November 9th – ThinkFest Main Event

Featured Topics & Speakers

I Got Schooled: How Creative Thinking Can Solve Our Education Problems

with M Night Shyamalan, screenwriter, film director, producer, and Philadelphia native. Moderated by Ali Velshi, former CNN anchor and host on the soon-to-launch network Al Jazeera America.

Why Women Are The Future of Tech

with Tracey Welson-Rossman, founder of TechGirlz, Chief Marketing Officer for Chariot Solutions, and board member of PhillyStartup Leaders.

Creating a Subculture in Philadelphia

with Frank Lee, Associate Professor in the Westphal College of Media Arts and Design at Drexel University. Co-founder of the Drexel Game Design Program.

The End of the Suburbs: Where the American Dream is Moving

with Leigh Gallagher, assistant managing editor at Fortune Magazine, author, and regular NPR guest.

The Burgeoning Philly Tech Scene: Where We Are, Where We Need to Go

with Josh Kopelman, founding partner of First Round Capital, which has funded companies such as Uber, One Kings Lane, and Warby Parker.

Cultivating the Creative Connection

with Marc Vetri, chef and restaurateur, co-founder of the Vetri Foundation for Children, and James Beard Award winner.

Why Branding is Essential to Everything We Do

with Lauren Boggi, founder and CEO of Lithe Method, Lithe Foods and Lithe Wear.

Give and Take: A New Way of Thinking About Workplace Behavior

with Adam Grant, Wharton professor and bestselling author.

Gay Marriage and Beyond: Pushing Pennsylvania Forward

with Kathleen Kane, Pennsylvania’s attorney general.

Panel Discussions

The Future and Importance of Philadelphia’s Retail Scene

With January Bartle, owner of Third Street Habit; Douglas Green, principal of MSC; and Ivy Olesh, vice president of marketing and business development for Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation

Beyond the Restaurant: How Pop-Ups, Night Markets and Food Trucks are Expanding the Boundaries of the Food Scene

With Aimee Olexy, owner of Talula’s Table, Talula’s Garden and Talula’s Daily; Dan Pennachietti, owner of Lil’Dan’s Food Truck and board member of the Philadelphia Mobile Food Truck Association; and April White, communications director of The Food Trust, cookbook author and journalist

The Open Data Revolution: How It’s Transforming Philadelphia

With Michelle Lee of Textizen; Michelle Schmitt, principal of Maneto Mapping & Analysis; Mark Headd, chief data officer for the City of Philadelphia; and Christopher Wink, co-founder of Technically Philly

Is the Philadelphia School District Worth Saving? Innovating Outside of the System

With Mark Gleason, executive director at the Philadelphia School Partnership Team; Helen Gym, co-founder of Parents United for Public Education; David P. Hardy, CEO of Boys’ Latin of Philadelphia charter school; and Simon Hauger, teacher at The Sustainability Workshop and executive director at Project Based Learning Inc.

Can Government Be as Innovative as Google?

With Montgomery County Commissioner Josh Shapiro and Philadelphia City Councilman Bill Green


Play in a Day

The Pig Iron Theatre Company—a group dedicated to performance art and education—creates theater just for us.

A Pop-Up Cabaret

The Bearded Ladies, with their gender-challenging comedy gold, puts on a cabaret.

Story Slam

The First Person Art performers turn everyday stories into art.