Lance and festivalgoer by Pete Rosos
Uncharted curator Lance Knobel, left, and Nate Lewis during a coffee break at Uncharted 2014. Photo: Pete Rosos

How do you sum up the essence of a two-day festival of ideas like Uncharted?

Festivalgoers were exposed to, and engaged in, such a wide range of conversations, covering the gamut from robotics to food movements, from aging to cloning, from technology to language, and from race to equality… that capturing the spirit of the event, which also included many inspiring musical performances, as well as dazzling bay views from the Uncharted party deck, is near-on impossible.

KQED Arts did a good job in a story published Wednesday, writing: “Uncharted gave … ideas … an ecumenical airing. In the parlance of [Uncharted speaker] Brian Christian, it was full duplex — open channel cross talk like in a bar — not the reductive half duplex talk of one-at-a-time messaging, which is what a robot can handle. In such as atmosphere, easy problems may still be hard … But hard problems are at least easy to talk about.”

One festivalgoer said simply that the experience of Uncharted reminded her why she loved to live in Berkeley, a city known for people who are curious, hungry for knowledge, and not afraid to challenge the status quo.

Here we present a visual record of the event, with stunning photographs by Pete Rosos and Nancy Rubin, two photographers whose work we are always honored to publish on Berkeleyside.

Mansbach and Chang glasses by Pete Rosos
Adam Mansbach and Jeff Chang at Uncharted 2014 in downtown Berkeley. Photo: Pete Rosos

We will follow up shortly in a separate story with a selection of tweets and photos that were shared during the festival itself — an effective way to showcase some of the highlights and glean what festivalgoers and speakers were experiencing, and saying, as the event unfolded.

We also hope to share video and/or podcasts of the Uncharted 2014 conversations eventually so everyone can enjoy them.

See the full program and speaker bios of Uncharted 2014 at

Meanwhile, Berkeleyside, which organized the festival for the second year running, is already looking forward to Uncharted 2015. If you attended, help spread the word about your experience so even more people enjoy it in 2015. Give us your feedback by completing the quick post-event survey, so we can make it even better next year (and enter to win a copy of the beautiful “LOCAL” book by Uncharted speaker Douglas Gayeton).

Finally, you can stay connected to Uncharted by connecting with the festival on Facebook and Twitter, and by signing up for occasional Uncharted email updates.

Nell Robinson performing by Nancy Rubin
Nell Robinson performing with musicians at Uncharted 2014. Photo: Nancy Rubin
Question from audience by Pete Rosos
A festivalgoer asks a question during an Uncharted conversation. Photo: Pete Rosos
Daphne Miller with Marissa La Brecque by Pete Rosos
Daphne Miller in conversation with Marissa La Brecque about health and farming at Uncharted 2014. Photo: Pete Rosos
Deborah McKoy with Daniel Shiffrin by Pete Rosos
Deborah McKoy talks with Daniel Shiffrin about what happens when kids get to design cities. Photo: Pete Rosos
Vocal Rush by Pete Rosos
Vocal Rush, an Oakland School of the Arts a capella band, performs at Uncharted 2014. Photo: Pete Rosos
Doudna by Pete Rosos
Jennifer Doudna, a professor of molecular and cell biology and chemistry at UC Berkeley, at Uncharted 2014. Photo: Pete Rosos
Ken Goldberg with Quentin Hardy by Pete Rosos
Quentin Hardy of the New York Times in conversation about robots with UC Berkeley new media professor Ken Goldberg. Photo: Pete Rosos
Stier and Perry talk to festival goers by Pete Rosos
Gay marriage pioneers Kris Perry (left) and Sandy Stier (right) chat with festivalgoers at Uncharted 2014. Photo: Pete Rosos
Frances with Saru by Pete Rosos
Berkeleyside executive editor Frances Dinkelspiel talks with Saru Jayaraman about pay for restaurant workers at Uncharted 2014. Photo: Pete Rosos
Coffee break by Nancy Rubin
A coffee and ice cream break in the courtyard at the Berkeley Rep at Uncharted 2014. Photo: Nancy Rubin
Randy Sheckman by Pete Rosos
Nobel laureate Randy Sheckman talks at Uncharted 2014. Photo: Pete Rosos
Calvin Keys plays courtyard by Pete Rosos
Guitarist Calvin Keys plays during a break at Uncharted 2014. Photo: Pete Rosos
Kalimah Priforce and Lance Knobel onstage at Uncharted 2014 photo by Pete Rosos
Kalimah Priforce (right) and Lance Knobel onstage at Uncharted 2014 talking about how East Bay youth can be the next generation of Silicon Valley entrepreneurs. Photo: Pete Rosos
Tanya Holland and Twilight Greenaway by Pete Rosos
Brown Sugar Kitchen chef and restaurateur Tanya Holland (right) talks with food journalist Twilight Greenaway at Uncharted 2014. Photo: Pete Rosos
Andres Roemer talks to participant Photo Nancy Rubin
Consul General of Mexico and all-round Renaissance man Andrés Roemer talks to an Uncharted 2014 festivalgoer. Photo: Nancy Rubin
Uncharted lab by Nancy Rubin
Festivalgoers participate in an Uncharted lab organized by Jump Associates. Photo: Nancy Rubin
Bookish1 by Pete Rosos
Festivalgoers buy books by Uncharted 2014 speakers at the Bookish pop-up bookstore. Photo: Pete Rosos
Claude Steele talks to festival goer by Pete Rosos
Claude Steele, executive vice-chancellor of UC Berkeley and an Uncharted 2014 speaker, talks to a festival participant. Photo: Pete Rosos
Guide walk by Nancy Rubin
The Berkeley Path Wanderers led a walk with guide Elsa Tranter from downtown through the UC Berkeley campus to the Uncharted party at Cal Memorial Stadium. Photo: Nancy Rubin
Uncharted 2014 party1 by Pete Rosos
Food, wine, beer and a chance to unwind at the Uncharted 2014 party at the University Club at Cal Memorial Stadium. Photo: Pete Rosos
Taking pictures of the view by Nancy Rubin
Festivalgoers take pictures of the phenomenal sunset from the University Club at the top of the Cal Memorial Stadium during the Uncharted 2014 party. Photo: Nancy Rubin
The view from Uncharted party sunset by Nancy Rubin
The view from the Uncharted 2014 party on Friday, Oct. 24, 2014. Photo: Nancy Rubin
Unplugged1 by Pete Rosos
Uncharted Unplugged, and a special Uncharted cocktail, closed the festival at FIVE at the Hotel Shattuck in downtown Berkeley. Photo: Pete Rosos

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Tracey Taylor is co-founder of Berkeleyside and co-founder and editorial director of Cityside, the nonprofit parent to Berkeleyside and The Oaklandside. Before launching Berkeleyside, Tracey wrote for...