What is La Ciudad de las Ideas?
It is a Forum of Ideas and Social Action that takes place in Puebla, Mexico every November and whose mission is to privilege reason and science. As well as to create experiences aimed at critical thinking that allows to unlock the creative potential of each individual. The Festival is unique in its kind for its Latin passion, its geographical location (Puebla), its artistic scenography, its disruptive production and its curatorship sine qua non. This is possible through the call of scientists, intellectuals, businessmen, artists, architects, doctors, opinion leaders – among other personalities – who expose the most provocative and disruptive concepts of the zeitgeist whose purpose is to achieve an improvement in education and inclusive well-being in Mexico.
How is the event formed?
Once a year we have the best speakers in the world. We talk about those personalities that are at the spotlight of knowledge and on the verge of new discoveries of universal impact. Over the past years, we have had the presence of various Nobel Prize winners, including Mario Molina, Jody Williams, Daniel Kahneman, Barry Barish, Adam Riess, David Gross and Paul Krugman. In addition to renowned researchers Robert Sapolsky, Steven Pinker, Alain de Botton, Eduard Punset †, Malcolm Gladwell, Michio Kaku and Richard Dawkins; Pulitzer Award winners, cinematographic geniuses such as Werner Herzog, and disruptive thinkers such as Carol Guzy, Clotaire Rapaille, Jared Diamond, Nassim Taleb, Joseph Hallinan and Nicholas Kristof; Pritzker Award winners such as Alejandro Aravena and Shigeru Ban; Princess of Asturias Award winners such as Arturo Álvarez-Buylla, António Damásio and Sir Tim Berners-Lee; Academy Award Oscar® nominees and winners such as Adam Pesapane and Oliver Stone, and even Sophia, the first humanoid robot with citizenship, among others. The speakers of La Ciudad de las Ideas would be a part of a gala event in any of the most important cities on the planet; It’s an honor to have them in Mexico.
La Ciudad de las Ideas has a duration of 4 days between Mexico City and the City of Puebla.
The importance of Ideas
The program is based on the curatorship of Andrés Roemer and the Advisory Council of CDI.
Consists in the next:
- 115 artistic interventions (average)
- Dynamics that highlight the educational theme
- 75 speakers (average)
- 7 short films
- Social responsibility projects
- Science and technology stands
- Art gallery
- On-site experiments of public policies
- Workshops for young people
- Healthy Mind in Healthy Body
- Flavors of Mexico
- Mex I Can: Mexicans who have transcended the world
- Wunder-18: Amazing people under the age of 18
- Debates (eg Education, tolerance, science and religion and more)
- Opinion meetings
- Artistic interventions
- National and international entrepreneurship initiatives
- Gifted Citizen
- Pitch@Palace LATAM
- Dynamics of integration between “Ideastas”
- Cartoon contest
- Short Films / Videos
- Theme parties
Ideasta(s): Person who participates, drives or interacts with La Ciudad de las Ideas. Formulator of creative and revolutionary ideas of the world, transformer of society into an inclusive prosperity, creator of new ways of thinking that give rise to more knowledge and novel paradigms, innovations and inventions that enhance your mind and open different horizons that allow its growth and developing.
How many people does Poder Cívico A.C. employ to make La Ciudad de las Ideas?
For the realization of La Ciudad de las Ideas, the NPO Poder Cívico A.C. focuses on the execution and curation of the event; therefore, it uses the minimum of administrative personnel – in congruence with the law of Non-Governmental Organizations. The quality of our project requires that we minimize administrative expenses and maximize our reach in terms of remuneration to the speakers. There are no remunerations for fixed personnel but only fees for a specific concept, as can be verified in the reports and declarations that the NPO Poder Cívico A.C. submits promptly to the authorities.
However, for the realization of the event, more than 500 people who receive salary from the respective suppliers, are employed: production, registration, logistics, set design, creativity, communication, curatorship, set design, translation, security, audiovisual, among many others. Activities required to produce an event with more than 15 artistic interventions, 75 presentations, 12 alternate activities and more than 90 hours of tête à tête production. As an example, a single artistic intervention such as “Mayumana” (2016), involved the participation of 25 people on stage, from three countries and a scenographic production that demanded the work of seven days in advance.
What is the cost of developing La Ciudad de las Ideas?
Is it more expensive or less in reference to other similar events? Is it expensive depending on the number of speakers, days and face-to-face assistants? How is the financing made up? How is the spending broken down?
