Maria Luisa Mendonça, director of Brazil’s Network for Social Justice and Human Rights (and director of the documentary about sugar plantation slaves embedded below), is the latest speaker to be sign up to be part of the exciting program at Uncharted: The Berkeley Festival of Ideas, which is being produced by Berkeleyside in downtown Berkeley, October 25-26.

Chrystia Freeland, who will be in conversation about income inequality at Uncharted
Chrystia Freeland, who will be in conversation about income inequality at Uncharted in Berkeley

Mendonça, currently a visiting scholar at Cornell, concentrates on key issues for the food movement, notably the spread of industrial agriculture in the global South and the connection between land and resource policy and poverty.

Chrystia Freeland, currently running for Canada’s Parliament and, until recently, managing director and editor of consumer news at Thomson Reuters, will also speak at Uncharted. Freeland’s recent book, Plutocrats: The Rise of the New Global Super-Rich and the Fall of Everyone Else, examines the drivers of increasing income inequality.

YouTube video

What else is happening at Uncharted? Economist Brad DeLong and big-data maven Josh Bloom will have a sure to be lively conversation about robotics and employment, entitled “I for one welcome our new robot overlords.” Ex-Wired Editor Chris Anderson will discuss the new industrial revolution; UC Berkeley’s brand new Chancellor, Nicholas Dirks, will feature in our “So what are the humanities: chopped liver? debate; io9’s Annalee Newitz will enlighten us on humans and mass extinction; Daily Kos’ Markos Moulitsas will provide his unique insights on the 2014 midterm elections; National Center for Lesbian Rights’ Kate Kendell will talk about the new frontier of civil rights; and right-wing wunderkind Josh Barro will be put on the spot to talk about the prospects for a responsible Republic Party.

The program, which includes a series of engaging interactive workshops in the Uncharted Lab, orchestrated by Jump Associates, is designed like a menu with overlapping sessions: pick those that pique your interest, skip others.

There’s time for partying too. Midway through the festival, on the Friday night, festivalgoers will enjoy delicious food, good wine, craft beer and live music by Cuban band Pellejo Seco in the super cool atrium of the Brutalist masterpiece Berkeley Art Museum/Pacific Film Archive.

Uncharted is delighted to be partnering with the following sponsors: AutodeskPanoramic InterestsMechanics Bank, DeYoe Wealth Management, Berkeley Repertory Theatre,  GreenerPrinter, University of California BerkeleyBerkeley Startup ClusterDowntown Berkeley Association, and KQED.

There’s much, much more. Visit the Uncharted website to see a list of confirmed speakers and to secure your ticket. You can follow Uncharted on Twitter or on Facebook to keep in touch with new speakers and program information.

Lance Knobel (Berkeleyside co-founder) has been a journalist for nearly 40 years. Much of his career was in business journalism. He was editor-in-chief of both Management Today, the leading business magazine...