One of the country’s premiere progressive events, this weekend’s Left Forum brings together activists and intellectuals from across the globe to share ideas for understanding and transforming the world.

An outgrowth of the former Socialist Scholars Conference, the Left Forum was started in 2005 after a factional split over strategy and personalities led to the resignation of seven SSC board members and the formation of a similar annual conference but with a greater emphasis on activism, organizing and practical politics.

With close to one hundred panels and three major cultural events, this year’s Forum will tackle Big Questions like can the Left advance an alternative vision capable of capturing the popular imagination, and is reform the farthest possible horizon for our hopes?

Featuring a roster of dynamic speakers including Nation writers Gary Younge, Liza Featherstone, Doug Henwood, Christian Parenti and Dave Zirin as well as Frances Fox Piven, Cornel West, Dennis Brutus, Marion Nestle and many more, this year’s Forum should be an invaluable opportunity for progressives to trade notes, numbers and ideas.

The conference’s opening plenary (chaired by Featherstone) takes place this Friday, March 11, at 7:00 at Cooper Union at 7 East 7th Street (at 3rd Avenue) in Manhattan. The panels and events take place all day on both Saturday and Sunday. Various panels will also be streamed and archived online. Check the Left Forum site this weekend for details.

Check out the full program, including info on a special, free Saturday night series of readings from Howard Zinn’s Voices of a People’s History of the United States by Amy Goodman, Anthony Arnove, Staceyanne Chin, Brian Jones, Deepa Fernandes, and Erin Cherry. Click here for info on registering, getting there and anything else you might need to know.