Creativity and innovation will be on display February 28 at the Downing Student Union Auditorium as Innovate Kentucky hosts the inaugural IdeaFestival Bowling Green. The one-day festival features nine of Kentucky’s brightest innovators plus keynote speaker Bill Capodagli, who will present Dreams and Dreamers: How to Innovate Like Walt Disney and the Pixarians.
“From the beginning Innovate Kentucky has wanted to host a speaker series on WKU’s campus,” said Josh Raymer, Executive Administrator of Innovate Kentucky. “When we found out IdeaFestival was looking to expand across Kentucky, we saw a chance to merge two goals into an exciting new event that showcases Kentucky’s innovation.”
IdeaFestival is held annually in Louisville and is described as “a celebration for the intellectually curious.” National thought-leaders from a wide range of disciplines speak to sold-out crowds during the three-day event. IdeaFestival branched out in 2013 with IF Lexington, a two-day event that led to the creation of IdeaFestival Bowling Green.
Kris Kimel, president of the Kentucky Science and Technology Corporation and the founder of IdeaFestival, said the theme of IFBG is relevant now more than it’s ever been. “IF Bowling Green is delving even deeper into the IdeaFestival mantra of Stay Curious though its twin themes of creativity and innovation, elements that are the new currency for success regardless of ‘what you do,’” he explained.
Creativity and innovation can be found in the behind-the-scenes magic at Pixar, which is the focus of the keynote presentation. Dreams and Dreamers is described as “a tour of the most innovative, creative organization in the world. You’ll learn how to look at the world through a child’s eyes, how to believe in your team, how to jump in and try something different, how to create your own corporate playground, and more.”
The nine session speakers are all superb examples of the innovation that is happening in Kentucky. Speakers from Hitcents, Fruit of the Loom, Kentucky Bourbon Trail, Alltech, Connected Nation, and Kentucky Space will address topics from product innovation to satellite design to economic collaboration. Dana Bowers, founder of iPay Technologies, will explore her entrepreneurial journey and urge the dreamers in the crowd to start their own businesses. Chris Young and Andrew Swanson are the director and executive producer, respectively, of a Kickstarter-funded TV pilot called Alone Down There and will explain how a TV show gets made in 2014. Kim Huston, author of Small Town Sexy, will touch on the movement back toward smaller towns like Bardstown, KY, which was named the “Most Beautiful Small Town in America” by USA Today and Rand McNally.
The festival will have several interactive features, including question and answer panels at the end of each session where participants can tweet or text questions and a large mural created by artist Andee Rudloff that will evolve throughout the day with help from audience members. WKU Forensics team members will serve as emcees for IFBG.
“Ideas galore!” said Julia Roberts, executive director of The Center for Gifted Studies. “Don’t miss IdeaFestival Bowling Green. In fact, we hope it is a new tradition for you.”
Festival passes are $10 for students and $20 for the general public. For more information visit www.ideafestivalbg.com.