Announcing KentPresents 2016

KentPresents-the largest ideas festival in the Northeast-presents its second annual conference, bringing together some 65-plus international thought leaders to consider a broad range of today's most pressing issues. In 40 sessions spanning three days, a distinguished roster of participants, including Nobel Laureates David Baltimore and Henry Kissinger, former Planned Parenthood CEO and president, Faye Wattleton, and New York Times co-chief art critic Roberta Smith, among many others, will address topics that include national security, the presidential elections, the supreme court, women's issues, genetic editing, robotics, the environment, and the shifting art market, to name just a few. (A complete list is available for download.)

KentPresents is held at the distinguished Kent School, in Kent, CT.

Sessions will be a mix of moderated panels, conversations, and presentations, including the following:

  • TWO LEGENDS ON GLOBAL INTELLIGENCE: Sir Richard Dearlove, retired chief of Britain's Secret Intelligence Service-or MI-6-will have a conversation with his longtime acquaintance, Henry Kissinger.

  • SCIENTIFIC DISCOVERY OF THE CENTURY: Prof. Kip Thorne, one of the three visionaries who conceived the experiment that recently confirmed Einstein's 100-year-old postulation of the existence of gravity waves, will be interviewed by Walter Isaacson, head of the Aspen Institute and author of the biography "Einstein."

  • WOMEN'S ISSUES: As the first African-American, first female and youngest president of Planned Parenthood, Faye Wattleton will address women's rights and reproductive health.

  • ABSTRACT ART - A debate between provocative art critic Jerry Saltz who likens abstraction to "zombie formalism" while art historian Pepe Karmel contends that fresh visions continue to be forged in abstraction.

  • ELECTION 2016 - Two presidential candidates will have been nominated a few weeks beforeKentPresents. Two months later, one of them will win the election. Analyzing the elections, both presidential and congressional, will be noted analyst Charlie Cook, former Republican majority leaderEric Cantor, Democratic Congressman Hakeem Jeffries and others.

  • WHO WAS MARLON BRANDO? -Celebrated comedy screenwriter Andy Bergman (Blazing Saddles, The In-Laws, The Freshman, many others) knew Brando well, and will take on this question in an insightful and humorous multimedia presentation.

Founded by Ben and Donna Rosen in 2015, KentPresents was inaugurated to great acclaim with 70 speakers and over 300 attendees. The inaugural festival featured talks from Henry Kissinger, scientist and Nobel Laureate Harold Varmus, Tony-winner Richard Maltby, Jr., physician and scientist Siddhartha Mukherjee, museum director Michael Govan (LACMA), and many more. Thirty-eight panels were presented, all of which are available to view at no cost at

About KentPresents

KentPresents was founded in 2015 as a not-for-profit organization in Kent, Conn., that conducts an annual conference on intellectual and cultural topics. The conference provides a forum in an intimate setting where leading thinkers come together to develop, discuss, and disseminate important ideas about the key issues of our time.

Created by the Rosens with a goal of contributing to the economic and cultural development of Litchfield County,KentPresents donates ticket proceeds to local organizations. In 2015, it awarded grants totaling $100,000 to 26 not-for-profit organizations, including Kent Affordable Housing, Sharon Playhouse, Kent Historical Society, Corner Food Pantry, Children's Center of New Milford, and many more.

Tickets to KentPresents 2016 are available now at

To download a list of all KentPresents 2016 presenters, click here.


August 18 - 20, 2016

Kent School, 1 Macedonia Road, Kent CT 06757