Star Island and the International Affairs (IA) conference have often been described as a perfect summer vacation and one that keeps people coming back year after year, generation after generation. Please join us and make IA part of your summer tradition. Click through the images below for a short description of what you might expect.
A Perfect Summer Vacation
… it is the opportunity to interact and share a diversity of ideas and experiences with a group of friendly, open-minded, and inquiring people. For others, it is the chance to be removed from the world, retiring for a week from daily routines to a small beautiful island to reconnect with family and friends, relax on the porch with a good book, and watch the sunrise or sunset.
Start your day…
… with a polar bear dip in the chilly Atlantic Ocean to get the blood flowing, join the morning stretch session on the Front Porch, or grab a cup of coffee or tea and settle into a porch rocker to watch the day begin to emerge. Later in the morning, make your way up the hill to the stone chapel for a thoughtful morning sermon delivered by our minister of the week.
Stimulating theme talks…
… with follow up discussions take place late morning. These are led by recognized experts and provoke conversations among conferees which spill over to the front porch, Happy Hour and the dinner table.
In the afternoon…
… there are several workshops from which to choose, such as chorus, yoga, art, and writing. Other afternoon activities include softball games, swimming, visits to the Marine Lab, kite-flying, rowboating the harbor, trips to the snack bar, and more relaxed time spent rocking in chairs on the porch. Evening activities include a bonfire, intergenerational dance, Island staff talent show, lay-led chapel services, and more.
… the Youth Program is a time to experience the freedom of island life and to gain a deep appreciation of the natural environment in the midst of caring, attentive adults. Activities related to the conference theme together with community building activities, games, crafts, and time to explore the island round out the week. The program offers children the experience of wonder and friendships of long duration, the kind that cause them to start counting down the days until the next year’s IA conference even as they depart on the boat at the end of the week.
The natural beauty…
… and spirit of the island, together with the intellectually stimulating theme talks, the spiritually uplifting sermons, the myriad of daily activities, the strong sense of community among the conferees, and the vibrant Youth Program make the International Affairs conference a truly unique and memorable vacation.
2020 IA Conference
For 2020, IA WILL OFFER A LIMITED NUMBER OF VIRTUAL ACTIVITIES DURING THE WEEK OF JULY 25-AUGUST 1. DETAILS TO BE ANNOUNCED.
“Women in Leadership: Why it Matters” will be the conference theme in 2021, although speakers and other details may change.
The following describes the conference originally planned for 2020.
Women in Leadership: Why it Matters
Having women in leadership is a relatively new and increasing global phenomenon. History records powerful queens and notable female warriors, but the entrance of women in large numbers into leadership began in the 20th century.
Having leadership more closely reflect the populations governed is a worthwhile endeavor on its own, but how is this change impacting governance around the world? Theoretically, diversity in various forms in leadership improves deliberations and outcomes. Bringing women into leadership brings different views and life experiences into public debate and may improve overall policy and governance.
At the 2020 International Affairs Conference, we will hear researchers discuss the evidence on what is different about women’s leadership and whether gender diversity in leaders yields better outcomes for governments and people. We will also learn from the experience of practitioners in promoting women’s leadership and how their fight for women’s full parity in leadership can improve societies and our world.
Jeanne Dietsch is a member of the New Hampshire Senate, representing the 9th District since 2018. Prior to joining the legislature, Jeanne Dietsch was a tech entrepreneur. She co-founded MobileRobots Inc/ActivMedia Robotics in 1995, and also served as its Chief Executive Officer until the company was sold in 2010 to Adept Technology in Silicon Valley. Under her leadership, MobileRobots’ Pioneer became the launch platform for Microsoft Robotics Developer Studio. The company is now owned by Omron Automation.
John McMahon is Assistant Professor of Political Science at SUNY Plattsburgh. His research interests include feminist political thought, black political thought, political theories of work and labor, and political phenomenology. He mainly teaches courses in political theory, but has also taught American politics and constitutional law courses. John is one of the co-hosts of the Always Already Podcast, a critical theory podcast collective. More information about John can be found at his website.
Tanya Henderson is the founder and Executive Director of Mina’s List, which provides tools and resources for female candidates in low income countries.
E. Scott Osborne is a gender equity advocate, lawyer, teacher, and international development professional. She speaks regularly on activism and the global gender gap. She has lived in seven countries on four continents, working with schools, international development agencies, and local non-profits. While living in India, Scott’s research on gender issues led her to the concept that would become SPOILED, a play about violence and masculinity. Scott serves on the national board of UN Women USA and is Chair of the Through Women’s Eyes International Film Festival. She is currently writing a book about the lives of women and girls in India. www.elizabethscottosborne.com
Liza Featherstone is Adjunct Professor of International and Public Affairs, Columbia School of International and Public Affairs and writes for the The Nation magazine.
Minister of the Week
Minister of the Week is Rali Weaver, Minister at First Church and Parish, Unitarian Universalist, Dedham, Massachusetts.
Children and teens at IA are enthusiastically welcomed into the Youth Program by friendly faces and engaging children’s staff that help to fill each day with fun and new experiences. The program is filled with cool, age-appropriate activities and interesting topics related to the conference theme.
In 2019 the youth were divided into seven groups:
- Toddlers: 18–36 mos
- Barners: PreK-K
- Larries: K, 1st & 2nd grades
- Brookies: 3rd, 4th & 5th grades
- Newtons: 6th & 7th grades
- Marshlandians: 7th – 9th grades
- Parkers/Seniors: 9th-12th grades
Registration is now open! For information on prices and how to register see Star Island’s registration page for IA, or go directly to online registration. The deadline to register for the conference is March 10, 2020. Please contact the IA registrar Kristin Laverty with any questions at firstname.lastname@example.org
Information on financial assistance can be found here.