Star Island and the International Affairs (IA) conference has 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.
2018 IA Conference
America’s Place in the World: Power, Influence, and World Order
July 21 – 28, 2018
What are America’s biggest challenges on the international stage? Since the end of the Second World War, the US has dominated the world politically, economically, and militarily. But America’s place in the world is constantly changing and evolving.
During the morning theme talks, we will look at different perspectives on the question of how the US formulates a new global strategy and how to implement it, including, what are the new challenges and opportunities for American leadership? What role does the US have in the global economy? On energy and climate change? As a model for democracy and human rights? And what about our relations with rising powers, especially the BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China)?
In addition to the morning theme talks, we offer a variety of daily workshops including writing, chorus, yoga, and art. Afternoon activities include swimming, softball, visits to the Marine Lab, rowboat and kayak trips in the harbor or to neighboring islands, low tide walks and history tours. There is also time for reading a book in a rocking chair on the front porch or taking a walk to the back of the island. Evening activities include a bonfire, an intergenerational dance, a conference talent show and a staff talent show, lay-led chapel services, and more.
Barry Posen is Ford International Professor of Political Science at MIT and the director of MIT’s Security Studies Program. His most recent book is Restraint: A New Foundation for U.S. Grand Strategy published in 2014.
Charles Maynes is an independent radio producer based in Moscow. A frequent contributor to PRI/BBC’s The World, his work has also been featured on This American Life, 99% Invisible, Radiolab, BBC Radio 4, and America Abroad among other programs and podcasts. He has been the recipient of a Third Coast International Audio Award (Three Records from Sundown, 2011) and the Prix Marulic gold prize for documentary (Looping Swans, 2017). He is originally from the Washington DC area. A list of links to his recent reporting can be found here.
Patrick Lawrence is a longtime columnist, essayist, critic, and lecturer. He was a correspondent abroad (writing as Patrick L. Smith) for many years, chiefly for the Far Eastern Economic Review, the International Herald Tribune, and The New Yorker. He has written several books and currently is a contributor to The Nation.
Jendayi E. Frazer is a visiting professor at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs, a former US Ambassador to South Africa, and the Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs from 2005-09.
Syaru Shirley Lin teaches political economy at the University of Virginia and the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Her book on the impact of the evolution of Taiwanese national identity on cross-Strait economic policy was published by Stanford University Press in 2016. She is currently working on the high income trap in East Asia. Her commentary frequently appears in English and Chinese media.
Rev. Darrick Jackson is Minister of the Week. He is the interim associate executive director of the UU Ministers Association and a member of the affiliated faculty of the Meadville Lombard Theological School.
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.
The youth are divided into six groups:
- Toddlers: 18 mos–3 years
- Barners: 4–6 years
- Larries: grades 2–3
- Brookies: grades 4–5
- Marshlandians: grades 6–8
- Seniors: grades 9–12
The 2018 IA Conference has reached capacity. Registrations are being taken and placed on a waiting list. For questions please contact Conference Registrar Kristin Laverty by email at email@example.com. Thank You!