They have crafted a crossroads, a framework, an oasis for ideas, creativity, potential, and infinite possibilities. When people speak together face to face, extraordinary things can happen.
Sarah Ivens, Louisville Courier-Journal
What happens at the IdeaFestival never stays at the IdeaFestival.
Here are some of the articles written during and after IdeaFestival 2015. I hope you'll enjoy reliving some of it!
TechRepublic was actively involved with the festival this year, contributing a number of articles by a team of writers, including Jason Hiner and Hope Reese, that appeared smartly after presentations. I happen to know that they worked very, very hard. Thank you!
One of our favorites included alternative pathways to higher education. It's no secret that the cost of higher education has soared in the last couple of decades. Affordability is a major problem for many people. Fortunately many smart entrepreneurs are actively working to disrupt the accreditation market.
Here's to their success.
In another session, astronomer and author Bob Berman challenged the audience to broaden its ideas about what can be known about the universe to include personal experience, asking whether empiricism can ever truly describe all that there is to know. The "great unsolved problem of consciousness" produces, for example, the widespread yet utterly singular feeling for each of us of being love, an emotional cosmos, "the sun and the stars," as the Bard said, generated for an audience of one. Not everything is accessible to scientific method because the ledger is infinite.
When it comes to the universe, we run out of symbols.
Find all of the TechRepbulic articles on the other side of this link!
In her wide ranging write up, We Blog the World's Renee Blodgett said that "It’s no secret that Idea Festival is one of my favorite annual 'moments' in the South every year."
Unlike TED which focuses on shorter talks and no Q&A, Idea Festival gives every speaker an hour which includes interaction with the audience, many of which are smart students who are eager to change the world, even before they graduate. With a heavy academic and cultural focus, the speakers are vastly diverse, and insights come from a variety of disciplines, including literature, history, politics, culture, arts, music, science and technology.
We're glad to see Renee make the point about speaker access. Speakers at the IdeaFestival are always encouraged to interact with attendees during the question and answer session following talks, of course, but also to talk with people during the many book signings and during the festival's unique Ideas Night Out dinners, an event where attendees can dine and converse with their favorite presenters. Now two years old, Ideas Night Out is becoming a signature IdeaFestival food event, along with the annual and ever popular "Taste" evening, which this year visited Butchertown’s Copper & Kings Distillery.
Locally, Insider Louisville was on hand to document the festival and contributed a number of articles, covering, for example, Scott Barry Kaufman's talk on the often misguided measures of intelligence. Using his all-too-personal experience as a youth in special ed, Kaufman pointed out that the narrow confines and measures of intelligence miss talents. They certainly missed his. Since that inauspicious beginning, he has become one of the world's leading cognitive researchers on the psychology of creativity and is seeking to develop a "creativity quotient" that measures the human capacity for invention. While not unique in the animal kingdom, this instinct in humans for the unknown is surely the most well developed.
Insider Louisville also contributed a piece on the stirring talk by Stephanie Fried on her sometimes harrowing, sometimes touching experiences as a war correspondent.
Find all the Insider Louisville contributions here.
Louisville Business First covered the exomedicine session, which asked, "what if the next breakthrough in medicine isn't on Earth?" and pointed out that for the first time in human history, we mortals can control for gravity. By temporarily suspending one of the four fundamental physical forces of the universe, all kinds of basic research into disease dynamics may be conducted while on orbit.
And as a matter of fact, it is.
That's thinking outside the atmosphere.
"What," Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer asked 74-time Jeopardy champion Ken Jennings, "is bourbon, bitters, sugar and water?" The question stumped the quiz show champion. Find out the answer here.
"Jennifer Lawrence, Johnny Depp, George Clooney...," the Louisville Courier-Journal asked a different sort of question. "Why do Kentuckians make the best celebrities?" The hometown newspaper also contributed an article on the power of serendipitous connection to change - and perhaps to save - a life. The quote at the top of this page is pulled from Sarah Givens' piece for the Courier-Journal. Thank you, Sarah!
As for the IdeaFestival blog, I liked very much Kaufman's talk. And my favorite quote came from the artist Titus Kaphar, who, in response to an audience question about how he could be "so real," paused, and at length said that when he makes work, he never wants "to lie to himself." As directors of our own lives, we prosper, I think, in direct proportion to our honesty, in sure relationship with what's true about each of us.
Every artist knows who she is.