Categories: Arts and CultureCommunity

Here’s Who You Will See At IdeaFestival 2017

IdeaFestival organizers like to say the annual, multi-day event is a “celebration of the curious.” And there are plenty of speakers to pique attendees’ curiosity this year.

It starts Tuesday with “Thrivals 10.0,” a series of presentations geared heavily towards upper high school and college students, about some big ideas. It is a sponsored collaboration between the University of Louisville College of Business and the Kentucky Science and Technology Corporation.

This year, presenters — including singer Janelle Monae, dancer Wendy Whelan and mathematician Cathy O’Neil — will cover “grit” and “algorithms.”

The following days of the festival will include talks from more than 15 main stage presenters:

Busy Burr: Burr is the Head of Innovation at Humana and a longtime improve performer. She will talk about how being comfortable with being “unprepared” has changed how she lives and works.

Ann Carlson: Carlson is an artist whose work blends elements of dance, theater and site-specific installation. She will present on “Ideas On the Edge.”

Emily Dreyfuss: Dreyfuss, a senior writer at WIRED, will speak on how some of the biggest emerging technologies are profoundly influencing and disrupting business and culture.

Joe Geoghegan: In 2016, Louisville-native Goeghegan and his high-school friend Noah quit their jobs and began an incredible adventure from Louisville to Antarctica — all by land and sea. He has thoughts on how traveling can help facilitate a better understanding of diversity.

Peter Gray: Gray, a research psychologist at Boston College, will speak on the “Power of Play.”

Anshu Gupta: Gupta is the founder of the India-based startup Goon. He will discuss trash (not cash) -based economies.

Dr. Timothy S. Harlan: Dr. Harlan is is a board certified internist, chef and director of Goldring Center for Culinary Medicine at Tulane University. His presentation is called “The Art of Food as Medicine.”

Scott Hotaling: Climate scientist Scott Hotaling will discuss his use of ecological and genomic tools to better understand how biodiversity is and may be impacted on recent timescales.

Lars Jan: Jan is the founder of Early Morning Opera, a genre-bending performance and art lab, whose works explore emerging technologies, live audiences and unclassifiable experiences. His past work has been seen in settings ranging from the Whitney Museum to Sundance to Times Square.

William Kellibrew: At age 10, Kellibrew witnessed the murders of his mother and 12-year-old brother by his mom’s former boyfriend. He is now an advocate for issues surrounding abuse and childhood trauma.

John King: CNN Chief National Correspondent John King will discuss the increasing polarization of the U.S. electorate.

Richard Kogan: As both a pianist and psychiatrist, Kogan will offer a unique presentation on “The Mind and Music of Chopin.”

The Rise Group: The Rise Group is an NYC consulting firm who will expand on the advice: “To Innovate: Start at Crazy.”

Rudy Rucker: Rucker is a Louisville-based mathematician and founder of the cyberpunk literary movement. He will speak about his vision of the future.

Eric Simanek: Simanek is the Robert A. Welch Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry at Texas Christian University. He will speak about two of his favorite topics during his presentation “The Science of Whiskey.”

More information about the festival can be found here

Ashlie Stevens

Ashlie Stevens is WFPL's Arts & Culture Reporter. Her main interests include art, food and drink, and urban preservation. Among other publications, her work has been featured in print or on the web at The Atlantic, National Geographic, Slate, Salon, The Guardian, Hyperallergic, Louisville Magazine and Eater.

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