Programs on World Affairs
Council public programs keep Oregonians connected to the people, ideas, and issues that are shaping our global future. Regular monthly events range from addresses by international leaders and lectures, author readings and rapid-response discussions of hot-button global issues, to luncheons, community receptions, networking, book groups, life-long learning, trivia nights and cultural outings. For more than 60 years, The World Affairs Council has been a rich source for education and programs on global citizenship and international affairs.
Headline and Cultural Forums annually presents over 60 public programs exploring everything from hard-hitting global perspectives with policy insiders, experts and world leaders to explorations into international food and drink, world film and international performing arts.
The International Speaker Series, now in its fifteenth season, is the largest and most prestigious international affairs forum of its type in the country. The series puts you in the room with the global leaders, visionaries, and inspiring voices that are changing our world— from His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Bill Clinton, Mikhail Gorbachev, Madeleine Albright, Vicente Fox, Ehud Barak, Pervez Musharraf, Condoleezza Rice, Bono, Thomas Friedman, Jane Goodall, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Wangari Mathai, Queen Noor, to Fareed Zakaria, and many more.
The Great Decisions Discussion Program brings citizens together in community centers, libraries, classrooms and workplaces across the region to discuss and share ideas and opinions on the issues affecting our global future. Great Decisions (which originated in Portland in 1954 and is now sponsored nationally by the Foreign Policy Association) is the longest-running, largest grassroots world affairs educational program of its kind.
Through a reciprocal relationship with the World Affairs Council of Philadelphia, members are offered selected trips that combine exciting destinations with expert guides for a unique travel experience focused on foreign policy and international affairs. Recent destinations have included China, Iran, Morrocco and South Africa among many others.