CAMDEN, Maine — Bill Richardson, a former presidential candidate, governor of New Mexico and U.S. energy secretary, will take on the question, “Does America have what it takes?” at the 25th Camden Conference in February.

After years of looking out, this year the Camden Conference will look inward. Its theme is, “The U.S. in a 21st Century World: Do We Have What it Takes?” Speakers, including Richardson, will consider America’s politics, education, military, energy, media, environment and more to answer the question.

Richardson has experience in nearly all of these areas. He worked in international politics as an ambassador to the United Nations. As governor of New Mexico he developed a requirement that utilities in New Mexico obtain 20 percent of their electricity from renewable sources. He spurred creation of the Rail Runner Express commuter rail system in Albuquerque and Santa Fe. He said he shifted money from administration to classrooms in New Mexico’s schools.

Tickets for next February’s conference will go on sale to members Nov. 7 and to the public on Nov. 28. Attendees can listen to and interact with the speakers in person at the Camden Opera House or watch a live-streamed video feed at the Strand Theatre in Rockland, the Hutchinson Center in Belfast or the Grand in Ellsworth.

For information, visit or call 236-1034.