Great Decisions

Wednesdays from 3:30PM – 5:30PM | January 31- April 3, 2024

Eight members of Summit 50 Plus volunteer to take a topic and present the subject, show the DVD, and lead a question and answer session over a 2 hour period at the Community Center. The session can also be viewed via zoom. The format of the program is intended to promote thoughtful discourse and opinions, and learn from others. It is noteworthy that rarely, if ever, we hear disrespectful discourse at the Summit Great Decision meetings.

There is no cost to participate in Great Decisions, but you do need to be a member of Summit 50 Plus. So, if you’re no longer an active member, please sign up or renew your membership online using the preceding link. If you need help, call the Community Center front desk at 970-668-2940.

Learn About Great Decisions 2024

2024 Great Decisions

Former Yale University President Kingman Brewster Jr observed “A nation, like a person, needs to believe that it has a mission larger than itself.” FDR observed just before WWII “ This generation has a rendezvous with destiny.” Michel Mazant, political scientist at the Rand Corporation, writes “ In the struggle for advantage among world powers, it is not military or economic might that makes the critical differences, but the fundamental qualities of a society, the characteristics of a nation that generates economic productivity, technological innovation, social cohesion, and national will.” Mazant notes that most competitive societies “place strong social emphasis on learning and adaptation.”


The Summit Senior members that participate in Great Decisions place a high value on learning and constructive discourse. The Foreign Policy Association believes “America must address frontally the growing domestic polarization that undermines our democracy and contributes to a corrosive lack of mutual respect and discourse”.


If you would like more information on Great Decisions, please contact Harold Herring at

Learn About Buying the Great Decisions Book

For close to 20 years, the Summit Senior Center has hosted the Great Decisions program.  The non-political Foreign Policy Association choses EIGHT (8) topics that are important to the US foreign policy and publishes a book available at the Great Decisions bookstore for $35.  Click here to see an image of the front cover of the latest Great Decisions Book.  Great Decisions also produces a professionally made DVD. These materials help participants reach informed opinions on the issues. 


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View the Great Decisions 2024 Weekly Topics

The session topics are as follows:

  1. Mideast Realignment – Carlton Thornbury 1/31/24
    By Marc Lynch

    The United States and Middle East are at a crossroads. In spite of a reduced presence in the Middle East, the U.S. still has significant national interests there and the area is a key arena for global power politics. Can the U.S. continue to defend its interests in the Middle East and globally with a lower level of military and political involvement, or should it recommit to a leading
    role in the region?

  2. Climate technology and competition – Herb Sutherland 2/07/24
    By Bud Ward

    Will the United States and China, with other powerful countries following suit, approach current and future climate initiatives with an increased commitment to
    trade protectionism and nationalism, by various measures including trade restrictions? Or could a growing spirit of international accord develop to confront the “common enemy” of climate change?

  3. Science across borders – Harold and Lee 2/14/24
    By Mila Rosenthal

    Scientific advances benefit from collaboration between researchers, but what happens when material, such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) is controversial and important to a nation’s national security? Is there a middle ground between sharing information and denying access? How can we regulate cooperation?

  4. US-China trade rivalry – Bob Cardwell 2/21/24
    By Jonathan Chanis

    China’s economic rise and its current policies of increasing the role of the state in the economy have led some U.S. policymakers to seek to deny China access
    to U.S. technology and investment. This is seen as a necessary corrective to decades of predatory Chinese economic policies. Is this a wise strategy, and how
    effective can it be?

  5. NATO’s future – Brian Hanly – 2/28/24
    By Sarwar Kashmeri

    Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) has come under increased scrutiny, not because NATO troops are involved in the conflict, but because of its role in relations between Russia and its neighbors. Will expanding membership in NATO protect countries, or will it further provoke Russia?

  6. Understanding Indonesia – 3/13/24
    By Charles Sullivan

    Despite its large size, Indonesia remains virtually invisible to most Americans. But as one of the world’s largest democracies, the world’s largest Muslim-majority
    nation, and as an economic driver of ASEAN, why does it fly below the radar? What are current issues in U.S.-Indonesian relations, and what role can the country play in Asia?

  7. High Seas Treaty – Ty Drake – 3/20/24
    By FPA editors

    Areas of the seas beyond national jurisdiction comprise the high seas, which are facing a degradation of ecosystems due to climate change and the increase in human activities, such as shipping, overfishing, pollution, and deep-sea mining. The recently negotiated High Seas Treaty, also known as the Biodiversity Beyond National Jurisdiction Treaty, will attempt to address these issues. How difficult will it be to convince nations to participate?

  8. Pandemic preparedness – Lynda Birkelback 4/3/24
    By Carolyn Reynolds

    Looking back at the COVID-19 pandemic, there are many lessons to take away in terms of domestic and international policies. Although this pandemic seems to have waned, how can we apply these lessons to future pandemics? Will countries cooperate, and will a consensus emerge on how to manage global health challenges?