Talking about absolute numbers has no relevance. The important question is, how much does it cost to do an event like La Ciudad de las Ideas in reference to other similar events in content (products), attendees (direct / indirect), production (venue), cost-benefit (private / social), Ticket prices (nominal-real) and total results? The most similar cases to La Ciudad de las Ideas can be compared in the following table (see table 1).
To quote available figures, the three events have between 70 and 80 speakers annually, while TED and CDI involve the majority of artistic interventions. As for cost-benefit (price-product), La Ciudad de las Ideas is by far the least expensive event of the relevant projects in the field, offering the same or better quality. It is important to highlight that the Festival La Ciudad de las Ideas, is the only one of its kind, which has a media agreement with broadcasting station, which allows it to spread its contents throughout the year through 200 programs on open television; together with the special transmissions of the three or four days of the event.
How accessible is the CDI to its attendants?
Tickets range from $77 to $ 660 USD (2019 Edition). Of the 5,000 tickets: 2,700 are free for scholars, students as well as for the citizens of Puebla. 2,000 tickets have discounts, which are never less than 15% (the elderly and disabled people have 60% discount).
In conclusion: 50% of the tickets are free; 35% have some type of discount and only 15% are charged to people who have the ability to pay. (See table 1).
What benefits does La Ciudad de las Ideas bring to Mexico and the world?
““I have been in many conferences, but this has been the most fruitful for me, in terms of exposure to the higher intellect and social interaction with the intellectuality. This is much better than TED. It is almost impossible to have a concentration of minds of this magnitude, in no corner of the world.“
Black Swan Author: The Impact of the Highly Unlikely
On one hand, La Ciudad de las Ideas involves the social benefit programs Gifted Citizen, Innovation for Humanity and Pitch@Palace that have summoned more than 8,373 people and have proposed initiatives and ideas that will impact the lives of more than 10 million inhabitants in the next six years. Below, two of the winning projects are exemplified:
Salman Khan, (2008-Prize: USD 100,000) who was the first winner when his Khan Academy educational project was in the beginning of the project and has now educated more than 60 million people in the world (2017), including 1,200,000 citizens in Mexico.
Jorge Soto, (2013 – Prize: 100,000 USD) creator of Miroculus, an application to diagnose cancer immediately and whose project today is one of the most successful in the world.
Similarly, it should be noted that more than 5,438,530 views on the official YouTube channel of CDI, involve empowerment the minds of millions of citizens on relevant and high-impact issues.
For example, on the YouTube channel of La Ciudad de las Ideas, content such as the debate on drug legalization can be found with four former Latin American presidents and academic experts in the field, which has been observed by more than 2 million users; This debate served with substantive arguments for the presentation of legalization motives in many of the countries involved. Similarly, we can find the debate between Deepak Chopra and Richard Dawkins on “Science and religion”, witnessed by more than 14 million people. This project was the subject of a book “Best Seller” in the United Kingdom and more than 73 international notes on the importance of Mexico in the world. This is only to quote two of more than 932 papers, including more than 12 Nobel prizes, 2 Pritzkers, 25 Guggenheim and many Princesses of Asturias; as well as more than 180 first level artistic interventions; which have been observed by more than 85,000,000 people. This reflected in the economic and social impact of having more than 63,000 face-to-face assistants who have attended La Ciudad de las Ideas and the strengthening of the Mexico brand abroad. For example; in that sense, the Eduard Punset Foundation produced three Prime-time programs on Spanish TV about the best festival in the world, “La Ciudad de las Ideas.” (See table 2).
In addition to the above, it is worth emphasizing the benefit for Puebla in particular, and for Mexico in general. Due to the more than 73,000 mentions that have made reference to Puebla in television, radio, journalistic and international flights (AEROMEXICO) (2008-2018); (sobra espacio entre el paréntesis y 2018) there has been a projection of Puebla State as the Capital of Ideas. The “Mexico Brand” has strengthened, transcending borders.
Finally, within the beneficiary population there is a very important range of academics and students from different parts of Mexico. La Ciudad de las Ideas has positively and progressively impacted primary, intermediate, bachelor, graduate, and even doctorate teachers. Similarly, through the academic scholarship program, the universities of Puebla receive a totally free-ticket-number that is designated for their students of excellence.
What benefits of Social Responsibility has La Ciudad de las Ideas generated to the world?
Scientific and cultural dissemination.
La Ciudad de las Ideas has a dissemination project to ensure that most of the schools in every corner of Mexico have access to the 932 presentations and artistic interventions, as didactic support. For this, a translation work has been done in Spanish of all the programs. In the same way, about 200 television programs are carried out a year through ADN40; all contents on the TV of the State of Puebla are disclosed; and in different years; Cinemex and / or CINEPOLIS have exhibited, in different regions of the country, the most relevant material of the event.
