Stephen Starr, Jim Gardner and Other Smart Philadelphians Will Be at ThinkFest

Philly Mag's two-day event focuses on innovation and the city.

Once upon a time, Philadelphia magazine existed only on paper. Then, a few years ago, we started publishing our articles on, and a few years after that, we started creating new daily content that only appeared on our website. Then we started sharing all that content on Twitter and Facebook; then we started having conversations with people on those platforms that sometimes had nothing to do with anything we’d written. Meanwhile, it’s become more and more common to hear and see our writers and editors all over radio and TV.

So here’s a question: Are we still a “magazine”?

Of course we are, but these days, we’re much more than that. We’re an amalgam of people and ideas and attitudes—a brand—whose overarching goal is actually pretty simple: to keep our audience connected to what’s happening in their city.

I mention all this because this month, in conjunction with our November cover package on innovation in Philadelphia, we take a bold step into another medium—live events—with a two-day gathering we’re calling ThinkFest, which takes place November 30th and December 1st at the Rittenhouse Hotel. As with our overall mission as a brand, the idea behind ThinkFest is simple: to bring together some of the smartest, most forward-thinking minds in Philadelphia, get them talking about creativity, innovation, the state of our city and the state of our country, and let our audience—that would be you—take part in the whole thing.

Why are we doing this? As the world has become more and more digitized, there seems to be a countervailing need for people to connect in person—to sit in the same room with other folks and do stuff, listen to stuff, discuss stuff. And there will be plenty to discuss at ThinkFest. Many of the innovative minds featured in this month’s cover story will be on hand, including Jim Gardner (who will talk about Twitter) and Stephen Starr (with whom I’ll conduct a keynote Q&A). It promises to be smart, entertaining, engaging and occasionally controversial—in short, everything a “magazine” should be.