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7th Annual Tom Tom – Thursday Highlights

by Tom Tom Staff

Thursday at Tom Tom

Highlights for the fourth day of the 2018 Festival include the unique opportunity at The Summits to explore the future with entrepreneurs, leaders, designers, innovators and visionaries who inspire change. Big thinkers drive dozens of cross-cutting sessions and topical deep dives.

An All-Access or Summit Badge grants you access to so many of our great programs. Individual tickets to specific events are fantastic alternatives, if time is not on your side. And, all you need is a complimentary Festival pass to sign up for a Community Workshop!

Thank you for your continued support. Today, we are proud to bring you some of our most exciting programming of 2018 – all thanks to the support of the community, sponsors, partners, and you.


Tom Tom Summits

with James Fallows (National Correspondent, The Atlantic) and Deborah Fallows (Author, Contributing Writer, Dreaming in Chinese, The Atlantic)

You’ve Got the Power, The Jefferson Theater, 10:30-11:40AM with Jenn Brown (Executive Director, Civic Nation), Lennon Flowers (Cofounder, The People’s Supper), and Steven Olikara (President and Co-Founder, Millennial Action Project).

Roundtable: The Story of a Place, Common House, 2:00-3:30 with Deborah Fallows (Author, Contributing Writer, Dreaming in Chinese, The Atlantic), Roben Farzad (Host, Author, Full Disclosure on NPR One), Miriam Gordon-Stewart (Artistic Director and Cofounder, Victory Hall Opera), Enjoli Moon (Founder & Creative Director, Assistant Film Curator, Afrikana Film Festival, ICA @ VCU), Michael Orlove (Director, Presenting & Multidisciplinary Works + Artist Communities + International Activities, National Endowment for the Arts), Anne Helen Petersen (Western Correspondent, BuzzFeed News), Ben Speggen (Erie Reader, Contributing Editor), and moderated by Jessica Luck (Editor, C-Ville Weekly).

Revitalizing Main Street, Common House, 3:30-4:40PM

Millennial Action Project President and Co-Founder

with Ric Cavender (Executive Director, Charleston Main Streets, Juanita Hardy (ULI Senior Visiting Fellow, Urban Land Institute), Mona El Khafif (Associate Professor, UVA School of Architecture), and moderated by Winona Dimeo-Edgar (Managing Editor,

Defending the Digital Space: Fake News, Hate Speech, and Big Brother, The Jefferson Theater, 3:30-4:30PM with Speaker (Title, Organization), Renee Diresta (Data for Democracy, Head of Policy), Garrett Graff (Executive Director, Cybersecurity and Technology Program), Cathy O’Neil (Author, Weapons of Math Destruction) and moderated by Siva Vaidhyanathan (Robertson Professor of Media Studies and Director of the Center for Media and Citizenship, The University of Virginia)

Ticketed Events

Applied Machine Learning Conference, Violet Crown, 10AM-5PM This second annual conference features researchers, entrepreneurs, and practitioners who are at the forefront of understanding and implementing big data and machine learning. This day of presentations and flash talks is focused on applied learning and deep science, with receptions and expos throughout the day. Featured keynotes include:

  1. Deep Learning & Computer Graphics, Violet Crown, 10:15-10:50AM – with David Luebke (Vice President, Graphics Research, NVIDIA)

  2. How to Fail Spectacularly at Analytics, Violet Crown, 2:05-2:40PM – with Antonia de Medinaceli (Cofounder, Augmented)

Just Eat: The Future of Food, The Paramount Theater, 12:00-1:40PM From climate change to immigration, what we eat and where it comes from stands at the center of the world stage – without ever leaving the intimacy of our homes and daily rituals. In this session, Seth Goldman (Cofounder Honest Tea), Melody Barnes (Cofounder, MB2 Solutions), Greg Asbed (Cofounder, Coalition of Immokalee Workers), and Jane Black (Food Journalist) will share how they changed the food we all eat, and offer insights into the next goalpost for a sustainable, fair, and healthy future. Lunch Included.

