The Long Conversation

What do cellist Yo-Yo Ma, actor Alfre Woodard, the Secretary of the Smithsonian, a 23-year-old theoretical physicist called “the next Einstein,” a leader of the Mars Rover expedition, and the writer for Marvel Comics’ first lesbian Latina superhero have in common? They all know something that makes them optimistic about the future. Come find out what at this one-of-a-kind event in one of the most beautiful buildings on the National Mall.

On Friday, Dec. 1st, as part of the Smithsonian Ingenuity Festival, we’re opening the long-closed Smithsonian Arts & Industries Building for a marathon conversation between artists, scientists and other thinkers about why we should be hopeful for the future. From edible houses to Maker nurses to art activism, learn about the best ideas on the horizon in 15-minute rolling conversations between surprising conversationalists from all walks of life. Throw in great food, drinks and art, and we guarantee you’ll leave feeling better about tomorrow. Event includes a pop-up cafe and bar by José Andrés and an interactive art-tech experience, Surfing Stardust: Destination Earth, by Nora Maccoby and NOIRFLUX.

Tickets released to the public on the Eventbrite website on November 9, 2017. Tickets can be reserved online for two-hour sessions, and each person may reserve a ticket for up to three guests in addition to themselves. Tickets are free of charge and cannot be sold. Once all tickets have been claimed, a limited number of same-day walk-up tickets will be available starting at 4 p.m. on December 1st, at the West entrance of the Arts & Industries Building. Stand-by ticket holders will be admitted as spaces open up on a first come, first served basis.

speaker topics

Speakers are listed in alphabetical order by session. Like life, this list is in flux, and speakers and sessions are subJect to change. We will do our best to keep you posted and ask that you please check back for updates. Thank you! 

JOSE GOMEZ-MARQUEZ 
Co-Director, Little Devices Lab at MIT
Researcher, TED Fellow, creator of MIT's first course on affordable medical device hardware. 3 time MIT IDEAS Competition and 2 time Lemelson Award Winner. 
 
DR. JOHN A. GRANT. Ill 
Geologist, Center for Earth and Planetary Studies at the National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian 
Geologist. Chair for the Mars Exploration Rovers Spirit and Opportunity. Member of the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity. Home gardener. Biker. Beer collector. 
 
KAVYA KOPPARAPU 
Founder and CEO, Girls Computing league 
Current senior at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology. 2017 International Science Fair Finalist. Created an app at age 16 to diagnose diabetic retinopathy in rural India. TEDx speaker. 
 
YO-YO MA 
World-Renowned Cellist
Citizen Artist. United Nations Messenger of Peace. Recipient of the 2011 Presidential Medal of Freedom. Founder of Silkroad. Needs time management skills. 
 
SABRINA GONZALEZ PASTERSKI 
Hertz Foundation Fellow, Harvard University Center for the Fundamental Laws of Nature 
Aspiring theoretical physicist. First-generation Cuban-American & Chicago Public Schools alumna. Forbes and Scientific American "30 Under 30" lists. 
 
DAVID RUBENSTEIN 
Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, The Carlyle Group
Philanthropist. History buff. Leader of one of the world's largest private equity firms. Chair of the Smithsonian Institution Board of Regents. 
 
DEBORAH F. RUTTER 
President, John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts
First female President of the world's busiest performing arts center. Collaborator. Innovator. Childhood violinist and pianist. 
 
ALFRE WOODARD 
Academy Nominated and Emmy Award Winning Actor
Actor. Agitator/Activist. Mother of Exceptional Millennials. Producer. Storyteller. 
 
JOSÉ ANDRÉS 
Renowned Chef and Owner, ThinkFoodGroup & minibar by José Andrés
2 Michelin-starred culinary innovator. Author. Educator. Humanitarian. Time's "100 Most influential People." James Beard Foundation "Outstanding Chef." 2015 National Humanities Medal. 
 
