IdeaFestival unveiled its initial group of speakers for the week-long 2013 event, and as usual, the lineup is eclectic. And electric, for that matter.

This year’s speakers include GE’s chief marketing officer, a visionary sustainability advocate, Ophra’s “favorite guest” who builds schools in Zimbabwe and the co-discoverer of Lipitor, the cholestoral drug that is the best selling pharmaceutical in history.

Oh, we forgot the author of “Learning from the Octopus: How Secrets From Nature Can Help Us Fight Terrorist Attacks, Natural Disasters and Disease,” which we will not be missing

IdeaFestival is scheduled this year for September 24 through September 27 at the Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts downtown.

IdeaFestival managing director Ceci Conway is promising to reveal more speakers ….

 • Beth Comstock
Beth Comstock

GE’s first female chief marketing officer in more than 20 years, Beth leads GE’s growth and market innovative initiatives – including GE Ventures, ecoimagination and healthyimagination – all designed to create better environmental and health outcomes.

• Lance Hosey

Chief sustainability officer of RTKL, architect and author of “The Shape of Green: Aesthetics, Ecology, and Design,” Lance is on a crusade to revolutionize what is means to be sustainable. His book has been called an inspirational guide to a future we can’t wait to embrace.

Maria Konnikova

• Maria Konnikova

Maria writes the weekly “Literally Psyched” column for Scientific American, where she explores the intersection of literature and psychology. Her recent book “Mastermind: How to Think like Sherlock Holmes” is now a New York Times best seller.

• Roger Newton

Entrepreneur, president and CEO of the biopharmaceutical company Esperion Therapeutics, Inc., Roger co-discovered and was the product champion behind the game-changing drug Lipitor.

Paul Rucker

• Paul Rucker

Paul is a visual artist, composer, and musician who combines media, often integrating live performance, sound, original compositions, and visual art. His work is the product of a rich interactive process, through which he investigates community impacts, human rights issues, historical research, and basic human emotions surrounding a subject.

• Rafe Sagarin

Marine ecologist and environmental policy analyst, former congressional advisor and author of “Learning from the Octopus: How Secrets From Nature Can Help Us Fight Terrorist Attacks, Natural Disasters and Disease.” Rafe’s work explores nature’s secrets for adaptation and how they can be applied to innovation and unpredictable risks.

Dr. Tererai Trent

Oprah Winfrey’s “all-time favorite guest,” Tererai is the founder of Tinogona, which builds and repairs schools in rural Zimbabwe. Dr. Trent is a strong global advocate for education, particularly for young girls.

• Elaine Tin Nyo

Elaine is a conceptual artist with a kitchen and a studio in Harlem. Arriving in America at age seven as an exile from Burma, Elaine’s earliest memories revolve around Burmese food. Since the 1990s, food has been a vehicle for her to explore issues of morality and responsibility.

About IdeaFestival: Founded in 2000, IdeaFestival is a celebration for the intellectually curious. It’s an eclectic network of global thinkers and one-of-a-kind innovators bound together by an intense curiosity about what is impacting and shaping the future of the arts, business, technology, design, science, philosophy and education.

The content of IdeaFestival is as diverse as the network itself – presentations range from discussions about life before life to the existence of parallel universes; from global politics to the philosophy of randomness; from disruptive innovation to living to be 250 and beyond. In the words of one participant, “At IdeaFestival, seemingly unrelated topics offer surprising relationships and insights.”



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