Following its initial cancellation due to the threat of COVID-19, the University of Colorado Boulder’s highly anticipated annual Conference on World Affairs (CWA) can now be attended from the comfort of your own home via Zoom for “Virtual CWA Week” which will take place April 6 – 10.
In place of the in-person conference, which attracts more than 30,000 people each year, the CWA will now host a total of five free online events and allow up to 500 people to attend each session upon prior registration. Each event will also be recorded and posted to the CWA YouTube channel for later viewing.
For CWA Faculty Director John Griffin, one challenge of continuing with the virtual sessions was deciding what content to prioritize. Initially, the week-long conference was set to host over 100 experts from around the world. It’s keynote speakers were to be Netflix co-founder Marc Randolph and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America founder Shannon Watts.
“Do people want to hear mostly about the pandemic or are they interested in hearing about other things at this time?” Griffin said.
Now, most of the virtual sessions will touch on the coronavirus outbreak, with events entitled “Economic Impacts of COVID-19,” “Listen to Scientists,” “Humor in Hard Times,” “Our Health Post-Coronavirus: A New Frontier” and “Historical Pandemics.”
“That’s what everybody is most interested in, so that was our choice to go in that direction,” said Margaret Hollingsworth, program committee chair.
“Everybody is very concerned about the health that has to do with this pandemic,” she said. “And of course, people are also very interested in the economic impact, so we have four economists who have a lot to say on that subject.”
Audience members will also have the opportunity to participate by submitting questions to the panelists.
“We all experienced being at home and wanting more knowledge about what’s happening,” Griffin said about the decision to hold this year’s conference virtually. “What this event can offer to the audience members is an opportunity to ask questions to the speakers in a way that feels more empowering than just watching the news.”
You can register for CWA sessions here.
Contact CU Independent Breaking News Editor Noelle Videon at firstname.lastname@example.org.