Original Thinkers: Virtual, 10/1- 10/11!

The 3rd annual Original Thinkers Festival will go out to the world virtually this year between October 1-11, 2020, from Telluride, Colorado. Even though the festival will be undeniably different, some of the Big Ideas of our times will remain at the core of the event. As always, there will be 10 highly curated individual shows with speakers, art, music, and film. For additional information or to purchase festival passes, please visit originalthinkers.com.

The following includes further details from Ringleader/Festival Founder and Director David Holbrooke.

Buy your pass here.

Dear Original Thinkers Community-

It is full-on GO TIME here at Original Thinkers. We are working hard on so many levels to get ready for a festival that we hope will help us all process so much of what is happening now. Our programming is a curated balance of poignant and intentional growth, thoughtful recognition, entertainment, and hope.

We are excited to inform everyone about some additions to our program for OT 2020, which is coming up October 1-11th. As we’ve mentioned, we will release all ten shows between Thursday 10/1 and Sunday 10/4. All shows will be available for our Big Idea Virtual Passholders until October 11.

Our first show, “Collective Culture,” examines the importance of gathering, something we spend a lot of time thinking about and working towards here at OT. On Sunday you can view “What Do Viruses Really Want From Us?” which offers a fresh look at one of the biggest stories of the year in COVID-19 through the thinking of renowned science writers David Quammen and Laurie Garrett, both of whom have been credited with predicting this pandemic. On Saturday, we’ll release “What Wouldn’t You Do?” the horrific atrocities of the LRA and some of the heroic efforts to stop them and enable the healing of their victims.

We will be announcing the rest of our eclectic lineup next week with the festival to follow shortly after.

Thanks for staying connected; we look forward to seeing you at OT 2020.

What do we lose when we cannot gather together to take in what we love?

What do we lose when we cannot gather together to take in what we love? The movie industry, theaters, concert venues and so much more are all in peril as a pandemic shuts down these everyday parts of our lives. Ted Hope has worked in film on a variety of levels, most recently at Amazon Studios. He is one of the industry’s big thinkers on the constant evolution of how we watch movies.

Sasha Sullivan is Artistic Director and co-founder of the beloved Telluride Repertory Theatre. She will talk about how they managed to strategize and safely perform Shakespeare in the Park in this summer, as well as what happens when these sacred spaces and events go dark.

Musician Dierks Bentley has played to thousands of fans and will speak to the important relationship between the performance of live music and the audience.

We further explore collective culture through two thoughtful documentary shorts. Kevin Beasley’s “Raw Materials” focuses on this dynamic artist who explores the challenging nature and history of an everyday material – cotton.“Postman” Jim tells the story of Telluride’s own Jim Looney, who retired from the town post office after twenty years and deeply understands the importance of connecting with each other, which is so challenging today.

Read more here.

A powerful, almost invisible force has radically altered the world over the past year. It’s hard to believe something as small as the COVID-19 virus could be so potent. How this virus came to affect our everyday lives is something we are still grappling with globally as we also work to understand how it came to be. David Quammen spoke memorably at OT 2018 and now returns to explain the complicated and unnerving threat of zoonoses. As he prophetically wrote in his 2012 book, “Spillover,”:

“The next big and murderous human pandemic, the one that kills us in millions, will be caused by a new disease–new to humans, anyway. The bug that is responsible will be strange, unfamiliar, but it won’t come from outer space. Odds are that the killer pathogen–most likely a virus–will spill over into humans from a nonhuman animal.”

How we deal with the consequences of COVID is key to Laurie Garrett’s everyday thinking. An expert on global public health and a regular on MSNBC, Garrett was profiled by The New York Times in an article titled, “She Predicted the Coronavirus. What Does She Foresee Next?”. Her talk will focus on the original thinking needs to be done to build something that will save us all if we only listen.

COVID-19 is not the first or the last virus to come at humanity, so what we understand about this unseen attacker is ever more critical.

Read more.

In 2012, warlord Joseph Kony captured the world’s attention through a reign of terror across Uganda. Efforts to end his rampage and capture him – including the memorable and complicated KONY 2012 campaign – were mixed. While he is still at large, his army is extremely diminished today, as are his crimes against humanity.

Shannon Sedgwick Davis played a key role in this drama and her book, “To Stop a Warlord” details how people can get involved in ways they never ever expected. A key part of Kony’s strategy was to abduct young children from their villages and force them to commit violent atrocities. The documentary short Bitter Root” expands on this further, through the lens of David Ocitti.

David was 16-years-old when Kony’s army took him captive. He remained with them for six months before he was able to escape. When David returned to his village, he was faced with the challenge of reintegrating into a community that no longer trusted him, leaving him essentially alone and afraid. He persevered and worked assiduously to create a new life for himself that would benefit other refugees who had experienced a similar struggle. The result was an ongoing effort to help others reunite with their own communities while working tirelessly to bring peace to the region. This is not easy, but Shannon and David will speak to the real success that they have had for so many of the young people that their work has touched.

Read more here.

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