September 13-14, 2019 Cap Times Idea Fest UW-Madison Campus

GET TICKETS

Reach A Better State

Day(s)

:

Hour(s)

:

Minute(s)

:

Second(s)

2 Days of Lively Talk

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

Inspiring Ideas

90+ Speakers

Committed speakers so far include Chloe Benjamin, Blair Braverman, Joaquin Castro, Julian Castro, Ana Marie Cox, Kathy Cramer, Judy Faulkner, Rebecca Kleefisch, Scott Klug, Carol Leonnig, Farhad Manjoo, David Maraniss, Tom Perez, Alexandra Petri and Catherine Rampell. 

60+ Speakers

Engage

Talk with attendees and speakers outside the formal sessions. Additional activities will include a Friday night trivia contest plus a food cart lunch and improv comedy performance Saturday.

2-Day Event

Ticket Info

Passes are $40 for all-weekend, $30 for Saturday-only. VIP passes are sold out. Click link above for more info and to purchase.

2019 Schedule

Wednesday, Sept. 11 — bonus event

7:00 PM – 10:00 PM

‘All the President’s Men’: Cap Times Classic Movie Chat at Idea Fest

Join Cap Times film critic Rob Thomas for a chat after a screening of the 1976
Watergate classic starring Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman. Requires a separate ticket, but those who have purchased Idea Fest passes are eligible for a free Marcus ticket to attend. Email captimesideafest@gmail.com for more details.

Moderator: Rob Thomas
Marcus Point Cinema, 7825 Big Sky Drive

View Details

Friday, Sept. 13

5:00 PM – 7:00 PM

Smarter Than You Trivia

Field a team and test the depths of your knowledge. Pre-registration optional, but
space is limited. Cash bar available

Moderator: Paul Guse
Main Lounge, Memorial Union, 800 Langdon St.

View Details

 

Changemaker

Come add your voice, visually, to this interactive art piece created by Mallory Shotwell of Arts + Literature Laboratory in Madison. The piece will be on display beginning Friday evening and throughout the festival on Saturday.

Foyer outside Shannon Hall, Memorial Union, 800 Langdon St.

View Details

7:30 PM – 9:00 PM

One on one with Tom Perez

Our first night keynote session featuring the Democratic National Committee chairman in a conversation about the Democratic presidential slate, Wisconsin’s role in the 2020 election, redistricting, voting rights and more.

Moderator: Jessie Opoien
Speaker: Tom Perez
Shannon Hall, Memorial Union, 800 Langdon St.

View Details

Saturday, Sept. 14

8:00 AM – 9:00 AM

The next chapter for youth justice in Wisconsin

Enacted in 2018, Act 185 forces the eventual closure of Wisconsin’s troubled
Lincoln Hills and Copper Lake youth prisons, to be replaced by smaller county-run facilities to promote a closer-to-home model. This panel will look at the local significance of this transformation, drawing on the experiences of other states that have successfully created alternatives to incarceration.

Play Circle Theater, Memorial Union, 800 Langdon St.

View Details

 

Changemaker

Come add your voice, visually, to this interactive art piece created by Mallory Shotwell of Arts + Literature Laboratory in Madison. The piece will be on display beginning Friday evening and throughout the festival on Saturday.

Foyer outside Shannon Hall, Memorial Union, 800 Langdon St.

View Details

Will health care IT supercharge Madison’s economy?

Madison has an exceptionally diverse economy, but is it ready to be a national hub
for health care information technology, rivaling Seattle and Austin? This panel will explore how well local startups are positioned to do just that.

Session developed and Presented by Health X Ventures
 Music Hall, 925 Bascom Mall

View Details

 

Building better public dialogue, a talk with Katherine Cramer

In the past year, the highly regarded UW-Madison political scientist has started work with the nonprofit Cortico on Local Voices Network, a national effort to bring underrepresented community voices into the public sphere and to help people listen to those outside their personal bubbles. A look at where the effort is at and where it could lead.

Presented by Exact Sciences
Moderator: Abigail Becker
Speaker: Katherine Cramer
Alumni Lounge, Pyle Center, 702 Langdon St.

View Details

You own you

Join Old National Bank’s chief talent management officer, Carrie Ellspermann, to hear about how to take charge of yourself and find success. She will draw from her own two-decade career in banking as well as a wide array of research on interpersonal dynamics.

Session developed and Presented by Old National Bank
Room 121, Pyle Center, 702 Langdon St.

View Details

9:20 AM – 10:20 AM

Is there a political center?

Conventional wisdom has it that American politics is increasingly driven by extremists on either end of the spectrum. Is that true? A bipartisan panel of analysts and former elected officials explores where the political center is at and how much influence it has.

Shannon Hall, Memorial Union, 800 Langdon St.

View Details

Telling diverse stories — how can theater be more inclusive?

This panel looks at what happens when predominantly white, non-disabled theater companies attempt to diversify the stories they tell and artists they work with. What are the considerations for directors and actors? What are the challenges, rewards and potential pitfalls when theaters make deliberate moves to tell a wider range of stories?

