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Learning and nightlife with a side of wine drive top progressives at Thirst DC

Marcus DowlingBy Marcus Dowling on Sep 07, 2011 | Add a Comment Add a Comment (297)

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Learning and nightlife with a side of wine drive top progressives at Thirst DC

"We're not what the old idea of a salon was, 19th century Russian poets with pipes and brandy snifters. We're blowing that out of the water." - Eric Schulze, Co-Founder and Organizer, Thirst DC

In exhibiting a thirst for delving into progressive learning concepts and feeling that "nerds have style and swagger," a group of passionate professionals wish to display intellect as art at Thirst DC. Introducing the era of the "nouveau nerd" to Washington, DC is the intention of Rockville, MD resident Eric Schulze, 28, a genetic and molecular biologist and Los Angeles transplant who is endeavoring to make DC nightlife a bit more brilliant than usual. "Three years ago while I was living in LA, I was aware of a concept called MindShare LA which served as my inspiration. It was a TED conference-style event billed as what they called 'enlightened debauchery.'" A highbrow learning learning environment where drinking was allowed seems bizarre by stereotypically stuffy DC standards, but after an initial event on August 25th at the Bier Baron Tavern, it appears that there is a  new mood sweeping through the Nation's Capital. 

Thirst DC events take the Mindshare LA concept and TED-style discussions to the next level. "Those events are held in lecture halls, where you are confined to your seat" says Schulze. According to the initiative's website, Thirst aims for something somewhat more advanced:

(Thirst is a) "sexy nerd house party", where world-renowned experts speak to inspire the attendees to create innovative connections, learn, flirt, drink, and dance while the DJ spins until 2 am. thirst DC's talks are short and thought-provoking, to spark fresh and interesting conversations among its attendees.

Schulze continues to describe the speakers at the events as "experts who have a unique way of telling stories." Continuing, he gives a glimpse of where he feels thirst will be most profoundly influential in Washington. "We're trying to create thought leaders. I love that. There is a plethora of talented and passionate people in DC right now, and every six weeks, we want to challenge their thinking."

This isn't just a gathering for those in the sciences stereotypically considered members of the nerd population. Schulze's breakdown of the attendees at the inaugural event is quite telling. "There were young professionals, mainly aged 35 and younger. However, there were those in attendance who were much older and much younger. All walks of life were represented from Capitol Hill staffers to scientists, and representatives from fashion,/arts, culture, and music. It was an even smattering of professional DC. A lot of bew people to DC, and as well we had a number of long-time DC residents needing something new."

Thirst DC's slogan inspires us to "be utterly fascinating." However, when asked about the future for Thirst DC, Schulze answered in a most impressive manner. "We want to flip the script on how people learn." 

Thirst DC gathers again on October 13th. Visit Thirst DC's website for more information and for ticket purchase information.

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