Second Annual ThinkFest Kicks Off — a Weeklong Event

Second Annual ThinkFest Kicks Off — a Weeklong Event Featuring Dynamic Speakers, Unique Entertainment and Smart Conversation about the Future of Philadelphia

Prominent speakers to include M. Night Shyamalan, Chris Matthews, Marc Vetri and Kathleen Kane

Organizers of ThinkFest announced their second annual program, which will be held from Nov. 4-9. The events include a keynote address by MSNBC “Hardball” host Chris Matthews and a main event featuring filmmaker M. Night Shyamalan.

ThinkFest is a weeklong event featuring dynamic speakers, unique entertainment and smart conversations about the city, education, the arts, entrepreneurship, the food scene, tech and creative culture in Philadelphia. The event is presented by Philadelphia Magazine.

“There’s a lot of energy around Philadelphia today and ThinkFest will tap into that as we discuss the region’s future,” magazine Editor Tom McGrath said. “Our speakers this year are well-known and sure to create provocative conversation. And we’ve lined up some entertainment that will blow people away.”

ThinkFest reaches a pinnacle on its concluding day of Nov. 9 at the Kimmel Center from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. with Shyamalan discussing “I Got Schooled: How Creative Thinking Can Solve Our Education Problems.”

Other speakers include:

  • Restaurateur Marc Vetri on creative culture
  • Lithe Method CEO Lauren Boggi on the importance of branding
  • First Rounder Capital Founding Partner Josh Kopelman on Philly’s growing start-up scene
  • Wharton professor Adam Grant on revolutionizing the workplace
  • TechGirlz Founder Tracey Welson-Rossman on women in tech
  • Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane on gay marriage and other issues facing the state

In addition, there will be panel discussions, pop-up performances, Start-up Alley and the ThinkFest library.

Two days earlier at the Rittenhouse Hotel from 6:30-8:30 p.m. will be the ThinkFest One-on-One featuring a Q & A with Matthews, the bestselling author and Philadelphia native.

Three other events – dubbed ThinkFest On Location – are slated for Nov. 4, 6 and 8.

On Nov. 4 at 7 p.m. there will be a discussion and performance at FringeArts entitled “Philly’s Emerging Drag Queen Culture.”

Center City District President and CEO Paul Levy will host a walking tour of Center City parks on Nov. 6. The tour begins at the Cafe at Sister Cities Park (18th & Race streets) at 4:15 p.m. and concludes at The Residences at The Ritz-Carlton.

And on Nov. 8, Wayne Kimmel of SeventySix Capital will host at 8:30 a.m. “Our New Creative Culture: True Tales from Philly’s Start-Up Scene” at Benjamin’s Desk.

For tickets to ThinkFest events, visit

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