Life After Death with John Cleese and UVA DOPS, The Paramount Theater, 5:00-6:30PM

Legendary actor, writer and comedian John Cleese, friend and supporter of the research being done at UVA’s Division of Perceptual Studies, will be moderating a 90 minute discussion of the scope of the research being done at the UVA Division of Perceptual Studies. In a panel discussion moderated by John Cleese, the UVA Division of Perceptual Studies research faculty will convene to present an overview of the research to which they have dedicated their academic careers. The UVA DOPS panel presenters will be: director of UVA DOPS, Jim Tucker, MD; Ed Kelly, PhD; Emily Kelly, PhD; Bruce Greyson, MD; and  Kim Penberthy, PhD. The UVA Division of Perceptual Studies research unit is part of the Department of Psychiatry & Neurobehavioral Sciences within the University of Virginia School of Medicine. The scope of the UVA Division of Perceptual Studies research portfolios include: investigating children who have memories of past lives; the nature of consciousness and the mind-body relationship; neuro-imaging studies of psi events; and individuals who report experiencing near-death experiences(NDEs).

Dan Rather Keynote: What Unites Us, The Paramount Theater, 8:00-9:10PM At a moment of crisis over our national identity, venerated journalist Dan Rather has emerged as a voice of reason and integrity, reflecting on—and writing passionately about—what it means to be an American. Looking at the freedoms that define us, from the vote to the press; the values that have transformed us, from empathy to inclusion to service; the institutions that sustain us, such as public education; and the traits that helped form our young country, such as the audacity to take on daunting challenges in science and medicine, Rather brings to bear his decades of experience on the frontlines of the world’s biggest stories. As a living witness to historical change, he offers up an intimate view of history, tracing where we have been in order to help us chart a way forward and heal our bitter divisions.

Silent Disco, Old Metropolitan Hall, 10:00PM-12:00AM Don a wireless headset, choose from three ridiculously fun channels and prepare to get down on the dance floor for a disco party that needs no words.

Free Community Events

Affordable Housing Series, Water Street Center, Various Times Delve into financing, high growth in small cities, and community engagement topics in today’s series of three Affordable Housing-focused talks with an array of experts and analysts weighing in on the matters. With the exploding housing market, how can communities work to maintain inclusivity and what strategies can be employed to allow for affordable options? And further, how do developers, civic leaders, and neighbors collaborate effectively to create a neighborhood? Join High Growth in Small Cities (10:30am), Financing Affordable Housing (2:00pm), and Community Engagement (3:30pm) for answers and ideas. Over 30 speakers and companies will come to the tables to speak with community members.

American Evolution Innovators Cup, The Jefferson Theater, 7:00-8:30PM

This once-in-a-lifetime opportunity assembles the best and brightest student entrepreneurs in Virginia to pitch their businesses to celebrity judges for cash prizes totaling $20,000. With Steve Huffman (CEO & Cofounder, reddit), Nancy Twine (CEO, Briogeo Hair Care), and Ace Callwood (CEO, Painless 1099).

Community Workshops

Coffee Roasting: Seed to CupGrit Roasters, 10:00-11:30AM

Modern Improvisational Music Appreciation SongwritingBridge PAI, 11:00AM-1:00PM

Intro to Ethical HackingSilverchair, 3:00-5:00PM

Brewing with Fruit I, IIDraft Taproom 3PM, 4PM

How to Take a 360 PhotoJames-Madison Regional Library, 4:00-6:00PM

Deep Thinking and Talent Development: For Job SeekersBabylon Micro Farms Office, 4:00-6:00PM

Spotting Sensationalized Science in the News University of Virginia School of Engineering and Applied Science 005 Olsson Hall, 6:00-7:00PM

Weeklong Events

Farm to Table Restaurant Week, Various Locations, 5:00-11:00pm — Participating restaurants will feature a special dinner menu that features the newly announced Cville Signature Dish, the ham biscuit, alongside seasonal produce and ingredients.

Craft Cocktail Competition, Various Locations, 5:00-11:00pm — Top bartenders create specialty “Tom Tom” cocktails, featuring local spirits and ingredients. Patrons will vote for their favorites throughout the week, and a panel of judges will also crown a winner.


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