Next week, 112 great minds will convene at the world’s first international thought summit. The monumental undertaking [PDF] by nonprofit dropping knowledge is “dedicated to moving people from apathy to activity through the simple act of asking questions.” The summit, Table of Free Voices, will take place in Berlin’s historic Bebelplatz square Sept. 9 and will bring together experts from a wide range of fields to answer questions submitted in video form by the public.
Questions already culled by dropping knowledge range from the practical, “How can we discuss global problems when we do not know how to solve local ones?,” to the environmental, “Will children grow up in an environmental wasteland?,” to the emotional, “Are you scared?”
The questions chosen for the experts span eight global themes, including “The Human Footprint” — which focuses on energy, ecology, and sustainable ways of life. Though it could be argued that all eight themes involve issues that affect the environment in some way.
A dropping knowledge staffer pointed out one video in particular that touched her — and me, in a way I can’t quite explain. It features a Namibian tour guide asking simply, “You know that movie Day After Tomorrow, could that really happen?” Also of note, video questions from David Hochschild, co-founder of the Vote Solar Initiative, Qin Chuan of Greenpeace Beijing, and Lester Brown, president of the Earth Policy Institute.