Innovative leaders come to Charleston for Renaissance Weekend

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- A series of seminars and discussions designed to bring together innovative leaders from various fields is returning to Charleston this weekend.

Renaissance Weekend is a non-partisan retreat founded in 1981 by the former US Ambassador of the Court of St. James's Philip Lader and his wife, Linda Lader, a Presbyterian minister.

This gathering will be the 100th Renaissance Weekend.

The event includes 631 lectures, seminars, discussions and performances that will end with the traditional singing of 'Auld Lang Syne' and 'God Bless America' to ring in the New Year.

"For 33 years, Renaissance Weekend has continued to be a cross-generational conversation among accomplished individuals with widely divergent perspectives," said Philip Lader. "Civility prevails, partisanship is frowned upon, and commercialism is banned.""Though strikingly different views of religion, politics, media, science, and every other field are represented, there is more light than heat," he added.

Registration opens Saturday at 2 p.m. at Charleston Place. The first program will being at 6 p.m.

The event will end by noon on Jan. 1.

Participants in this year's discussions include the following:

  • Retired US Army General Stanley McChrystal
  • Economics Nobel Laureate Roger Myerson
  • US Senate Chaplain Reverend Patrick Conroy
  • Roz Savage, a four-time Guinness World Record holder for being the first woman to row solo across three oceans
  • Estelle Parsons, an Oscar-winning actress
  • Former Brooks Brothers CEO William Roberti
  • Rob Cook, an Emmy-winning Pixar Animation inventor
  • Ruth Westheimer, a sex therapist
  • Former CNN Business Anchor Myron Kandel
  • General Gillian Sorensen, a former UN assistant secretary
  • Harvard Medical School Chief of Pharmacology & Epidemiology Jerome Avorn
  • USA Network Founder Kay Koplovitz
  • Former International Trade Commission Chair Paula Stern

The programs will address a broad spectrum of public policy and personal issues including:

  • Edward Snowden - Traitor or Whistleblower?
  • The Internet of Things - Digital Fabrication
  • The Consequences of Moods
  • What Healthcare Really Costs
  • How Do People Fall In - and Out of - Love?
  • Magical Power in Harry Potter
  • Digital Device Detox - Decoupling from Technology
  • How Music Affects the Brain
  • When Women Don't Know about Men that Men Don't Know about Themselves
  • Who Needs Hollywood (or Traditional Media) Anymore?

For more information on the event and to learn more about the other programs and participants, click here.



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