The Billionaire’s Summer Camp: What You Should Know About the Sun Valley Conference?
Each year since 1983, business moguls, political figures, and other thought leaders in the philanthropic and cultural spheres make their way out to Sun Valley, Idaho for this week-long event.
This year, according to ReCode, the invite-only event—officially dubbed the Allen & Company Sun Valley Conference—held at a ski resort, hosted by investment banking firm Allen & Co., “has only gotten more excessive.”
And while news is hard to come by from this exclusive event as it is closed to media, here’s a few things to stay tuned for.Who came out this year? Here’s a glimpse at the conference’s roster:
How’s this for an all-star list?
Apple’s Tim Cook, Warren Buffet, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, Disney Chairman and CEO Bob Iger, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel, Lachlan, Rupert, and James Murdoch (Executive Chairman of News Corp. and CEOs of 21st Century Fox, respectively), Twitter/Square’s Jack Dorsey, Dreamworks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg, Non-Executive Chairman of Viacom Shari Redstone, Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman (who has reportedly played hooky this year), Facebook Chairman and CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker, Vice Chairman of NBCUniversal Ron Meyer, President and CEO of CBS Corp Les Moonves, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, former President of The Walt Disney Company Mike Ovitz, Tesla Motors and SpaceX magnate Elon Musk, CEO and Founder of GoPro Nick Woodman, CEO of Comcast Brian Roberts, Co-Chairman of Disney Media Networks Ben Sherwood, CEO of Discovery Communications David Zaslav, former CEO of Twitter Dick Costolo, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, Patriots owner Robert Kraft, President of Argentina Mauricio Macri, Walmart Chairman Greg Penner, Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos, King Abdullah II of Jordan, IBM Partner Chris Silbermann, Time Warner Head Jeff Bewkes, Diane Von Furstenberg, Alphabet CEO Larry Page, the CEOs of Airbnb, Pinterest, Dropbox and neighborhood network Nextdoor will also be in attendance … just to name “a few”.
Oprah and Jerry Seinfeld were also on the invite list.
What key issues were discussed at the Sun Valley Conference?
Brexit, counter-terrorism efforts, growing attention to live sports’ value, artificial intelligence, widespread campus unrest at universities, free speech, global security, content company—TV networks and studios—consolidations, and biological breakthroughs like gene splicing among other topics.
What deals could be made?
Folks are keeping their ears to the ground anticipating further consolidation in the cable space, especially in lieu of a Lions Gate-Starz deal, Charter’s purchase of Time Warner Cable, and France’s Altice buying up Cablevision and Suddenlink. Past deals that have taken place at the Sun Valley conference feature Disney’s acquisition of Capital Cities/ABC, Comcast buying NBCUniversal, Verizon’s AOL deal, and Jeff Bezos acquiring The Washington Post.
Why does Allen & Co. throw this hush-hush event?
Allen & Company, a private investment firm formed in 1922, has advised, helped found, and/or invested in numerous companies including BET, InterActiveCorp, Oxygen Media, Discovery Communications, News Corporation, the Coca-Cola Corporation, and Google. So why wouldn’t you create and independently fund the Allen & Company Sun Valley Conference?
What the heck do these attendees even do in Sun Valley?
Once private jets land, these giants are invited to four days of morning panel discussions, afternoon whitewater rafting, biking, and hiking, and plenty of time is allocated for one-on-one meetings.
This “summer camp” of influencers and great minds can foster great change in the world when we need it most, so be sure to stay tuned, bosses.