Arts and Culture

IdeaFestival founder Kris Kimel says it’s the excitement brought by new ideas that drives him to continue with the event each year. Kimel is president and a founder of the Kentucky Science and Technology Corporation. He says each year’s festival is created with the understanding that “there’s no such thing as useless knowledge.”

The 16th annual IdeaFestival kicks off Tuesday at the Kentucky Center. I spoke with Kimel about launching IdeaFestival and about the process of designing the event every year. You can hear our conversation in the audio player above.

On the process of creating an agenda year after year: 

“Basically each year we start out with almost like a blank canvas. And we start looking at and looking for people…ideas that we think are important to communicate through the festival. In some cases, ideas that are timely which is also important to us. And we just begin developing — kind of designing — the festival, almost like a painting that you begin with a stroke of red paint and then you have some green and yellow or whatever. It begins to form a pattern and at the end of the year we have a festival.”

On his favorite IdeaFestival presenter so far: 

“A number of years ago we had Sir George Martin who was, of course, the producer for the Beatles. He did an amazing event on the creativity behind the making of Sgt. Pepper. It was an audio…kind of a visual thing where he talked a lot about the ideas and imagination that went into that iconic album. He was here for several days and I got to spend some time with him and his wife. So I would say that was — there was a lot of people I’ve enjoyed meeting — Steve Wozniak and others — but I would say the special one for me personally is George Martin.”

Here’s a list of our other stories on the 2016 IdeaFestival:

The Hidden History Of ‘Us’

Surviving In A World Of Uncertainty

Where Will Virtual Reality Take Us?

The IdeaFestival begins Tuesday, Sept. 27 at the Kentucky Center. You can find more information here.

Bill Burton is the Morning Edition host for WFPL News.