IdeaFestival Bowling Green
The third annual IdeaFestival Bowling Green, set for March 18 at WKU’s Downing Student Union, promises to be the best year yet for the annual celebration of ideas.
This one-day speaker series features six presentations split into three 75-minute sessions. Each session will end with a 15-minute Q&A panel discussion with all speakers from that session. The theme of “Bring Your Ideas” reflects the interactive nature of this year’s event, which will feature hands-on, minds-on activities during the two scheduled breaks.
The Rise Group headlines this year’s keynote session. Rise is a New York City-based business consulting and leadership development company that “exists to unlock the creative energy and untapped human potential within organizations.” Dan Heasman and Gareth Miles will present “Unlocking Your Inner Entrepreneur” and focus on the tools and behaviors that bring out the everyday entrepreneur in everyone, including asking the right questions, choosing your words wisely, embracing constraints, and more.
The first session kicks off at 9 a.m. with Samantha McCormick, the owner of Taboo Dance & Fitness. McCormick is a WKU graduate and was recently a featured speaker during the Fall 2015 WKU Entrepreneur Speaker Series. During “My Unconventional Path to a Non-Traditional Business,” McCormick will share how she opened her business by utilizing her resources, taking advantage of the assistance that was being offered, and keeping a smile connected to an awesome attitude.
Session one wraps up with a joint talk featuring Ben Hibben of LVL1 Hackerspace in Louisville, and Bill Cloyd and Keith Hollifield of Newton’s Attic in Lexington. The trio will present “Play: The Ultimate Learning Tool.” Cloyd and Hollifield will mesmerize participants with a small fleet of remote control robots while sharing how math, science, and engineering knowledge gives them the ability to create their amazing contraptions. Hibben will add how the Maker Movement is empowering people to build their ideas and how people don’t have to be a huge nerd or super rich to build their own ideas anymore.
The third session begins at 1:15 p.m. with “Finding Your Voice Through the Arts” by professional visual and performing artist Mark Whitley. In addition to entertaining the crowd with some music, Whitley will discuss how the arts have taken him places he may never have visited and opened his eyes to the stories of his ancestors, whose stories he shares through the songs he writes and the things he builds.
Following Whitley will be WKU Sustainability Coordinator Christian Ryan, who will present “Why Sustain When We Can Disrupt?” Ryan’s talk asks why we should sustain the status quo for future generations when we can disrupt for a better world. She will share some of her favorite big and beautifully disruptive ideas in the world of sustainability.
Wrapping up the day is a talk from Tessa Duvall, the education, children and families reporter at The Florida Times Union who gave a TEDx talk at Jacksonville’s event in October 2015. In “When We Say ‘Bad Schools’,” Duvall will address how it’s easy to write off a school’s problems as simply bad kids, lazy teachers and absentee parents. But the answer, she explains, is never that simple.
In addition to the speakers, IFBG 2016 will feature breakout sessions meant to stimulate the creativity of participants. Explore different topics in rapid-fire flash classes, share the ideas you’re motivated to pursue in the Inspiration Station, experience hands-on building and project demonstrations in the IFBG Makerspace, learn how to write computer code and pitch your ideas, build something fun with 3-D printing pens, and explore the arts through work from Chad Singer, an interactive cube project, and a panoramic mural.
Information on speakers, presentation descriptions, videos from IFBG 2014 and 2015, and a link to buy tickets for IFBG 2016 can be found at ideafestivalbg.com.
Tickets are $20 for the general public and $10 for WKU and high school students.
For more information call (270) 745-3015 or visit ideafestivalbg.com