Uncharted Territory: 40 Speakers Set for This Weekend’s Berkeley Festival of Ideas

Austin has South by Southwest, Aspen has its Ideas Festival, TED talks have popped up everywhere, and Berkeley has Uncharted: The Berkeley Festival of Ideas. The festival, to be held this Friday and Saturday, will feature nationally recognized thinkers in talks, forum discussions and workshops on pressing topics—including the Black Lives Matter movement, globalized education, drones, and of course, whether Gwyneth Paltrow is wrong about everything (no, we’re not kidding, that’s actually a talk on the schedule).

Uncharted was founded in 2013 with the intention of bringing the world’s greatest thinkers and speakers together to “engage and inspire,” according to the festival’s sponsor, the independent news site Berkeleyside. This year, such speakers will include (but are in no way limited to) Slate chief political correspondent Jamelle Bouie, UC Berkeley Chancellor Nicholas Dirks, Berkeley free speech lecturer and lawyer William Turner, theoretical neuroscientist and Berkeley visiting scholar Vivienne Ming, and deputy technology editor for The New York Times and Cal lecturer Quentin Hardy.

In between talks, there will be pop-up performances by such artists as musician Meklit Hadero, photographer Elaine Miller Bond, and comedian W. Kamau Bell. There will also be interactive labs on “iPhoneography,” cooking, and how to use the principles of design to evade the housing crisis.

On Friday night, Uncharted will host a party at Alumni House on the UC Berkeley campus, complete with food, beer, wine, and, presumably, interesting people.

Uncharted is being held at various venues in town, mainly Berkeley Repertory Theater and the Freight & Salvage Coffeehouse, both on Addison Street. You can find the full program and information on the speakers here. Tickets start at $145 for an advance-purchase single-day pass, and go up from there, with some $50 tickets available to students.

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