Original Thinkers: Update, New OA Presents Up Now!

Original Thinkers: Update, New OA Presents Up Now!

Under ordinary circumstances, the event would heading into its fourth year. This year, however, is anything but.

Original Thinkers is a fresh and thoughtful ideas festival regularly scheduled for early October in Telluride. The weekend generally features 10 programs, each built around an individual idea that is explored through a compelling mix of speakers, films, performance, and art.

Original Thinkers delves into the human condition by focusing on the intersection of ideas and individual stories.

As Original Thinkers founder and ringleader David Holbrooke said last year about the event he founded:

“There are deep and universal truths in our own lives that we know will resonate with anyone and when we find those stories and showcase them, they provide an indelible experience for an audience.”

But that was then. This is a radically changed now. The following is a note from Holbrooke with some thoughtful options, including the option to access the 1st chapter of Holbrooke’s new Original Thinkers Presents here.

Dear OT Community

Like you, we are shocked and horrified by the murder of George Floyd, as well as the continued assault on peaceful citizens exercising their inalienable right to protest. We humbly recognize that the events of the last week reflect a long and enduring system of racism and oppression that has permeated this land for centuries. Trying to understand all of this is hard enough, but trying to work toward fixing it is the true challenge we must take on because Black Lives Matter.

What happens next is uncertain, but we know that real change is inevitable. Whether this change is for the worse or for the better will be up to us, and the work we all do over the next days, months and years. For our part, Original Thinkers has always wanted to help build a world that works for everyone, and true and genuine equality is central to continuing that mission.

While we are still figuring out how our terrestrial festival can happen, we have been talking to our guests about the roiling world around us in a show we are calling Original Thinkers Presents. Our first episode is with Sharon Chang who was the first guest to take our stage in our inaugural year of 2018. Sharon is one of those folks who do a lot of different things at a very high level, but in this conversation, we focus on her work as a Future Architect who is trying to think through how society can become more just and equitable. It is a complicated challenge, but with the destruction wrought by COVID-19, there is an opportunity to create something constructive. This was recorded recently, but before the tumult of the last 10 days but it is still relevant and worthwhile as Sharon brings so much thoughtfulness and insight into where we are in this unsettled time.

We look forward to releasing more of these OT Presents conversations throughout the summer. 

We know original thinking is needed in these challenging days and hope you will dig into so many of the resources out there.

Some of what we are watching, reading and thinking about include:


Do Not Resist 

The 13th 

Recorder: The Marion Stokes Project 

St. Louis Superman 


Kareem Abdul Jabbar in the LA Times

African-American journalist Ernest Owens about the everyday micro aggressions he is avoiding during the pandemic

Colorado Sun story about anti-racism training featuring Regan Byrd who is scheduled to be a guest in 2020

Please send us what you are taking in that you think is worthwhile so we can share with this community.

Thanks so much and take good care of yourself,

David Holbrooke, 
Founder and Ringleader, 
Original Thinkers