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Our Heritage, Our Future
Editor's Note

In the previous edition of Courier, we noted a significant transition at the Stanley Foundation. On November 4, Brian Hanson became our board chair, only the third person to hold that title over our 61-year history. Outgoing Chair Richard H. Stanley (known by all as Dick) had served in that role for 33 years and was named chair emeritus.

Then, on November 17, Dick Stanley died following a brief illness. Our sadness was compounded on December 14 when his wife, Mary Jo Stanley, also passed away. Mary Jo served the foundation for decades as a board member and volunteer. On December 20, Dick and Mary Jo would have celebrated their 64th wedding anniversary.

Last time in Courier, I mentioned that our strategic plan includes this core value: We value our heritage and future as a family foundation and nurture sustained family involvement. Dick and Mary Jo lived that value and worked tirelessly to foster family involvement in the foundation. Read more about their work on page 3.

Two pieces in this edition examine the intersection of war and technology. Elsa Kania of the Center for New American Security offers much-needed background on how artificial intelligence is already being integrated into military systems around the world and what it means for efforts to create a more peaceful and secure world. Later, Stanley Foundation staff member Danielle Jablanski interviews Countdown to Zero Day author Kim Zetter on the cyber vulnerabilities of the world’s most dangerous weapons.

Also in this edition, two alumni of Uncovering Security, a media-skills development program run by the Thomson Reuters Foundation, Stanley Foundation, and Gerda Henkel Stiftung, examine climate change, drought, and development through the lens of Cambodia’s Tonlé Sap Lake. Stanley Foundation staff member Francie Williamson explores sustainable agriculture in Clarinda, Iowa. Williamson also introduces us to young people from around the world participating in the Iowa Student Global Leadership Conference.

Finally, Alison Giffen, peacekeeping expert and longtime friend of the foundation, assesses the first year of UN Secretary-General António Guterres and his work to implement long overdue reforms at the United Nations. In her conclusion, I hear echoes of the work Dick and Mary Jo Stanley championed for decades: “Guterres should be applauded for taking on the systemic weaknesses of the world’s largest multilateral endeavor, but influential member states will need to take equal responsibility in ensuring its success.”

— Keith Porter, Editor
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Courier Courier
The Spring 2018 issue of Courier highlights the issues facing Cambodian fishermen as their lakes are affected by climate change. It includes a tribute to Dick and Mary Jo Stanley, a look at UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’ attempts at UN reform, and a peek at our Iowa Student Global Leadership conference.

The issue also focuses on how artificial intelligence is being integrated into military systems around the world, how sustainable farming practices can impact carbon emissions, and the cyber vulnerabilities of the world’s most dangerous weapons. Spring 2018 PDF. (1,151K) Subscribe for FREE.

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Stanley Foundation Annual Conferences Stanley Foundation Annual Conferences
The Stanley Foundation holds two annual conferences, UN Issues and the Strategy for Peace Conference. These bring together experts from the public and private sectors to meet in a distraction-free setting and candidly exchange ideas on pressing foreign policy challenges.

Divided into roundtable talks, the cutting-edge discussions are intended to inspire group consensus and shared recommendations to push forward the debate on the foundation’s key policy areas.

The Stanley Foundation: Part of COP23 The Stanley Foundation: Part of COP23
As a part of our efforts to limit global warming to 1.5° C, the foundation put forward policy ideas to achieve a global turning point in emissions by 2020, built upon efforts to catalyze global climate action by countries and sub- and non-state actors, and worked with journalists to strengthen coverage of the UN climate negotiations.

A Climate for Conflict: Stories from Somalia A Climate for Conflict: Stories from Somalia
The Ground Truth Project, New America, and the Stanley Foundation are hosting a Screening of “A Climate for Conflict” and discussion with the creators followed by a panel discussion on Climate Security and Societal Resilience on May 30, 2017.

Somalia today is at a crossroads between a deepening crisis and a path to stability. Photographer and filmmaker Nichole Sobecki and writer Laura Heaton spent 18 months documenting personal stories of Somalia, creating a film, photography, and reporting that vividly illustrate the human consequences and security risks of a changing climate. Read more.

Follow the conversation online with #AClimateforConflict.

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