The ninth annual Wired Business Conference will take place in New York on 16th June at Spring Studios; the first round of speakers was announced last week by Wired and as you might expect it’s an eclectic mix of thought leaders, influencers, innovators and entrepreneurs.
Top of the bill are Rony Abovitz, CEO of the secretive “mixed reality” startup Magic Leap, based in suburban Florida, not Silicon Valley, which recently raised the largest Series C round of fundraising in history, $827 million dollars, led by Alibaba (the previous round, which raised $542m, was led by Google), and Mary Barra, Chairman and CEO of General Motors, headquartered in Detroit, instrumental in leading the development of what could the world’s first mass-market vehicle, the Chevy Bolt EV, unveiled earlier this year.
Abovitz, whose company was recently the subject of an in-depth Wired profile, will conduct a fireside chat with Wired Senior Staff Writer Jessi Hempel, after Facebook VP of Messaging Products David Marcus and Brad Jenkins, Executive Producer of Funny or Die D.C, speak with Wired writers Marcus Wohlsen and Issie Lapowsky respectively, completing a opening session that promises to be both eye dropping and jaw opening – or should that be the other way around?
The Conference takes place in just a single day, and other notable attendees and speakers include Erica Baker, Senior Engineer at Slack, Arvind Krishna, SVP and Director at IBM Research, Yann LeCunn, Director of AI Research at Facebook and Nancy Lublin, Founder and CEO at Crisis Text Line.
The conference ends with a cocktail party at 5pm – steer clear of the green ones, as they say, your brain is likely to be scrambled enough already!
The Wired Conference has form when it comes to attracting top speakers and personalities; like Bill Gates, who began life as humble tech startup founder before going on to build one of the world’s biggest and most important companies, and become one of the world’s richest people, or Martha Stewart, who became a self-made billionaire by leveraging a winning personalities and drive for success – as well as those whose companies and / or personalities mean they have every chance of repeating the trick, like Neflix co-Founder Reed Hastings and Unruly founder Sarah Wood.
Ryan Green, co-Owner and Head of Narrative at Numinous Games, the makers of That Dragon, Cancer, and Andy Walshe, Director of Red Bull High Performance, Red Bull North America should be fascinating to hear from this year for contrasting reasons – they conclude the late morning and early afternoon sessions while Carlton Cuse, Showrunner, Writer and Producer at Cuse Productions (responsible for TV series Lost, Bates Motel and The Colony) rounds off the final session before some final thoughts from Robert Capps, Wired’s Head of Editorial.
The event, which is invite only, promises to be a barnstorming networking opportunity; as Wired puts it, “our event promises to introduce you to the most important people in the modern business universe – the unsung creative, technical, and creative visionaries working to bring the world of tomorrow to you, today.” Perhaps “unsung” is pushing it, but there’s no denying they are an influential lot.
Highlights of previous events, registration details and Wired’s partners, including Cadillac, Cartier, and exhibitor sponsors Appboy and High Brew Coffee are available from the conference website; how does one go about getting an invite, one wonders; actually, I think I’m washing my hair and taking the dogs for a walk that day. Just kidding!