All this week, I'm going to be attending—and speaking at—the 63rd Annual Conference on World Affairs in Boulder, Colorado.
What is the Conference on World Affairs? I like Tim Lloyd's concise description: "The Conference on World Affairs is the democratic version of TED."
Founded by a University of Colorado professor who was inspired by the formation of the United Nations, CWA brings together a broad swath of interesting people. There are artists, musicians, scientists, journalists, and more. This year, the lineup includes people like Jello Biafra, Andy Ihnatko, and David Crosby—as well as less instantly recognizable names, like Kavita Ramdas of the Global Fund for Women, SETI's Seth Shostak, and conservative political scientist Robert Kaufman. All the speakers are mixed and matched into panel discussions, based on the speakers' areas of expertise—and on topics that they're just interested in, even if they aren't experts.
But here's the best part: The Conference on World Affairs is free and open to the public. If you're anywhere near Boulder this week, I highly recommend dropping in for some of the sessions. The full program is online.
If you can't make it, though, never fear. I'll be tweeting from presentations during the day, and posting summaries of some of the cool stuff that I've learned right here.
Here's the list of panels I'll be speaking on:
• Monday, April 4: "The Wild, Wild Web: We Are All Outlaws Online", 4:30 pm
• Tuesday, April 5: "My Car, Your Car, No Car", 12:30 pm
• Wednesday, April 6: "Science, Media, and Myth", 3:00 pm
&bull: Thursday, April 7: "Growing Up in the Dark: Alternative Energy Technologies", 9:00 am
"Superbugs and Pandemics", 12:30 pm
"Comic Books Saved My Life", 3:30 pm
&bull: Friday, April 8: "Urban Agriculture", 1:00 pm
Maggie Koerth-Baker is the science editor at BoingBoing.net. She writes a monthly column for The New York Times Magazine and is the author of Before the Lights Go Out, a book about electricity, infrastructure, and the future of energy. You can find Maggie on Twitter and Facebook.