Our 2024 theme is

“Global Population Aging”

Global population aging, caused by people living longer and having fewer children, is one of the megatrends shaping our world and will impact people of all ages. Join us to learn what this means for economies, politics, and society and how the world is adapting to the opportunities and challenges of older populations.

Our 2024 theme is

“Global Population Aging”

Global population aging, caused by people living longer and having fewer children, is one of the megatrends shaping our world and will impact people of all ages. Join us to learn what this means for economies, politics, and society and how the world is adapting to the opportunities and challenges of older populations.

Our 2024 theme is

“Global Population Aging”

Global population aging, caused by people living longer and having fewer children, is one of the megatrends shaping our world and will impact people of all ages. Join us to learn what this means for economies, politics, and society and how the world is adapting to the opportunities and challenges of older populations.

Our 2024 theme is

“Global Population Aging”

Global population aging, caused by people living longer and having fewer children, is one of the megatrends shaping our world and will impact people of all ages. Join us to learn what this means for economies, politics, and society and how the world is adapting to the opportunities and challenges of older populations.

hoto Credits

Summer Vacation on Star Island

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. This year the IA Conference will begin on Sunday, July 21 and end on Sunday, July 28.

For some…

For some…

… 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…

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…

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…

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.

For children…

For children…

… 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…

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.

2024 IA Conference

“Global Population Aging”

Sunday, July 21-Sunday, July 28

Around the world, people are living longer than ever before and having fewer children than ever before.  This causes global population aging: populations with more older people and fewer younger people over time.  The United Nations has identified these changes as one of the megatrends that will shape our world in the coming decades.  Join us to learn about these patterns and what they mean for our economies, politics, and societies, and how countries are adapting to the opportunities and challenges of older populations.

Speakers

Jennifer D. Sciubba, Ph.D

Jennifer D. Sciubba, Ph.D., is one of the foremost experts in the field of political demography. Her work argues that a deeper understanding of fertility, mortality, and migration trends points us toward the investments we need to make today to shape the future we want tomorrow, the central theme of her latest book, 8 Billion and Counting: How Sex, Death, and Migration Shape Our World (W.W. Norton 2022). She works to educate the broader public about the importance of population trends by translating research for readers of The Atlantic, Harvard Business Review, The Washington Post, and on the TED stage, among other places, in addition to publishing policy-relevant research in numerous scholarly articles and edited books.

Dr. Sciubba is affiliated with the Wilson Center and the Hess Center for New Frontiers at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, both in Washington, DC. She is formerly a tenured professor at Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee, one of the nation’s leading liberal arts colleges. Dr. Sciubba has studied at the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research in Rostock, Germany, and served as a demographics consultant to the US Office of the Secretary of Defense (Policy). Dr. Sciubba is a member of Phi Beta Kappa and the Council on Foreign Relations and is Vice-Chair of the board of the Population Reference Bureau. She received her Ph.D. and M.A. from the University of Maryland and her B.A. from Agnes Scott College.You can find links to her research, publications, and talks at http://jennifersciubba.com.

Dr. Marlene Lee

Dr. Marlene Lee is an associate vice president in International Programs at the Population Reference Bureau (PRB). At PRB, her focus is on economic development, education, and women’s empowerment. She is currently technical director of PRB’s research translation collaboration with NORC for the USAID Research Technical Assistance Center (RTAC) and PRB’s collaboration with the University of California, Berkeley on Counting Women’s Work. She has worked with academics, policymakers, and members of civil society from every region of the world, including extensive experience in Africa, Latin America, and Asia.

Dr. Lee previously worked at the University of Wisconsin–Madison and at Louisiana State University, as well as for the United States Peace Corps and as an independent research consultant. She holds advanced degrees with specializations in public policy and administration, family demography, and community development.  She received her Ph.D. from Cornell University, her B.A. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and her B.A. from Yale University.

Dr. Julie Sweetland

Dr. Julie Sweetland is a sociolinguist and a senior advisor at the FrameWorks Institute, a nonprofit that equips change-makers to lead productive public conversations on scientific and social issues. FrameWorks’ unique approach to culture and communications research shapes public discourse across the nation and around the world. Their impact was recognized in 2015 with the MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions, otherwise known as the “organizational genius grant.”

Since joining FrameWorks in 2012, Dr. Sweetland has designed and led strategic reframing initiatives on issues like climate change, health equity, childhood adversity, and ageism. Her skill in translating framing research into communications strategy has helped advocates, policymakers, and scientists drive social change. Dr. Sweetland is a first-generation college student, a graduate of Georgetown University, and earned her MA and PhD in linguistics at Stanford University.

Minister of the Week

Rev. Shayna Appel

At the heart of Shayna’s ministry is a deep desire to equip, encourage, and empower folks to be spirited builders of the Beloved Community. In her preaching, she seeks to blend the pastoral with the prophetic, the work of the spirit with a healthy dose of the subversive, and no small amount of humor, which she believes is nourishment for the soul. Shayna lives in Milford, NH, with her canine companion Arlo.

Rev. Shayna Appel (she/them) is an old Shoaler and a fairly new retiree from 23 years of parish ministry in both the UUA and the UCC. She has co-led youth conferences on Star Island for Star Gathering I & II, LOAS, and IA and was honored as well to serve as Minister of the Week for Star Gathering I. Out of her love for Star Island and maybe a momentary lapse of sanity, she signed up last summer to be an End of Season Pelican and survived!

Youth Program

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 2023, there were six children’s groups, each with experienced staff:

The Barners

● Toddlers ~ ages 18mos – 3 years

● Barners ~ Pre K – rising 1st graders

● Brookies ~ rising 2nd – 4th graders

● Newtons ~ rising 5th – 6th graders

● Marshlandians ~ rising 7th – 9th graders

● Seniors ~ rising 10th – 12th graders

Find out more…

Register

Registration opens on Monday, January 15, 2024.  Register here.

Please contact registrar Kristin Laverty at kristin@laverty.org with any questions or concerns.

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