Cap Times Idea Fest returns to Madison

Bringing together leaders from near and far, the six-day festival will discuss Wisconsin-centric as well as nationally relevant topics.
Idea Fest returns to Madison Sept. 12-17
Published: Sep. 12, 2022 at 5:46 AM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) -For six days, community members are invited to attend an array of industry-leading speakers, from near and far, addressing nationally relevant and Wisconsin-centric topics.

Now in its 6th year, Idea Fest organized by The Capital Times will encompass more than two dozen virtual and in-person sessions with a lineup of about 80 speakers.

“We have tried to broaden the focus of the event to be a bit more about Wisconsin and not just necessarily the Madison area,” started Chris Murphy, event organizer and managing editor for The Capital Times. “Rural broadband access for example or what might happen with marijuana legislation or other things that may be of interest to audiences state-wide.”

Attending speakers come from the ranks of government, education, innovation, social and racial justice, technology, food and the list trails on.

Murphy says the festival presents a unique way of consuming topics facing our communities. “It’s a different way to engage with the issues, not just reading about it or watching about it, especially when they’re in person or if they’re live virtual they’re ways for people to talk about these things.”

Idea Fest rounds out the week with four powerhouse, in-person sessions Friday and Saturday on democracy, politics and racial equity.

The lineup of guest speakers includes renowned investigative journalist Carl Bernstein, Washington Post chief correspondent Dan Balz, U.S. Rep. Jamie Raskin. This is only scratching the surface. To dive into the full list of speakers, see here.

“We’ve tried to have a broad spectrum topics and speakers involved, so hopefully no matter where you’re from, they’ll be something to land on,” Murphy said. “They’ll be some people who challenge what you think and also people who understand you.”

To dive into the full list of speakers, see here.


Times and locations vary, but most of the action will take place around UW-Madison’s Memorial Union or at free virtual sessions.

You may purchase tickets here (discounts are offered for those who subscribe to The Capital Times).