Next week is one of my favorite times of the year, when I get inundated with smart people and interesting ideas, like some kind of geeky Christmas. For the second time, I'll be a speaker at the University of Colorado-Boulder's Conference on World Affairs (Mark will be there too!). The Conference is unlike anything I've been to anywhere else. It brings together artists, writers, musicians, scientists, politicians, journalists—a whole stew pot of interesting people—to talk about things that matter to them right now.
To create the panel topics, the organizers have all the speakers send in a list of things we can talk about at an expert level and things we just like to talk about. Then they use those lists to decide what subjects the conference will focus on. All the panels are free and open to the public. And they're all incredibly interactive. More than half the time at any panel is given over to audience Q&A.
Last year, I ended up talking about everything from comic books to the future of transportation. It's a blast, and I'll be posting some stories to BoingBoing next week about cool things that I learn watching some of the panels. But if you're in the Boulder area, you should really try to make it out. It's an event that truly captures the Happy Mutant spirit.
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.