< Back To Previous Page



Des Moines Area Community College’s ciWeek9, running March 5-8, is all about inspiration and innovation. This year, the sessions will be about a man who has attention deficit disorder but still managed to score a couple of high-tech A’s in community college classes that sent him soaring to a career as an explorer now planning his fourth exploration of the Titanic wreck. It will be about a world-class drummer who knows that teamwork is important when you work for artists as diverse as the Rolling Stones and Celine Dion, and that innovation drives what happens in modern high-tech recording studios. 

The sessions will examine the life lessons of getting stuck in unexpected currents under an iceberg. And they’ll explain how reimagining boundaries can do everything from creating high-power partnerships among the likes of American Express and Wal-Mart to improving test scores at a small-town school. 

The lineup:
Josh Gates, archaeologist, adventurer, author and host of “Expedition Unknown” on the Travel Channel.

Jonathan Frakes, actor, author and director; played Cmdr. William T. Riker in the television series “Star Trek: The Next Generation.”

Jill Heinerth, diver, adventurer and explorer of the inside of Antarctic icebergs.

Kenny Aronoff, named by Rolling Stone magazine as one of the “100 Greatest Drummers of All Time.” He’s kept the beat for John Fogerty, John Mellencamp, the Rolling Stones, Bruno Mars, Lady Gaga, Bob Dylan and Paul McCartney.

Rob Manning, chief engineer for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab Engineering and Science Directorate. He has worked on robotic spacecraft for 35 years.

James Barrat, author and filmmaker. His book “Our Final Invention: Artificial Intelligence and the End of the Human Era” examines the dangers of artificial intelligence.

Gabor George Burt, expert on innovation and author of “Slingshot: Re-Imagine Your Business, Re-Imagine Your Life.”

David Gallo, ocean explorer preparing for his fourth trip to the Titanic and author of TED presentation “Underwater Astonishments,” which has 14 million views.

Nathalia Holt, science writer and New York Times best-selling author of “Rise of the Rocket Girls: The Women Who Propelled Us from Missiles to the Moon to Mars.”

Jill Pruetz, Iowa State University professor and primatologist supported by the National Geographic Society and the National Science Foundation. Her work with chimpanzees and monkeys has taken her to Peru, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Kenya and Senegal. 

Rod Pyle, author, journalist, historian, futurist and filmmaker. He has written 11 books on space history, exploration and development.

Rob Wolfe, lifelong “picker” of antiques and original paint cars and trucks. He is the brother of Mike Wolfe of the show “American Pickers.”