Innovate Armenia — the festival of ideas and innovation — will once again burst on to the USC Campus on Saturday, May 18, from 10 am to 6 pm.
This year’s programming begins with Armenian identity and memory left behind in ancestral Armenian lands, and ends with Armenia, one year after the “velvet revolution”.
“This is the year to seek innovative thinkers from around the world because this year the context is very different. Although what continues to be the driving issue is identity — how it’s constructed and how it’s transmitted — this is the year when a new Armenian government has raised expectations and hopes in Armenia and around the world. And now, many in the Diaspora are asking how to connect, how to belong,” said Salpi Ghazarian, director of the USC Institute of Armenian Studies.
“At the same time, there is a huge flow of Armenians to historic Armenian lands in Turkey, in search of that which will help answer other, often more tortuous questions of identity. So, we wanted to include both and we’re calling this day-long presentation of research, stories and visuals FROM OLD ROUTES TO NEW ROOTS,” she continued.
The one-of-a-kind festival of ideas, music and action will, as in years past bring together the best from the world of the arts, politics, music, and everything in between from Armenia, Los Angeles, and around the world.
Guests from Turkey, Italy, Armenia and the US will address issues of geography, genealogy, memory, and identity.
From Armenia, high-level government officials and civil society activists will speak about vision and strategy in important policy areas. Scholars and policy experts will join them to analyze goals, challenges, and possible solutions to achieve meaningful reform.
These quick, TED-style talks will take place in USC’s historic Bovard Auditorium. Outdoors, chess games with grandmasters, enjoying Armenian craft beers produced in a millennia-old tradition, Armenian coffee tasting while sharing stories about the “Dialects of Coffee” — these and other activities will be available, at the same time.
Professional musicians from around the world, including Armenia and Lebanon will be performing live on the music stage all day.
Nearly 4,000 people from throughout California attended Innovate Armenia in 2017, and another 20,000 watched the day’s events Live, both in Armenian and in English.
This is a free event, with no RSVP required. Innovate Armenia is in line with the Institute’s mission to make scholarship accessible by showcasing the best of global scholars and researchers to a curious inquiring audience.