About the Great Decisions discussion program
Great Decisions is America's largest discussion program on world affairs. The program model involves reading the Great Decisions Briefing Book, watching the DVD 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 we tackle critical issues from U.N reform to climate change and the rise of ISIS.
The first "Great Decisions" group was launched in Portland, Oregon in 1954 by FPA's Vice President Roger Mastrude. Based on the so-called "Avon" model of face-to-face, active and informal conversation, participants would read a fact sheet on each of the eight topics before meetings, where they aired their respective views and opinions. FPA would tally up opinion ballots and report the results to the Department of State. The program gained media attention, was picked up by local schools, and soon gained national attention.
The grassroots, face-to-face model adopted by Great Decisions more than 50 years ago continues today, with tens of thousands of participants taking part in discussions nationwide annually.
Anyone can start or join a group and register it online with the Foreign Policy Association.