2017 Uncharted Speakers and Performers

Uncharted returns for year five with new conversations, a new co-curator

by Berkeleyside

BERKELEY — Uncharted: The Berkeley Festival of Ideas returns to Berkeley for its fifth year, Oct. 27-28. Festival events will take place at the Berkeley Repertory Theater and at the Freight & Salvage Coffeehouse in downtown Berkeley, from 9 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. both days.

The Bay Area’s first ideas festival presents leading thinkers who engage in two days of intimate, on-stage conversations about some of the key issues of our time. The program also features music and dance performances, arts spotlights, and hands-on labs.

“We can never predict what will happen when an inclusive group of thought leaders assemble in historic Berkeley to talk about the key issues of our time,” says Lance Knobel, Uncharted founder and a co-founder of Berkeleyside, the independently owned local news site that produces the festival.

“This year our additional challenge ” adds Knobel, “is to create a program where Trump doesn’t dominate because there are other things to talk about.”

This year’s conversations and labs (formerly called workshops) cover a broad range of topics. They include criminal and restorative justice; business and leadership; gender and race; work-life balance; religion; refugees; and end-of-life issues. The lineup so far includes:

• Jon Rapping, criminal justice innovator and founder, Gideon’s Promise
• Rick Wilson, Republican political strategist and columnist
• Bandak Lul, South Sudanese refugee and human-rights activist
• Gina Welch, screenwriter (Feud)
• Richard Misrach, photographer
• Allyson Hobbs, Stanford University associate professor of history and contributing staff writer, The New Yorker
• Ralina Joseph, founding director of the University of Washington’s Center for Communication, Difference and Equity
• Prudence Carter, dean of the graduate school of education, UC Berkeley
• Cesar Cruz, Mexican immigrant activist on education

Conversation partners are still being finalized. The complete list of participants to-date can be found at BerkeleyIdeas.com.

In year five, Uncharted is trying new things:

• Helena Brantley has joined in the role as co-curator of Uncharted after working for the last few years as the festival publicist. In the last year, Brantley has been involved in an ongoing online dialogue with women in Alabama who voted for President Trump and women in the Bay Area who voted for Hillary Clinton. Her conversations with them, and her work as a book publicist and marketer, have helped to inform her thinking about this year’s Uncharted program.

“We’re trying hard to make it almost impossible to look at this two-day program and not find something that piques your interest,” said Brantley.

• A new collaboration with the Jewish Community Center of the East Bay will offer attendees “living room conversations” that allow festivalgoers to dive more deeply into the knotty issues raised during the two days.

• Also new this year is a partnership with Mother Jones, winner of the 2017 Magazine of the Year award from the American Society of Magazine Editors (ASME). In addition to the nonprofit newsroom’s media sponsorship, senior editor Wes Enzinna will lead a conversation with Christian Picciolini who, at age 16, became the leader of a white supremacist hate group in Illinois but who now runs Life After Hate, a nonprofit helping people disengage from hate and violent extremism. “This is such an important and timely discussion — we’re thrilled to be part of this year’s festival,” said Mother Jones CEO Monika Bauerlein.

All ticket holders are invited to attend the Uncharted Festival’s opening-night party on Friday, Oct. 27, at the David Brower Center in downtown Berkeley. The party, which has become a staple of the festival, includes food, live music and cocktails.

On Saturday night, the festival tradition continues of attendees and participants gathering at Uncharted’s official partner hotel, Hotel Shattuck Plaza, also in downtown Berkeley, for a closing happy hour, starting at 5 p.m.

Tickets: Through Sept. 6, two-day passes are available for $140 and one-day passes for $80. Beginning September 7, full-price tickets are $280 for two days and $160 for one day.

Twitter: @UnchartedIdeas
Facebook: UnchartedIdeas
Instagram: unchartedideas

Uncharted is a production of Berkeleyside. This festival is made possible thanks to the following partners:

Levi Strauss Foundation
Panoramic Interests
DeYoe Wealth Management
Bregante + Company LLP
North Berkeley Investment Partners
Jetton Construction
2000 Center Street
Mechanics Bank
McCutcheon Construction
JCC East Bay
Hotel Shattuck Plaza
Diablo Magazine
Mother Jones

About Berkeleyside
Berkeleyside is Berkeley, California’s award-winning, independently owned local news site. Launched in 2009 by three veteran journalists — Lance Knobel, Tracey Taylor and Frances Dinkelspiel — Berkeleyside is a pioneer in the field of online local journalism. Berkeleyside was the winner of the Society of Professional Journalists’ Northern California Excellence in Journalism Award for Community Journalism in 2013 and 2014.

Media Contact: Helena Brantley
Red Pencil Publicity + Marketing