Conference on World Affairs

Posted by on Wednesday, April 12th, 2017 at 1:34pm.

CU Boulder Conference World Affairs

What is the Conference on World Affairs?

The Conference on World Affairs, or CWA for short, is a weeklong event featuring 200 panels, and over 100 speakers and performers touching on a wide range of topics from international affairs to pop culture. A typical panel discussion consists of 3-6 panelist, half experts, half non-experts, who are given a broad topic and are free to take their own direction, offering unique perspectives.

How can you attend the Conference on World Affairs?

All events at the CWA are free and students, faculty, staff, locals, and individuals from all around the world are welcomed and encouraged to attend. The 2017 CWA will be held on April 10-14, with most events being held on CU Boulder’s campus.

How did the Conference on World Affairs start?

The CWA started in 1948 by Howard Higman, a sociology professor at CU, as a forum on international affairs. Since then the CWA has dramatically expanded on the topics included, while still maintaining its core values of providing an open and interesting discussion for students as well as the community.

Things you might not know about the Conference on World Affairs

  • The CWA host brilliant minds each year, some of the biggest names include: Roger Ebert, Joe Biden, Patch Adams, Annie Leibovitz, Steve Wozniak, and Eleanor Roosevelt.

  • Robert Ebert once said that the CWA was “the Conference on Everything Conceivable.”

  • The invited speakers receive no compensation, not even for travel expenses.

  • Each year local residents open their homes to provide lodging for the speakers and students assist with transportation.

This Year’s Speakers and Performers

This year the CWA will host many speakers and performers from a variety of backgrounds and interest. Some of the notable attendees include:

  • Rick Bayless- Winner of Bravo TV's Top Chef Master and founder of Chefs Collaborative.

  • Kerry Emanuel- Professor of Atmospheric Science at MIT.

  • Mark Fallon- International security consultant & author who spent over 30 years as a federal agent, counterintelligence officer and counterterrorism specialist.

  • Lara T Gilmore- Restaurateur, who with husband Massimo Bottura, opened Osteria Francescana earning the coveted three star Michelin rating and ranked No. 1 restaurant in the world 2016.

  • Shadia Marhaban- Acehnese journalist, activist, & peace mediator.

  • Stephen Moore- CNN contributor and former economic advisor on President Trump's 2016 presidential campaign.

  • Ellie Schafer- Former Special Assistant to President Barack Obama.

  • Ernie Watts- Jazz musician & composer and two time Grammy winner.

You can find the full list of speakers and presenters at:

Why should you attend the Conference on World Affairs?

The CWA is an international community gathering, offering open discussions and interesting perspectives. It isn’t that often that brilliant minds from around the world are all gathered in one location, which just happens to be right here in Boulder, Colorado.

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