Bill Nye, Kevin Kelly & Driverless Vehicle Experiences Announced as First Round of 2019 IDEA Week Acts

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (November 13, 2018)– Emmy Award- winning speaker Bill Nye the Science Guy and Wired magazine co-founder Kevin Kelly were announced as the first round of keynote speakers for IDEA Week 2019, an annual event that celebrates innovation, entrepreneurs and the incubation of new ideas.

Event organizers also announced plans to incorporate technology experiences into the week, including rides in driverless vehicles for registrants.

IDEA Week will take place April 8-13 (Monday-Saturday) and is hosted by the University of Notre Dame, the South Bend-Elkhart Region and various community organizations and businesses. It will be held at Notre Dame and other locations throughout South Bend and Elkhart and will be open to the public.

Nye will speak on the importance of science and innovation and Kelly will speak on the intersection of faith and technology. The dates and times of their keynotes will be announced at a later date. Details on the driverless vehicle experiences will also be announced in the coming months.

More than 18,000 people attended at least one part of IDEA Week 2019, its inaugural year.

Grammy Award-winning country music artist Tim McGraw was previously announced as the week’s major concert act. He will perform April 13 (Saturday) at the Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce Center. Tickets to see McGraw range from $40 to $125 and go on sale at 10 a.m. Friday (Nov. 16) at

IDEA Week is a cross between a festival and similar innovation and entrepreneurial events in cities like Boston, Denver and Chicago. It will include more than 50 sessions broken up into four types: Learn, Play, Meet and Compete. It is geared toward everyone, including entrepreneurs, students, developers, makers, inventors, designers, investors or those who simply love science, innovation and tech. Its goal is to provide attendees with the practical knowledge, creative inspiration and social foundation they need to innovate within their own careers, studies and communities.

In addition to McGraw, Nye, Kelly and the driverless vehicle experiences, there will be a major comedic act; additional musical performances and keynote speakers; the McCloskey New Venture Competition, which will offer prizes worth hundreds of thousands of dollars; meetups; workshops; additional technology experiences; and various social activities, all of which will be announced over the next four months.

“Bill Nye and Kevin Kelly each bring a unique and needed perspective to the topics of innovation, science and technology,” said Bryan Ritchie, Notre Dame vice president and associate provost for innovation. “Bill will entertain us and make us laugh all the while evangelizing on the acute importance of science and technology, and Kevin will discuss how technology and faith can and should intersect as well as explore the ethical implications of innovation. We look forward to hearing from both of them during IDEA Week 2019.”

Nye is an American science educator, engineer, comedian, television presenter, author and inventor, with a mission to help foster a scientifically literate society and to help people everywhere understand and appreciate the science that makes our world work. Making science entertaining and accessible is something Nye has been passionate about his entire life. Nye made a number of award-winning shows, including the show he became so well known for “Bill Nye the Science Guy,” which won seven national Emmy Awards for writing, performing and producing.

Kelly is senior maverick at Wired magazine. He co-founded Wired in 1993, and served as its executive editor for its first seven years. His new book for Viking/Penguin is called “The Inevitable,” which is a New York Times and Wall Street Journal best-seller. He is also founding editor and co-publisher of the popular Cool Tools website, which has been reviewing tools daily since 2003. From 1984-1990 Kelly was publisher and editor of the Whole Earth Review, a journal of unorthodox technical news. He co-founded the ongoing Hackers’ Conference, and was involved with the launch of the WELL, a pioneering online service started in 1985. His books include the best-selling “New Rules for the New Economy,” the classic book on decentralized emergent systems; “Out of Control,” a graphic novel about robots and angels; “The Silver Cord,” an oversize catalog of the best of Cool Tools, and his summary theory of technology in “What Technology Wants.”

For more information about IDEA Week, including how to register, visit