The Conference on World Affairs (CWA) was founded in 1948 as a forum for international issues. Since then, its subject matter has expanded to encompass the arts, diplomacy, technology, the environment, spirituality, business, medicine, human rights – you name it. Every April, 100 participants representing a wide range of backgrounds gather at CU for a week of discussion and debate on roughly 200 panels, plenaries and performances. There’s nothing like it.

This year’s CWA will be held from April 8 through 12.  Roger Ebert, who has participated in the CWA for four decades, refers to the CWA as “the Conference on Everything Conceivable.” For good reason; presentation topics include investing in a sustainable future, vampires, fracking, creativity in art and science, Syria, legalized marijuana and responsible philanthropy. This year’s participants include Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Hedrick Smith, Virginia Tech shooting survivor and Brady Campaign advocate Colin Goddard, president of L.A. Kitchen Robert Egger, University of Edinburgh sound design and electronic composition lecturer Martin Parker, Peace Corps acting director Carrie Hessler-Radelet, artist and scientist Jeff Lieberman, and SETI institute senior astronomer Seth Shostak.

As always, all events are free and open to the public. Parking and bus rides are also free. Look for a complete schedule of CWA events inside this Sunday’s Camera, this Monday’s Colorado Daily or online at