Thomas L. Friedman to headline EDPA’s “imerge” event on Aug. 23 that celebrates innovation in Alabama

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Birmingham Alabama
photo by rajah bose

Hurry!  There are only 12 days left to buy your tickets.

The Economic Development Partnership, (EDPA) is hosting its 2017 ‘imerge’ event on Aug. 23 at the Alabama Theatre. “imerge” is the next generation of the Innovation Conference that EDPA has held for the last six years to celebrate and recognize how important innovation, entrepreneurs and startups are to the state’s economy.

The Oscars-style awards ceremony celebrates top innovators in the state. From a pool of 88 nominations, judges from across the state chose three companies to recognize at this year’s event. Those companies are: Quality Filters of Robertsdale, Outstanding Achievement in Manufacturing; ZeroRPM of Cullman, Corporate Innovator of the Year for Small Companies with less than 50 employees; and Diatherix of Huntsville, Corporate Innovator of the Year for Large Companies with over 50 employees.

In addition, EDPA will honor Jim Hudson with a Lifetime Achievement in Innovation Award. Jim co-founded the HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology in Huntsville. He is considered the brain behind the Lowe Mills Arts Center, a large venue that is dedicated to promoting the arts and is credited with helping to revive the downtown Hunstville area.

You Don’t Want to Miss This!

“imerge” will feature keynote speaker Thomas L. Friedman, Pulitzer Prize winner and a New York Times columnist. Friedman is the author of six bestselling books, including his latest, Thank You for Being Late: An Optimist’s Guide to Thriving in the Age of Acceleration.   In his book, Friedman notes that innovation is coming faster than the ability of most people to keep up, which creates a need for lifelong relearning to hold jobs. Friedman’s books, columns and speeches have established him as one of the true thought leaders on innovation and its impact on the global economy.

Friedman’s books directly correlates with EDPA’s philosophy that, “Innovation is a key to Alabama’s economic future and job creation.”

Birmingham Alabama
Photo courtesy of Thomas Friedman

Three Pulitzer Prize Awards:

According to Friedman’s bio, he won the 1983 Pulitzer Prize for international reporting (from Lebanon), the 1988 Pulitzer Prize for international reporting (from Israel), and the 2002 Pulitzer Prize for distinguished commentary. In 2004, he also was awarded the Overseas Press Club Award for lifetime achievement and the honorary title Order of the British Empire (OBE) by Queen Elizabeth II. In 2009, he was given the National Press Club’s lifetime achievement award.

Friedman also is known for co-producing documentaries, something he began after 9/11 for the Discovery Channel.

The Keynote, Awards and After Parties

Friedman will speak at 4 p.m. and a networking reception follows at 5 p.m. The “imerge” EDPA 2017 Innovation Awards celebration is at 6 p.m. The annual awards highlight companies of all sizes and innovators who strengthen Alabama’s economy, generate jobs and develop new ideas. The “imerge” event will continue into the evening with “Celebrate Imagination,” beginning at 7 p.m., which offers a taste of Alabama, with delicious food, and live music and entertainment “after parties,” featuring DJ Mark AD and also the band, “Party of the Year.”

Where Can I Buy My Tickets?

Tickets are limited, so hurry before the event sells out!

Birmingham Alabama
Photo courtesy of EDPA

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