The Economist is the best world affairs weekly being published today. In print. Digitally. Anywhere. Finance and investing professionals have known it for years, but in the past twenty-four months, a marketing blitz and increased availability — combined with Americans’ desperate need for real news — has gained the esteemed mag tens of thousands of grateful new readers. For the last quarter-century, The Economist has been publishing a special issue, “The World In,” in which they gather together journalists, celebrities, politicians, religious leaders, and others who make predictions about what will happen in the worlds of business, government, science, technology, art, pop culture, and more in the year ahead. In conjunction with the publication of “The World in 2011,” the magazine is hosting its second annual World In Festival, three days of insight and optimism from a stellar collection of thinkers. On Thursday night, the gala dinner at Skylight Soho ($350) will include former president Bill Clinton, U.S. secretary of energy Dr. Steven Chu, and THINKfoodGROUP chef and owner José Andrés and live performances by K’NAAN and Loudon Wainwright III. On Friday night, MoMA director Glenn Lowry will host performances by Wainwright and comedian Jeff Kreisler at 92YTribeca ($150). And on Friday from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, an illustrious group of speakers will descend on 92YTribeca ($75) for a full day of lectures, discussions, and interactive debates; among those who will be sharing their views on 2011 and beyond are Majora Carter, James Diener, Anita Dunn, Andrew Excum, Andrew Freear, Jace Hall, Dr. David Kessler, Andres Lepik, Mu Socha, Alex Pollock, Karen Finney, Admiral Gary Roughead, Benn Steil, Nich Shore, Kah Walla, Dr. Nathan Wolfe, and numerous editors and writers from The Economist.