PROMOTING DYNAMIC CHANGE
Since our founding in 1984, we have continued to promote dynamic change within the Telluride region. From our beginnings as a festival of big global themes we’ve refined and narrowed our sights. Recent Ideas Festivals have dealt with pressing local issues, such as sustainability for the region and the science of compassion–issues that have local application, and global resonance and significance.
Guests at the Ideas Festivals
Guests who have attended the Ideas Festival include Soviet cultural ambassador Alexander Potemkin, writer Edward Abbey, Rep. Newt Gingrich, Reagan strategist Lee Atwater, and Tom Hayden, the co-founder of Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), along with several United States Senators (e.g.,. Al Gore) and Governors from Colorado and neighboring states.
Our first Ideas Festival, “Reinventing Work,” saw the beginning of Telluride Institute with participants including British politician Shirley Williams, the Julliard String Quartet’s Robert Mann and then-Senator Al Gore.
Our most recent festival, “Housing Our Community“, was the third Ideas Festival to focus on the intractable problems surrounding affordable housing, transportation, energy, and social inequities. Keynotes by Jonathan Rose and Peter Bell were supplemented by panel discussions and break-out sessions by regional planners, civic leaders, and design visionaries.