Connecticut Forum Kicks off 2015-2016 Season at Bushnell

As Forum Education Partner, Trinity's Part of the Conversation


Michelle Dyer (IDP) and Amina Kureshi '16 attend the Connecticut Forum at the Bushnell Center for
the Performing Arts.

Hartford, CT, October 29, 2015 – Trinity students Michelle Dyer and Amina Kureshi were among the audience of 2,800 at the first Connecticut Forum event of the 2015-2016 season, a thought-provoking discussion of innovations in technology, medicine, education, and the workplace, titled “The Next Big Thing.” Held at The Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Hartford, the on-stage discussion featured journalist-author Fareed Zakaria and Joi Ito, the director of MIT's Media Lab, and was moderated by writer and cultural critic Virginia Heffernan.

Dyer, an Individualized Degree Program (IDP) student, and Kureshi, a member of the Class of 2016, were excited to attend the discussion, acting on a suggestion from Sarah Raskin, Charles A. Dana Research Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience. An added surprise was an opportunity these Trinity students had to go backstage during intermission, joining about a dozen people to quickly review and help select which audience questions would be posed to Ito and Zakaria during the second half of the evening’s program.

Moderator Virginia Heffernan, Joi Ito, and Fareed Zakaria participate in the first Connecticut Forum event of the season.

The range of topics covered during the October 3 discussion included artificial intelligence, the U.S. education system, biology, big data, bitcoins, drones, genetic engineering, immortality, and gun violence in America. The Connecticut Forum has posted video clips from the discussion, including Ito speaking about autism and genetic correction, and Zakaria’s comments on gun violence.

Connecticut Forum events are live, unscripted conversations among renowned experts and celebrities. The nonprofit organization’s mission is to encourage the free and active exchange of ideas in forums that inform, challenge, entertain, inspire, and build bridges among all people and organizations in our community. As an education partner of the Connecticut Forum, Trinity has received a video recording of the Forum’s “The Next Big Thing” discussion on DVD, along with a discussion guide, available for members of the Trinity community to borrow from the Raether Library and Information Technology Center.


Upcoming Connecticut Forum events of the
2015-2016 season include:

December 3, 2015: Taking on Race & Racism

March 5, 2016: The Science of Our Minds

May 13, 2016: Creative Artists: An Evening of Storytellers, Creators, and Entertainers

For details on the upcoming events and for more information on the Connecticut Forum, visit the Connecticut Forum website.


Photos of Connecticut Forum panelists and audience by Nick Caito.
Written by and photo of Dyer and Kureshi by Kathy Andrews.