educational Partners:

Aquinas College      Calvin College     Davenport University     Ferris State University

Grand Rapids Community College     Grand Valley State University

Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University     Montcalm Community College Northern Michigan University      Rhein- Waal University, Germany

Western Michigan University

Community Partners:

Association for Public Justice     Bethany Global     

Calvin Academy for Lifelong Learning (CALL)     Consular Corps of Michigan     

Cultural Intelligence Center     Dominican Sisters of Grand Rapids     

Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation and Museum     Grand Rapids Public Library   

The Hauenstein Center for Presidential Studies at Grand Valley State University     

Kent District Library     Kent Intermediate School District     

Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at Aquinas     Refugee Education Center

Treetops Collective    U.S. Global Leadership Coalition   

West Michigan World Trade Association (WMWTA)

To change the world,

first know the world.

Sign up for advance notice of our events.

The World Affairs Council of Western Michigan empowers the people and organizations of West Michigan to engage thoughtfully with the world.

"To change the world, first know the world."

Credible. Objective. Relevant. Civil. Compelling.

1700 Fulton St. SE

Grand Rapids, MI 49506

(616) 776-1721

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