September 28-29, 2018 Cap Times Idea Fest UW-Madison Campus

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Reach A Better State

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2 Days of Lively Discussion

The Cap Times Idea Fest returned to the UW-Madison campus for a second year – this time at Memorial Union, the Pyle Center and the Wisconsin Historical Society. Some two dozen individual sessions about politics, equity, the economy, the environment, culture and more will explore the central theme of how to “Reach a Better State.”

Inspiring Ideas

60+ Speakers

Highlights include David Axelrod, Kevin Conroy, Jim Doyle, Charles Franklin, Michael Johnson, David Maraniss, Tia Nelson and Karen Olivo.

60+ Speakers

Engage

Talk with attendees and speakers outside the formal sessions. Additional activities include a Friday night trivia contest and hip-hop soul DJ dance party, plus a reception on Saturday.

2-Day Event

Ticket Info

All-weekend pass guarantees access to all sessions including trivia, dance party and reception, plus a free t-shirt. Tickets are purchased through UW-Madison Campus Arts Ticketing.

2018 Schedule

Friday, Sep. 28

5:00 PM – 7:00 PM

Smarter Than You Trivia

Smarter Than You Trivia is one of Madison’s favorite trivia experiences, and Paul Guse is bringing it to Cap Times Idea Fest. Assemble your team and test the depths of your knowledge to win fabulous prizes including bad CDs from the 90s and maybe even some snacks reviewed in Rob Thomas’ “Yeah, I Ate That” column. There will be live musical covers and a cash bar. Pre-registration is strongly encouraged owing to limited space. Click here to register a team.

Presented by Zebradog
Moderator: Paul Guse
Tripp Commons, Memorial Union, 800 Langdon St.

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7:15 PM – 9:00 PM

The State of American Politics 2018

Our keynote session featuring three of the sharpest political observers in the country discussing Election 2018 and much more.

Moderator: David Maraniss
Panelists: David Axelrod, Dan Balz
Shannon Hall, Memorial Union, 800 Langdon St.

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9:30 PM – 12:00 AM

Hip-Hop Soul DJ Dance Party

Enjoy a great inter-generational mix spun by one of Madison’s best DJs. Cash bar available.

Presented by Zebradog
Mix Master: Martinez White
Tripp Commons, Memorial Union, 800 Langdon St.

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Saturday, Sep. 29

10:30 AM – 11:30 AM

Wisconsin’s environment and communities of color

A conversation about the particular impact of climate change and environmental problems on the state’s communities of color.

Tripp Commons, Memorial Union, 800 Langdon St.

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Broadway, ‘Hamilton’ and Forward

A conversation with Tony Award-winning actress Karen Olivo about her career and the future of Wisconsin theater, led by Forward Theater Artistic Director Jennifer Uphoff Gray.

Moderator: Jennifer Uphoff Gray
Panelists: Karen Olivo
Alumni Lounge, Pyle Center, 702 Langdon St.

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Leading locally: How can cities move Wisconsin forward?

A conversation with three Wisconsin mayors about the role of cities in shaping civic life.

AT&T Lounge, Pyle Center, 702 Langdon St.

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Once Upon a Time: The future of children’s literature

In recent decades, literature aimed at children has taken a place on the center stage of popular culture. A conversation with leading authors, a librarian and a scholar about that evolution and where it will lead.

Lee Lounge, Pyle Center, 702 Langdon St.

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One-on-one with Jim Doyle

A conversation with Wisconsin’s 44th governor, and the last Democrat to hold the office, about the state of Wisconsin, led by Pulitzer Prize-winner David Maraniss, a Madison native who is associate editor of the Washington Post.

Moderator: David Maraniss
Panelists: Jim Doyle
Auditorium, Wisconsin Historical Society, 816 State St.

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11:30 AM – 12:15 PM

Lunch

Get fueled up for afternoon sessions! In addition to outlets in Memorial Union, food carts Umami and WeGo Waffles will be vending on Library Mall.

Vendors: Umami, WeGo Waffles
Library Mall, 800 block of State Street; Memorial Union, 800 Langdon St.

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Alumni Park Tour

Expand your Idea Fest experience through a guided tour of the Wisconsin Alumni Association’s Alumni Park. Explore fifty museum-quality exhibits featuring UW-Madison alumni, traditions and innovations. Learn how UW-Madison alumni have lived the “Wisconsin Idea” in government, social policy, science, culture, and more. Drop-in tour lasts roughly 30 minutes.

