Our city is known for many things, but sadly being an intellectual capitol of the country, is not one of them. Now, there is no doubt that we are known for technical expertise in many areas; medicine, energy and space to name the principal ones. But generally, Houston is not regarded as a center of academia, while areas such as New York, Boston or Northern California are.
Happily, there are two groups seeking to change our image. One is the current leadership of my alma mater, the University of Houston. The Board, under leadership of the most energetic octogenarian I know, Welcome Wilson, and the new president Renu Khator, are hell bent for leather in their quest to make UH a tier one research university. And they are well on their way to doing so.
The others are my friends Ernie and Sheryl Rapp. Several years ago, Ernie and Sheryl attended the world renown, TED (Technology, Entertainment & Design). (See http://www.ted.com/
) TED is a 4-day seminar that assembles thought-provoking and cutting edge presentations on a wide range of topics. Ernie and Sheryl came back convinced that Houston needed a similar event. Thus, The UP Experience was born. Last year Ernie and Sheryl produced the first UP Experience. I was able to attend about half of the day’s lectures and it was spell binding. I left about noon, peeved that I had not cancelled my appointments for the afternoon so I could stay for the entire event.
I hope that you will mark October 15 on your calendar to get UP. I promise that you will be glad you invested the day attending this experience.