The 62nd annual Conference on World Affairs— a sort of public celebrity-thinker gab fest on arts, media, politics, health, diplomacy, technology, etc– kicked off Sunday at the University of Colorado Boulder, where flags of countries across the globe dot the campus, which for now at least is sunny and warm, the Flat Irons dusted in snow. The conference runs through Friday. Participants this year include regular attendee Roger Ebert as well as filmmaker Werner Herzog, musicians Dave and Don Grusin.
A wide-ranging conference on world affairs with guests like film critic and fantastic tweeter Roger Ebert and jazz musician Dave Grusin? That’s right. Ebert, who has attended the conference for 38 years, say it’s about “everything under the sun.”
“Once we settle into our life’s careers, most of us charge the line with our heads down. I have a tendency, for example, to think the world revolves around movies. Once a year at the Conference, I am forced to think on subjects not of my own choosing. I get to talk to people from other worlds.”
Tonight’s lineup of discussion and presentation topics suggests the intentional eclecticism. A sample:
Political Pundits: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
FILM SCREENING Plastic Bag
KEYNOTE Rethinking American Power
Hollywood Eats Its Young
Communicating Climate Science: Why Is This So Hard?
The Slippery Slope of Rationing Healthcare
Goodbye to the Decade From Hell
Displaced: Port-au-Prince and New Orleans
Too Big to Fail: Automobiles, Banks, Countries
Modern Day Hypocrisies: Hybrid Hummers, Low Carb Bagels and Smart Bombs
A Patriotic Case for a Newspaper Bailout
I Never Let My Schooling Interfere With My Education
All events are free and open to the public. Conference Twitter hash-tag #CWA posts have started piling up here.