Past Events 2023 - A Destination for Ideation | Asheville Ideas Fest

Asheville Ideas Fest 2023

Reflecting on 2023

Our second annual Asheville Ideas Fest was comprised of heavy-hitting speakers and panelists. This dynamic group coupled with our attendees made for great conversation and innovative ideas. AIF thanks them for their motivation and participation.

Speakers for AIF 2023

2023 AIF Schedule

Tues, 7-13
Tues
6-14
Wed, 7-14
Wed
6-15
Thurs, 7-15
Thurs
6-16
Fri, 7-16
Fri
6-17
Sat, 7-17
Sat
6-18
Arrival & Check-In
Tapping of the AIF Launch Lager with Musical Guests Noah Proudfoot and the Botanicals.
6:00pm
The Restoration Hotel
Welcome Reception with Live Music
6:00-8:00pm
The Restoration Hotel
Coffee & Networking
8:30-9:00am
UNCA, Highsmith Student Union’s Blue Ridge Room
Welcome
by Dr.Kimberly van Noort (Interim Chancellor, UNC Asheville)
9:00-9:15am
UNCA, Highsmith Student Union’s Blue Ridge Room
I Never Thought of it That Way: Approaching Difficult Conversations with Curiosity and Joy
with Mónica Guzmán (Senior Fellow for Public Practice, Braver Angels) and John E. Jones III (President, Dickinson College)
9:15-10:15am
UNCA, Highsmith Student Union’s Blue Ridge Room
Networking Break
Tapping of the AIF Launch Lager with Musical Guests Noah Proudfoot and the Botanicals.
10:15-10:45am
UNCA, Highsmith Student Union’s Blue Ridge Room
Braver Angels Red/Blue Fishbowl Exercise
10:45-12:00pm
UNCA
Lunch
12:00-1:00pm
Placing the Platform: Using 3D Technology to Pinpoint Lincoln at Gettysburg
Keynote with Christopher Oakley (Associate Professor of New Media, UNC Asheville)
1:00-2:00pm
UNCA, Highsmith Student Union’s Blue Ridge Room
Quick Break
2:00-2:15pm
UNCA, Highsmith Student Union’s Blue Ridge Room
The Intersection of Freedom of Speech and Social Media: Are They Compatible With Democracy?
With Laura Edelson (Postdoctoral Researcher, New York University), Alex Abdo (Litigation Director, Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University), moderated by Seth Berlin (Senior Counsel, Ballard Spahr)
2:15-3:30pm
UNCA, Highsmith Student Union’s Blue Ridge Room
Explore Asheville Afternoon Break
● Stand-up Paddle boarding the French Broad
● Braver Angels Red/Blue Debate
● AIF’23 Visiting Artist Show
● Historical Walking Tour of Asheville
3:30-6:00pm
Evening Reception
6:00-7:00pm
Highland Brewing, Old Charlotte Hwy
World War C: Lessons from the Covid-19 Pandemic and How to Prepare for the Next One
with Sanjay Gupta, M.D. (Emmy® Award-winning Chief Medical Correspondent, CNN)
7:00-8:00pm
Highland Brewing, Old Charlotte Hwy
Live Music at Asheville’s Original Brewery
with Graham Sharp (Grammy-winning guitarist and vocalist, Steep Canyon Rangers)and Josh Turknett, M.D. (Founder, The Brainjo Academy)
8:00-9:30pm
Highland Brewing, Old Charlotte Hwy
Coffee and Networking
8:30-9:00am
UNCA, Highsmith Student Union’s Blue Ridge Room
Witness to History Literary Panel
curated by Wiley Cash, (New York Times best-selling author and UNC Asheville Alumni Author in Residence), with panel discussions by Shaun Assael (award-winning journalist, author, and correspondent), Kevin Maurer (New York Times best-selling author of No Easy Day and American Radical), and Melba Newsome (award-winning journalist, editor, and writer)
9:00-10:00am
UNCA, Highsmith Student Union’s Blue Ridge Room
Networking
Meet your fellow event goers and make lasting connections during the networking Break and Book Signing with Lynn Pasquerella.
10:00-10:30am
UNCA, Highsmith Student Union’s Blue Ridge Room
AI: The Risks,The Potential, & The Governance Needed To Steward Safer Development
with Daniel Schmachtenberger (co-founder, Civilization Research Initiative) and Zak Stein (Chief Education Officer, Civilizational Research Institute)
10:30-12:00pm
UNCA, Highsmith Student Union’s Blue Ridge Room
Lunch
12:00-1:00pm
Restoring Public Trust in Journalism
with Charlie Sykes (Founder and editor-at-large of The Bulwark; NBC/MSNBC contributor), Paula Kerger (President and CEO, PBS) and Amna Nawaz (co-anchor, PBS NewsHour), moderated by David Crabtree (CEO of PBS North Carolina)
