On March 26, 2011, the Dallas Institute conducted its second Festival of Ideas in the Dallas Museum of Art with a public program similar to its Festival on November 8, 2008.
Five highly regarded figures came to Dallas for the day and matched with some of the best Dallas people in their fields. The wisdom of the speakers generated an abundance of dialogue, both with Dallas' best and also with audiences.
Ringmaster: Lee Cullum
"The Future of American Power"- Keynote: Stephen Krasner University Partner: SMU Tower Center for Political StudiesProgram Team: Seyom Brown, Lee Cullum, James Hollifield
"The Future of Journalism and the Media"- Keynote: Ken Auletta
University Partner: UNT Mayborn School of Journalism
"The Future of Medicine and Healthcare"- Keynotes: Ruth Faden
and Tom Beauchamp
University Partner: UT Southwestern Medical Center
"The Future of Religion"- Keynote:Mark Oppenheimer
University Partner: University of Dallas School of Ministry
Experts tell us that festivals, fairs, parades, and other such activities energize and renew our cities by affording intervals of "anti-structure" that temporarily relieve us of the demands of our structured work lives. On Saturday, November 8, 2008, in the Meyerson Symphony Center, we launched a new venture for Dallas: our first annual Festival of Ideas.
We brought four guest speakers-all experts in their fields-into Dallas for the day and matched them each with two or three of the best Dallas people in the same fields for some brief presentations and an abundance of conversation and dialogue throughout the day. For this festival day, we were not looking for argument, debate, or set speeches. Above all, we wanted the day to generate something important-and even pragmatic-for Dallas.
Our Festival had an urban emphasis with potential for spin-off as we explored the theme for the day: "The Future Of..." Here are the topics, featured guests, and Dallas panelists:
"American Cities & Suburbs": David Brooks, with Dr. Gail Thomas and Hon. Ron Kirk, moderated by Rod Dreher
"The Environment": Elizabeth Kolbert, with Hon. Tom Leppert, Judy Pesek, and Michael Decker, moderated by Glenn Arbery
"Global Issues and their Local Impact": Nicholas Kristof, with Lee Cullum and panelist TBD, moderated by Krys Boyd
"Race, Class, and the Law": Maya Wiley, with Kim Askew and Marcos Ronquillo, moderated by Randy Gordon
Michael Beschloss: Award-winning historian of the presidency and author of ten books. He appears often on PBS, ABC, and NBC news programs, providing expert analysis of the executive branch. He was recently appointed NBC's Presidential Historian - the first time a major network has created such a position.
David Brooks: Regular op-ed columnist for The New York Times and commentator on "The Newshour with Jim Lehrer." Former op-ed editor of The Wall Street Journal. Author of Bobos in Paradise: the New Upper Class and How They Got There and On Paradise Drive: How We Live Now (And Always Have) in the Future Tense.
Elizabeth Kolbert: Staff writer for the New Yorker and author of the 2006 award-winning Field Notes from a Catastrophe: Man, Nature, and Climate Change. Widely acclaimed in her field, she has written on a variety of environmental issues, from the future of the automobile to global warming.
Nicholas Kristof: Op-ed columnist for The New York Times. He has lived on four continents, reported on six, and traveled to 140 countries, every Chinese province and every main Japanese island. Widely recognized for his involvement in the Sudan crisis, he is writing a book about women in the developing world.
Maya Wiley: Founder and Director of the Center for Social Inclusion, a national policy advocacy intermediary organization which works to dismantle structural racism. A civil rights attorney and policy advocate, she has litigated, lobbied the US Congress, and developed programs to transform structural racism in the US and South Africa.