The Fletcher School’s 2013 Talloires Symposium was another one for the record books, as nearly ninety guests attended the multi-day conference. The Symposium, held each year at the end of May, aims to convene alumni in a remarkable setting in order to inspire fruitful and engaged discussion.
Each year, participants of the Talloires Symposium, hailing from all over the world, spend two intensive days learning about and debating a current issue. The theme of the 2012 Talloires Symposium was, The New Diplomacy: 21st Century Imperatives in an Age Old Craft. Conference participants were engaged with the topic, and lively discussion followed each presentation.
The Symposium opened on Friday evening on a social note, with a reception and jazz concert held at the Priory. Guests then made their way across Talloires to La Villa des Fleurs, one of Talloires’s many highly praised restaurants, for dinner and conversation.
Saturday held the bulk of the conference, with both morning and afternoon presentations. Keynote speakers, Anthony Banbury, F92, Assistant Secretary-General for Field Support at The United Nations, Farah Pandith, F95, Special Representative to Muslim Communities at the U.S. Department of State, and Dr. Klaus Scharioth, F74, F78, Dean of Mercator College for International Affairs, began the morning by offering their opinions on diplomacy in the context of their work. The Symposium’s Faculty Lecturer, Alan Henrikson, the Lee E. Dirks Professor of Diplomatic History and Director of Diplomatic Studies at The Fletcher School, spoke on Saturday afternoon. All speakers were eagerly engaged by symposium participants during and after the presentations.
Fletcher alumni who attended the Symposium enjoyed themselves and were thrilled by the chance to reconnect with fellow alumni. Many participants return year after year for the Talloires Symposium and this year will mark the thirteenth annual Symposium. This year’s Talloires Symposium will be held May 30 – June 1, 2014.
The Talloires Symposium is one of two annual events the Fletcher School hosts; in addition to Talloires, Fletcher organizes a symposium in London in the winter. The Talloires Symposium, however, offers participants a chance to interact with Tufts on a broader scale.
Talloires, a picturesque village nestled in the foothills of the Alps on the shore of Lake Annecy, is home to Tufts University’s European Center. The European Center, founded in 1979, is housed in an eleventh century former priory. The Priory was bought by Donald and Charlotte MacJannet in the mid-twentieth century. Mr. MacJannet, A16, worked tirelessly to support international learning through the schools and camps he ran throughout France.
Today the Tufts European Center welcomes Tufts students, college students, and high school students, as well as conference participants, throughout the year. International exchange and cultural understanding are seen as pivotal to participating in today’s challenging world. The Tufts European Center’s mission of facilitating and promoting international understanding aligns closely with those of the Fletcher School and of the Talloires Symposium.