1:00-2:00pm
UNCA, Highsmith Student Union’s Blue Ridge Room
Quick Break
2:00-2:15pm
UNCA, Highsmith Student Union’s Blue Ridge Room
The Critical Role of Literature in Troubled Times
with Kwame Alexander (New York Times best-selling author and Newbery Medal winner)and Wiley Cash, (New YorkTimes best-selling author and UNC Asheville Alumni Author in Residence)
2:15-3:15pm
UNCA, Highsmith Student Union’s Blue Ridge Room
Explore Asheville Afternoon Break
  • Cognitive Cross Training: Sustaining Brain Health Through Neuroplasticity with Dr.Josh Turknett
  • e-Biking the French Broad River
  • Biltmore Gardens Tour
  • Good Conversations Curate Good Ideas: Making Conversations 100% Better Workshop
  • 3:15-6:00pm
    Evening Reception
    6:00-7:00pm
    Omni Grove Park inn
    The Critical Role of Literature in Troubled Times
    with Chris Singleton (speaker and author)
    7:00-8:00pm
    Omni Grove Park Inn
    From Baltimore to Broadway
    with vocalist Bryan Terrell Clark (of Broadway’s Hamilton and Motown) and the Asheville Symphony Orchestra
    8:15-9:45pm
    Omni Grove Park Inn
    Coffee & Networking
    8:30-9:00am
    UNCA, Highsmith Student Union’s Blue Ridge Room
    Writing A Round with Golf’s Legends (Literary Panel)
    with Pete McDaniel (bestselling author and Tiger Woods's biographer) and James Dodson (Founding editor of O.Henry Arts and Culture Magazine, New York Times best-seller, and Arnold Palmer’s biographer), moderated by by Wiley Cash, (New YorkTimes best-selling author and UNC Asheville Alumni Author in Residence)
    9:00-10:00am
    UNCA, Highsmith Student Union’s Blue Ridge Room
    Networking Break
    10:00-10:30am
    UNCA, Highsmith Student Union’s Blue Ridge Room
    The Future of Medicine and Technology
    with Patrice Harris, M.D. (Co-Founder and CEO, eMed; former President, American Medical Association), Jeff Immelt (Former CEO, GE), Jason Cook, M.D. (co-founder and Chief Medical Officer at Olfax), and Sean Bellefeuille (CEO, Med Dimensions)
    10:30-11:30pm
    UNCA, Highsmith Student Union’s Blue Ridge Room
    Lunch with Asheville’s Award-Winning Food Trucks & Friends
    11:45-1:15pm
    Second Amendment Perspectives: Constitutional, Policy, and Cultural
    with Ashley Hlebinsky (Senior Fellow, University of Wyoming Firearms Research Center), Kelly Sampson (Senior Counsel and Director of Racial Justice, Brady Institute) Chris Singleton (speaker and author) and David Joy (novelist and writer), moderated by Joseph Blocher (Director, Duke Center for Firearms Law)
    1:15-2:30pm
    UNCA, Highsmith Student Union’s Blue Ridge Room
    Quick Break
    2:00-2:45pm
    UNCA, Highsmith Student Union’s Blue Ridge Room
    The Civilization/Biosphere Relationship: Causes Of Self-Induced Environmental Impacts (And How To Mitigate Them)
    The Civilization/Biosphere Relationship: Causes Of Self-Induced Environmental Impacts (And How To Mitigate Them)
    2:45-3:30pm
    UNCA, Highsmith Student Union’s Blue Ridge Room
    Explore Asheville Afternoon Break
    ● e-Biking the French Broad River
    ● Historical Walking Tour of Asheville
    ● Listening for Connection Workshop with Adrienne Shoch
    3:30-6:00pm
    The Big Trends Shaping the World Today: Economics, Technology, and Geopolitics
    with Thomas L. Friedman (Best-selling author and Foreign Affairs Columnist, New York Times)
    6:00-7:30pm
    UNCA
    AIF 23 Closing reception
    with William Paul Thomas (AIF visiting artist) and live music
    7:30-9:00pm
    UNCA
    Explore Asheville Day!
    Explore Asheville on your own with a curated list of events and activities that include a float trip on the historic French Broad River, Music on Main (Weaverville, NC), selected day hikes, fly fishing, Asheville Art in the Park and more!
    Arrival & Check-In
    Tapping of the AIF Launch Lager with Musical Guests Noah Proudfoot and the Botanicals.
