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I remember sitting down in a café in the University district of Seattle with one of the conference founders of Dent, Jason Preston. Inspired by the Steve Jobs’ quote about putting a dent in the universe, he and his co-founder Steve Broback wanted to create a conference for people who had that same urge to make a dent– but in a down-to-earth, practical way, that would allow people to go back to their ventures with tools and tips to get their visions realized.
The Dent conferencewould be organized around themes, Preston said, waving his hands around as caffeinated college students looked at us curiously – Vision, People, Design, Process, Focus, Alchemy – because everyone creates success a different way, and can share practical information on how to make those successes happen. The conference would bring folks together from the executive suite, the halls of science, creative, and political types, and entrepreneurs. We’d all learn from each other, and we’d talk about innovation not in remote terms, but in terms of what everyone could do NOW to dent the future
That sounds like a Bing Thing, I said, and we could probably connect you to a great entrepreneur speaker. I was especially entranced by the idea of alchemy – as Jason put it, "sometimes people manage to be more than the sum of their parts, to have this kind of rare charisma that allows them to turn their ideas into gold. That's a neat trick, and one that we'd all like to be better at."
We think our guest speaker for Bing, Roger Viera, is part of that alchemy. My boss Stefan Weitz met Roger Viera when Stefan was helping select entrepreneurs for Endeavor Globalprograms – Viera had worked in companies both in the US and Mexico, and his approach to building businesses and also research and development had changed folks’ perception of Mexico as a tech economy.
Dent attendees will get to meet Roger Viera during a special dinner sponsored by Bing on March 25th. The Bing crew is also looking forward to learning from such notables as Pixar founder Alvy Ray Smith, Brian Wong of Kiip, Cathie Black, former publisher of USA Today and Eugene Burger, dean of the McBride Magic and Mystery School. And you, if you make it to Sun Valley with us – hope to see you there!
- Betsy Aoki, