8 April 2013

The full program for EG will be announced in a few days.

Last chance to register: The deadline is 11 April.

We have some exciting announcements. But first:


Rapt and transported at EG

Humans are a touchy-feely species: we need to gather, and we love to — in schools, clubs, churches, concerts, sports teams, companies, armies, families, reunions — and conferences. Congregating, being intensely connected, makes us healthier, more robust, longer-lived, more joyful.

Unlike sitting on your butt and clicking through YouTube clips, the decision to attend a great conference is a commitment to immerse yourself among vibrant talents and inspired thinking. Virtual connections may be the marvels of our moment, but there is no substitute for what is real. That investment of attention compounds your interest in ways that are hard to imagine.

Every person involved in EG has set aside their screens, pushed away the calendar and given up part of their lives to come to Monterey knowing that the whole experience will be operatically greater than just the sum-of-parts, and in the hope that their own contribution will be worthwhile.

Presenters at EG are passionate, talented, insightful, hard working souls — people who make and do wonderful things. Sometimes they border on incredible or unimaginable things. They come from a mind-stretchingly eclectic array of fields. And everyone who speaks has something important they aim to share — something, they hope, that will be meaningful for others.

Every talk at EG is heard by an audience — including you, perhaps? — that listens with the same exuberance and intensity that the speakers bring.

There are moments of insight, moments of wonder, moments of tragedy, moments of intimacy, moments of joy.

Not every presentation will be about something you think you are interested in. Well: man up.

Not every speaker will spark your imagination — although everyone aspires to, which is what is so disarming, and worthy of your focus.

A few presenters will go banging on too long. Others — you can never get enough of.

Some will touch hearts. Some will leave you cold. Some will give the best talk of their lives. Others will struggle and strain. Some are polished, others aren't afraid of their imperfections. There are young people, middle aged people, old people. There are household names. There are unknowns who might blow your mind. There are people — conference fixtures and gadabouts — you may think you've heard one too many times: gosh, don't think that way.

At a great conference, things happen that you will remember forever. And often in the most unexpected moments. At a great conference, you meet an astonishing array of people who truly do what they love, and who love what they do. Nothing is more rare, more uplifting or more important than that.

And that is why, when it all works, the whole of it is a unique experience — it's the music of civilization.

However you may feel, or think you may, no matter how seasoned a speaker or jaded a conference-goer you may be, everyone is asked to approach EG with freshness. Everyone is urged to come at the beginning, stay to the end, and be as passionate with your attention and involvement as you are with your presentation (if you happen to be speaking). That dynamic is what makes EG so magical. It is why, no matter how relevant the program may seem to your business at hand, you leave EG glowing like a thousand watt bulb, full of ideas you can't wait to act on. That is the wish.

And now: some announcements.

Ringing in the golden age of beer: Stone Brewing.


For the last several years, Greg Koch and Stone Brewing have generously supplied their outstanding artisinal beers for EG. Gourmets and foodies revere Stone as a pioneer in the craft brewing world: readers of Beer Advocate have voted Stone Brewing as the #1 best brewery ever two years in a row. You may know some of their range of beers — Arrogant Bastard, Stone Pale Ale, Ruination, Vertical Epic, and many others. But real afficionados know that Stone is the largest brewery in Southern California and their spectacular custom-built beer garden in Escondido is a major destination in the region. The bistro fare concentrates on organic, free-range and local ingredients with expert pairings of extraordinarily diverse and flavorful beers surrounded by beautiful, interesting gardens.

Well. We are thrilled that Greg will personally be bringing some of their most unique creations for the opening night reception at EG as we host our first-ever Stone Brew Bash. We are in awe of what Greg and his intrepid associates have created, which reaches far beyond a glass and into life's most savory moments.

Greg Koch of Stone Brewing lifts spirits wherever he goes.


And great new wine, too. If you are a wine lover: We are delighted to tell you that Chris Coleman and the20 wines are returning with their latest innovations. Bottles are either too big, or too small. Chris and his team bring great artisinal wines by the cask, reducing 85% of the packaging, saving 50% on the shipping, minimizing oxidation, keeping wine fresh for a month (not just a day or two). Bits of cork in your wine? Fuggedaboutit. This is the better way.

We'll raise our glasses with Chris at the closing toast.

And we'll be accompanied by his wayward sister, Cady — you know, the astronaut? married to Josh, the glass artist? This year she's got her feet on terra firma. And she's bringing a busload of NASA friends with her. Get ready to go into orbit with...


Bandella is an unlikely band of NASA astronauts, including: Chris Hadfield (guitars & vocals), Micki Pettit (lead vocals), Josef Schmid, Dylan Mathis, Cady (on flute) and other "stars." "Music of the spheres" for real.

And we are overjoyed to welcome back many more friends of EG old and new, including... Cambodian dance patron Ravynn Karet Coxen. Guitarist/diver Henry Kaiser. Philosopher/comic Emily Levine. Cyberillusionist Marco Tempest. Actor and vocal impressionist Jim Meskimen. Artist Hong Yi. Hacker/chef Chris Young.

Busy photographer Trey Ratcliff will be on hand to provide expert tutoring in the art of High Dynamic Range photography. And many brilliant past presenters will be joining in as attendees: Ren Ng from Lytro; David Salesin from Adobe; Paul Hoffman, chess master and director of the Liberty Science Center; Paul Horowitz from Harvard; Danny Hillis of Applied Minds; Marvin Minsky from MIT... It is a long and wonderful list of beautiful minds.


At EG, there's something important to learn from everyone. With roughly 50 presenters from an impressive assortment of fields, 500 attendees, and three immersive days, the talents and the mix are out of this world.

Michael Hawley, EG director

Ravynn is the progenitor of NKFC which operates charity schools near Angkor Wat. There, village families find sustenance, and children learn the ancient Khmer arts of dance and music.
Prolific, eclectic, adventurous, his credits include over 250 albums, dozens of TV shows and films, and a Grammy. It's a wonder Henry finds the time to be a research diver with the US Antarctic Program.
Harvard cum laude, humorist, speaker, radio commentator, Emily's waypoints include: dubbing spaghetti westers in Rome; Emmy-winning skits on TV; standup comedy; writing and production for dozens of sitcoms on CBS, NBS, ABC and HBO.
More than just a dazzling and polished magician, Marco may be doing more than anyone to prototype what our augmented future really is when science fiction becames day to day reality.
Actor/impressionist, Jim has been a cartoon designer, fine artist, audiobook director, and worked in Hollywood for nearly three decades but made his biggest mark as perhaps the most versatile vocal impressionist around.
Red as she prefers to be known, Hong Yi schlepped from Shanghai to burst on the scene at EG last year with her captivating and highly original artwork. You'll be amazed at what has blossomed in the year since.
Insatiable appetites for technology, food and education drive Chris who returns to EG with a fresh creation: Chef Steps, a shiny new startup, hot out of the oven.