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This Year's Thrival Festival To Focus On Pittsburgh's Tech Strengths

Thrival Festival
Panelists discuss how new tech impacts entrepreneurship during the 2017 Thrival Innovation Summit

Technology, education and music will come together next month for the seventh annual Thrival Festival,  Sept. 18-20 in Oakland. This year's event has a local theme: "By Pittsburgh, For Pittsburgh, For the World."

According to Thrival's CEO Barrie Athol, that means a focus on technologies that are particularly strong in Pittsburgh, such as artificial intelligence and advanced manufacturing.

"The content on which we're focused is really actionable, practical takeaways that anyone in the audience can use in their own work," Athol said. "The overall objective of Thrival is to help establish Pittsburgh as the destination of choice for companies, for talent."

The two-day Innovation Summit will feature speakers talking about things like how tech is changing the way consumers interact with brands, and the security of financial technology. There will also be discussions about health technology, smart cities and the future of work.

"At the end of the day, innovation is driven by talent," Athol said. "So a big part of Thrival is bringing that talent together with the innovators, and finding ways to learn, ways to be involved and opportunities to grow."

While the Innovation Summit is at the core of the festival, there will also be an event highlighting the relationship between art and technology Sept. 18 at the Carnegie Museum of Art. The more community-focused Thrival Interactive will feature the live printing of 3-D sculptures, as well as improv performances and a pop-up theater. 

Thrival ends with a music festival in Schenley Park, this year featuring all local artists.