"Great Decisions" Returns...

New Sessions

January 25 - March 22

Due to popular demand, the 2022 Great Decisions Courses – nine sessions prepared by the Foreign Policy Association (FPA) – return to Nassau County Council on Aging’s (NCCOA’s) Janice Ancrum Senior Life Center, 1901 Island Walk Way, Fernandina Beach, on Tuesdays from January 25 to March 22 from 3 pm to 4:30 pm.


Facilitated by experienced NCCOA volunteers, courses include a wide array of topics (listed below). You may read briefings prior to each session through these resources:

  • 2022 FPA Briefing Book - cost
  • Electronic version available from Amazon (Kindle) and Barnes and Noble (Nook) - cost
  • Hard copy available from the receptionist at NCCOA's Fernandina Beach Life Center for on-site review

Please see membership and registration information

after the course listing below.

2022 Great Decisions Courses

1.     Changing Demographics – January 25, Facilitator Robert Weintraub

The world experienced remarkable demographic changes in the 20th century that continue today and have resulted in far-reaching social, economic, political and environmental consequences all over the globe. Included is fertility, mortality, migration, aging, urbanization, changes in the distribution of populations around the world and the role of women in society. These consequences are creating mounting challenges to developmental efforts, security, climate and the environment, as well as the sustainability of human populations.


2.     Outer Space – February 1, Facilitator Richard Scribner

The launch of Sputnik I in October 1957 marked the beginning of the space era and the space race between the United States and Soviet Union. In the 21st century, there are many more participants in space, including countries such as India and China, and commercial companies such as SpaceX. How will the U.S. fare in a crowded outer space?


3.     Climate Change – February 8, Facilitator Richard Scribner

The ideological divide in the United States on the subject of climate change has impeded progress in curbing greenhouse emissions. But extreme weather events at both ends of the thermometer have focused attention on the consequences of inaction. What role will the U.S. play in future negotiations on climate?


4.     Russia – February 15, Facilitator Stephen Gessner

Russia and the United States have many areas of conflict and some possible areas of mutual interest. Arms control, Russian interference in U.S. elections and support of cyberattacks, the status of Ukraine and the fate of opposition politicians in Russia all continue to be concerning. How will the current administration in Washington approach these issues?


5.     Myanmar and ASEAN – February 22, Facilitator Robert Weintraub

The situation in Myanmar, including the coup by the military in February 2021 and the ongoing human rights crises, coupled with civil resistance by those opposed to the regime, has led to chaos in the Southeast Asian country. ASEAN, in April, met with Myanmar junta leader to work out a five-point consensus to address the situation. However, the absence of an implementation plan and a continuation of the regime’s violence against its people and the displacement of thousands of people in the border states raises questions of what, if anything, can be done.


6.     The Quad Alliance – March 1, Facilitator Stephen Gessner

As part of the U.S. pivot to Asia, the United States has been in dialogue with Japan, Australia and India in an effort to contain China. Recently, the Quad countries held joint naval exercises in the South Pacific. How effective will the actions of this alliance be?


7.     Industrial Policy – March 8, Facilitator Jeffrey Stonecash

The current discussion of industrial policy in the United States is not simply about whether or not to support specific companies or industries, but about trust or mistrust of the government and its ability to manage the economy and deal with a rising China. The upheaval in supply chains during the pandemic exposed weaknesses in the international economy. What policies can the U.S. implement to deal with trade and the economy?


8.     Drug Policy in Latin America – March 15, Facilitator Robert Weintraub

The issue of migration to the United States from Latin America has overshadowed the war on drugs, which has been underway for decades with little signs of progress. What are the roots and the bureaucratic logic behind today´s dominant drug policies in Latin America? Is it time to reconsider punitive drug control policies that disrupt supply chains and punish drug possession?


9.     Biden’s Agenda – March 22, Co-Facilitators Richard Scribner and Jeffrey Stonecash

The current administration in Washington promised to reverse many of the policies of the past administration, especially in foreign policy. How will issues such as climate, the pandemic and alliances be treated under the Biden administration?


Participants may attend as a Life Center member or nonmember:

  • Member - Individual, $125 per year (unlimited Life Center classes; Couple (2 people per household), $195 per year (unlimited classes)
Renew or Join
  • Nonmember - $5 per class (paid at the time of registration)


  • Classes may be booked 7 days before the start date, starting at 8:00 am online through My Active Center.
  • You may also book and cancel classes with My Active Center if you are currently in our class database.
  • Once enrolled, enter your phone number (no hyphens) when asked for your MySeniorCenter Key Tag number. If you do not have an issued key tag, use your phone number with no hyphens. Note: There is a list of your booked activities in the top right corner under Hi [your name]. If your plans change, please cancel the class with the red X. For a series of classes, you will automatically be booked for all classes in that series.
  • All offerings listed are subject to availability, so register early.
  • Scholarships may be available if needed. 

For more information on NCCOA classes, programs and services, contact us at 904.261.0701 or visit www.nassaucountycoa.org.

Thank you for your interest!