If you subscribe to the IRC’s newsletter, follow the organization on social media, or attend IRC events, you may have heard a lot of buzz the past couple of months on Great Decisions, “America’s largest discussion program on foreign affairs.”

You may have read about it in passing, thought to yourself “Hmm!,” and then moved on with your day. Perhaps you thought you are busy enough, so how could you engage in one more program? Or maybe you thought that joining or starting a group would be too difficult.

To help you learn more about Great Decisions and take the plunge to get involved, we hereby present to you, “Top Five Reasons Great Decisions Really Is Great.”

Reason Number 1: Meet Like-Minded People
One joy of Great Decisions is its ability to bring together people who share an interest in the broader global milieu. If you’ve been struggling to get your friends to share your interest in foreign policy and global affairs, joining Great Decisions is just what you need to broaden your social horizons and find a welcoming platform to discuss all your thoughts on what’s going on in the world today.

Reason Number 2: Meet Not-Like-Minded People
Though all Great Decisions participants share an interest in foreign affairs, the groups are non-partisan and are welcoming of people of diverse backgrounds and beliefs. That said, you are sure to find people with varying beliefs, which will give you the opportunity to hear directly from people with whom you may not have otherwise had an opportunity to converse in a civil and respectful atmosphere.

Reason Number 3: Engage Critically in What Is Going on Around the World
Sometimes it’s easy to get centered on what is going on nationally or locally, and we forget to keep up to date with what’s going on in the broader world. By joining a Great Decisions group, you are sure to stay informed and meaningfully connected to the world around you.

Reason Number 4: Low Time Commitment
Great Decisions requires significantly less prep time than most reading and discussion-based groups. The briefing books prepared by the Foreign Policy Association provide a concise overview of each topic, generally only 10-15 pages in length. Additionally, if you can’t find time to read the section for the month, many groups will show a brief DVD clip that summarizes the main information, allowing people to participate regardless of their level of preparation.

Reason Number 5: Flexible Meeting Times and Locations
With groups throughout the metro, there are several locations and times to choose from. And if you still can’t find a group that works with your schedule, it’s super easy to start your own group. Just gather a group of friends, order books, and check in with the IRC for guidance on recruitment, advertising, and troubleshooting!

As you can see, there are many reasons to love Great Decisions! With the start of the new year, why not resolve to be more engaged in our global community by joining a group? For more information, see the Great Decisions page of the IRC website, or email IRC’s program coordinator, April Diaz, at adiaz@irckc.org.