Original thinkers and his big ideas | New


If there’s anything Original Thinkers encourages, it’s that we’re all original thinkers. The concept is both approachable and lofty, but it’s one that OT Founder and Leader David Holbrooke and President Meredith Lavitt believe the festival and humanity are ready to embrace. tackle. The annual gathering, scheduled for September 29-October 2 at the historic Sheridan Opera House, has announced the start of its provocative lineup and tickets are now available for purchase.

Holbrooke and Lavitt each describe OT in terms that reflect the festival’s determination and fresh approach to stimulating conversation around some of the world’s biggest challenges. He seeks nothing less than to end hunger, alleviate grief, make sense of loss, and reshape humanity into its kindest, most compassionate, and most creative version of itself. -same.

“Original thinking is the most important thing we need right now,” Holbrooke said. “We look around and the world seems crazy. It seems so much crazier in 2022 than in 2018. But we’re looking at these unsolvable issues, whether it’s the climate or the decadence of truth, or you all have this kind of collapse of a collective and you say, ‘Okay, how do we find our way out of this?’ And for me, it’s going to take original thinkers. It’s as simple as that. The only way not to go back to really troubling paradigms is, for me, to find the people, find the voices and find the ideas who will help us out of this mess. And that’s what we’re trying to do here and we’re trying to do it in our little ways. We’re not looking to cure cancer, but we’re looking for people who will help us understand what’s going on in the world and finding our own space to have some sanity.

Lavitt wants to tap into the passion that original thinkers bring to the table in the quest to find meaning and meaning in life.

“I think original thinkers are the most passionate people and for me it’s about following that curiosity, relentlessly, and using all of your senses, to understand,” she said. “There’s so much heart in these people and it’s a fresh and hard-hitting thought, but it’s hard thinking and it’s not the obvious path. It’s not a linear path and these people put their heart, their soul, their thinking, their passion, their expertise into it, everything to find a different way to move forward in this world and be impactful, thoughtful and meaningful. ”

Those confirmed for the 2022 gathering are a wide range of filmmakers, authors, theologians, journalists, healers, researchers and more. With a series of thematic programs, OT combines films, conversations and artistic performances that seek to stimulate audiences to broaden their view of the world in order to envision new possibilities. Holbrooke and Lavitt agree that if there’s one overarching theme for this year’s festival, it’s that of resilience.

“I think one of the things we see coming through this festival, a theme that’s definitely emerging, is resilience,” Holbrooke said. And, you know, we’re coming out of this pandemic – we’re not out yet but we’re going out and there’s no pandemic programming, but these people are all representing this notion of not giving up and really taking on a new life for themselves and for others. »

Guest Tom Voss is one of those resilient souls. After his extensive combat experience in the Iraq War, Voss struggled to return to mainstream life. Diagnosed with PTSD and frustrated with the Veterans Administration, he took his recovery into his own hands and founded Ojai Earth. Through mindfulness, Voss has found healing and comfort, which he freely shares. Author and researcher, Florence Williams, tackles grief, a subject she experienced all too well after her husband left her unexpectedly. Her book, “Heartbreak: A Personal and Scientific Journey” examines how grief, though it inhabits our bodies and colors our lives, can be understood and facilitated by seeking and finding a sense of wonder and awe in the world.

A film to be screened, “The Janes”, is highly topical in light of the recent US Supreme Court ruling that struck down a woman’s constitutional right to bodily autonomy with respect to health issues, namely abortion. Director Emma Pildes showcases her talents as a non-fiction storyteller in her directorial debut about the women who fought half a century ago for those same rights. The Janes themselves will also be present at the festival, and to remind us that the fight is far from over in a post-Roe world.

Illness, climate issues, grassroots advocacy journalism, and improving financial opportunities for Latinas are all topics that will be examined at OT this year, among a host of others.

Holbrooke said that, in an effort to attract more locals to the festival, he and OT staff are working with local groups related to the presentation’s topics such as the Janes and financial literacy.

“We get a lot of people from Telluride, but I think some people in town are like, ‘Okay, cool, that’s cool,’ and they don’t really dig into what we do,” Holbrooke said. “I hope they do because it’s really relevant to them. And one of the things that we’re going to do is really reach out to our community to say, okay, how can we collaborate with different groups, different entities, to say this has happened and this is about you? I mean, that’s the most important thing I think about Original Thinkers is that we believe anyone can be an original thinker.

Confirmed guests, films and artists, as well as tickets are at originalthinkers.com. Tickets for each event will go on sale on the first day of the festival.


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