Thomas L. Friedman coming to EDPA Innovation Conference

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Thomas L. Friedman coming to Birmingham
Keynote speaker, Thomas L. Friedman via EDPA

For the past six years, the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama has hosted an Innovation Conference to celebrate innovation, entrepreneurs, and startups in our state. However, this year they are taking it up a notch.

In fact, the keynote speaker, Thomas L. Friedman, is a Pulitzer Prize winner, New York Times columnist, and best-selling author.

Mark your calendars for Wednesday, August 23rd. Taking place at the Alabama Theatre, Imerge is an event you do not want to miss.

What is it?

2014 Innovation Award Winners via EDPA

Imerge is the next generation of EDPA’s Innovation Conference.

In previous years, EDPA hosted the Innovation Awards, which highlights companies and innovators who strengthen Alabama’s economy, generate jobs and develop new ideas. The awards will still take place. However, this year’s event will also feature a keynote speaker, Thomas L. Friedman, and entertainment following the event.


Greg Sheek, EDPA

“We are bringing an opportunity to Birmingham for people from all parts of the state to talk about what’s next for Alabama,” said Greg Sheek, Director of Launchpad Programs for EDPA.

“One thing people take from the event is an upbeat feeling that there are great things going on in our state. Innovators are generating jobs, adding value to their company, and doing good things for the future of Alabama. This event brings exposure to these stories and gives people a chance to be excited.”

The agenda for the night is:

  • 4 pm: Keynote speaker, Thomas L. Friedman
  • 5 pm: Networking reception
  • 6 pm: 2017 Innovation Awards Ceremony
  • 7 pm: Celebrate Imagination- a variety of after parties featuring food, live music, and entertainment.

Keynote Speaker

Thomas L. Friedman via EDPA

The keynote speaker, Thomas L. Friedman, is a Pulitzer Prize winner, New York Times columnist, and best selling author.

His latest book, Thank You for Being Late: An Optimist’s Guide to Thriving in the Age of Acceleration, 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.

Truly, 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.

Celebrate Imagination


Following the Innovation Awards Ceremony is Celebrate Imagination, featuring award-winning DJ “Mark AD.” However, don’t worry if busting a sick move on the dance floor isn’t your thing.

There are a variety of afterparties located across the Alabama Theatre. Each after party has a different vibe to suit people’s individual style. For instance, one party will feature a live band with a big dance floor, one will feature DJ “Mark AD,” and one will feature a trio piece.

Every party will have food, drinks, and plenty of entertainment. I hope you’re ready to have some major fun.

Buy tickets now!

Seriously, what more could you ask for?

At Imerge, you get to:

  • Hear an award-winning speaker
  • Meet fellow Alabamians who are making this state better
  • Celebrate companies and innovators who are key to Alabama’s economic future
  • Dance the night away to DJ “Mark AD”

Don’t miss it! Buy your tickets here.