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Exploring the Unknown in DSM USA

February 16, 2018

Human beings have always been explorers. Christopher Columbus set sail to what is now North America. Marco Polo opened up the Far East to Europe. The United States sent people to the moon and spacecraft to other planets. And James Watson and Francis Crick explored human DNA and found it actually exists in the form of a three-dimensional double helix. It’s like the drive to explore is encoded into the double helix itself, and we can’t help it.

2018 ciWeek speakers

The theme for this year’s annual Celebrate! Innovation Week (ciWeek 9) is “Exploring the Unknown,” and our speakers have explored an array of topics. Rob Manning oversees the development of the Mars rovers, including Curiosity. Josh Gates travels the world exploring history, legends, mysteries and unexplained phenomena. Dr. Jill Pruetz studies the life and behavior of chimpanzees in Africa. James Barrat delves deep into the world of artificial intelligence. Jonathan Frakes explores possible scenarios of future human existence through science fiction. Nathalia Holt examines and brought to light the women who made deep space flight possible. Robbie Wolfe “picks” through the stuff and stories of others. Gabor George Burt develops a myriad of innovative ways companies can re-imagine their business. Dr. David Gallo travels to the depths of the ocean to view firsthand the remnants of history. Kenny Aronoff drums his way into the hearts of millions.

The who behind the what

The most meaningful approach to storytelling is interaction with the people who are the stories: current, living, creators of new ideas and developers of the latest innovations. Through engagement with the “who behind the what,” the stories come alive and create an emotional impact. 

ciWeek gives the Greater Des Moines (DSM) community the opportunity to interact with people (some famous, all inspired) who have dreamed, created and accomplished throughout their lives. During this thought-provoking and interactive week, attendees are able listen to and engage firsthand with these people bringing their stories to life. Through the generosity of our sponsors, including the Greater Des Moines Partnership, the event is free and open to the public and to the people who otherwise would not have this opportunity.

Fostering innovation in DSM

Since the creation of the Des Moines Area Community College West Des Moines Campus in 2001, fostering creativity and innovation has remained the goal of all its programs and courses. ciWeek is the inspiring embodiment of this goal. It’s a local-facing conference with world-class presenters, making it a unique combination of a university lecture series, Ted Talks and SXSW. Unlike other large conferences, each talk is followed by a speaker meet-and-greet where attendees can converse with the speakers, collect signatures and even take a selfie.

We hope you enjoy this year’s lineup of incredible speakers, and through their words and stories, you begin to feel inspired to take your own journey to explore something new and different in your life.

Greater Des Moines (DSM) offers numerous events aimed at professional development. Hone your skills and acquire the knowledge you need to excel by checking out these continuing education opportunities.