What is it? An idea festival brings together speakers, performers, and multimedia presentations over a concentrated period of time, such as a week or weekend. Audience members gain exposure and are able to discuss dozens, or even hundreds, of ideas and models. The development of new connections and having so many perspectives juxtaposed with one another in time and space is part of what makes a festival like this so powerful. Festivals may be focused around a central theme or may touch on many different issues. Either way such festivals encourage participants to engage with each other and draw connections between the different ideas shared.
How has it been used? Louisville, KY hosts an annual event called IdeaFestival that brings a group of thinkers from all over the world to discuss their ideas in an open forum. The speakers range from poets to scientists to entrepreneurs. This broad group of presenters allows for new connections and collaborations to develop. Each of the speakers is selected because they have something they can contribute to helping produce “disruptive positive change”. Attendees help disseminate these new ideas throughout the community and use fresh approaches for dealing with old problems. In addition to being able to directly apply some of the lessons learned, participants also come to understand the possibility that new creative solutions to their problems are possible. (Source: IdeaFestival)