This is a brand new group, already with half a dozen "founder members, which held its first meeting in May 2023. We have agreed to meet in members' homes from 2-4pm on the first Thursday of each month.
We aim to learn, and teach each other to weave geography, economics, politics, history, sociology (and more) into a web that gives us greater understanding of our world. We anticipate lively involvement, discussion, debate, sharing of research, ideas, facts and “unknowns” about the global issues of today, the past and the future.
Book Recommendation: Tim Marshall, who seems to “get” Geopolitics, visited Nottingham in June 23 to launch his latest book on Geopolitics, which also launches Geopolitics quite literally into Space. Several of us have read at least one of his earlier books, and found them interesting, factual, stimulating and a good source for future discussion.
What have we discussed so far?
By phone and at our first meeting we have drafted out some ideas of how we may operate as a group:
For now, Rik will coordinate/lead/chair our discussions: He is happy to have this reviewed every few months, should one or more other members wish to take on any "leader" roles.
We agree that none of us are "experts", and we can all learn from each other. Each of us can find out things that the rest of us may be interested to learn about.
Several of us are happy to host meetings at our homes in rotation. This a) is nicer for a group of under a dozen, b) saves expense and therefore the need for one of us to be a "treasurer" c) probably helps us to get to know each other faster/better.
Looking at the schedules of our "founder members", the second Thursday afternoon of each month is the best time for us to meet, with least conflicting arrangements.
We agree that we must guard against "confirmation bias", i.e. accepting only what we already believe: Hearing opposing views, considering, fact-finding, thinking and debating, but critically not just tolerating "opposing" or challenging views but actively encouraging such must be part of our ethos, along with supporting each other as we feel challenged.
We have made a start at agreeing what we each think Geopolitics is about. Plenty of views, but we now have a working summary to share with our group members: Click here to view (opens in a new window as a .PDF)
Meeting plan: We will start by seeing if this overall shape works for us:
5 mins: Welcome/update
5 mins max: Outline of first topic (usually will be on this page in advance)
40 mins: Each of us can say what we think for UP TO five minutes, then take questions. Time left at the end is for open discussion
5 mins max: Agreement of main points raised/made/summary. Decision whether to continue this topic the following month after we have each has time to reflect and researchat a later session, or summarise and close the topic.
10 mins: Refreshment break: Social conversation recommended, rather than a continuation of the first topic
50 mins: As above for the second topic
10 mins: Wrap-up, look forward to next session perhaps including a short explanation of the planned topics.
Topic plan: We will see if this overall shape works for us:
Rik will circulate a list of possible topics to members, to be returned with any further suggestions before the July meeting.
At the July meeting we will look at the expanded/revised list and suggest any revisions
Over the following 2 weeks we each "score" each topic by preference and return the scores to Rik
These will be combined to give us the preferred topics for August to November
If we feel this works, we will repeat the exercise in November (by which time we may have other newer members and many further ideas)
PREPARATION FOR JUNE MEETING 8th June
Please review our "What is Geopolitics" draft and the discussion (as summarised above) so far. These will form the first part of our meeting.
Think you might be interested in joining this group?
If interested, click on Contact Us: The email will go direct to the Webmaster. That’s me, Rik, the Webmaster. I'm happy to be the leader / co-leader, or in time give way to any other member who would like to lead.