Brazilian activist Maria Luisa Mendonça; inequality chronicler Chrystia Freeland will be at Uncharted

Maria Luisa Mendonça, director of Brazil’s Network for Social Justice and Human Rights (and director of the documentary about sugar plantation slaves embedded below), is the latest speaker to be sign up to be part of the exciting program at Uncharted: The Berkeley Festival of Ideas, which is being produced by Berkeleyside in downtown Berkeley, October 25-26.

Chrystia Freeland, who will be in conversation about income inequality at Uncharted

Chrystia Freeland, who will be in conversation about income inequality at Uncharted in Berkeley

Mendonça, currently a visiting scholar at Cornell, concentrates on key issues for the food movement, notably the spread of industrial agriculture in the global South and the connection between land and resource policy and poverty.

Chrystia Freeland, currently running for Canada’s Parliament and, until recently, managing director and editor of consumer news at Thomson Reuters, will also speak at Uncharted. Freeland’s recent book, Plutocrats: The Rise of the New Global Super-Rich and the Fall of Everyone Else, examines the drivers of increasing income inequality. 

What else is happening at Uncharted? Economist Brad DeLong and big-data maven Josh Bloom will have a sure to be lively conversation about robotics and employment, entitled “I for one welcome our new robot overlords.” Ex-Wired Editor Chris Anderson will discuss the new industrial revolution; UC Berkeley’s brand new Chancellor, Nicholas Dirks, will feature in our “So what are the humanities: chopped liver? debate; io9’s Annalee Newitz will enlighten us on humans and mass extinction; Daily Kos’ Markos Moulitsas will provide his unique insights on the 2014 midterm elections; National Center for Lesbian Rights’ Kate Kendell will talk about the new frontier of civil rights; and right-wing wunderkind Josh Barro will be put on the spot to talk about the prospects for a responsible Republic Party.

The program, which includes a series of engaging interactive workshops in the Uncharted Lab, orchestrated by Jump Associates, is designed like a menu with overlapping sessions: pick those that pique your interest, skip others.

There’s time for partying too. Midway through the festival, on the Friday night, festivalgoers will enjoy delicious food, good wine, craft beer and live music by Cuban band Pellejo Seco in the super cool atrium of the Brutalist masterpiece Berkeley Art Museum/Pacific Film Archive.

Uncharted is delighted to be partnering with the following sponsors: AutodeskPanoramic InterestsMechanics Bank, DeYoe Wealth Management, Berkeley Repertory Theatre,  GreenerPrinter, University of California BerkeleyBerkeley Startup ClusterDowntown Berkeley Association, and KQED.

There’s much, much more. Visit the Uncharted website to see a list of confirmed speakers and to secure your ticket. You can follow Uncharted on Twitter or on Facebook to keep in touch with new speakers and program information.

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  • 2ndGenBerkeleyan

    Just wondering what the likely income inequality might be between Chrystia Freeland and your typical resident of one of Brazil’s more horrid slums/dump cities?

  • guest

    You are so right. Unless she’s willing to divest herself of all wealth and live in abject poverty and squalor, she has no business advocating to help others!

  • 2ndGenBerkeleyan

    Maybe she’s more part of the problem than the solution? She may not be a mega-wealthy plutocrat or modern day robber baron, but I am betting her lifestyle and income level is much closer to our most affluent 1% than most of the 99%, let alone the conditions faced by the poor and dispossed in Third World Nations.

    p.s. As with some many other so-called “social justice advocates” who exactly appointed her to speak for or represent any poor person anywhere?

  • ira zapin

    Why does living a decent life, which most people strive for (except perhaps the three commenters who preceded me), disqualify them from advocating for the poor?

  • guest

    I think that’s the whole point: no one is “appointed” to take on this task. I’m familiar with the white knight phenomenon and its problems, but I reject the notion that someone who has been fortunate enough to grow up in the developed world with access to education, nutrition and the freedom to speak her mind should be disqualified from seeking to help those who were not granted these privileges. Would you feel better if she’d chosen to become a hedge fund manager? An oil executive?

  • 2ndGenBerkeleyan

    What I am getting at here is that there are those who parlay “speaking
    for the poor” into a pretty cush, jetset lifestyle. Fly around in
    business class. Hefty speaker fees. First class hotels. Five star
    restaurants. Poverty conferences at resort destinations. Generous
    expense accounts and so forth. Many of these advocates actually
    accomplish very little for the poor directly. They siphon off tax
    dollars and charitable tax write off donations from the uber-wealthy and
    charitable trusts and foundations.

    Then there are those who take more of a classic Peace Corps approach or
    something like catholic priests adn nuns who actually live among the
    poor in rural areas or urban slums and minister directly to the needy.

  • guest

    I take your point. Regardless, I will not begrudge someone who has chosen to dedicate her career to helping the poor. Too many people in our society believe the poor are at fault for their misfortune. It seems counterproductive to throw jabs at someone who is out there spreading a contrary message. That’s all.

  • smh

    Uncharted: Where rich folk get together to discuss poverty.
    You know, guys, Jello got it right all those years ago: just kill ’em. Instant poverty elimination!

  • smh

    Of course i do mean the poor, not the rich, just to clarify.

  • Mel Content

    What has always bothered me about these self-appointed social activists is the assumption that “inequality” is somehow wrong and needs to corrected with some form of redistribution. There’s plenty of “inequality” here in our country, but overall 99.99% of us are far better of than if we were in some country where everyone was “equal” but equally impoverished.