Author Peter Van Buren at Louisville’s IdeaFestival

Louisville5vanburen idea fest


Peter Van Buren presenting to a full capacity crowd at Louisville’s IdeaFestival, October 1st. 

IdeaFestival is a celebration for the intellectually curious. It’s an eclectic network of global thinkers and one-of-a-kind innovators bound together by an intense curiosity about what is impacting and shaping the future of the arts, business, technology, design,  science,  philosophy and education. The world’s leading thinkers, doers and innovators join curious minds from around the globe for 4 days once a year to explore, discuss and celebrate innovation, imagination and world-changing ideas.


Peter discussed what lead him to write Ghosts of Tom Joad.

After leaving his 24-year career as an American diplomat following his 2011 whistleblowing surrounding U.S. failures in the Iraq War, IF alumnus Peter Van Buren’s career path led him on a personal deep plunge into the New Economy as a 52-year old minimum wage worker. Van Buren found himself discovering a changed America from the one he had represented overseas. His experience confronts many aspects of contemporary American life, including: How did we evolve from prosperity to a society that pulls more and more of its citizens into the world of the working poor?


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