How to Get the Most Out of Ideas

You’re eyeing that super intriguing Ideas talk, imagining the great discussion to come. There aren’t many opportunities like this to talk with city planners, dancers, hip hop historians, youth activists, cooks, tai chi champions and a variety of other impressive individuals for free. How can you glean the most from these valuable conversations? Here’s a list of questions and tactics to challenge yourself with while you participate in any and all of the Ideas talks this June.

Before attending:
Consider taking notes to help you focus on and remember the discussion.
Ask yourself:

  • What do I think I will learn at this talk?
  • What are my goals and how might this talk relate to them?
  • How informed am I about this topic?

Remind yourself to check your biases and stay open-minded.
Be excited about the different people who will speak from their own individual experiences.
Look up the speakers, projects and topics early to get a sense of where the conversation will start.
Invite your friends to tag along!

While viewing:
Sit up front to be immersed in the discussion and show the presenters your support.
Be present: you don’t need to answer that text during the talk.
Ask yourself:

  • How does this topic affect me? Who do I know that this topic affects?
  • What can I contribute to the conversation?
  • How do the presenters’ points of view differ?
  • Why does this topic matter today?
  • How does this remind me of other Ideas talks I’ve attended?

After viewing:
Be the first to raise your hand during the Q&A, and ask questions the general audience can relate to.
Say hi to the presenters, thank them and share your reactions. Try asking them for their reading recommendations or favorite podcast!
Meet the people around you and exchange your thoughts.
Take a moment to reflect on what you learned: jot down some key points and remaining questions you have.
Ask yourself (and your friends!):

  • How would I explain what I learned to someone else?
  • How can I apply what I learned to my life and actions? To my circle of friends? To my work environment?
  • How did this presentation build on or shift what I already thought about this topic?
  • Where can I learn more about this topic?

Take a photo at the event and post it with the hashtag #artsideasct. Can’t wait to start exercising your brain? Dive into our Ideas stream, where you can find past Ideas talks and share them with your friends > 

You may be interested in…
400 YEARS OF INEQUALITY: A PEOPLE’S OBSERVANCE FOR A JUST FUTURE >
STONEWALL AT 50 >
HABITS TO HEAL: EXPLORING PRACTICES FOR MINDFULNESS AND WELLNESS >
COLLISION: HONG KONG ART IN NEW HAVEN >
Or browse this year’s selection of stimulating discussions and panels >