INNOVATE ARMENIA – the festival of ideas and innovation – took place at the University of Southern California on May 18, 2019. Organized by the USC Institute of Armenian Studies, the program featured fifty participants, from six countries, and nearly 4,000 attendees. This is the fourth time in five years that this unique event has been staged by the Institute.

“Innovate Armenia is an inclusive, fun, provocative platform that tackles the greatest challenge of any homeland-diaspora relationship: how to better understand each other. Following the critical, radical changes in Armenia’s politics last year, a discussion of policy remains crucially needed both in Armenia and in the Diaspora. This was a part of that discussion. The rest – music, beer, coffee, storytelling, chess – that’s all an authentic but light reminder of who we are and who we can be,” said Salpi Ghazarian, director of the Institute.

Secretary of Armenia’s Security Council Armen Grigoryan, Deputy Foreign Minister of Karabakh Armine Aleksanyan, Former Prime Minister Vache Gabrielyan, Deputy Minister of Nature Protection Irina Ghaplanyan, Deputy Minister of Education Arevik Anapiosyan, Minister of Healthcare Arsen Torosyan spoke about security, policy, statehood, the environment, and the economy.

Chess games featuring local Armenian chess masters, craft beer from Armenia and Los Angeles, coffee tastings from Kavat and Henry’s House of Coffee, were all part of the outdoor programming.

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