INDIANA COUNCIL ON WORLD AFFAIRS
Cultural Understanding Powerhouse of Indiana
Founded in 1955, the ICWA is a seasoned non-profit, non-partisan educational organization that has been an active member of the Indiana global community for over 60 years.
The Indiana Council on World Affairs (ICWA) is a member of the World Affairs Councils of America (WACA), a well-known network of 93 globally-minded councils across the United States. As a WACA member, the ICWA helps foster a nationwide understanding of U.S. foreign policy through non-partisan educational programs. However, the Indiana Council on World Affairs is an influential community organization in its own right—dedicated to making a lasting impact on international relations here in Indiana.
The ICWA convenes conferences, forums and other programs designed to engage our community in world affairs, while educating Hoosiers on the significance of recent global events. This has the added benefit of showcasing diverse perspectives on international issues, which helps deepen people’s understanding of other countries and cultures. The ICWA welcomes members from a wide range of cultural and industrial backgrounds, including citizens with experience in the military, academia, nonprofits and corporate industries.
The Indiana Council on World Affairs is best known for thought-provoking events and programs focused on expanding the public knowledge of international history, geography and policy. The most popular of these events is the Distinguished Speaker Series, where ICWA invites expert scholars, diplomats, politicians and business executives to share their insight on global topics. Both members and non-members are encouraged to attend these events and bring questions for the interactive Q&A after the presentation.
The ICWA is also the State Coordinator for the Foreign Policy Association (FPA)—the organization behind the Great Decisions book series and educational resources. Great Decisions is America’s largest discussion program on world affairs, and ICWA hosts regular events to discuss the topics covered in the latest Great Decisions Briefing Book.
The Indiana Council on World Affairs has also expanded their programming to more digital channels, so they can reach interested parties across the state. What was once a traditional strategy of lectures, conferences and print publications has now spread to outlets such as social media, webinars, and virtual options for in-person events. Their most recent addition includes a virtual alternative for Indiana’s Academic WorldQuest competition, allowing high schools to participate remotely if they cannot travel to the University of Indianapolis.
The Academic WorldQuest (AWQ) is a nationwide quiz competition in which thousands of U.S. high school students test their knowledge on international affairs. This event is one of the nation’s most prestigious academic competitions, meant to prepare students to become future leaders in the global world. By increasing access to AWQ, ICWA empowers more Hoosier high schoolers to get involved and earn a chance for an all-inclusive trip to the National AWQ Competition in Washington D.C.
Through these programs, the Indiana Council on World Affairs has significantly furthered the global sensitivity of both Indianapolis and Indiana as a whole. From young students to experienced business leaders, the ICWA ensures that Indiana’s global future is influenced—not only by our politicians—but all people interested in learning about the world around us. In this sense, the Indiana Council on World Affairs truly demonstrates what it means to embody international relations—the drive to expand one’s horizons and the resources necessary to share that vision with the world.