MURIEL BOWSER 
Mayor of Washington, D.C. 
Proud fifth generation Washingtonian. Public servant. Advocate. Previous Ward 4 councilmember. 
 
ANDREW HESSEL 
Distinguished Researcher, Autodesk Inc
Scientist. Futurist. Biohacker. Catalyst in biological technologies. Founder, Humane Genomics. Co-Founder, Genome Project-Write. 
 
DR. CORI LATHAN 
Founder and Chief Executive Officer, AnthroTronix
Biomedical Engineer. Neuroscientist. MITTechnology Review "Top 100 World Innovators". Co-Chaii:, World Economic Forum's Global Future Council on Human Enhancement. 
 
DAVID ROCKWELL 
Founder and President, Rockwell Group 
Architect. Tony Award-winning set designer. Student pianist. New Yorker. 
 
STEVE CASE 
Chairman and CEO, Revolution; Co-Founder, AOL; Chairman, Case Foundation
Entrepreneur. Investor. New York Times bestselling author. Vice Chair of the Smithsonian Institution Board of Regents. 
 
SHELDON SCOTT 
Owner and Artist, Sheldon Scott Studios 
Storyteller. Actor. Performance artist. Social worker. Youth Pride Alliance, Teaching for Change Soard Member. 
 
DR. DAVID J. SKORTON 
Secretary, Smithsonian Institution 
Leader of the Smithsonian. Lover of arts and humanities. Supporter of the sciences. Advocate for education. Diffuser of knowledge. Board-certified cardiologist. Jazz fiutist. Former U of Iowa and Cornell University President. 
 
MICHELLE THALLER
Deputy Director of Science for Communications, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center 
Astrophysicist and research scientist. Host of How the Universe Works. Public Radio podcaster. Bad dancer. 
ERIK BRUNER-YANG 
Restaurateur 
Portfolio of Maketto, Toki Underground, Paper Horse Noodle Bar, Brothers & Sisters, and Spoken English. 2 time James Seard Award nominee. Husband and father. 
 
FRANK FOER 
Staff Writer, The Atlantic
Writer. Journalist. Author of World Without Mind. Slate contributing editor. Former editor of The New Republic.
 
KAITLYN HOVA 
Co-Founder, Hova Labs
Violinist. Composer. Artist. Women Who Code Core Team Member. Software Engineer. Neuroscientist. Synesthete. TEDMED speaker. 
 
PETE MARRA 
Center Head, Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center, Smithsonian National Zoological Park
Avian conservation scientist Founder of The Migratory Connectivity Project and Neighborhood Nestwatch. Author. Co-founder of Tree House Concerts. Avid fly fisherman. Passionate cook. 
 
GABBY RIVERA
Queer Latinx Writer
Writer. Speaker. Storyteller. Culture Nerd. Author of AMERICA, America Chavez's solo series for Marvel Comics featuring Marvel's first Latina lesbian superhero. 
 
DANIEL P. SCHRAG 
Director, Harvard University Center for the Environment; Sturgis Hooper Professor of Geology and Professor of Environmental Science and Engineering
Professor. Geochemist. Paleoclimatologist. Dog lover. 
 
DAMION THOMAS 
Curator of Sports, National Museum of African American History and Culture
Author of Globetrotting African American Athletes and Cold War Politics. UCLA Alumnus. Former professor. 
 
ENO UMOH
Co-founder, Global Air Media
Entrepreneur. Drone pioneer. Founder, Baltimore Youth Drone Racing League. Baltimore born and raised.

The Long Conversation is an experimental conversational format originated by the Art Angel Longplayer project in London in 2009, and brought to the US by the Long Now Foundation in San Francisco. It is a relay of two-person dialogues for a set period of time, unified by a common prompt. In this case, each participant brings one idea with them about something that makes them optimistic about the future - a trend, an experience, an innovation, a technological breakthrough, a movement. It starts with two people on stage and every 15 minutes, one person leaves and another comes on. Each person is on stage for a total 30 minutes, during which time they have two 15-minute conversations with two people from different backgrounds about their ideas. Think of it as TED Conversations, instead of TED Talks.

