Field Notes: The Untapped Power of Diversity in a Fractured World

In October 2016 Louisvillian and occasional worker Joe Geoghegan and his high-school friend Noah quit their jobs and began an incredible adventure from Louisville to Antarctica...all by land and sea. Traveling by his wits Geoghegan has explored more than a dozen countries and met with scores of people. This experience has left a variety of intense impressions on him, including how such traveling can help facilitate a better understanding among diverse people in an increasingly fractured world. Geoghegan is interrupting his adventure to return to IdeaFestival from Australia to share his notes, experiences and deep impressions of his travels.

Humans and the Planet: An Unnatural History

Our planet is undergoing disruptive change on a global scale. Patterns involving rising temperatures, changing sea levels, increasingly common extreme weather events and their implications (including public health) may be driving another mass change and extinction of life on Earth. Climate change biologist Scott Hotaling, Ph.D. joins IdeaFestival 2017 to discuss his use of ecological and genomic tools, to better understand how biodiversity is and may be impacted on recent timescales. Whether you live in coastal Florida, the mountains of Tibet or Louisville ramifications of this dramatic change will affect all of us.

Ideas On The Edge

We are delighted to welcome Creative Capital artists Ann Carlson and Ghana ThinkTank to IdeaFestival 2017. Ann Carlson borrows from the disciplines of dance, performance, theater, visual and conceptual art, often dismantling conventional boundaries between artist and subject. Carlson’s work takes the form of solo dance/performance, site-specific projects, ensemble theatrical works and performance/video. The Ghana ThinkTank is a worldwide network of think tanks, founded in 2006 and managed by John Ewing, Carmen Montoya and Christopher Robbins, creating strategies to resolve local problems in the "developed" world. The network began with think tanks from Ghana, Cuba and El Salvador, and has since expanded to include Serbia, Mexico and Ethiopia. In partnership with Creative Capital.

Ann Carlson

Ann Carlson

Ghana ThinkTank: John Ewing, Carmen Montoya, Christopher Robbins

Ghana ThinkTank:
John Ewing, Carmen Montoya, Christopher Robbins

Polarization: A View from the Front Lines with John King

CNN chief national correspondent, analyst and anchor of Inside Politics John King offers his thoughts and insights on the increasing polarization of the US electorate. King will provide insights from the front-line of the national debate, historical context and thoughts on where we might go from here. He will then be joined by psychologist Phil Kraemer Ph.D. and artist Hannah Drake for a broader conversation offering differing perspectives on this issue and the fact that any possible "solutions" are fraught with many complex and very deep issues that go far beyond simply political differences. Conversation moderated by Tom Eblen.

The Science of Whiskey

Eric Simanek, chemist, chair and director of the IdeaFactory at Texas Christian University (TCU) comes to IdeaFestival 2017 to discuss his amazing and wonderfully illustrated book entitled Shots of Knowledge: The Science of Whiskey, a guidebook for bourbon lovers. The story begins with the Big Bang and travels through photosynthesis, bubble caps, oak speciation or a mechanistic enzymology. Simanek reveals the elegant beauty of whiskey production often masked behind the science and engineering.