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IdeaFestival Bowling Green

gifted home

1906 College Heights Blvd. #71031
Bowling Green, KY 42101-1031
Phone: 270-745-6323
Fax: 270-745-6279

College Board Advanced Placement Program Innovate Kentucky: Create a Spark Little Learners, Big Ideas

Kentucky Association for Gifted Education

World Council for Gifted & Talented Children

National Association for Gifted Children

The Association for the Gifted

The Carol Martin Gatton Academy of Mathematics and Science in Kentucky


About IdeaFestival Bowling Green

Ever since Innovate Kentucky was awarded a $500,000 challenge grant by the James Graham Brown Foundation in 2012 – the first of its kind ever given to a public university – one of the initiative’s top priorities has been establishing an annual speaker series at Western Kentucky University.

Thankfully, a perfect model for a speaker series already exists in Kentucky: IdeaFestival®. Founded in 2000 and held annually in Louisville since 2006, IdeaFestival brings in world-renowned speakers and has attracted thousands of participants. IdeaFestival branched out in 2013 with IF Lexington, which focused on creative disruption. Following that event, Innovate Kentucky was offered the opportunity to host an IF event in Bowling Green.

Within a matter of months, IdeaFestival® Bowling Green (IFBG) was born.

The tagline for IFBG is “All About Ideas.” Now in its fourth year, this one-day event has featured thinkers and innovators from a variety of fields who were eager to share their innovative ventures and creative solutions. With the introduction of new interactive elements in 2016, Innovate Kentucky believes IFBG is well positioned to help accomplish the initiative’s goal: spark innovation – one idea at a time.

Thanks to the members of the IFBG planning committee for their tireless work and dedication to make this event a reality.


2017 IdeaFestival Bowling Green Planning Committee

Dr. Dawn Bolton — WKU Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation

Emily Buttrum — WKU Center for Research and Development

Tyler Clark — World Council for Gifted and Talented Children/The Center for Gifted Studies at WKU

Troy Coleman — AT&T 

Mary Evans — The Center for Gifted Studies at WKU

Jeff Hook — WKU Center for Research and Development/Kentucky Innovation Network 

Dr. Tracy Inman — The Center for Gifted Studies at WKU

Cheryl Kirby-Stokes — The Gatton Academy

Lynn Minton — Kentucky Innovation Network

Kim Phelps — Bowling Green Chamber of Commerce

Sam Oldenburg — The Center for Gifted Studies at WKU 

Josh Raymer — NextHome Realty Experts/Book in a Box

Dr. Julia Roberts — The Center for Gifted Studies at WKU

Andee Rudloff — independent consultant/artist

Zack Ryle — The Gatton Academy

Erika Solberg — The Center for Gifted Studies at WKU 


Past Committee Members

Dr. Gordon Baylis — WKU Research Foundation 

Ron Bunch  — Bowling Green Chamber of Commerce 

Dr. Craig Cobane — WKU Honors College

Sydnee Dorris — Hitcents 

Dr. Julie Ellis — WKU Department of Engineering 

Tracy Harkins — World Council for Gifted and Talented Children/The Center for Gifted Studies at WKU

Joe Tudor — Hitcents

Brian Mefford — CNX Inc.

IdeaFestival Bowling Green

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February 15, 2018
Van Meter Hall and Downing Student Union
Western Kentucky University


Hands-on Activities


Past Festivals


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 Last Modified 5/12/17