Yes, although depending on demand and the number of people waiting patiently for entry in our stand-by line, we may ask that you move to the café area to watch the next session on monitors, or give up your seat and move to our standing room area.

On the registration page, you will be able to indicate that you are interested in a particular session that is already full. We will keep your information on hand and contact you if a seat opens up. If December 1st comes along and you have not heard from us, feel free to come and wait in the stand-by line 15 minutes before the session starts. In the mean time, register for your second option! All sessions will be captivating, informative and unique.

Oh yeah there will! The South Hall of the building will be home to a fantastic pop-bar and café by José Andrés from 3 – 10 p.m., serving sandwiches, snacks, beer, wine, cocktails and non-alcoholic beverages. ID required to purchase alcohol. In this space you can also relax, sit down, watch the Conversation on a monitor and experience a mind-blowing interactive art installation, Surfing Stardust: Destination Earth by Nora Maccoby and NOIRFLUX.

Unfortunately, no. We have to limit entry to guests with a session reservation or stand-by ticket, for capacity reasons.

We love kids. However, this event is more of a grown-up thing. If you do want to bring your younger family members, we recommend 14 and up.

You can email conversation@linderglobal.com with any questions, and we'll get back to you as soon as possible.

WHAT SHOULD I BRING? 
Please bring a valid photo ID and your ticket. Do not worry if you don't have a printer at home—we will accept both mobile and printed tickets. Please consider leaving large bags at home; there will only be a limited and unsupervised coat check for the event. 
 
IS IT OK IF THE NAME ON MY TICKET OR REGISTRATION DOESN'T MATCH THE PERSON WHO ATTENDS? 
The name on your ticket should match the name on your ID. If you wish to give your ticket away to someone else, don't worry—you can access your registration information and update the ticket holder's name and email address at any time. The link to edit your registration information can be found in your confirmation email.
 
GETTING HERE 
There is no public parking facility at the Smithsonian on the National Mall. 
The closest Metro stations are L'Enfant Plaza ( Blue, Orange, Silver, Green, and Yellow lines} and Smithsonian (Blue, Orange, and Silver lines}. The primary WMATA buses are 30N, 305, 32, 34, 36, 16X, 39, A9, and the Circulator. 
 
ARRIVE WHEN IT'S YOUR TIME 
About 15 minutes before your designated entry time, go to the West Hall of the Arts & Industries Building (entrance right off the Mall next to the Smithsonian Castle, through the garden} and look for signs. You'll enter the building and line up to enter the theater. After or during your session, you'll also have the chance to explore other Halls in the Arts & Industries Building or enjoy food and beverages at the pop-up cafe. 
 
PHOTOGRAPHY 
We love your photography, as long as it is for personal, non-commercial use. Don't forget to share them with your friends and networks using #thelongconvo and #artsandindustriesbuilding ! But no flash please. Also no tripods, monopods, or selfie sticks. 
 
ACCESSIBILITY 
The Arts & Industries Building proudly supports the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and welcomes visitors of all abilities by providing accessible entrances. 
 
WIFI 
Free WiFi access is available to all visitors. Connect to the "si-visitor" network and follow the instructions provided. 
 
RESTROOMS 
Restrooms (family friendly and wheelchair accessible} are located in the North Hall of the Arts & Industries Building. 
SECURITY 
For everyone's safety, all visitors need to pass through security. You will be greeted upon entry by security personnel who will conduct a thorough but speedy hand-check of all bags, briefcases, purses, and containers. And you know better than to try to bring in any of these prohibited items, right? 
  • Aerosol cans, including pepper spray and Mace
  • Food and drinks
  • Bags larger than 11 x 15 x 13in
  • Pets
  • Placards, signs, and banners
  • Scissors
  • Selfie sticks, tripods, and monopods
  • Tools
  • Weapons and knives (duh!)