As we approach the holidays and the end of the year, we can look back on an exciting series of programs at the Los Angeles World Affairs Council in recent months – and look forward to a new roster of interesting events for 2015.
The highlight of our fall season was the lunch with President Bill Clinton, who drew a sell-out crowd of 1,242 people to a lunch where he outlined why he was optimistic about the US over the next 20 years. We also had Prince Turki bin Faisal al Saud, son of the former King of Saudi Arabia, talking about the Middle East, China’s Culture Minister Cai Wu, US Congressman Ed Royce talking about ISIS, and programs on Afghanistan, Nigeria and Japan. Not to mention CBS head Les Moonves talking about the business of television and why I Love Lucy still makes CBS $15m a year despite ending filming in 1957.
Early next year we will have a program with JPL on the Voyager space probes that after 37 years are – incredibly - leaving our solar system while still sending back data. We will have the nation’s top independent expert on the NSA talking about that super-secret agency and how it has reacted to the Edward Snowden leaks about its operations around the world, and we will have programs on Russia, on Mexico and on how the X Prize Foundation is organizing a technology contest for a global literacy program for underdeveloped countries.
Our popular film screening series will continue showing international films free of charge to members, including the beautiful new film Timbuktu, Mauritania's first ever submission to the Acadmeny Awards. And we have more “Global Café” breakfast programs planned to give you insights into topical international stories on your way to work or to start your day. We have expanded our high school program to bring more public school students to our events – there were 24 different schools represented at the Bill Clinton lunch – all made possible by generous donations from our members.
All the staff at the Los Angeles World Affairs Council are very proud of the impact we make, helping our members, guests and students get a better understanding of what is going on in the world. This is our core mission, and we think it is increasingly important as the world becomes more interdependent in business, trade, security, travel, health and culture. We are very grateful for all the support and financial contributions of our members in the past year, and hope you can continue to help us so that next year will be even more successful.
We wish you all a happy Thanksgiving!
Terry, Alexander, Susan, Jessica & Mariko