Idea Festival 2011

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The Future of Making Out? Virtual Kisses and Sex Robots

Research scientist Sheril Kirshenbaum discusses the future of kissing, from sending a virtual kiss to making out with Roxxxy, a full-size interactive sex doll.

Does Gerontologist Aubrey de Grey Want to Defy Death?

Biomedical gerontologist Aubrey de Grey says although he doesn't know whether or not he would want to live to be 1000 (or even 100) years old, he does know that he would like to be able to make the choice when the time comes. "It's not about longevity," insists de Grey.

The she28 Campaign: Better Sanitary Protection. Period.

Girls and women in developing countries can miss school and/or work (up to 50 days) because they don't have access to affordable sanitary pads. The goal of Sustainable Health Enterprises (she) is to increase access to affordable sanitary pads through sustainable businesses.

The Drunkard's Walk: Making Sense of Random Wanderings

Physicist and author Leonard Mlodinow explores the extraordinary extent to which randomness, chance and probability influence and shape our work and everyday lives.

How to Run a Winning Political Campaign? Fight Back First

Sam Graham-Felsen, a global new media strategist who was Barack Obama’s chief blogger for his 2008 transformational presidential campaign, discusses how the Obama campaign team fought prominent political smears during the election.

Federal CTO Chopra Maintains Enthusiasm Amid DC Gridlock

The Onion's Baratunde Thurston asks Federal CTO Aneesh Chopra how he maintains his enthusiasm for championing the benefits of open innovation within the United States government.

Want to Foster Innovation? Put Down Your iPad and Unplug

IBM technology evangelist David Barnes champions boredom as a critical ingredient in fostering innovation. Trying to come up with the next big disruptive idea? Unplug for awhile.

Should We Kill Our Enemies? Yes, Says Parag Khanna

When asked about the United States knocking off its enemies, author and international relations expert Parag Khanna says he supports assassination under certain circumstances. "Yes we can kill our enemies, and sometimes we should," says Khanna. 

Neuromarketing: How to Appeal to the Reptilian Brain

Neuromarketing pioneer Patrick Renvoise discusses the importance of visual stimulation as it relates to the reptilian brain's influence on consumer spending habits.

Multiverse Doppelgangers: Do Many Versions of You Exist?

Theoretical astrophysicist Suketu Bhavsar examines the probability that many versions of you exist in an universe that expands infinitely.

Azure Antoinette Shares a Poem at the IdeaFestival

Azure Antoinette shares a poem during the 2011 Idea Festival hosted in Louisville, Kentucky.

United States Constitution: Unrepresentative and Illegal?

Philosopher and democracy advocate Christopher Phillips examines the framing of the U.S. Constitution, which was technically drafted against the law of the land at the time, the Articles of Confederation, and without input from the citizens.

Want to Prolong Life? Listen to Your Body, Says de Grey

Biomedical gerontologist Aubrey de Grey shares insight on how to prolong ones life. "Do not generalize, do not just buy a book and believe what it says," says de Grey. "Pay attention to your own body, listen to what works for you."

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About this conference

We believe that with ideas we create the future. Much of the world-changing innovation that we are witnessing in the 21st century emerges at and from the intersections of many disciplines – science, the arts, business, design, technology, education, medicine and beyond. This innovative thinking occurs most frequently when you have the opportunity to step away from your regular routine and learn about, discuss and explore how to integrate diverse and seemingly unrelated ideas and connections. The IdeaFestival remedies this often-missed opportunity by providing a unique “space” for the convergence of break-through thinking and lively debate. This series of events attracts leading innovators and curious minds from across the nation and around the globe.

About IdeaFestival

Founded in 2000, the IdeaFestival (IF) is a world-class event that attracts leading and highly diverse thinkers from across the nation and around the globe to explore and celebrate innovation, imagination and cutting-edge ideas.

The IdeaFestival is a unique non-linear event designed to stretch people's horizon's and promote breakthrough thinking... utilizing multiple venues to showcase, discuss and "connect" important ideas in science, the arts, design, business, film, technology, education, etc.

The Festival is designed to appeal to a broad cross-section of people - with presenters selected for their ideas, achievements, and their ability to communicate to a wide-ranging audience.

An important value of the IF is its accessibility. Strong support from sponsors allows the event to be priced at a level (with many events free) that provides for participation by a large and diverse audience, including students and young people.

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