Sam Van Aken, an art professor at Syracuse University who grew up on a Pennsylvania farm, will speak on creativity and disruptive thinking at the IdeaFestival.
He was recently profiled on CBS' This Morning program.
His "Tree of Life" project grows 40 varieties of old stone fruits on a single tree using a process known as grafting, a technique used by orchardists to bud sports of desirable fruits and nuts onto a compatible root stock. The root stock supplies energy for growth. The grafted limb bears the desired fruit.
His project, I have to say, has a special poignancy in this summer of violence and conflict. It instantly brought to mind the soundtrack from the film Tree of Life, particularly the haunted and operatic beauty of Lacrimosa. If you get a chance today, listen to it, and then go read Walt Whitman's O Me! O Life! and be reminded that life is good and precious.
I hope to see you at the IdeaFestival! Please be aware that prices for a festival pass will increase on Sept. 2, so if you're planning to attend now is the time to reserve your spot.