Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Idea Fest schedule

Velocity's pop-culture guru Peter Berkowitz offers his take on this year's festival lineup

For four days, all are welcome to witness new, often surprising perspectives on where our society will — or, at least, should — be heading. While none of these people have appeared on Dancing With the Stars, many are superstars in their own fields of work and study.


Thrivals 3.0
Get an early start with this daylong seminar led by futurist Nat Irvin II. 7a.m.

Janelle Monae
The wonderfully spaced-out singer and composer helps get things going with a very special Idea Festival concert. 8p.m.


Dynamics of Arts in Healthcare
A panel discussion on how the arts can influence health care and the healing process. (Or is it really about how Obamacare is a socialist plot to destroy Betty White? Hmm?) 7:45 a.m.

Stefan Sagmeister
The acclaimed graphic designer is also a multiple Grammy nominee, but he'll be discussing the future of design, not playing hot tracks from the new Taylor Swift record. 9 a.m.

Daphne Miller
In “The Jungle Effect,” physician Miller shares her findings on how different local practices culled from around the world can benefit our health. Note: Bring your own yoga mat. 10:30 a.m.

Peter W. Singer
I'm a guy who gets a tingling feeling from the title of this presentation: “Robotics and the Future of Conflict in the 21st Century.” I'm envisioning many educational clips from RoboCop and Iron Man. 12 p.m.

Hugh Herr
On the same track, this MIT professor talks about his work with bionics, and how this will all lead one day to robot housekeepers like we were promised by The Jetsons. 1:30 p.m.

Rick Bragg
Look! It's that rarest of creatures — a well-paid journalist! The author All Over But the Shoutin' and Ava's Man will discuss the art of storytelling. 3p.m.

Anand Giridharadas
What's a “fushionista”? Or “Ghandian engineering”? Learn how they will bring about an entire reshaping of our planet, all in less time than it takes to watch an episode of Project Runway. 4:30 p.m.

Ben Sollee
This popular singer/songwriter/cellist has toured now by bicycle because he believes in helping the planet by living sustainably. If there are lights on in the theater, try to not be too confused by the contradiction. 7:45 p.m.


Jim Tucker
Do you believe that you have lived past lives? Do you love the Baby Geniuses movies? Tucker will discuss his work with children “who appear to have vivid memories of previous lives.” 9a.m.

Will Pearson
While it's rare to combine hard-won knowledge with goofball fun, Pearson and his interactive “Mental Floss Trivia Show” will delight people who dream of canoodling with NPR's Carl Kassel. 10:30 a.m.

Dom Sagolla
A summary of a Twitter co-founder should be 140 characters or less, yes? He's also the author of a book called 140 Characters... surprise! (Was that short enough?) 12 p.m.

Caroline Alexander
This author delves into The Iliad, the Trojan War and the lessons that emerge from Homer's epic tale. Russell Crowe, we've found your next hit! 1:30 p.m.

Daniel Tammet
This best-selling author is “a high-functioning autistic savant” who will share his point of view on the world through the prism of autism. 3p.m.

Alejandro Echeverri
The architect, a co-winner of the prestigious Curry Stone Design Prize, will discuss his efforts to re-design the troubled city of Medellin, Colombia. 4:30 p.m.

The dancers, gymnasts and actors of this Los Angeles troupe present a surreal night of theater centered on individuals and their environs. So, yes, they do think they can dance. 8 p.m.


The author — aka Ramona Lofton — of the book Push will talk about the novel and the hugely successful film Precious that it inspired. 9 a.m.

Philip Done
In “Close Encounters of the Third Grade Kind,” this teacher will share tales of from the educational frontlines, as well as his thoughts about our educational system. 10:30 a.m.

What Is Literary Louisville?
A panel of local writers and publishers will address this question. 10:30 a.m.

Creating the Artful Organization
Funding guru Ruby Lerner and others discuss how to raise cash without selling your soul. 12 p.m.

Sean Carroll
This Cal Tech physicist has written a book about time, from cool stuff like time travel to more academic questions like why we perceive each work day as being, like, really really long. 1:30 p.m.

Philippe Petit
Meet the man famous for — illegally — walking a tightwire between the World Trade Center towers in 1974. He still trains daily for... well, you'll just have to come and find out. 3 p.m.

Tori Murden McClure
The Spalding University president is also an adventurer who has done a bunch of crazy stuff that none of us will ever have the guts to do. 4:30 p.m.

The Contemplative Life
The philosophy of Thomas Merton, the monk who did some if his most profound thinking at Kentucky's Abbey of Gethsemani, is the subject of this panel discussion. 4:30 p.m.

Jon Landau
The producer of the blockbuster flicks Titanic and Avatar will discuss what it takes to get a film made from start to (hopefully) successful finish. 7 p.m.

All events listed are at the Kentucky Center for the Arts, 501 W. Main St.

(Credit: Illustration by Josh Thomas)

c. 2010 Velocity Weekly

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