IdeaFest provokes Louisville thinkers

By on September 20, 2012

By Aimee Jewell–

Nearly 12 years ago, an innovative proposal, IdeaFestival, was created in the rolling hills of the Kentucky Bluegrass. This ground-breaking event celebrates the uniqueness of those who contribute and presents it in a fun and interesting way. The diverse presentations, taking place Sept. 19 through Sept. 22 at the Kentucky Center for the Arts, include a plethora of pioneers. The line-up has ranged from creative computer engineer Steve Wozniak, the Co-Founder of Apple, to the social media expert Dom Sagolla, the Co-Creator of Twitter, to the multi-talented Sir George Martin, CBE, English record producer, arranger, composer, conductor, audio engineer and musician. But that’s not all the intellectual entertainment provides for its patrons.

According to their website,, the distinctive celebration honors thinkers from around the globe, taking their one-of-a-kind ideas and presenting them to an audience. From philosophy and design to business and education and everything in-between, Kris Kimel, founder of the IdeaFestival, seems to have caught on to something. President of Kentucky Science and Technology, Kimel seems to have found a novel crowd-pleaser. In a recent interview with USA Today’s Jessie Halladay, Kimel explains, “Hopefully, we are inspiring people to think big thoughts and expand their dreams.”

Among the featured presenters listed on for this year’s conference, Micelle Bombe, costume designer for Shakespeare Behind Bars, Sarathabu Elumalai of Thrivals 5.0, Greg Van Kirk, Co-founder of Community Enterprise Solutions and Social Entrepreneur Corps. and Rosalind Picard, a Professor at the MIT Media Lab. With the tagline “Stay Curious,” the IdeaFestival wants attendees to begin thinking out of the box, starting now.

Thousands will flock to the Kentucky Center from Wednesday to Saturday to see what ideas they can watch take shape. Idea forums are open to the public, but sessions are filling up fast. Tickets for specific events can be purchased at the website,, or at

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