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Idea Week wraps up, impact remains

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- Idea Week 2019, an innovation festival, wraps up on Saturday. But, its impact will be felt long after this week.

Associate Provost & Vice President of Notre Dame Bryan Ritchie explains the purpose of the event.

“It’s an opportunity for us to look forward and really understand what we could be 10 years from now 15 years from now – how we would transform this economy to be a leader in certain areas around innovation and entrepreneurship,” Ritchie said.

The week is filled with over 60 business, technology, and entertainment events.

Ritchie says the community didn’t know what to think of Idea Week when it was created last year.

In its second year, there have been 100% more registrations than the last.

“This year we’re well over six thousand that are registered for learn events. Once you include all of the entertainment activities like Tim McGraw and others, we’ll be well over 25 thousand people participating in Idea Week this year,” said Ritcihe.

The festival gives participants an opportunity to understand new technologies in order to move forward emerging industries in the area.

The event is drawing people from outside the region.

“Hotels are selling out, airlines and the traffic that’s coming into the airport, restaurants, other entertainment venues are now feeling the benefit of this as well.”

For people wondering why the community is hosting Idea Week, in South Bend of all places, Ritchie has the answer.

“Things are moving so quickly and in so many areas, and if we don’t in front of this then we by definition get left behind. So I think the opportunity for us to embrace this, to think about how we learn and apply and how we expand our understanding of what we can become is really important,” Ritchie said. “Why not South Bend.”

Learn more about Idea Week here.

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