This year's theme: How to promote freedom and democracy effectively
The annual Sedona Forum is the McCain Institute’s signature, high-level gathering of national and international leaders held each Spring in the red-rock country of Sedona, Arizona. The Forum convenes thought-leaders, decision-makers, activists, and experts from various walks of life to discuss approaches and solutions to real-world problems – all from the starting assumption of character-driven leadership and core democratic values. Consistent with its commitment to recommendations for practical action and decisions, the McCain Institute publishes an “Agenda for Action” reflecting the ideas and input discussed and developed during the Forum itself.
The 2013 Sedona Forum focused on “How to Promote Freedom and Democracy Effectively.” Vice President Joe Biden headlined the event, taking part in an extraordinary conversation with Senator John McCain that touched on a wide range of national and international issues, from gun control to immigration to the global economy. Subsequent panels examined various aspects of the effort to strengthen freedom and democracy globally: U.S. Senators Graham, Ayotte, Whitehouse, and former Senator Kyl discussed the role of the United States’ leadership in the world, moderated by former World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz.
Other panels focused on the current challenges to democracy, and featured speakers such as Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili, former Libyan Prime Minister Mahmoud Gebril, former Russian
Prime Minister (and now opposition figure) Mikhail Kasyanov, former Belarusian Presidential candidate and political prisoner Andrei Sannikov, and retired NBA star and humanitarian leader Dikembe Mutombo. Discussing the role of the economy and the private sector, GE CEO Jeff Immelt and Walmart-USA CEO Bill Simon offered extraordinary insight into China and trends in the global economy. Speakers at Sedona in 2012 included then-CIA Director David Petraeus, General (ret.) Jack Keane, actor, director, and humanitarian Ben Affleck, and Mrs. Cindy McCain, among many others.
Future gatherings of the Sedona Forum will continue to address critical themes, such as the future of the global economy, the effectiveness of humanitarian assistance, US leadership in the world, and the protection of human rights. Each theme is intended to be broad enough to incorporate a variety of views, and should produce a series of practical recommendations. We will continue to recruit first-class speakers from government, business, civil society, humanitarian activism, and the media.
By bringing senior national and international leaders to Sedona, the Forum also serves as a vehicle to draw high-level, widespread attention to Arizona – showcasing not only its natural beauty, but also the spirit of diversity, entrepreneurship, and innovation that characterizes the great American West.
The 2014 Sedona Forum will take place April 25-27 at the Enchantment Resort in Sedona, Arizona (www.enchantmentresort.com). Contact the McCain Institute for further details.