Philadelphia Magazine’s ThinkFest looks to convene region’s innovators

There’s the New Yorker Festival in the Big Apple, Chicago Ideas Week and, of course, a slew of TED Conferences.

Philadelphia Magazine editor Tom McGrath says Philadelphia needed to get in the game.

“Our goal is really to bring together some of the brightest minds and boldest thinkers in Philadelphia,” McGrath said, “and have them share some of their big, bold ideas, and get some great conversations started.”

Thus, the magazine’s first-ever ThinkFest, which kicks off Friday night. “ThinkFest is a two-day celebration of innovation in Philadelphia,” McGrath said.

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The event starts with a conversation with restaurateur Stephen Starr. The talks then spill over into Saturday with appearances by a who’s who of local investors, technologists, foodies, scientists, artists and real estate developers.

(Of note: Jeremy Nowak, who recently stepped down as president of the William Penn Foundation, is scheduled to speak Saturday morning. Update, 11/30 9:15 a.m.: “Nowak is officially out,” writes McGrath. “But we’ve added Scott Gordon from Mastery Charter schools.”)

McGrath says the magazine plans to make ThinkFest an annual event, and is already eyeing ways to go bigger.

Tickets for both days cost $85. You can purchase them via the ThinkFest website.

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