6 reasons to come to Berkeleyside Uncharted Ideas Festival next week


Some of the more than 40 speakers and performers at this year’s Berkeleyside festival.

A note from Berkeleyside Uncharted Ideas Festival co-curator Lance Knobel:

It’s only 10 days until the sixth Berkeleyside Uncharted Ideas Festival opens on Friday, Oct. 5 at our two venues: Berkeley Rep and Freight & Salvage. It’s a two-day dive into the issues beyond today’s headlines, drawing on the Berkeley tradition of ideas on the edge, along with performances, workshops and an opening-night party with live music, great food and wine.

Here are just six of the many things you’ll discover at the festival:

Curious Cannabis Salon. The changed legal framework in California has spurred enormous growth in the number and variety of cannabis-based products. Lisa Rogovin, founder of Edible Excursions, has brought together a diverse group of entrepreneurs and experts (left) to talk about this new world. Hear from Kikoko founder Amanda Jones (cannabis-infused tea), Coreen Carroll, founder and executive chef of the Cannaisseur Series, Samantha Miller, president and chief scientist, Pure Analytics Lab, and registered nurse Barbara Blaser.

Raise Your Voice. Young people around the country have been galvanized by the movement against gun violence. Eva Lewis, one of the leaders of the movement in Chicago, will be speaking with Kate Schatz at the festival. Lewis’ session will be followed by a performance of Raise Your Voice, by Madison Yearsley, a 16-year-old singer songwriter from Seneca Falls, NY. Her song is the title track on an album of 11 works against gun violence by teenage musicians.

Cal Peternell. For over 20 years, Cal Peternell was executive chef at Chez Panisse. Now, he’s a podcaster and cookbook writer (his new cookbook, Almonds, Anchovies and Pancetta, is just out). At the Berkeleyside festival on Saturday, Peternell will lead a group through the nearby Berkeley Farmers Market (you think you know how to judge a pluot?), before returning to the Berkeley Rep and demonstrating what to make with the produce he just bought.

Science slams. You’ve probably encountered poetry slams. Berkeley Lab holds an annual science slam competition for its postgraduate researchers. Two of the winners will be at our festival presenting their research work in an accessible (and occasionally amusing) three minutes.

Mindful money. In an interactive session, Jonathan DeYoe, a financial planner and practicing Buddhist, shows how mindfulness techniques can offer an approach to planning, saving and spending money that is aligned with personal happiness.

The unexpected. As a co-curator of the Berkeleyside Festival, I’m asked each year which speakers I’m most excited about. I could cite Pulitzer Prize winner Ayad Akhtar, information apocalypse chroniclers Charlie Warzell and Caroline Orr, black feminist Brittney Cooper, historians Allyson Hobbs and Andres Resendez, poet Javier Zamora, or climate scientist Tessa Hill. The truthful answer, however, is that I have no idea who will really steal the show. For each of the past five festivals, the highlight has been someone I knew would be good, but never suspected would be amazing. I’m confident that will happen again this year.

Tickets (for one or two days) for the Berkeleyside Uncharted Festival are still available at a  25% discount through this Friday only (if you can’t afford our ticket price but want to come, get in touch with me. Thanks to our sponsors, we are able to offer accessibly priced tickets to just about everyone). We hope to see you there.

The Berkeleyside Uncharted Festival is made possible thanks to our partners: Cloudera Foundation; Levi Strauss Foundation; Wareham Development; Aduro Biotech; DeYoe Wealth Management; Jetton Construction; North Berkeley Investment Partners; Panoramic Interests; Grosvenor Americas; The Grubb Company; Berkeley Hills Realty; 2000 Center Street LLC; Avi Nevo; BAMPFA; Downtown Berkeley Association; Hotel Shattuck Plaza; BARTable; Berkeley Path Wanderers; Cupcakin Bake Shop; Edible Excursions; Left Margin Lit; OCHO Candy; APS Wine & Spirits; Vignette Wine Country Soda.

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