The opening session featured Madeline Albright talking about her new book on the role of God in politics and government. She had great stuff to say about how impotant it is to understand a wide variety of religions and that religion has been a part of politics and war and society for ages. And to remember to not condemn an entire religion due to the actions of a few zealots who distort their systems by using them as a justification for murder or terrorism. She also likes libraries.
There was a nice video presentation about the effect of Katrina on LA and the Gulf Coast. Lots of other brief speakers too including some area library folks, Mitch Landrieu and Ray Nagin. Nagin was very personable and down to earth, which probably explains part of why he got reelected mayor post-Katrina.