Our 52nd Year

Global Issues
Sarasota Wednesday Series

The Case for Following Rules
Barbara Stephenson

Do rules matter? Amb. Barbara Stephenson will take us through real life examples of how America benefits from leading in international rule setting and committing to comply with those rules. Taking case of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Stephenson will explain the pros and cons of American participation in the International Criminal Court.


How Will the Russian Invasion of Ukraine Affect Global Peace and Stability?
Stephen Biegun

Stephen Biegun will address the implications of the Russian incursion into Ukraine. NATO has been strengthened. Military spending has increased in Germany and other European countries. Russia has been weakened and forced to seek new markets and allies. What will these changes bring for global security in the coming decades?


Decentralized Finance as a Gateway to the Metaverse
Lee Schneider

Both decentralized finance (“DeFi”) and the metaverse are much in the news. Lee Schneider will describe what each means and how they fit into the larger digital world encompassing work-life, investing, recreation and downtime. Mr. Schneider will explore questions of how the traditional world and coming digital world intersect, coexist and lock horns.


Advancing Clean Energy to Slow Climate Change
Susan Glickman

Susan Glickman notes that energy prices are skyrocketing, the cost of solar is down, and the imperative to move to clean energy is clear. How do we all transition rapidly to avoid the worst implications? The Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) gets us only part of the way there. What solutions will?


The Refugees in SW Florida - The Human Story
Yasmin Sayed

Yasmin Sayed will present the broad overview of refugee resettlement at Lutheran Services Florida and its efforts in SW Florida. Of particular interest are the human stories of the challenges and successes for families from over 10 countries. One of their refugees may accompany her to the lecture to share the story of their journey to the U.S.


Lessons Learned from Fighting AIDS and Ebola in Africa. Did We Apply Them to Covid? Are We Ready for the Next Pandemic?
Jimmy Kolker

A 20-year effort, led by the U.S., brought AIDS under control in Africa. Ending the Ebola outbreak required an intense emergency response in three countries. But the response to Covid 19 was slow and poorly focused. Amb. Jimmy Kolker will explain what we have learned is that health security is national security for the United States.


Can Dementia be Prevented? The Role of Diet and Lifestyle
Aron Troen

If we can’t yet cure dementia, can we at least prevent it? Public health guidelines advise diet and life-style approaches to lower one’s risk of developing dementia. Dr. Aron Troen will explain how the evidence for potential “risk reduction” is obtained and evaluated and what the current evidence says.


U.S.-China Relations: Where Are they Headed Now?
David Lampton

Richard Nixon went to China fifty years ago with the belief that joining with China would help contain the Soviet Union. Future Presidents enlarged his policies, until relations with Beijing became Washington's most important single bilateral relationship. Was "Engagement" a big mistake? Dr. David Lampton will discuss: Where are US-China relations headed now?


Training to Fight in the Light: Preparing to Prevail in a World Without Secrets
Suzanne Spaulding

According to Suzanne Spaulding, whoever reduces their dependency on secrets will have an advantage in this increasingly transparent world. America needs to fight in the light to sustain our advantage as a democracy over our totalitarian adversaries who need dark corners in which to hide secrets from their own people.


Cuba and Venezuela: Holding On Against All Odds
Charles Shapiro

With economies in free fall and their citizens fleeing, the Cuban and Venezuelan regimes have held on despite U.S. political opposition and economic sanctions. They assist each other -- Cubans helping the Maduro regime with trained personnel and Venezuela sending oil to Cuba. Amb. Charles Shapiro will unpack developments and suggest a way forward in Cuba.


European Security After Ukraine
Kori Schake

Dr. Kori Schake will address the implications of The 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine. The NATO Alliance has been rejuvenated and the international community has been nearly unanimous in its condemnation of Russia. How should Europe respond in the next crisis? What lessons can the Administration draw from the crisis?


Ukraine-Russia Conflict: an American's Eyewitness Account
Nolan Peterson

From the day Putin’s missiles rained down on Ukraine, Peterson interviewed soldiers at the front, people in the shelters, survivors in the war’s wreckage, and experienced his own family’s daily struggles. This is a rare opportunity to feel, see, and understand this battle for freedom.