Last month I had the privilege of attending a fantastic relatively intimate invite-only event. The third annual Vanity Fair New Establishment Summit was held in San Francisco. This event brought together some of the most successful and influential philanthropists, thought leaders from technology, politics, business, media and the arts for truly inspiring conversations about trends and issues shaping our future. Examples of some of the intimate conversations include:
- Two photographers — one capturing images from the far corners of the earth (results of climate change) & the other from the front line in the middle east (being kidnapped doing so!)
- Disney studios family panel — incl Bob Iger (Chairman/CEO), Kathleen Kennedy (Lucasfilm), John Lasseter (Pixar & Disney Animation), and Kevin Feige (Marvel Studios).
- Strange bedfellows — Eddy Cue of Apple in conversation with Richard Plepler of HBO
- A well-rounded fireside chat with Jeff Bezos of Amazon on his world (past/present/future)
- Hacking cancer — with a leading doctor/research on immunology in partnership with Sean Parker who has recently put up $600M of his own fortune to help find a cure for cancer.
- …and much more
I had a terrific time interacting with many of the speakers and attendees — several of whom I’ve known previously and many of whom I met for the first time, including our hosts Graydon Carter (editor of Vanity Fair) and Walter Isaacson (who runs the Aspen Institute & wrote the Steve Jobs biography among others). I had brief but meaningful chats with others including Steve Case (former head of AOL), Anne Wojicki (23andMe), Nathan Myrhvhold (former CTO at Microsoft), Marcus Samuelsson (celebrity chef), and execs from MTV, A&E, Showtime — and many more.
The key to attending events like this is always in the (timely) follow-up; you want people to remember you as you seek to establish new relationships and strengthen existing ones.
I go to a lot of events and industry conferences throughout the year — but this one stood out head and shoulders from the others between the speakers, attendees and how the event itself was structured. The people at this event were my peers and those who I enjoy working with more than just about anyone else — and aspire to collaborate, serve and do more business with.
I’m really pleased to have participated, and look forward to the opportunities that result from it!