Below is an insider's look into the speaker experience at the University of Colorado Boulder Conference on World Affairs. We hope you'll consider joining us on the CU Boulder campus April 10-12, 2024.

Panel Structure

CWA panels are 60 to 80 minutes long, usually consist of 2-4 speakers and are facilitated by one of our local moderators. Each panelist usually begins with up to 3 minutes of introductory remarks about the topic and or themselves, followed by an opportunity to respond to one another and have discussion based around audience questions. While most speakers do simple preparation regarding their assigned topics, the sessions are relaxed and informal in tone. Speakers typically do not read prepared speeches, deliver academic papers or use slide presentations. The emphasis of a CWA panel is on the live presence and interaction of our speakers with one another and the audience members.


Some of our panels have been designated “Roundtables.” This indicates that the moderator will facilitate a discussion among the panelists in lieu of each speaker presenting opening remarks. These panels will be noted as such in the panel title.

Classroom Visits

Some speakers may be invited to visit a CU class while on campus. If a speaker choses to do so, CWA handles all of the logistics and will put the speaker in touch with the professor ahead of the scheduled visit.

What to Do When Not On a Panel?

We purposefully schedule downtime for our speakers during the Conference since many have told us how much they enjoy attending one another’s panels or exploring Boulder. Should you like a quiet space to work or socialize with other speakers during the day, there is a dedicated Speakers’ Lounge with refreshments available in the UMC.

Outside of your panel schedule, the CWA has arranged additional events throughout the week that you are invited to attend. They are arranged as an opportunity for our speakers to unwind at the end of the day and socialize with one another and members of the Boulder and CU communities. 


There is no required attire for CWA participants. In the past, speakers’ dress has varied from business to casual. Most importantly, we want you to feel comfortable. For the CWA community members that are attending evening events, we have recommended an attire of business casual. We know that it’s often impossible to go home between your daytime activities and dinner, so you may want to wear something comfortable during the day that you would also like to wear at night. 

Student Ambassadors

Each speaker will be paired with a student volunteer who will greet you and serve as a resource and friendly face throughout the conference. You will be contacted by them ahead of the event to introduce themselves.

The CWA Bookstore

If you indicate that you would like to sell books at the Conference, the Boulder Bookstore will be reaching out to you or your publisher directly to make arrangements. The CWA Bookstore will be located in Macky Auditorium, all week from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. All conference attendees and university visitors are invited to shop the bookstore and support our speakers.

Live Streaming & Panel Archives

All panels and events are recorded and livestreamed and will be available to share through the CWA Archives after the Conference. They can be viewed through the CWA website, Please feel free to let your social media audiences know! 

CU Commitment to Conduct

And lastly, given the sensitive nature of some of the conference content, we wanted to share the University of Colorado’s commitment to the principle of non-discrimination. The University does not tolerate harassment on any basis, including sex, race, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, age, political affiliation, or political philosophy. University members, guests, and students are expected to treat one another with respect, professionalism, and dignity in all interactions and communications.