Purdue Announces 'Ideas Festival'

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Purdue President Mitch Daniels (file photo) Purdue President Mitch Daniels (file photo)
WEST LAFAYETTE -

Purdue University President Mitch Daniels has announced a year-long initiative that will serve as the centerpiece for the university's sesquicentennial celebration in 2019. The Ideas Festival will feature high-profile speakers, as well as curricular, classroom and community events.

The university says the events will aim to "address the world's most pressing issues in a provocative and engaging way." Daniels issued a call for proposals to faculty, staff, and students seeking ideas for events.

“As we celebrate this milestone and all our proud history, it’s important that we use this opportunity to look to the future, to the next 150 years that Boilermakers will do so much to shape,” Daniels said.

The Ideas Festival will take part on Purdue's West Lafayette campus, in addition to its other campuses throughout the state and communities around the world. As part of the call for proposals, the university listed topics that could be used for day-long events, such as:

  • Immortality: Can we achieve it? Should we?
  • Artificial intelligence: Where is it taking us and is it worth the risks?
  • Pros and cons of social media for individuals, society and democratic institutions.
  • Space: Our next frontier or the source of our demise?
  • Democracy: Wave of the future or historical aberration?
  • China, India, Africa, U.S. ... Whose World in 2120?
  • Our robotic future: Life without work?

Purdue was founded in 1869. The university has launched a website for the sesquicentennial that will include information about every event and celebration planned for the Ideas Festival.

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      The U.S. unemployment rate has moved down to 3.9 percent, which is its lowest level since December 2000, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Great news! Maybe not. There are business sectors that need employees due to constraints in the labor market - namely truck drivers. The level of employment in the truck transportation industry is essentially unchanged since mid-2015, according to the bureau. And the impact is being felt.

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