Dr. Anthony Paustian is the provost for Des Moines Area Community College in West Des Moines and the author of "Imagine" and "Beware the Purple People Eaters." His upcoming book, "A Quarter-Million Steps," will be available early next year.
Celebrate! Innovation Week (ciWeek) was created in 2010 with one singular purpose: To Inspire.
One week each year is set aside at the Des Moines Area Community College West Des Moines campus to provide students and the community as a whole the opportunity to directly engage with people (some famous, all inspired) who have dreamed, created and accomplished. It’s a thought-provoking and highly interactive week that lets attendees listen, absorb and engage with people who they wouldn’t have the privilege to meet under normal circumstances. Through direct engagement with the “who behind the what,” stories come alive and can have a direct, emotional impact on those fortunate enough to hear them. The event is entirely paid for by a number of generous sponsors, making it free to all who attend.
Previous ciWeek presenters have included two of the 12 men who have walked on the moon; the father of the personal computer; television personalities who focus on science, invention and ideas; explorers who have been to the Titanic and the furthest depths of the ocean, all the way to the highest mountain peaks and most dense jungles; engineers who are developing the growing commercial space industry; inventors of incredible bionics, robotics and animatronics; Academy Award-winning visual effects creators and animators; No. 1 best-selling authors of both fiction and nonfiction; nationally known artists; and even connoisseurs and creators of wines and cheeses.
On Wednesday, Oct. 26, the speakers for ciWeek 8 were unveiled during a special event at the offices of the Greater Des Moines Partnership. As the speakers, the new video trailer for the event and the fall issue of ciMagazine were all revealed, you could feel the energy and excitement in the room. From Feb. 27 to March 3, 2017, some of the speakers who will descend upon the Des Moines metro are:
Kevin Jorgeson, World-Renowned Free Climber
In January 2015, Jorgeson stood atop El Capitan to mark the completion of a successful 19-day free climb up the Dawn Wall of the Yosemite National Park 3,000-foot-tall rock formation — one of the hardest rock climbs ever completed. The success was more than six years in the making as Jorgeson, along with climbing partner Tommy Caldwell, prepared, planned and imagined his way to the top of a dream that everyone else thought was impossible.
Alfred (Al) Worden, Test Pilot, Astronaut and Aerospace Engineer
Worden is a two-time world record-holding astronaut for having completed the first spacewalk in deep space and for being the most isolated human ever (at one point he was over 2,200 miles from the next closest person). Both were achieved during his mission as command module pilot to the moon on Apollo 15 in 1971.
Max Brooks, Best-Selling Author and “Zombie Expert”
This New York Times best-selling author has sparked readers to discuss how to better prepare for crises and discover solutions around emergency responses in an unconventional way — through zombie-themed fiction. His books, The Zombie Survival Guide, World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War, and The Zombie Survival Guide: Recorded Attacks, have established Brooks as a “zombie expert” and propelled the zombie trend forward in pop culture.
Dan Gable, Olympic Gold Medalist and University of Iowa Wrestling Head Coach
A native Iowan, Gable achieved unprecedented wrestling career highlights, including a prep and collegiate collective competition record of 182-1 and a 1972 Olympic gold medal. As a coach, Gable has personally inspired hundreds of other athletes to achieve their absolute best. While at the University of Iowa, he led his team to 15 NCAA national titles. Gable also served as the Olympic head coach three times, and was a six-time World Team head coach.
Thomas Kenneth (Ken) Mattingly II, Astronaut and Aerospace Innovator
Mattingly is not just an astronaut — he served as command module pilot to the moon for Apollo 16 — but also an innovative engineer. He’s responsible for the development of the lunar backpack and spacesuit. Mattingly’s leadership also qualified him as commander for the final orbital test flight of the space shuttle Columbia STS 4. He was played by actor Gary Sinise in the movie Apollo 13.
Kaila Mullady, Beatbox Champion and Artist
Catch beatboxer and multi-instrumentalist Mullady in action, and you’re in for a one-of-a-kind artistic performance that fuses beatboxing with poetry, rap, singing and theater. She’s the 2015 world beatbox champion, among other well-deserved national competition titles. Based in New York City, Mullady teaches creative workshops across the country.
Greg Russell, Academy Award-Nominated Sound Engineer
Russell is one of the most respected sound engineers in the film industry. He has worked on more than 200 films and blockbuster hits, along with numerous famous television shows, and has been nominated for 16 Academy Awards in the category of best sound. Russell won an Emmy for outstanding film sound mixing in 1984.
Thousands of people are touched each year by ciWeek, either in person or through the HD video simulcast. Any one of them could be inspired to create or invent something new to change our lives for the better. Isn’t one enough?
For a complete speaker listing and schedule, and to view the video trailer, please visit: