University Experts Taking Center Stage at TENWEST Impact Festival

University Experts Taking Center Stage at TENWEST Impact Festival

By Andy OberUniversity Communications
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TENWEST Impact Festival will run Oct. 11-20. Presentations from University experts will cover artificial intelligence, the science behind making musical instruments, defending Earth from hazardous asteroids and comets, and more. (Photo courtesy of TENWEST Impact Festival)
TENWEST Impact Festival will run Oct. 11-20. Presentations from University experts will cover artificial intelligence, the science behind making musical instruments, defending Earth from hazardous asteroids and comets, and more. (Photo courtesy of TENWEST Impact Festival)

Around 15,000 local, regional and national attendees are expected in downtown Tucson for the annual TENWEST Impact Festival, to be held Oct. 11-20. Approximately 250 speakers, including more than 50 from the University of Arizona, will discuss innovative solutions to social, environmental and economic issues.

"TENWEST Impact Festival promotes a sense of wonder and pride in the creative, unique and game-changing ways Southern Arizonans are impacting the world, including the many amazing thought leaders that are part of the faculty at the University of Arizona," said Dre Voelkel, TENWEST festival director. "The festival has something for everyone, with 10 days of exhibitions, talks and interactive experiences, as well as more than 100 opportunities across social impact, education, business, art and culture, science, technology and sustainability."

TENWEST began in 2015 as Tucson's answer to South by Southwest, and organizers say it has continued to grow and become more connected with its Southern Arizona home. The University of Arizona has signed on as title sponsor of the event.

"I am excited that the University of Arizona has made a long-term commitment to support the TENWEST Festival," said UA President Robert C. Robbins. "Not only do we wholeheartedly believe in the vision and mission of this community-driven impact effort, but we also see the incredible economic, social and cultural impact that this festival can have for Tucson."

Some highlights of panels and presentations involving University of Arizona faculty include:

Meeting the Need for Higher Education & Professional Development in Indian Country
Monday, Oct. 14, 10 a.m., Tucson Convention Center, Greenlee Meeting Room
Robert Williams Jr., Regents Professor of law, and Tory Fodder, Indigenous Governance Program manager, will be part of a panel presenting a case study on how tribes can strengthen their governance, rebuild their nations and demonstrate sovereignty in action.

Artificial Intelligence (AI): Tap or Slam on the Brakes?
Monday, Oct. 14, 11 a.m., Tucson Convention Center, Greenlee Meeting Room
Paul Melendez, founder of the Center for Leadership Ethics in the Eller College of Management, will examine the benefits of AI technology, as well as economic, legal and ethical issues it raises.

The Art and Science of Making Musical Instruments
Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2:30 p.m., Tucson Convention Center, Apache/Cochise Meeting Room
Bruce Bayly, associate professor of mathematics, will bring a variety of instruments to illustrate the physical principles of their designs and show attendees how to make their own instruments.

Diversity in Entrepreneurship
Thursday, Oct. 17, 3 p.m., Tucson Convention Center, Gila Meeting Room
Joan Timeche, executive director of the Native Nations Institute in the Udall Center for Studies in Public Policy, will take part in a panel discussing how to create a level playing field in entrepreneurship for women- and minority-owned companies.

Creating Spaces for Healthy Aging: Measuring Health, Wellbeing & Performance Non-Invasively: From Molecules to Environment
Friday, Oct. 18, 10 a.m., Tucson Convention Center, Mojave Meeting Room
Esther Sternberg, director of research at the Andrew Weil Center for Integrative Medicine, will discuss features of the built environment that promote physical health and emotional well-being, with a focus on aging populations.

Defending the Planet From Falling Rocks
Friday, Oct. 18, 11 a.m., Tucson Convention Center, Coconino Meeting Room
Amy Mainzer, professor of planetary sciences, will detail the search for potentially hazardous asteroids and comets that might impact the Earth.

From Farm to Table: AI Sensors and Big Data Help Produce More and Better Food
Friday, Oct. 18, 11 a.m., Tucson Convention Center, Greenlee Meeting Room
Monica Schmidt, associate professor of plant science, Uwe Hilgert, director of industry engagement, workforce development and STEM training at the BIO5 Institute, Eric Lyons, associate professor of plant science, and Murat Kacira, professor of agriculture and biosystems engineering, will take part in a panel discussion on how new and advanced technologies can help farmers and businesses improve food production and distribution.

Humanity in the Age of the Genome Revolution
Friday, Oct. 18, 3 p.m., Tucson Convention Center, Greenlee Meeting Room
Michael F. Hammer, research scientist with Arizona Research Laboratories, and Floyd Chilton, professor of nutritional sciences, will discuss research on precision health, designed to avoid disease through individually tailored wellness strategies.

Podcast, Cli-Fi and Science Storytelling for Climate Action in the Built Environment
Friday, Oct. 18, 3 p.m., Tucson Convention Center, Mohave Meeting Room
Ladd Keith, assistant professor of planning in the College of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture, will talk about how to give narrative shape to the climate crisis through novels, films and podcasts.

Visit TENWEST.com for a full schedule of events and more information.

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