“Gifted Citizen” Fellows.
Every year La Ciudad de las Ideas convenes and invites about 30 brilliant minds (“Gifted Fellows”) from around the world that have contributed significantly to the well-being of citizens on issues such as: water, clean energy, poverty, education, health, among others. They become ambassadors of the event and bring their knowledge during it.
The Gifted Citizen Award is an initiative of La Ciudad de las Ideas that aims to benefit humanity, unleashing creative potential and promoting innovation. Gifted Citizen looks for committed people, with ambition, vision and a disruptive approach in original projects that have the capacity to impact 10 million people in the next 6 years . The winner of the GZ Award receives international recognition as well as the sum of $ 50,000 USD up to $ 100,000 USD to develop his or her project. To date, more than 8,373 applications for major social projects have been detained.
“Pitch @ Palace” Award.
Pitch @ Palace is an initiative of His Royal Highness, Prince Andrew, Duke of York, founded in 2014 in the United Kingdom. This project gives entrepreneurs in different regions of the world the opportunity to access a network of contacts that can help their business dreams become a reality. Entrepreneurs are guided and connected with early stage companies with potential supporters, including CEOs, influencers, investor angels, mentors and business partners. La Ciudad de las Ideas, participates every year with three finalists of “Pitch @ Palace LATAM”, in the contest held at the Palace of St. James in London; where the “Ideastas” have the opportunity to fund their initiatives with more than 300 international investors.
“Pitch @ Palace LATAM” community.
Presented by La Ciudad de las Ideas, it is a platform created to connect entrepreneurs to local and international networks. Latin American entrepreneurs called by La Ciudad de las Ideas, have the opportunity to receive advice and training to present their projects to CEOs, influencers, investors and potential mentors.
Several days before the event of La Ciudad de las Ideas, in Mexico City, the 12 finalists of the more than 1,000 applications received per year, submit their projects and choose the best three projects to be presented at Pitch @ Palace Global in St. James’s Palace in London.
Program: “Support Creativity”.
“Do not believe everything you think” is the motto of La Ciudad de las Ideas, what can be more inquisitive than a cartoon?
In La Ciudad de las Ideas we support cartoonists from all over the world, annually we organize an international competition where we invite you to represent the dangerous question of the year. Since its creation in 2009 to date, we have received more than 13,000 cartoons of inquisitive thinking, from more than 124 countries in the world.
Project: “Love the Philosophy”.
Together with UNESCO The City of Puebla connects with Paris during the CDI event; to promote philosophical thinking through “The Night of Philosophy” of Paris, in Puebla.
La Ciudad de las Ideas is responsible of forming panels with experts on future issues to think about the ethical implications that may affect humanity.
Project: “Understanding and Spreading Reason and Science”.
In partnership with the Richard Dawkins Foundation: “Foundation for Reason and Science” (UK) and the Eduard Punset Foundation: “Networks for the Understanding of Science (Spain)”; La Ciudad de las Ideas has been part of both patronages and has contributed to the realization of television programs in Spain; scientific articles published in the United Kingdom, and participated in the organization of Rallies on scientific dissemination in Washington DC.
Project: “Educating with Emotional Intelligence”.
La Ciudad de las Ideas, together with “The School of Life” by Alain de Botton have joined efforts to disseminate educational materials (games, books, folders and various products) to strengthen emotional education on issues related to family, work, couples and children, interpersonal and intrapersonal communication in the Mexican territory.
The Vienna House of Music in Puebla (and other projects).
It is important to highlight that thanks to the existence of La Ciudad de las Ideas, large-scale projects such as: “The Vienna House of Music in Puebla”, “Aspen Institute in Mexico” and “Children’s Orchestras” have been developed as well as large number of international books and publications about the debates or presentations that took place within the festival.
On supporting Festivals like CDI: Why does Germany do it with DLD, Holland with PICNIC, Israel with Kinernet, Chile with the Congress of the Future, Canada with C2M, United States with PopTech, among many others? The event produces positive externalities that generate common good in the world; therefore, for its realization, different sectors are required to be able to access the knowledge of the future in all corners of society (through digital or face-to-face). We consider good ideas to be the most powerful tools that help the world evolve. Poder Cívico A.C. bets on inclusive prosperity and La Ciudad de las Ideas, is seriously compromised without breaks or truces.
CDI speakers testimonials.