Location: Alumni Park, 724 Langdon St.

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12:15 PM – 1:15 PM

What’s the next step to fix juvenile justice in Wisconsin?

Problems with the juvenile justice system in Wisconsin have been at the forefront of public conversation since an FBI investigation into conditions at Lincoln Hills School for Boys and its sister facility, the Copper Lake School for Girls, that ultimately led Gov. Scott Walker and the Legislature to close the two facilities effective in 2021. This panel will discuss what needs to happen next, including discussion of how Missouri handled a similar crisis years ago.

Tripp Commons, Memorial Union, 800 Langdon St.

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The role of business in advancing racial equity in Dane County

It is well-known that there are vast racial disparities between blacks and whites in Dane County on a variety of measures, the result of structural racism embedded in our culture. Local businesses have a role to play in ensuring that all have the opportunity to lead their best life regardless of race. Using the Race to Equity Roadmap as a foundation, this panel will explore, discuss and commit to actions that local businesses can take to advance racial equity in Dane County.

Session developed and presented by CUNA Mutual Group
Alumni Lounge, Pyle Center, 702 Langdon St.

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One-on-one with Paul Soglin

Paul Soglin is Madison’s mayor and has been for three separate stints since the 1970s, making him the longest-serving mayor in the city’s history. He does not plan to run for re-election in 2019. Cap Times Editor Emeritus, Dave Zweifel, who has reported on Soglin throughout his career, will lead this look at the past and the city’s future.

Moderator: Dave Zweifel
Panelists: Paul Soglin
AT&T Lounge, Pyle Center, 702 Langdon St.

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What Wisconsin voters are thinking

A conversation with the director of the highly regarded Marquette Law School Poll less than six weeks before state voters go the polls to elect a governor, a U.S. Senator and hundreds of other officials.

Moderator: Emilee Fannon
Panelists: Charles Franklin
Lee Lounge, Pyle Center, 702 Langdon St.

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Will Foxconn be worth it for Wisconsin?

Is the $4 billion the state has committed to Taiwanese high-tech manufacturer a crucial investment in the future of the state and its workers or a colossal waste of taxpayer money? A panel with widely ranging views discusses the state’s biggest economic story of the year.

Auditorium, Wisconsin Historical Society, 816 State St.

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1:30 PM – 2:30 PM

How is technology changing us?

From medical advances to virtual reality, gaming, political advertising and online dating, a discussion about how technology is not only changing what we do but how we think.

Tripp Commons, Memorial Union, 800 Langdon St.

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Have vouchers and charters helped Wisconsin students?

For two decades, Wisconsin has been at the forefront of national change and controversy about how to fund and structure public education. Panelists with widely ranging viewpoints discuss the results for the state’s students.

Alumni Lounge, Pyle Center, 702 Langdon St.

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One-on-one with Ron Johnson

A conversation about state and national politics from a conservative’s point of view with Wisconsin’s senior U.S. senator, led by award-winning journalist Mike Gousha, who hosts “UpFront with Mike Gousha” on Sunday mornings.

Moderator: Mike Gousha
Panelists: U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson
AT&T Lounge, Pyle Center, 702 Langdon St.

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El Futuro Es Nuestro

How do we foster human connections, across sectors, to address and uplift community needs that are unique to our current social and political climate in Wisconsin? In this discussion, four LatinX leaders from radically different sectors will share how they have seen art, technology, academia and activism come together to form a prism for growth, empowerment and change on local and statewide levels.

Lee Lounge, Pyle Center, 702 Langdon St.

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One-on-one with Michael Johnson

The widely admired former CEO of the Boys & Girls Club of Dane County talks with Cap Times City Editor Katie Dean about Madison’s efforts to achieve racial equity, looking back now after his recent move to Cincinnati for a top job there.

Moderator: Katie Dean
Panelists: Michael Johnson
Auditorium, Wisconsin Historical Society, 816 State St.

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20 years of stem cells: What we know and what we have yet to learn

2018 marks the 20th anniversary of the breakthrough research on stem cells by researchers led by James Thomson at UW-Madison. Explore how predictions of the “stem cell revolution” have played out in this panel discussion with UW experts.

Session developed and presented by the Wisconsin Alumni Association
Moderator: Kelly Tyrrell
Panelists: Bill Murphy, Norman Fost
One Alumni Place, Wisconsin Alumni Association, 650 Lake St.

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2:45 PM – 3:45 PM

Is it time to start paying college athletes?

