Our Story

Idea Project was founded to inspire and connect a community of thought leaders who share similar passions to affect positive change in the world. Cooper Bates founded Idea Project in 2007 (originally under the name TED-LA). Cooper was inspired and moved by his years of going to the TED conference, not just as an attendee but as a sponsor (through Hint Mint, the company he co-founded in 1999 with Harley Cross). With Idea Project, he set out to create a conference in his hometown of Los Angeles, which incorporates the same goals of sharing knowledge and inspiring change, but with greater focus on building community and encouraging lasting relationships between the attendees, as well as with speakers themselves. Idea Project continues to grow and draws some of the world's most interesting people.

Past speakers include Robert Manning, LDSD Chief Engineer & former MSL Chief Engineer at NASA/JPL, Lisa Napoli, award winning Author and Journalist; Jonathan Greenblatt, co-founder of Ethos water, CEO and National Director, Anti-Defamation League; Nirvan Mullick, award winning filmmaker (Caines Arcade 1 & 2), writer, speaker, and social-entrepreneur; and many more inspiring change-makers.


Our Vision


"Ideas change people... So we wanted to create a community of the most active and engaged people, introduce them to the most fascinating ideas we could find, and let the sparks fly," says Cooper Bates.  "Idea Project is not just about hearing the speakers' groundbreaking ideas, it's also about encouraging our own original concepts and projects and working together to manifest real change."  

Idea Project is where community gathers to experience the transformative power of profound thought actualized into social impact campaigns, art, ethical products, services and institutions. We’re showcasing visionaries who passionately pursue their intellectual curiosity to create positive world-change.

Our multi-disciplinary approach and desire to constantly innovate is ambitious, but remains grounded in challenging you to rearrange your perception, shift your thinking and let loose the evolved capacity of your existence. The fabric of the LAIP community is comprised of visual and performing artists, cutting-edge scientists and technologists, educators, acclaimed writers and social entrepreneurs you’d be hard-pressed to find together under one roof.

Along with incredible performances, hauntingly beautiful technology demonstrations, and spirited discussions, LAIP will offer you access to a community of thinkers and doers who gather in the spirit of becoming better versions of themselves. Prepare to be delighted, provoked and pushed out of your comfort zone.