Play Circle Theater, Memorial Union, 800 Langdon St.

View Details

The news media’s credibility crisis

In the age of “alternative facts,” what should fact-seeking news media sources do to stay credible and fulfill their essential function? A trio of journalism leaders and researchers discuss the future.

Music Hall, 925 Bascom Mall

View Details

Conversations with Local Voices Network

Led by the nonprofit Cortico with assistance from UW-Madison’s Katherine Cramer, Local Voices Network is a national effort to bring underrepresented community voices into the public sphere and to help people listen to those outside their personal bubbles. Cap Times Idea Fest attendees have a chance to participate in these guided discussions on major public interest topics. Space is limited, so participants can register in advance here, though there will be some spaces left open in this session for those attending Cramer’s earlier talk who do not pre-register.

Moderator: Local Voices Network staff
Alumni Lounge, Pyle Center, 702 Langdon St.

View Details

The future of family farms in Wisconsin

Wisconsin is America’s Dairyland, but a variety of factors have made it harder than ever to make a living producing the state’s signature products. How are producers responding and what does it mean for the state?

 Room 121, Pyle Center, 702 Langdon St.

View Details

Good news in the fight against Alzheimer’s disease: A discussion with leading UW-Madison researchers

UW-Madison is a leading institution in the study of Alzheimer’s disease, a neurological disorder that afflicts more than five million people in the United States alone. This panel will discuss the latest research and what it means for the future in the fight against the disease

Session developed and Presented by Wisconsin Alumni Association
One Alumni Place, Wisconsin Alumni Association, 650 Lake St. (please enter via Alumni Park)

View Details

10:50 AM – 11:30 AM

Epic: A 40-year retrospective

Judy Faulkner, CEO and founder of Epic, the health care information technology giant whose success helped fuel the growth of Madison’s thriving tech sector, talks about how she built the company and her vision for what comes next in health care.

Presented by The Burish Group

Speaker: Judy Faulkner

Shannon Hall, Memorial Union, 800 Langdon St.

View Details

Conversations with Local Voices Network

Led by the nonprofit Cortico with assistance from UW-Madison’s Katherine Cramer, Local Voices Network is a national effort to bring underrepresented community voices into the public sphere and to help people listen to those outside their personal bubbles. Cap Times Idea Fest attendees have a chance to participate in these guided discussions on major public interest topics. Space is very limited, so participants should register in advance here. (Note that this session will last until 11:50 a.m.)

Moderator: Local Voices Network staff
Room 209, Pyle Center, 702 Langdon St.

View Details

11:30 AM – 12:30 PM

Food cart lunch

Get fueled up for afternoon sessions with some of Madison’s best food cart vendors. Coffee from Cargo Coffee will be available at the Cap Times’ booth, featuring exclusive Cap Times Muckraker Moka.

Library Mall, 800 block of State Street

View Details

12:30 PM – 1:30 PM

What Trump wrought and what 2020 will bring — the state of the nation and American politics

An all-star panel of Washington Post journalists takes stock of the Trump era and the country’s political mood ahead of a pivotal presidential election.

Shannon Hall, Memorial Union, 800 Langdon St.

View Details

 

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.

Moderator: Emilee Fannon
Speaker: U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson
Play Circle Theater, Memorial Union, 800 Langdon St.

View Details

 

“With Friends Like These” featuring Blair Braverman

Columnist Ana Marie Cox brings her popular Crooked Media podcast to Cap Times Idea Fest, where she’ll interview Blair Braverman, an Iditarod sled racer from northern Wisconsin and the author of “Welcome to the Goddamn Ice Cube.”

Moderator: Ana Marie Cox
Speaker: Blair Braverman
Music Hall, 925 Bascom Mall

View Details

Social media and the next generation

On a fundamental level, social media has changed the way the way we interact with other people and how we give and receive information. As the first generation to grow up with social media, youth have particular expertise in these tools and can help us think about the benefits and risks. A panel of experts talks about ways that social media may affect youth both positively and negatively.

Presented by SSM Health
Alumni Lounge, Pyle Center, 702 Langdon St.

View Details

Investing in social impact

Join us for an engaging and informative look into the world of “impact investing” where we find a nexus between money and mission. Think “Shark Tank” for social good. This panel features guests intimately involved in one of the fastest-growing investment philosophies.

Session developed and Presented by American Family Insurance
Room 121, Pyle Center, 702 Langdon St.

View Details

1:50 PM – 2:50 PM

The Castro brothers of Texas

In a rare dual appearance, Julian Castro, former HUD secretary and current Democratic presidential candidate, and his twin brother, Joaquin Castro, leading member of the House
Intelligence Committee, talk politics, policy, Donald Trump and their hopes for the future.

Shannon Hall, Memorial Union, 800 Langdon St.

