The EG conference was the brainchild of Richard Saul Wurman (founder of TED). He created EG as a return to the roots of what makes a conference almost magically wonderful: intimacy, genius, people who make and do extraordinary things. Today, Michael Hawley, a polymath who has led a broad and deeply creative career, is at the helm. As Mike explains, “while the name EG originally stood for a number of things — “entertainment gathering” (as many early members came from that realm), or “exampli gratia” (signifying exemplary talents in many disciplines), today, it’s simply a name that has come to represent the best of the best in all of our most creative and wonderful endeavors. Frequent participant and attendee Paul Hoffman, Director of the Liberty Science Center, simply calls it, “the best conference in the world.”
For 10 years, hundreds of the “best” creative talents from every conceivable field have come together in Monterey, CA and now Carmel, for three days, to inspire, present to one another and network at the conference. Over this span of time, the talents have ranged from rising stars to living national treasures, artists, scientists, entertainers, inventors, explorers, environmentalists, educators and magicians. Some attendees include: Chairman Emeritus of the MIT Media Lab, Nicholas Negroponte, astronaut and congresswoman, Mark Kelly and Gabby Giffords, CEO and founder of Audible, Donald Katz, music legends Herbie Hancock, Leon Fleisher, Quincy Jones and Linda Ronstadt, NPR icons Scott Simon and Peter Sagal, Pixar founders Ed Catmull and Alvy Ray Smith, photographers David Hume Kennerly, Frans Lanting and Elliott Erwitt, designers Chip Kidd, Susan Kare and David Kelley, inventors Garrett Brown, Ralph Osterhout and Tom Gruber, physicists Freeman Dyson and Brian Green, technology authors John Markoff, Steven Levy and George Dyson, novelist Amy Tan, cartoonist Matt Groening and many more.
This year, Blast PR was invited to support the conference and help the event producers field the many media requests that come in to cover the event, as well as to host a small group of first time attendees. Principal Lana McGilvray and Senior PR Director Cassady Nordeen managed the initiative and reported back on a very memorable experience for all. “Not only was it wonderful and meaningful work,” remarked Cassady, “It was an inspiring and unforgettable journey for us as well.”
2016 was a special year for EG as it marked a full decade. The roster reflected the heritage as well as the present in its blend of returning and new speakers including: award-winning architect Moshe Safdie, TV Legend Dick Cavett, Olympic gold medalist and Emmy winning commentator Dick Button, magician Ricky Jay, computer pioneer and photographer Bill Atkinson, entrepreneur and foodie Kimbal Musk, the BBC Natural History Unit with Sir David Attenborough, game designer and creator “Exploding Kittens” Elan Lee, CTO of Autodesk, Jeff Kowalski, President of the Humane Society, Wayne Pacelle, violinist Joshua Bell and Oscar-winning filmmaker Hugh Welchman.
As the Day 1 and Summary blogs reveal, the time speakers and attendees spent together before and after presentations was just as, if not even more powerful, than the times in session.
Check out EG for yourself, and if you’d like to be on our guest list for next year, please let us know. We’d be delighted to bring you along!