Published: March 22, 2017

CoverThe 2017 Conference on World Affairs offers a new variety of session formats, performances, and interactive features. The conference will be held April 10-14 on the CU Boulder campus and is free and open to all.

The 69th CWA program and schedule is now available and in it, audiences will find some new and noteworthy features offered during this year's conference:

  • CWA Themes

    • During the CWA volunteer program committee's review of topics submitted by speakers, some consistent themes emerged in this year's conference. They designated these themes in the CWA program to help audiences navigate the week's events.
      2017 Themes: Why Food Matters: A Taste of Things to Come; Space Exploration; and Democracy Now

  • Customized Session Formats

    • To best meet the needs of the CWA's diverse audience, new and alternative session formats and times are available. 

      • Speed Chatting: Students receive priority in this unique opportunity to sit and chat with speakers for 10 minutes at a time.

      • Roundtables: The session moderator will facilitate a discussion among the panelists rather than having them offer opening remarks.

      • Hometown Conversations: Special panels designed to address issues that are particularly relevant to the Boulder community. Local experts join CWA speakers to explore effective options. These panels will be very interactive; attendees will definitely be “part of the conversation”.

      • CWA@Night: Sessions and performances after 5:00 pm to accommodate students and working professionals. Free campus parking is available after 5:00 p.m.

      • Live Streaming and Recording: All panels held in Macky Auditorium, UMC Center Ballroom, and UMC 235 are live streamed on the CWA website. These videos will be archived and available for viewing anytime, free of charge on the CWA YouTube channel. Audio recordings of all CWA sessions will be available to stream online at after the Conference.

  • New and Improved CWA App

    • The CWA App provides the most comprehensive and up-to-date information during CWA week, making for the best CWA experience. It features an interactive campus map to locate each venue, the ability to build a personal schedule of events, read speaker bios, participate in surveys, and rate individual panels and speakers. New this year, questions can be submitted live in the App during a session from anywhere in the world for the moderator to share with the speakers.

      The App is free and available for download in the App or Google Play Stores by searching for “Conference on World Affairs.”

  • More Venues = More Seating!

    • In an effort to allieviate lines and overcrowding, the CWA is utilizing more venues across campus throughout the day for sessions.

  • CWA Book Store

    • The first CWA Book store, powered by Boulder Book Store will be stationed in the foyer of Macky Auditorium. It will feature books and CDs by 2017 CWA speakers and performers. The store will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily and provides an opportunity for fans to support our CWA speakers (who donate their time and talents to the conference) and the operation of the CWA. 10% of all proceeds will benefit the CWA.

Some event highlights from the week include:

Monday April 10
11:30 A.M.
Keynote Address: “Humanity’s Exploration: From Earth to Mars and Beyond” with former NASA deputy director Dava Newman

Tuesday April 11
2:00 P.M.
Panel Discussion: "Sports: A Concussion Discussion" with former NFL linebacker and head injury prevention activist Chris Borland and guest speaker Sourav Poddar, head medical team physician for the University of Colorado Buffaloes

Wednesday April 12
11:00 A.M.
Food Series Panel: “Why Food Matters; Nourishing our Bodies and the Land” with Debra Eschmeyer and chef Rick Bayless

Thursday April 13
4:00 P.M.
Molly Ivins Memorial Plenary: "Laughing Matters: How to Use Humor to Activate and Educate" with Daily Show co-founder and comedian Lizz Winstead

Friday April 14
1:00 P.M.
Performance: "Dance/Music Improv with Aerial" featuring a variety of CWA musicians and performers