Great Decisions


Join a Great Decisions Group

Across Kansas and Missouri, people gather in homes, libraries, and community centers to discuss some of the most pressing issues facing our world!

Great Decisions briefing books are well-researched, written materials that help guide discussion throughout the year. These discussions strengthen people's understanding of global issues and build connections in our community.


Frequently Asked Questions 

How do the meetings work?

The program model is based on participants developing an informed opinion by reading the text in the briefing book prior to the meeting and sharing those opinions in a discussion group forum. Each discussion is lead by a Discussion Group Leader. However, participants play the most important role, and their interest, enthusiasm and commitment ultimately determine the success of the group. Participants should consider this discussion group as a "safe" environment because it provides everyone with the opportunity to speak. Each participant's point of view carries equal weight and everyone is encouraged to share opinions and ideas.

How do I start a Great Decisions group, and how do I run it once it is set up?

IRC encourages individuals, businesses, schools and community groups to start their own Great Decisions group. To get started, download the Great Decisions Program Guide (PDF) » or contact the International Relations Council at 816-221-4204 or

Where do groups meet?

For a listing of current Great Decisions groups, please click here ».

Meetings take place at homes, schools, community centers, churches and libraries. Any individual with an interest in expanding his/her knowledge of international relations is welcome to join. IRC facilitates several groups throughout the Kansas City area. Most groups will begin meeting for the 2017 session in February.

How do I purchase a book?

IRC offers Great Decisions books for sale through our online store ».

Where can I find supplemental materials for my group discussions?

The Foreign Policy Association, in collaboration with PBS, creates a video series each year that is available for purchase on DVD. The FPA also offers links to useful websites and articles on the eight topics throughout the year. The IRC also typically hosts at least one local lecture each year on one of the eight topics.

What are the 2017 Great Decisions topics?

Topics for 2017 include the Future of Europe, Trade and Politics, Conflict in the South China Sea, Saudi Arabia in Transition, U.S. Foreign Policy and Petroleum, Latin America’s Political Pendulum, Prospects for Afghanistan and Pakistan, and Nuclear Security.

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