KentPresents: Big Issues Require Big Ideas


Back for its fourth straight year, the highly regarded ideas festival KentPresents returns Aug. 16-18 to Kent, Conn. This year’s event features Nobel laureates, Pulitzer prize winners, MacArthur “geniuses,” diplomats, tech leaders, cultural icons and other thought-leaders who will help decipher a world in turmoil, yet one that is also replete with unprecedented opportunities.

Created in 2015 by Kent residents Ben and Donna Rosen, the 2018 festival will host 75 speakers, 300 attendees and 45 sessions. A hallmark of KentPresents is its intimacy. Unlike many big-city conferences, this ideas festival abhors the impersonal and massive hotel ballroom. Rather, KentPresents guests and speakers enjoy the friendly atmosphere of a bucolic New England boarding school campus with constant opportunities for serendipitous encounters.

This August, many of the world’s hotspots will be dissected by diplomats, academics and other experts: North Korea, China, Russia, the Middle East and Cyber War. National flashpoints to be discussed include guns, #MeToo, midterm politics and the Supreme Court.

And there’s more. Much more. The promise of immunotherapy in combating cancer. Making sense of blockchain, bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. The worldwide race to find Planet 9. Energy storage breakthroughs. Social media unmasked. The genius of Wynton Marsalis. The work of Diane Arbus. Origami, the art and the science.

And many more.

Finally, in addition to just talking about societal issues, KentPresents is proud of its other role: acting on these issues. A 501(c)(3) charity, KentPresents annually allocates the majority of its financial surpluses to charitable organizations serving people in need. Last year, we made 38 such grants.

Ideas alone are ideas… unfulfilled. We created the ideas festival KentPresents because of this firm belief that has become our byword:

Ideas work best when shared.

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