23 Ideas From the New York Ideas Festival

Today is The Atlantic's New York Ideas Festival, an important annual event in the Ideas Industrial Complex world. Here are 23 ideas we heard there, before we had our fill of ideas at noon and left.

1. "Let's just dig into this idea of, I guess, networking," said The Atlantic's Megan Garber.

2. "This idea of, sort of, culture fit," she said.

3. "This idea of sort of education in general," she said.

4. "The idea of terraforming Mars," she said, later. She seemed very nice.

5. LinkedIn executive Deep Nishar gave a well-rehearsed PowerPoint presentation, the sort of thing that a TED talk must be like, I imagine. He was running ten minutes long. In the back of the room, a staffer was whirling her hand in the universal "Wrap it up" sign. He continued on placidly. Why? Because he was giving a PowerPoint presentation, which afforded him no verbal flexibility—only a grim ability to plow forward. I had the idea that perhaps PowerPoint presentations are not the best idea.

6. Perhaps an "Ideas Festival" with sessions scheduled for only ten minutes each is not the best idea.

7. S.T.E.A.M.: Science Technology Engineering Arts Mathematics.

8. "Need for creative thinking."

9. "Diversity"

10. "All of us can be mentors to young people."

11. Leadership.

12. There are 30,000 open jobs in Silicon Valley. Young people should all get computer science degrees and go to Silicon Valley. This would solve the unemployment issue. For, ah, 30,000 people, at least.

13. The trash can next to the snack table was lined, on the inside, with napkin cloth. Weird idea.

14. If you're going to be giving a presentation at an Ideas Festival, a good thing to wear is a blazer over a white shirt with the top button unbuttoned and no tie.

15. "There's something about curiosity for content," said The Atlantic's Derek Thompson.

16. "This is a generation that cares about the world," said millennial expert David Burstein.

17. "People are looking to fill every free moment of their day consuming content," said a guy from Mental Floss.

18. At the beginning of a panel on pop-up stores and online vs. offline fashion shopping, a large portion of the crowd got up and left, presumably to head downstairs to see Cosmo editor Joanna Coles, who was speaking at the same time in another room. Idea: Competitive counterprogramming produces a winner, and a loser.

19. NASA engineer Adam Steltzner's had an Elvis-esque pompadour. Great idea.

20. Author Anand Giridharadas spoke about the white, working class underclass in America and the fraying social fabric and failing institutions serving that community and the consequent crime and social problems in that community and the fact that the problems afflicting this enormous class of poor people tend to be undercovered by the mainstream media due to geographical and social separations from media centers and their denizens. This is actually an important idea.

21. People will watch online videos even if they're long.

22. "Five million readers a month is a wonderful size." - Choire Sicha.

23. "There are always trolls."

[The NY Ideas Festival is still going on and you can watch it here right this god damn minute. Image via @nohacefaltap]