World-Renowned Scholars To Speak About Next Generation

CHAUTAUQUA – Explore the values, work and stories of the young and socially aware with Chautauqua’s theme for Week Two “The Next Greatest Generation.”


Megan Smith, Google[x] vice president, speaks Monday with examples of a generation of “digital natives” moving faster together and from all over the world.

On Tuesday, Paula Kahumbu, the Nairobi-based executive director of WildlifeDirect, will share her work in conservation and using technology to ensure other conservationists and their projects receive attention and support. Former Gallup senior research adviser Dalia Mogahed, who has led analysis of surveys of Muslims worldwide, speaks Wednesday on the role of young people in the Arab Spring, and the state and future of interfaith and intrafaith relations as they gain influence.

Chris Hayes, host of “All In” on MSNBC and editor-at-large for The Nation, will address how young people affect policy and effect change on Thursday. Friday features a panel discussion, the centerpiece of the week, featuring all the lecturers in the collaborative style characteristic of their cohort, with Hayes serving as moderator.


Delve into the future with young scholars during this week’s afternoon Interfaith Lectures that discuss the distinction between religion and spirituality.

The Interfaith Lectures will explore what the world of religion will be like in the coming years for the 25 percent of the world’s population now under the age of 25. Will the growing distinction between religion and spirituality become more defined in the practice and living of values that shape human experience for them?

Week Two will kick off on Monday, July 1 with The Right Rev. Eugene Taylor Sutton, Bishop of Maryland. Throughout his ministry in parishes and academia, Bishop Sutton has been a frequent leader of retreats and conferences throughout the nation on prayer, spirituality and preaching.

On Tuesday, University of Cambridge scholar Dr. Amineh Hoti takes the podium to share her thoughts about religion and spirituality. Hoti is a Fellow-Commoner at Lucy Cavendish College at the University of Cambridge, an honorary post which the University of Cambridge awards to “women who are particularly distinguished in their field” and whose association may be “beneficial to the college.” She is considered an outstanding pioneer in the study and teaching of interfaith relations.

The lectures will continue on Wednesday with Rabbi Debra Orenstein, a renowned teacher and scholar-in-residence at synagogues, conventions and universities across North America. Her passion is relating Judaism and spirituality to everyday lives and ultimate concerns.

Thursday’s lecture features Chris Stedman who is the assistant humanist chaplain at Harvard University and the Values in Action coordinator for the Humanist Community at Harvard. He’s a former evangelical – now atheist – who sometimes still slips into believer-speak. He’s a prolific blogger and the author of the forthcoming book, Faitheist: How an Atheist Found Common Ground with the Religious.

The “Religion and Spirituality” Interfaith Lecture series will conclude on Friday with Shane Claiborne, founding partner of The Simple Way. Shane writes and travels extensively speaking about peacemaking, social justice and Jesus. Shane’s work has been featured in everything from Fox News and the Wall Street Journal to CNN and National Public Radio.

Scholars will discuss how the distinctions between religion and spirituality will affect community, family and life-cycle rituals for this generation. The young thought-leaders will share different perspectives about what to expect in the coming years.

Morning lectures are held in the Amphitheater weekdays at 10:45 a.m. Interfaith Lectures are held in the Hall of Philosophy weekdays at 2 p.m. Afternoon lecture themes often complement the themes of the 10:45 a.m. lectures but capture a different angle of vision.

Day tickets are available for purchase at the Main Gate Welcome Center Ticket Office on the day of your visit. Morning tickets grant visitors access to the grounds from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. for $20.

Afternoon tickets grant access from noon-8 p.m. for $13.

Combined morning/afternoon passes (7 a.m. to 8 p.m.) are $33. For additional ticketing information, visit or call 357-6250.