Our Cultural Identity

Our Cultural Identity
Due to the breadth of certain topics, three program tracks will offer conversations across both Fest 1 and Fest 2. Additionally, focused attention will be given to four different subjects during each half of the Festival. Spotlight: Health kicks off the week as a focused, two-and-a-half day forum.
Our Cultural Identity
Innovations in Health
Who will we be in 2024? Will we be "aged" or "young" as a nation? Will we be largely Hispanic, Caucasian, African American, or Asian? Will we lean liberal or conservative? Will we be active in a religious organization? Will we be civically minded, global in our interests, or isolationist?
This track will explore the cultural forces, institutions, and traditions that make us who we are — with an eye toward the demographic and socio-economic trends and changes that are shaping our future. According to the U.S Census, 2024 will see a peak in numbers of non-Hispanic Caucasian citizens, at 199 million across the nation; thereafter, this particular group will be in decline, favoring a rise in Hispanic-Caucasian citizens and also significant increases in the numbers of African Americans, Native Americans, Asians, and so forth… so much so that by 2060 we will be seen as a majority-minority population. As our aging baby boomers populate the ranks of the over-65, more people than ever claim no particular religious affiliation, and multi-culturalism becomes the norm, so what, if anything, will come to define our society as particularly "American"? How will our culture influence how we vote? How we worship? Where we live?
Finally, as a new generation, steeped in technology in its nascent years, grows into leadership roles, how will "community" be defined? Will Millennials be narcissistic and ever entitled, as some predict? Or as others suggest, will this up and coming generation embrace notions of civic responsibility at home and abroad that could be transformative for society?
2014