UW Retirement Association

What’s the Big Idea?

“What’s the Big Idea” programs are discussions about a hot current topic with an expert to facilitate. There is no formal presentation; rather, the experts throw out provocative questions and participants are invited to respond. Prior to the program, participants are referred to readings on the topic to help spur their thinking.

Groups meet in B70 Gerberding Hall from 10:30 a.m. – 12 noon, unless otherwise noted. In order to encourage discussion, groups are kept small and preregistration is essential. Registration for each discussion opens two weeks prior to the event. Look for the ‘Register’ button on the event post on the UWRA calendar.


215x205_lustbader_0 February 27, 2019: Life Gets Better: Fighting Ageism and Reaching Across the Generations, facilitated by Wendy Lustbader, Social Work. Is youth really the best time of life? Maybe not, because as we get older we gain self-knowledge, confidence, and an increasing capacity to be true to ourselves. But you wouldn’t know that from the cultural myths about aging, with their emphasis on physical decline. In this discussion we’ll consider what it means to flourish in later life, including strategies to fight ageism and promote vibrant inter-generational relationships. Register HERE beginning February 13. Before the discussion, you can read this interview with Wendy.

Ed TaylorMarch 13, 2019: What Is Education For? Humanities in a STEM-Focused World, facilitated by Ed Taylor, vice provost and dean, Undergraduate Academic Affairs. Register HERE beginning February 27.

Previous 2018-19 discussions: October 24: Mid-term Elections, facilitated by Prof. Mark A. Smith, Political Science | November 14: Fake News, facilitated by Prof. Kate Starbird, Human-Centered Design and Engineering | February 1: The Final Frontier, facilitated by Don Brownlee, Astronomy

Contact UWRA for more information.