Asheville Ideas Fest (AIF) is rooted in a commitment to our shared humanity, and the belief that seeing the world’s great challenges from new perspectives will drive positive change in our world. We must recommit ourselves to true engagement — with respected thought leaders, new voices, and the fellow citizens with whom we agree, as well as those who hold beliefs very different from our own. Now and always, engaging in civil dialogue is among the most patriotic actions we can take to strengthen democracy. History demonstrates that Asheville is an ideal setting for this discourse. Here, nature sustains us, and our time spent in active outdoor pursuits prepares our bodies and sharpens our minds for rigorous intellectual pursuits.
The mountains of Western North Carolina have long been a gathering place. For centuries, the Cherokee have known this land as Togiyasdi or “Where They Race”. In the last century, leaders in arts and industry – from Thomas Edison and Henry Ford to Nina Simone and F. Scott Fitzgerald – have spent productive time within these weathered peaks. Visitors and residents alike find inspiration from Asheville itself—one of America’s great cities— and we invite you to join us for Asheville Ideas Fest, a gathering of creative thinkers and doers.
Asheville is a place where we come to breathe the invigorating mountain air, to rest, recharge, and revive. A place where visitors and residents alike immerse themselves in one of the most biologically diverse ecosystems on earth. Asheville is a destination for creatives, where writers, scholars, chefs, brewers, and others gather in a shared spirit of inspiration and innovation. While timber and manufacturing drove the regional economy in the past, today it is technological innovation, healthcare, and intellectual pursuits that light the path to the future.
We invite you to come to our mountains, where vistas abound and today’s South awaits. You’ll experience the diversity of thought that inspires us, the arts that lift us, the natural environment that challenges us, and the local cuisine and craft beverages that sustain us.
Commit yourself to Asheville Ideas Fest as an investment in yourself and in our society, for the deep listening, respectful discussion, and genuine understanding that we all crave. These mountains have long served as a gathering place, and we invite you to join us.
The second annual Asheville Ideas Fest will take place from June 13 through June 17, 2023, hosted by the University of North Carolina Asheville in partnership with key partners across the region including the Omni Grove Park Inn, Highland Brewing, and the Biltmore Estate.
The Core of Asheville Ideas Fest programming will be discussions and lectures led by global thought leaders who will convene in Asheville to focus on the most consequential issues of our time.
Please contact us with any questions.