Over the past century, collegiate sports have become woven deep into the fabric of American culture (Wisconsin included) at the same time that they have become a mammoth business. A growing chorus of voices are calling for “student-athletes” to start receiving some of that wealth, but at what cost would that come? This conversation among three former college athletes, some of whom still work closely with athletics, will look at multiple sides of that question.

Tripp Commons, Memorial Union, 800 Langdon St.

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Indigenous food in Wisconsin – a look ahead

Native American tribes nationwide are not only reclaiming traditional foods but bringing those crops and dishes into the larger culture. A discussion about what’s happening in Wisconsin followed by demonstrations and samples. (Note that this session runs for two hours and 15 minutes.)

Alumni Lounge, Pyle Center, 702 Langdon St.

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Which media can I trust?

Donald Trump’s election and presidency have put the news media in the spotlight like never before. A conversation among media experts with widely varying views about sources of information both reliable and dangerous.

AT&T Lounge, Pyle Center, 702 Langdon St.

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How can Wisconsin businesses get the workers they need?

A wide-ranging discussion among leaders and analysts in manufacturing, business, and education about how the state can solve its deep worker shortage problem.

Lee Lounge, Pyle Center, 702 Langdon St.

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One-on-one with Kevin Conroy

Kevin Conroy is the CEO of Exact Sciences – the maker of the colon cancer screener Cologuard – one of Dane County’s largest employers and a prominent example of the economic promise of high tech business. Leading biotech journalist Luke Timmerman will talk to Conroy about the future of Wisconsin’s tech sector and what’s next for Exact Sciences.

Presented by Home Savings Bank
Moderator: Luke Timmerman
Panelists: Kevin Conroy
Auditorium, Wisconsin Historical Society, 816 State St.

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4:00 PM – 5:00 PM

How Wisconsin can get Millennials to swipe right

Some say that Wisconsin’s greatest export is its children — a notion that refers to the trend that millennials grow up, get educated here, and then ultimately migrate to other cities. In this conversation, four millennial leaders who were raised in Wisconsin and who have found success elsewhere will come together to discuss what attracts them to other cities and how Wisconsin can unlock its potential in retaining and attracting young talent.

Tripp Commons, Memorial Union, 800 Langdon St.

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What Would Wisconsin Progressives Do If They Suddenly Had Power?

A conversation about 2018 and beyond with outspoken advocates in Washington and Madison: Congressional Progressive Caucus co-chair Mark Pocan, a member of the powerful House Appropriations Committee, and State Representative Chris Taylor, the ranking Assembly Democratic member of the Joint Finance Committee.

AT&T Lounge, Pyle Center, 702 Langdon St.

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What should the fire department of the future look like?

Firefighters are by many measures the most widely revered public servants, yet actually fighting fires has become an increasingly small portion of their workload over the years. Two analysts and the head of the statewide firefighters union discuss how communities deliver this vital service in conjunction with emergency medicine.

Lee Lounge, Pyle Center, 702 Langdon St.

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Climate change and Wisconsin

A conversation with Tia Nelson, the head of the Madison-based Outrider Foundation, which makes education about climate change one of its central missions. Nelson was the first director of the Global Climate Change Initiative, which brought her the EPA’s Climate Protection Award in 2000. She later returned home to Wisconsin to serve as executive secretary to the Wisconsin Board of Commissioners of Public Lands, which included a gubernatorial appointment as co‐chair of Wisconsin’s Task Force on Global Warming.

Moderator: Katie Dean
Panelists: Tia Nelson
Auditorium, Wisconsin Historical Society, 816 State St.

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5:00 PM – 7:00 PM

Closing Reception

Socialize with attendees and speakers at a beautiful location overlooking Lake Mendota. Hors d’oeuvres served and cash bar available. Music by Brandon Beebe.

Rooftop Deck, Wisconsin Alumni Association, 650 Lake St. (One Alumni Place in the same building in the event of rain.)

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Have a question or a great idea?

Email Cap Times Idea Fest at:
captimesideafest@gmail.com

Thank You To Our Sponsors

Presenting Sponsor: UBS | The Burish Group

Co-Sponsors:
Cuna Mutual GroupMadison Gas & ElectricUW-Madison
Exact SciencesGodfrey & Kahn, S.C.ZenDeskEpic SystemsA Greater Madison VisionHome Savings BankOverture Center for the Arts

Partners: Wisconsin State Journalmadison.comZebra DogZebra Dog