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New Museum announces IDEAS CITY: Sao Paulo conference

New Museum announces IDEAS CITY: Sao Paulo a conference on October 25–27, 2013.

IDEAS CITY: São Paulo begins with a keynote address by Paulo Mendes da Rocha, celebrated Brazilian architect whose extraordinary contributions have dramatically changed the country’s urban landscape. He was awarded the prestigious Mies van der Rohe Award (2000) and the Pritzker Architecture Prize (2006).

The Conference continues with a day of panels and conversations led by an international roster of thought leaders, artists, and innovators, as well as workshops with regional practitioners. Key speakers include Adam Greenfield, Managing Director of Urbanscale, Jac Leirner, Brazilian conceptual artist, Arto Lindsay, composer, musician, collaborative artist, and record producer, Charles Renfro, Partner at Diller, Scofidio + Renfro, and Jillian C. York, Director for International Freedom of Expression at Electronic Frontier Foundation, among others.

The Conference expands the conversation of Untapped Capital, explored at the first international Conference in Istanbul in 2012 and during the Festival in New York in May 2013, with participants focused on under-leveraged opportunities in our cities. The topic of Untapped Capital provides a launching point from which alternative thinking in regards to new methodologies, solutions, and goals can be developed.

Over half of the world’s population will live in cities by 2050, bringing increased opportunities to citizens but also major problems that require solutions. The creative community is an untapped source of enormously powerful capital, especially in its potential to foster greater innovation in other fields and stimulate economic development. The IDEAS CITY initiative rewrites the role of a contemporary art institution and is an unprecedented step in expanding the New Museum’s mission and its potential as an international community leader to draw awareness to the creative population as agents for change.

“The IDEAS CITY Global Conferences are acting as a seismograph to channel sentiments, movements, trends, and networks,” said Lisa Phillips, Toby Devan Lewis Director, New Museum, and Founder of IDEAS CITY. “The Conferences draw on the power of gathering minds and voices that wouldn’t normally come together around a table. The success of the program is in peer engagement and sourcing ideas to bring into practice.”

“What is it like to be in a famous country yet live in an untapped city? According to the French historian Fernand Braudel, São Paulo turned him into a more intelligent person,” said Danilo Santos de Miranda, Regional Director, Sesc São Paulo. “When people visit São Paulo for the first time, they face a number of paradoxes: The best and the worst, the ugliest and the most beautiful coexist. This convening reveals a little of the elastic society we all live in. Riots have become a way of talking and listening, and Occupy Movements are now a part of the routine in many cities. Some countries are questioning how and why they are being investigated by other countries. The internet spreads news without censorship and official broadcasts no longer rule the most important opinions. The New Museum and Sesc invite citizens to think about complex cities in a faster, more superficial, smaller, more optimistic, and definitely more intelligent world.”

IDEAS CITY: São Paulo will be held at Sesc Pompeia, a center for culture, sports, education, and leisure housed in a spectacular building developed by the architect Lina Bo Bardi in 1977. The Conference is free and open to the public. Advance tickets are not required but must be picked up on the day of the event. The Conference will also be livestreamed. For more information, visit