Walter Isaacson, the biographer of Steve Jobs, will be the keynote speaker at the 2014 David and Lyn Silfen Forum this October 31.

Credit: Ed Uthman/Flickr / Ed Uthman/Flickr

The kick-off to the Pennovation Center — Penn's innovation center on the South Bank Campus — will be celebrated on Oct. 31 at a University-wide event, Penn President Amy Gutmann said on Tuesday.

To celebrate the future of the center and the South Bank Campus, Gutmann will host the 2014 David and Lyn Silfen Forum, where she will interview author Walter Isaacson about higher education and innovation. 

Isaacson, who wrote the biography of Steve Jobs and "more importantly," Gutmann joked, the biography of Benjamin Franklin, is also the author of the forthcoming book "The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution." Isaacson's newest book concentrates on the people who have created technology that has dramatically changed the way we live. These innovators of disruptive technology will be a major focus of Isaacson and Gutmann's discussion, Gutmann said.

Plans for the new Pennovation Center were announced last August. The center, located along the Schuylkill River, is designed to be a future hub for technological innovation and is intended to incentivize students and professors to bring their research into the market. It is set to open in spring 2015.

The University will provide free transportation to the South Bank campus for the event.

Correction: An earlier version of this article misspelled Walter Isaacson's name. It's Isaacson, not Issacson. Also, the celebration event on Oct. 31 will kick-off what's to come on the South Bank Campus. The Pennovation Center is planned to open in spring 2015.

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