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Conference on World Affairs in Boulder

Events, Things to Do, Travel Tips — By Jess Steinitz on April 3, 2011 at 5:28 pm
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Tomorrow begins one of my favorite weeks in Boulder. The Conference on World Affairs (CWA) is an annual event, and this year it is being held from April 4 – 8. Founded in 1948 as a forum on international affairs, the conference has expanded to encompass nearly every other aspect of life, including the arts, media, science, technology, environment, spirituality, politics, business, etc . Over the years, the CWA has been graced by such personalities as Roger Ebert, Patch Adams, Eleanor Roosevelt, Ralph Nadar, and Henry Kissinger.

Attendees can attend panels, plenaries, and performances on nearly limitless topics over the course of the week of the CWA. All events are free and open to the public and nearly all of them are held on the CU Campus (with a few being held at Boulder High School so that younger students can attend). During the five days of last year’s conference, attendance was 92,176 at nearly 200 sessions.

panel in Macky Auditorium

The theme of the 63rd annual conference is “What Matters.”  CWA Director Jim Palmer explains, “Given the distractions of modern life and the tsunami of information we’re bombarded with daily, it is easy to forget to ask the fundamental questions, the questions of value.  That is why our theme ‘What Matters’ matters.”

Some of this year’s panel titles include: India, China and U.S., Partners and Competitors; Why Jazz Matters; Why Marriage Equality Matters; Beyond Natural Selection: Designing Our Descendants; Celebrating Poetry: An Adult’s Garden of Verses; and Peace by Peaceful Means. The full schedule of panels is available online.

Most panels run about an hour and twenty minutes, with three or four panelists taking turns to speak and then respond to each other, after which the floor is open to audience questions. Some panels will undoubtedly be very popular — such as Graham Nash and David Crosby’s closing plenary entitled Life Matters — so plan to arrive early to topics that are particularly timely.

In my opinion, the Conference on World Affairs is one of the best parts about Boulder and one of the best things Boulder has to offer visitors, so be sure not to miss this momentous event!

[Photo courtesy of Conference on World Affairs]

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