About the Program

Great Decisions is America's largest discussion program on world affairs. The program model involves reading the Great Decisions Briefing Book, watching the video and meeting in a Discussion Group to discuss the most critical global issues facing America today. Each year, eight topics are chosen by a panel of experts. This year the Program tackles critical issues from nuclear security to trade to the future of Europe. PCFR is offering this program to its members as an additional virtual program of value throughout the summer. Some of the topics will be explored through moderated discussions, and others will be “on your own.” The only cost to you is to purchase the Briefing Book before you begin the program. We hope that you will take advantage of this unique opportunity and register today.

Each session is limited to 20 participants.

Learn more about the history of the Great Decisions program here

How to Participate

1. Register to attend virtually

2. Purchase the Briefing Book

3. Watch the associated topic video

4. Join us for the Virtual Discussion

Purchasing the Briefing Book

Participants in the Great Decisions Virtual Discussion Series will need to order the Briefing Book that covers all 8 topics. Order the book as soon as possible as it could take up to a week to receive it after purchase. The cost is $32 for the entire Briefing Book.  


Upcoming Events

  • Events posted soon

The 2020 Topics for Discussion

India and Pakistan

Moderated by Ambassador (ret) Douglas A. Hartwick

June 16, 2020, 12:00 pm - 1:15 pm

India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi rode a wave of Hindu nationalism to a historic reelection in 2019. His first order of business was to revoke the special status granted to the Kashmir region, inflaming the rivalry between India and Pakistan. How will the Kashmir situation affect the region, both economically and politically? Learn more about the topic by watching this video.

Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking

Moderated by Claire Sechler Merkel

June 30, 2020, 12:00 pm - 1:15 pm

Almost every nation has enacted laws criminalizing human trafficking, and international organizations, governments, and NGOs sponsor a large variety of projects to curb trafficking and slavery. Billions of dollars have been allocated to these efforts. What is the international community doing to combat slavery and trafficking? What are the experiences like for those being trafficked? Learn more about the topic by watching this video.

China's Road Into Latin America

Moderated by Charles Blum
July 29, 2020, 12:00 pm - 1:15 pm

As the Trump administration continues to withdraw from the world stage, China is looking to fill the void. How does Latin America fit into China’s “One Belt, One Road” plan? How will the relationship with China affect the region? Should the U.S. be concerned about China’s growing “sphere of influence”? Learn more about the topic by watching this video.

The Philippines and the U.S.

Moderated by Ambassador (ret) Douglas A. Hartwick

September 29, 2020, 12:00 pm - 1:15 pm

The Philippines has had a special relationship with the United States since the islands were ceded by Spain to the United States after the Spanish-American War at the end of the 19th century. However, since the election of Rodrigo Duterte, the country has pivoted more toward China, and away from the U.S. Duterte has also launched a largescale war on drugs that many criticize for its brutality. What does the future hold for U.S, relations with the Philippines? Learn more about the topic by watching this video.

Artificial Intelligence and Data

Moderated by Nicole Magney

October 28, 2020, 12:00 pm - 1:15 pm

Policymakers in many countries are developing plans and funding research in artificial intelligence (AI). Global growth is slowing, and not surprisingly, many policymakers hope that AI will provide a magic solution. The EU, Brazil, and other Western countries have adopted regulations that grant users greater control over their data and require that firms using AI be transparent about how they use it. Will the U.S. follow suit? Learn more about the topic by watching this video.


U.S. Relations with the Northern Triangle

Moderated by Michael Patterson

November 17, 2020, 12:00 pm - 1:15 pm

Combatting illegal immigration has become a priority of the Trump administration. The Northern Triangle of Central America, made up of Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala, is a special target of the administration, which hold the nations responsible for the large flow of migrants from Latin America to the U.S. With funds from the U.S. cut, how can the Northern Triangle countries curtail migration? Learn more about the topic by watching this video.


Red Sea Security

Moderated by Charles Blum

December 15, 2020, 12:00 pm - 1:15 pm

The Red Sea has remained vital for global trade since the time of ancient Egypt. Once home to the spice trade, the Red Sea now sees millions of barrels of oil a day transported across its waters. With major nations like China, France, Italy, and the U.S. building large ports and bases in the region, what does the future of the region look like? How important is Red Sea security for global security? Can the region be a place of global cooperation? Learn more about the topic by watching this video.


Climate Change and the Global Order

NOTE: We will not be hosting a virtual session on this topic.

Climate change has become one of the defining issues of our time. As much of the world bands together to come up with a plan, the U.S. remains the notable holdout. What is the rest of the world doing to combat climate change? What impact will the effects of climate change have on global geopolitics? Learn more about the topic by watching this video.


Exploring Leading Foreign Policy Issues


PCFR is dedicated to growing Arizona’s global prominence by providing forums that explore critical foreign policy issues and build enduring international connections.


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