Every great plan, invention, philosophy and story started with a good idea.

For five days in November at the University of Alberta, a group of diverse thinkers, artists, academics, and business and community leaders will get together to do a little brainstorming.

“We are among the most diverse cities on a per capita basis that I’ve visited,” said provost Carl Amrhein. “The Festival of Ideas will help reinforce that sense of internationalism.”

The goal of the 2010 Festival of Ideas is to build a tradition of forging interconnections between science and the arts, and the U of A and the broader community.

Mayor Stephen Mandel compared this year’s festival to novelist Salman Rushdie’s visit to the university for its centennial.

“You looked around the room and no one was even blinking, it was so spectacular,” Mandel said. “The list of people coming to this Festival of Ideas will be equally challenging, equally interesting and equally engaging.”

It promises to be a thought-provoking five days in Edmonton from Nov. 17 to 21.

For more information on the festival or to see the list of participants, visit festivalofideas.ca.