IDEAS Boston Finds New Home at UMass Boston

Pamela Worth | April 28, 2011
IDEAS Boston Finds New Home at UMass Boston

A poet and human rights activist. An economist who explored how the world’s poor live on $2 a day. The host of a PBS Kids show. A surgeon who studies the role of music in medicine.

These are just some of the innovators who will speak at IDEAS Boston in October.

Founded by The Boston Globe in 2004, IDEAS Boston is an annual forum at which the brightest brains and biggest names in New England come together to share their latest ideas, brainstorms, and creative solutions to promote innovation, the arts, and the humanities. It is a place for thought leaders to present their latest – and sometimes their next – big ideas.

And this year the forum has found a new home at UMass Boston.

The university assumed oversight and management of IDEAS Boston last year and has scheduled the next IDEAS Boston conference for October 20 in the Campus Center.

“We welcome IDEAS Boston to its new home at the University of Massachusetts Boston,” Chancellor J. Keith Motley says. “We see IDEAS Boston as another way in which we can foster the collaborations that help keep our region in the forefront of innovation and ingenuity. ”

Conference director Kathy Plazak is also encouraged about the change in venue. "IDEAS Boston needed a permanent home, and UMass Boston is ideal," she says. "[A]s the area’s public university and a research institution that itself is focused on developing big ideas, UMass Boston is the perfect convener and host. ”

Plazak believes that the conference will have the additional benefit of drawing positive attention to UMass Boston. “I’m hoping that by bringing our diverse IDEAS audience to UMass Boston, more people can see the great work going on here,” she explains. “So while UMass Boston is a perfect partner for IDEAS Boston, I believe that IDEAS Boston is a great partner for UMass Boston as well."

The day-long conference is intended to promote innovation and collaboration across a wide range of disciplines, from technology and business to the humanities and arts. Attendees enjoy a fast-paced format of lively presentations, artistic breaks, and networking and discussion, moderated by award-winning journalist Tom Ashbrook, host of NPR/WBUR’s national news-talk show On Point.

In the coming weeks, IDEAS Boson will announce speakers who will present at the sessions. A full list will be available in early June, when registration opens. To learn more about attending IDEAS Boston and to view presentations from past speakers, visit

If you do attend, be prepared to soak up some of the buzz. "No matter your field or background you come away inspired and full of new ideas," Plazak says. "It’s a complete thrill."

Tags: boston , ideas boston , the point

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