Former federal and provincial bureaucrat Stewart Goodings will lead the discussion of what is Russia up to in the next Philosopher’s Cafe on Wednesday, Oct. 10.

Next Campbell River Philosopher’s Café season kicks off with: What does Russia want?

That Russia is a “challenge” to the West has become conventional wisdom.

We have seen the annexation of Crimea, the support of Bashar al-Assad in Syria, poisoning of people in Britain and campaign meddling in the U.S. and elsewhere. What are they up to? What do they want?

Does Russia want to restore the Soviet Union? Start a socially conservative revolution in the West? Cause NATO and the UN to collapse? Conquer the world?

Join the Philosophers’ Café at the Berwick Oct. 10, 7 p.m. as Stewart Goodings leads an examination of what Russia wants and whether western democracies can and should give it to them. The discussion will be held, as always, at Berwick By the Sea in the tyee Lounge (take the elevator to the top floor). Admission is free.

Goodings is a former assistant deputy minister in the federal and provincial governments who went to Russia several times in the 90s and early 2000s on technical assistance projects funded by the Canadian Government to help Russian officials adapt to newer models of public administration following the collapse of the Soviet Union. He worked with civil servants, judges, court administrators and human resource experts both in Russia and on educational visits to Canada by Russian delegations.

Once a month, a speaker will introduce a theme to the Café, and then all who attend can join in respectful, non-partisan conversation, or just sit back and listen. You are welcome to propose topics and introduce them at future Cafés. Themes should be of broad interest and national significance, and have an element of controversy to them.

As with each Café, Goodings will have just 10 minutes to introduce the topic, and then the floor is open for 50 minutes of moderated discussion.