Writer of the book The black swan: the impact of the highly unlikely.
“I’ve been in to many conferences before, but this has been the most fruitful for me, in terms of exposure to the higher intellect and social interaction with the intelligentsia. This is much better than TED.”
Founder of The Skeptics Society .
“Without a doubt, it has been the best organized conference I have attended. The energy felt in the auditorium was so great that it made us give everything to ourselves as speakers. CDI is the best!”
Author of more than 10 books incluiding The Blank Slate and The Better Angels of our Nature.
“I was particularly excited to see the enormous enthusiasm for ideas in Mexico. Extending this enthusiasm for knowledge, thinking and ideas is a vital responsibility in today’s world.”
Author of more than 30 books, including Consciousness Explained and Darwin’s Dangerous Idea.
“They have started something wonderful, and they did it in a wonderful way.”
Gold Key Award Winner.
“The difference between this conference and all others, like TED, is that this conference is full of passion. It has a soul. “
PEN non-fiction award for his bestseller The End of Faith.
“It was a pleasure to have participated in such a well organized conference. They had some extraordinary speakers, it was an honor that they included me ”.
Author of several books including: A Universe from Nothing: Why There Is Something Rather than Nothing.
“I had never been in such an exciting celebration of ideas and culture.
I have been to similar events but I have never felt that the sense of celebration was so intense. ”
Christopher Hitchens †
Escritor de God Is Not Great.
“In addition to not believing in what you think, there is no reason to believe what others think. It was really a great time to meet new ideas. Thank you for inviting me … and don’t keep the faith. ”
Alain de Botton
Author of more than 10 bestselling books, including How Proust Can Change Your Life and Art as Therapy.
“What was achieved in Puebla goes beyond anything I have witnessed. Thank you very much, now I am a follower of this movement. ”
Author of Freedom Regained: The Possibility of Free Will and Welcome to Everytown: A Journey into the English Mind.
“La Ciudad de las Ideas was the most exciting and energetic exchange of ideas I have attended.”
Author of Physics of the Impossible: A Scientific Exploration into the World of Phasers.
“What a great conference – 5,000 people can’t be wrong. One of the best topics of science and society. We need more events like that. ”
Bruce Bueno de Mesquita
Author of The Predictioneer’s Game and The Logic of Political Survival.
“Although my expectations were very high, they exceeded them. They had a fantastic group of speakers, an amazing organization, a great help and support of volunteers and I learned a lot ”.
Bestselling author The Lucifer Effect: Understanding How Good People Turn Evil.
“This is an incredible feast of ideas and culture. All speakers feel more at home when they are in La Ciudad de las Ideas than when they really are at home. ”
Winner of the Tribeca Film Festival Cadillac Audience Award.
“My experience at the conference: I have no words to describe how wonderful it was. The world has to see and hear what I lived here. Each speaker gave their best, they inspired and motivated me. ”
Winner of the Distinguished Media Contribution Award.
“This experience was extraordinary. The incredible organization, efficiency and care of the conference made it intellectually stimulating and emotionally rewarding. ”
Founder of evolutionary psychology, author of bestseller The evolution of Desire.
“The event was really the most remarkable moment of the year. This conference is unlike any other event I have attended. This is a precious gift from La Ciudad de las Ideas. I really hope our paths meet again. ”
He served as an assistant with President Clinton.
“This program will be remembered as a global summit for the transformation of humanity. It is my dream to see it replicated around the world. I am honored to have received this invitation. ”
David Livingstone Smith
Anisfield-Wolf Award and author of Freud’s Philosophy of the Unconscious.
“The CDI was an extraordinary event. Congratulations to all for this achievement. I can speak for other speakers saying that it really exceeded our expectations.”
Director of Blue Brain Project and founder of Human Brain Project.
“The CDI is a fantastic conference that goes far beyond what is already known, including TED. Great people, great ideas and a great place. ”
Founder of the International Center for Life.
“La Ciudad de las Ideas has returned the show to intellectual ideas. It is an incredible achievement: elegant, exciting and intellectually delicious.”
Writer of Freakonomics , SuperFreakonomics and Think like a Freak.
“Wow! What a conference! I had no idea. This makes TED something ordinary. They must be very proud. Thanks for having me. ”
Internationally renowned plastic artist in more than 17 countries.
“La Ciudad de las Ideas was an extraordinary experience! Better than TED Global, better than all conventions last year. I was amazed at the quality, the atmosphere and the creativity. Fantastic!!”.
Renowned American Paleontologist
“This is 100% better than TED. Excellent!”.