Conference on World Affairs

Theme and Keynote Speaker Announced for the 63rd CWA


The theme of this year’s 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.”

That theme will also serve as the title of this year’s keynote address, to be delivered by Elizabeth Coleman, president of Bennington College. Coleman is one of the country’s leading innovators in higher education and guided Bennington College through a successful, major restructuring in 1994. Under her leadership, the college has experienced record fiscal health and launched new pioneering curricular programs—including the ambitious Center for the Advancement of Public Action, which encourages students to put the world’s most pressing problems at the center of their education. Coleman also serves on the boards of the European College of Liberal Arts, the Neurosciences Institute and the National Association of Independent Schools.

Coleman’s talk, entitled “What Matters”, will be the CWA’s opening keynote address on Monday, April 4 at 11:30 a.m. in Macky Auditorium.

The Conference on World Affairs opening keynote procession and address is a time-honored tradition in Boulder. Past keynote speakers include Eleanor Roosevelt, Henry Kissinger, Arthur Miller, Charles Krauthammer, and Richard Rodriguez. Each year on the Monday morning of CWA week, the keynote speaker leads a procession of University administrators, CWA participants, students and volunteers into Macky, along a sidewalk lined by a brilliant display of international flags.

All Conference on World Affairs sessions are free and open to the public, making the CWA the largest, most accessible event of its kind in the country.