View Details

The First Amendment, government authority and nuclear weapons

In 1979, The Progressive magazine gained national attention as the defendant in a lawsuit brought by the U.S. government seeking to prevent the magazine from publishing the “secret” of producing a hydrogen bomb even though all the information was already publicly available. Key people involved in the publication of the article look back 40 years later on lessons from the experience.

Play Circle Theater, Memorial Union, 800 Langdon St.

View Details

 

One on one with Rebecca Kleefisch

A conversation with the former lieutenant governor and current head of the Women’s Suffrage Centennial Commission, talking about the impact of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution and the future of the Republican Party in Wisconsin.

Moderator: Katie Dean
Speaker: Rebecca Kleefisch
Music Hall, 925 Bascom Mall

View Details

 

Should legal marijuana come to Wisconsin?

Wisconsin is now the only state in the upper Midwest in which marijuana isn’t legal in any form. There is much political debate on the topic and a bipartisan panel discusses what should happen and what’s likely to happen.

Room 121, Pyle Center, 702 Langdon St.

View Details

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. Note that this tour starts at 2 p.m. and lasts roughly 30 minutes

Alumni Park, 724 Langdon St.

View Details

3:10 PM – 4:10 PM

How does Madison not become Seattle?

Across the U.S., economic success in politically progressive cities has gone hand-in-hand with skyrocketing housing prices and rates of homelessness. How can Madison avoid the fates of those cities?

Shannon Hall, Memorial Union, 800 Langdon St.

View Details

 

The Corner Table featuring Yia Vang

A live recording of the Cap Times’ podcast about local food and dining featuring the founder of Union Hmong Kitchen, an acclaimed pop-up restaurant in Minneapolis.

Moderator: Lindsay Christians
Speaker: Yia Vang
Play Circle Theater, Memorial Union, 800 Langdon St.

View Details

Wisconsin Politics in 2020

Description: A look ahead at the political landscape for purple state Wisconsin both in terms of the presidential race and control of the state Legislature.

Music Hall, 925 Bascom Mall

View Details

Latino Wisconsin — Organizing at the margins

The panel will discuss the grassroots work being done to push back against white nationalist and anti-immigrant agendas. The panelists will share their experiences, including everyday challenges many within the Latino Wisconsin community face. Discussion topics will include immigration reform, ICE raids, and access to drivers licenses and in-state tuition for all. The panelists will also share their perspectives on how people can take meaningful action to create a more just and peaceful world. Note that the room will stay open through 5:30 p.m. for an informal discussion among panelists and the audience about next steps.

Presented by CUNA Mutual Group
Room 121, Pyle Center, 702 Langdon St.

View Details

Conversations with Local Voices Network

Led by the nonprofit Cortico with assistance from UW-Madison’s Katherine Cramer, Local Voices Network is a national effort to bring underrepresented community voices into the public sphere and to help people listen to those outside their personal bubbles. Cap Times Idea Fest attendees have a chance to participate in these guided discussions on major public interest topics. Space is very limited, so participants should register in advance here.

Moderator: Local Voices Network staff
Room 209, Pyle Center, 702 Langdon St.

View Details

4:30 PM – 5:30 PM

One on one with Chloe Benjamin

A discussion with the best-selling author of “The Immortalists” and “The Anatomy of Dreams” about her work, as well as living and writing in Madison.

Moderator: Chris Murphy
Speaker: Chloe Benjamin
Shannon Hall, Memorial Union, 800 Langdon St.

View Details

 

Lessons from the McCarthy era

In his latest book, “A Good American Family,” journalist David Maraniss details how the “Red Scare” of the 1950s, spearheaded by Wisconsin’s own U.S. Sen. Joe McCarthy, forced his family on a nomadic journey that eventually led them to Madison and the Cap Times. Maraniss discusses his family’s history and what the lessons of the anti-Communist fervor of the 1950s mean today.

Moderator: Dave Zweifel
Speaker: David Maraniss
Play Circle Theater, Memorial Union, 800 Langdon St.

View Details

 

A new take on criminal justice reform

Now retired, Wisconsin’s only African American Appeals Court judge discusses what needs to happen to the state’s legal system to make it fair for all.

Music Hall, 925 Bascom Mall

View Details

5:50 PM – 7:00 PM

Monkey Business at Cap Times Idea Fest

The popular Madison improv comedy troupe offers its unique take on Cap Times Idea Fest with help from the audience.

Play Circle Theater, Memorial Union, 800 Langdon St.

View Details

5:30 PM – 8:00 PM

Closing Reception

Socialize with attendees and speakers after a great day. Music by Leotha and Tamera Stanley. Hors d’oeuvres served and cash bar available.

Main Lounge, Memorial Union, 800 Langdon St.

View Details

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

Major Sponsors:

healthx logoExact Sciences LogoAmerican Family logo

Co-Sponsors:
cuna mutual groupMadison Gas & ElectricUW-MadisonGodfrey & Kahn, S.C.university research park

warf logoEpic Systems    American Players TheatreForward Theater Co. Logo

Partners: Wisconsin State Journalmadison.com