Allen & Co’s annual Sun Valley media conference attracts more than moguls, technology executives and money managers. Of the more than 200 people on the invitation list, there are plenty whose connection to the conference’s themes are tangential at best.
This is a perennial feature, previous attendees told me, but they usually don’t get as much attention because reporters are trying to break news on the big media guys. Many of them come because they have ties to banker and conference organizer Herb Allen. Others come because they’re just plain interesting people.
Also, you can detect what likely themes will emerge in panel discussions. We’re guessing a host of generic discussions that usually mark high-level meetings: world health, making U.S. children more competitive in math and science so they’ll “innovate” and start tech companies, the United States’ export of “soft power” through which it influences other nations through its cultural and media exports, how sports and media can continue to get rich off each other, how to make big money in poorer countries and various other topics that we mention below. The “huh” category is reserved for pure guesswork.
P.S. Here is one other observation we discovered while researching all 250+ names on the invitation list that we obtained: A far higher-than-expected number in their official biographies list the interviews they gave to Charlie Rose on his show as one of their top accomplishments. Rose, as you might expect, is expected to attend.