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The First

New Models of Thought and Desire

The Catholic University of America
Washington, D.C.

About The
2023 Conference

The NOVITATE Conference explores new models of thought and desire that lead to human flourishing. Each conference draws inspiration from the ideas of an important contemporary thinker, bringing his or her ideas into contact with traditions and people it may not have otherwise reached, in the academy and outside of it. Our goal is to bring together three metaphorical cities: Athens (reason), Jerusalem (faith Traditions), and Silicon Valley (innovators in business and beyond).

The apostle Paul wrote in the twelfth chapter of the Letter to the Romans: “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind” (Et nolite conformari huic sæculo, sed reformamini in novitate sensus vestri). This exhortation inspired the name and mission of NOVITATE. We welcome you to join us in our inaugural year.

2023: René Girard centennial CELEBRATION

The 2023 NOVITATE gathering will draw inspiration from the ideas of the French social theorist René Girard. Conferring on the centennial year of his birth, the conference will host a full day of presentations, panels, and dialogue, concluding with a dinner banquet to honor his legacy. The question of conformity—which Girard’s mimetic theory explores—lies at the heart of many of the important personal and societal questions in our world today involving institutions, politics, education, civics, media, and much more. We will explore Girard’s core ideas in the context of Paul’s exhortation to “Be Not Conformed” to the pattern of the world. We welcome abstract submissions from anyone who is interested in the work of Girard and how it relates to the theme “Be Not Conformed”.


NOVITATE is an interdisciplinary gathering of academic scholars, writers, artists, religious clergy and laity, industry leaders in the for-profit, not-for-profit and NGO spaces, and a group of exceptional students. Anyone with an interest in exploring the topic of the conference theme and applying insights to real-world problems is invited to apply.



Hosted by:

Luke Burgis

Author and Entrepreneur-in-Residence at the Ciocca Center for Principled Entrepreneurship at The Catholic University of America


Nov 3, 2023

The Catholic University of America
Washington, D.C.

Apply Now

General info

Ticket Info

Application required before tickets can be purchased. Click here to apply.

If application is accepted, tickets to the day program are $250. Tickets to the dinner banquet are $100. Scholarships are available. Ticket required by all attendees for entry.

Contact US

Email: cioccacenter-novitate@cua.edu


Do you have a question that is not covered here? Please email us: cioccacenter-novitate@cua.edu

Yes. Please indicate your need for a scholarship in the application. A limited number of scholarships will be available. Any scholarships awarded will only waive the ticket cost; they do not cover travel. We encourage you to apply for financial aid from your university or institution, or seek a grant to offset travel costs.

We are reviewing applications on a rolling basis and send decisions on a periodic basis. If you are notified of admittance, you will be given a link to register for the conference and purchase your ticket. The cost of each ticket is $250. The dinner banquet requires a secondary $100 ticket, which you can add to your cart when you purchase your conference registration. You must purchase your conference ticket/s within one month of notification or we reserve the right to offer it to another person. 

Tickets are non-refundable. For extraordinary circumstances, you may contact the conference committee. 

Anyone is welcome to submit an abstract. Applications are extremely competitive and we are looking for people who can engage Girard’s ideas and bring them into contact with new thinkers and new problems, and communicate those ideas effectively in the span of a 45-minute concurrent session. Selected papers will not be limited to academic scholars. If your abstract is accepted, you will be required to submit a full paper (3,000-5,000 words) prior to the conference date, per the paper submission schedule.

We expect a full capacity of 150 attendees, which includes speakers and panelists. Speakers/Panelists will be announced at a later date.