The Great Issues Forum is an initiative at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York funded by the Carnegie Corporation of New York, as well as the Winston Foundation, the Vital Projects Fund, and the Gellert Charitable Trust. Each year, the Forum seeks to explore critical issues of our time through a single thematic lens. Last year our focus was Power, and within this theme the categories of political, economic, military, cultural, and educational power were explored. The program featured several high-profile public figures and leading experts, including the former President of Ireland Mary Robinson, Nobel Laureates Joseph Stiglitz and Derek Walcott, best-selling author and journalist Naomi Klein, and the playwright and screenwriter Sir Tom Stoppard.
This year the Great Issues Forum’s theme is Religion. Through a series of free public events that will involve prominent civic and religious leaders, scientists and philosophers, the 2009-2010 Forum will examine fundamental questions about the nature of religion and secularity. Programs will explore the future of religion in the light of its evolutionary past, with a special focus on Islam.