Sonia Bouketo, Urszula Szczepinska, Amy Radetsky, Mirela Setkic and Jasper Mortimer discuss crimes against humanity at the 2018 Conference.

New Year, New Ideas: St. Petersburg Conference on World Affairs

How do you make sense of an increasingly confusing world? Here’s one way: Spend a weekend engrossed in stimulating discussions about critical international issues with top intelligence officials, diplomats, media and academic experts. A cooperative venture of a group of civic-minded St. Petersburg residents and the University of South Florida St. Petersburg, the St. Petersburg Conference on World Affairs might be just what you need right now — and it’s free! Just make sure to register ahead of time via the conference website or by phone, and plan ahead; seating is first-come, first-served.

Feb. 12, 5 p.m.: Keynote speech by Chas Freeman, former U.S. Ambassador to Saudi Arabia. Feb. 13-15: Daily panel discussions, USFSP University Student Center, 200 6th Ave. S., and USFSP Lynn Pippenger Hall, 700 4th St. S. 727-873-4872, worldaffairsconference.com