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Natural Awakenings Dallas -Fort Worth Metroplex Edition


Uniting the People of Dallas Through the Power of Ideas

The Dallas Festival of Ideas will be held February 19 and 20 at Fair Park by the Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture, in partnership with the Dallas Morning News, with a central theme being The United City. The festival will help shape Dallas as a city of the future by igniting, uniting and energizing people of all ages and backgrounds by sharing and discussing ideas. These ideas are to be fostered into action during a yearlong process after the festival is over.

For the first time, the festival will be offered at no cost to help expand the discussion beyond economic barriers. National keynote speakers will join local voices from diverse backgrounds to participate in thoughtful discussions about the ideas that will shape Dallas’ future as a physical, educated, healthy, entrepreneurial and literary city.

Mike Wilson, editor of the Dallas Morning News, states, “We’re in the midst of an ideas explosion in Dallas. The recent influx of people from around the world seeking the abounding education and economic opportunities our city offers, along with a global cultural base, presents the perfect setting for the kind of revolutionary thinking that will shape the future.”

The United City will feature five city tracks. The Physical City addresses the future of work and competition for workplace growth in the 21st-century city, with a keynote speech by Nikil Saval, editor of n+1, and a panel discussion moderated by Mark Lamster, architectural critic for the Dallas Morning News and a professor in the architecture school at the University of Texas at Arlington.

The Educated City covers improving Dallas’ scientific and cultural literacy in relation to race and class, with a keynote speech by entrepreneur Sarah Prevette. Nicole Stockdale, deputy editorial page editor for the Dallas Morning News, will moderate a panel discussion.

The Healthy City weighs how access to healthy lifestyle and food options, as well as mental healthcare, affect a healthy environment for all citizens, with a keynote speech by Dr. Jennifer Gardy, senior scientist at the British Columbia Centre for Disease Control. Lauren Silverman, a health, science and technology reporter and blogger at KERA, will moderate a panel discussion.

The Entrepreneurial City dissects the entrepreneurial ecosystem, with a keynote speech by Russell Simmons, co-founder of Def Jam Recordings. James Ragland, Editor and metro columnist for the Dallas Morning News, will moderate a panel discussion.

The Literary City embraces the role of literature in shaping and defining a city like Dallas and eliminating barriers to participation in a literary culture to expand the interests of all in the literary arts, with a keynote speech by author Alma Guillermoprieto , one of the world’s leading Latin-American journalists. Lauren Smart, arts and culture editor for the Dallas Observer, will moderate a panel discussion.

Dr. Larry Allums, executive director of the Dallas Institute, says, “While our line-up consists of high-profile global keynotes matched with local visionaries, we at the Dallas Institute recognize that the most compelling interests and perspectives on Dallas exist with our general citizenry. We hope everyone will join us to engage in these healthy discussions, void of political pretense or personal gain, to achieve the very worthy goal of uniting our city through good ideas we can support.”

Admission is free. To register, call 214-871-2440 or visit A limited number of VIP passes are available for purchase. Natural Awakenings Dallas-Fort Worth magazine is a sponsor.

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