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The World Affairs Council of Northern California offers a forum where diverse audiences engage in dialogue that can inform their actions. Policymakers, business executives, philanthropists, academics, students, civic leaders and an attentive public join in the Council's programs to listen, learn, discuss and debate–deepening understanding and finding solutions.
Many of these conversations are open to the public, and all of them benefit from the Council’s Northern California location. Over the past two decades, this region has emerged as a powerful locus of innovation and forward-looking solutions. We are known for our ideas, our ideals and our entrepreneurship. We search for knowledge. We enjoy diversity. We welcome new thinking. We seek break-through ideas. That spirit is reflected in every conversation we convene and every program we offer.
The World Affairs Council was founded in 1947 out of the interest generated by the founding of the United Nations in San Francisco in 1945. With over 10,000 members, we are the largest international affairs organization on the west coast. In addition to our headquarters in San Francisco's Union Square, we serve members through chapters in Contra Costa, Marin, and the Peninsula. We are the largest affiliate of the national World Affairs Councils of America.
We host more than 200 events every year with leading political and business leaders, academics, journalists, and artists. Council events are a unique opportunity to engage in candid discussions with people who are shaping the world. Most events are open to the general public, and we encourage open discussion.