Idea Festival

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As a result of having attended the Idea Festival this past weekend, I’ve been inspired to exercise my civil liberties by blogging.

The 3-day conference was sponsored in part by the University of Louisville. With my employer's encouragement, I attended a multitude of free sessions on a diverse array of topics ranging from sustainable architecture and green landscaping, worm holes and parallel universes, to an update on Darfur by the Pulitzer Prize winning New York Times columnist, Nicholas Kristof. It was during a panel session on the topic of Peace and a presentation by international bloggers, that I learned from Bahrainian journalist, Amira Al Hussaini, that both Turkey and China have banned the use of WordPress, an open source blogging platform that the Law School utilizes.

As a librarian and concerned citizen, I am passionate about disseminating information and believe that removing political and technological barriers to access is essential to preserving our democracy.

Conference attendees were encouraged to scribe their ideas on a note pad and post them to a logo-laden car provided by the Geek Squad, another conference sponsor. Here, I’d like to share one of my ideas and posit a challenge to the University of Louisville to install a speaker’s pulpit similar to the Speaker’s Corner in London’s Hyde Park, outside of the SAC or some other prominent location on campus to encourage an ongoing exchange of information and ideas within our community.

To participate in the global conversation, visit: www.globalvoicesonline.org