    6:00pm
    The Restoration Hotel
    Welcome Reception with Live Music
    6:00-8:00pm
    The Restoration Hotel
    Coffee & Networking
    8:30-9:00am
    UNCA, Highsmith Student Union’s Blue Ridge Room
    Welcome
    by Dr.Kimberly van Noort (Interim Chancellor, UNC Asheville)
    9:00-9:15am
    UNCA, Highsmith Student Union’s Blue Ridge Room
    I Never Thought of it That Way: Approaching Difficult Conversations with Curiosity and Joy
    with Mónica Guzmán (Senior Fellow for Public Practice, Braver Angels) and John E. Jones III (President, Dickinson College)
    9:15-10:15am
    UNCA, Highsmith Student Union’s Blue Ridge Room
    Networking Break
    Tapping of the AIF Launch Lager with Musical Guests Noah Proudfoot and the Botanicals.
    10:15-10:45am
    UNCA, Highsmith Student Union’s Blue Ridge Room
    Braver Angels Red/Blue Fishbowl Exercise
    10:45-12:00pm
    UNCA
    Lunch
    12:00-1:00pm
    Placing the Platform: Using 3D Technology to Pinpoint Lincoln at Gettysburg
    Keynote with Christopher Oakley (Associate Professor of New Media, UNC Asheville)
    1:00-2:00pm
    UNCA, Highsmith Student Union’s Blue Ridge Room
    Quick Break
    Organized experiences bring ou ro the heart of Asheville
    2:00-2:15pm
    UNCA, Highsmith Student Union’s Blue Ridge Room
    The Intersection of Freedom of Speech and Social Media: Are They Compatible With Democracy?
    With Laura Edelson (Postdoctoral Researcher, New York University), Alex Abdo (Litigation Director, Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University), moderated by Seth Berlin (Senior Counsel, Ballard Spahr)
    2:15-3:30pm
    UNCA, Highsmith Student Union’s Blue Ridge Room
    Explore Asheville Afternoon Break
    ● Stand-up Paddle boarding the French Broad
    ● Braver Angels Red/Blue Debate
    ● AIF’23 Visiting Artist Show
    ● Historical Walking Tour of Asheville
    3:30-6:00pm
    Evening Reception
    6:00-7:00pm
    Highland Brewing, Old Charlotte Hwy
    World War C: Lessons from the Covid-19 Pandemic and How to Prepare for the Next One
    with Sanjay Gupta, M.D. (Emmy® Award-winning Chief Medical Correspondent, CNN)
    7:00-8:00pm
    Highland Brewing, Old Charlotte Hwy
    Live Music at Asheville’s Original Brewery
    with Graham Sharp (Grammy-winning guitarist and vocalist, Steep Canyon Rangers)and Josh Turknett, M.D. (Founder, The Brainjo Academy)
    8:00-9:30pm
    Highland Brewing, Old Charlotte Hwy
    Coffee and Networking
    8:30-9:00am
    UNCA, Highsmith Student Union’s Blue Ridge Room
    Witness to History Literary Panel
    curated by Wiley Cash, (New York Times best-selling author and UNC Asheville Alumni Author in Residence), with panel discussions by Shaun Assael (award-winning journalist, author, and correspondent), Kevin Maurer (New York Times best-selling author of No Easy Day and American Radical), and Melba Newsome (award-winning journalist, editor, and writer)
    9:00-10:00am
    UNCA, Highsmith Student Union’s Blue Ridge Room
    Networking Break
    Meet your fellow event goers and make lasting connections during the networking Break and Book Signing with Lynn Pasquerella.
    10:00-10:30am
    UNCA, Highsmith Student Union’s Blue Ridge Room
    AI: The Risks,The Potential, & The Governance Needed To Steward Safer Development
    with Daniel Schmachtenberger (co-founder, Civilization Research Initiative) and Zak Stein (Chief Education Officer, Civilizational Research Institute)
    10:30-12:00pm
    UNCA, Highsmith Student Union’s Blue Ridge Room
    Lunch
    12:00-1:00pm
    Restoring Public Trust in Journalism
    with Charlie Sykes (Founder and editor-at-large of The Bulwark; NBC/MSNBC contributor), Paula Kerger (President and CEO, PBS) and Amna Nawaz (co-anchor, PBS NewsHour), moderated by David Crabtree (CEO of PBS North Carolina)
    1:00-2:00pm
    UNCA, Highsmith Student Union’s Blue Ridge Room
    Quick Break
    2:00-2:15pm
