IdeaFestival 2014- Opening Your Mind to the Possibilities

By: Jordan Cornett

Working in communications, I am often wondering how I can most effectively convey the right idea to my audience. While this certainly involves creativity, like any job, it can become routine as I work with similar clients in conveying similar ideas much of the time. It isn’t every day that I am able to sit back and think innovatively outside the realm of my clients’ specific needs.

That is why I couldn’t be more thankful for the opportunity to be a part of IdeaFestival 2014 this week. IdeaFestival was founded in 2000 and is a celebration for the intellectually curious who come together to explore the future of the arts, business, technology, design, science, philosophy and education. For three days, our region is fortunate enough to house this creative experience as experts from around the globe impart their wisdom to festival attendees.

I would be lying if I said I wasn’t initially skeptical of many of the topics being discussed at IdeaFestival. In fact, when I first looked at my agenda for the week, I wondered why we should even take time to discuss topics such as immortality or the possibility of life on other planets.

But as I allowed myself to become more immersed in the subjects, my cynicism began diminishing and a new thought emerged. Maybe what is even crazier than thinking about these ideas is the failure to allow ourselves to open our minds and actually give them thought at all.

It is certainly an intimidating task to broach relatively unexplored subjects or learn how to communicate old subjects in new ways, but maybe that is exactly why we must. Where innovation ceases, discovery ceases. A round world remains flat.

I most particularly enjoyed this morning’s Art on the Edge seminar, when New York-based Creative Capital President Ruby Lerner introduced the audience to four very diverse, disruptive artists and thinkers who are influencing the world in unique ways through their art. Whether through photography, beekeeping or cooking, these artists all strive to influence the community through distinct approaches.

While many presenters such as these strive to combat present-day issues like technology waste and unhealthy eating habits, others focused on the future.

The conference opened up with science writer Lee Billings, who explored the future search for life in the universe as well as the profound implications the search holds for our civilization on earth. Philosopher Stephen Cave was next in line, discussing the idea of immortality and how such an idea has influenced and shaped civilization.

These experts are just a handful out of the dozens stretching the minds of participants this week. I have left the past two days of IdeaFestival with a mind exhausted from so many new thoughts, yet invigorated by them at the same time. More IdeaFestival updates coming tomorrow. Until then, I’m off to learn how to survive the great zombie apocalypse!

Jordan Cornett is an Account Coordinator at Heartland Communications Consultants, Inc. and frequent blogger for KIX.


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