Jefferson Innovation Summit Held in Virginia in October

Image by Alex E. Proimos*

The Jefferson Innovation Summit, hosted by the Batten Institute, part of the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business, happened in Charlottesville on October 11 and 12, and although it was separated from Lincoln Center Institute’s (LCI’s) Imagination Summit by almost three months, the two events are clearly linked by their respective topics. In large measure, the purpose of both was, as Jefferson’s website puts it, to bring together “the brightest minds in business, government, academia, media, and the arts to talk about creating and sustaining a society of entrepreneurs and innovators.” And both summits were a success.

Alexander Eichler reported on the gathering for The Huffington Post. Over two days, sixty-two delegates participated in a Rotunda Dialogue in the dome room of Thomas Jefferson’s Rotunda, a dinner on the grounds of Monticello, and the drafting of a Declaration of Innovation at Montalto, the Thomas Jefferson Foundation’s mountaintop retreat.

The high-profile attendees included White House Chief Technology Officer Aneesh Chopra; Mary Himinkool, head of global entrepreneurship outreach at Google; Mark Little, senior vice president and director of global outreach at General Electric; and best-selling author and friend of LCI Daniel Pink. Serving as moderator was Tyler Mathisen, co-anchor of CNBC’s Power Lunch. (Watch the webcast of the Rotunda Dialogue, which was broadcast on CNBC, here.)

“Those at the summit agreed…[that] the country needs to rediscover its imagination,” writes Eichler, who also notes, “The most frequently cited issue was education—how to get students thinking creatively, not just in college but as early as kindergarten.”

It sounds as if there is quite a bit of overlap between the discussions that took place at LCI’s Imagination Summit in July and at the Jefferson Innovation Summit in October. Perhaps an opportunity to join together these two related efforts may arise in the future.

*There is a Creative Commons license attached to this image.

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