    UNCA, Highsmith Student Union’s Blue Ridge Room
    The Critical Role of Literature in Troubled Times
    with Kwame Alexander (New York Times best-selling author and Newbery Medal winner)and Wiley Cash, (New YorkTimes best-selling author and UNC Asheville Alumni Author in Residence)
    2:15-3:15pm
    UNCA, Highsmith Student Union’s Blue Ridge Room
    Explore Asheville Afternoon Break
  • Cognitive Cross Training: Sustaining Brain Health Through Neuroplasticity with Dr.Josh Turknett
  • e-Biking the French Broad River
  • Biltmore Gardens Tour
  • Good Conversations Curate Good Ideas: Making Conversations 100% Better Workshop
  • 3:15-6:00pm
    Evening Reception
    6:00-7:00pm
    Omni Grove Park inn
    Resilience, Forgiveness, Unity
    with Chris Singleton (speaker and author)
    7:00-8:00pm
    Omni Grove Park Inn
    From Baltimore to Broadway
    with vocalist Bryan Terrell Clark (of Broadway’s Hamilton and Motown) and the Asheville Symphony Orchestra
    8:15-9:45pm
    Omni Grove Park Inn
    Coffee & Networking
    8:30-9:00am
    UNCA, Highsmith Student Union’s Blue Ridge Room
    Writing A Round with Golf’s Legends (Literary Panel)
    with Pete McDaniel (bestselling author and Tiger Woods's biographer) and James Dodson (Founding editor of O.Henry Arts and Culture Magazine, New York Times best-seller, and Arnold Palmer’s biographer), moderated by by Wiley Cash, (New YorkTimes best-selling author and UNC Asheville Alumni Author in Residence)
    9:00-10:00am
    UNCA, Highsmith Student Union’s Blue Ridge Room
    Networking Break
    10:00-10:30am
    UNCA, Highsmith Student Union’s Blue Ridge Room
    The Future of Medicine and Technology
    with Patrice Harris, M.D. (Co-Founder and CEO, eMed; former President, American Medical Association), Jeff Immelt (Former CEO, GE), Jason Cook, M.D. (co-founder and Chief Medical Officer at Olfax), and Sean Bellefeuille (CEO, Med Dimensions)
    10:30-11:30pm
    UNCA, Highsmith Student Union’s Blue Ridge Room
    Lunch with Asheville’s Award-Winning Food Trucks & Friends
    11:45-1:15pm
    Second Amendment Perspectives: Constitutional, Policy, and Cultural
    with Ashley Hlebinsky (Senior Fellow, University of Wyoming Firearms Research Center), Kelly Sampson (Senior Counsel and Director of Racial Justice, Brady Institute) Chris Singleton (speaker and author) and David Joy (novelist and writer), moderated by Joseph Blocher (Director, Duke Center for Firearms Law)
    1:15-2:30pm
    UNCA, Highsmith Student Union’s Blue Ridge Room
    Quick Break
    2:00-2:45pm
    UNCA, Highsmith Student Union’s Blue Ridge Room
    The Civilization/Biosphere Relationship: Causes Of Self-Induced Environmental Impacts (And How To Mitigate Them)
    The Civilization/Biosphere Relationship: Causes Of Self-Induced Environmental Impacts (And How To Mitigate Them)
    2:45-3:30pm
    UNCA, Highsmith Student Union’s Blue Ridge Room
    Explore Asheville Afternoon Break
    ● e-Biking the French Broad River
    ● Historical Walking Tour of Asheville
    ● Listening for Connection Workshop with Adrienne Shoch
    3:30-6:00pm
    The Big Trends Shaping the World Today: Economics, Technology, and Geopolitics
    with Thomas L. Friedman (Best-selling author and Foreign Affairs Columnist, New York Times)
    6:00-7:30pm
    UNCA
    AIF 23 Closing reception
    with William Paul Thomas (AIF visiting artist) and live music
    7:30-9:00pm
    UNCA
    Explore Asheville Day!
    Explore Asheville on your own with a curated list of events and activities that include a float trip on the historic French Broad River, Music on Main (Weaverville, NC), selected day hikes, fly fishing, Asheville Art in the Park and more!

    2023 AIF Gallery

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    Find inspiration in Asheville, NC, one of America’s great cities. We invite you to join us for Asheville Ideas Fest, a gathering of creative thinkers and doers.
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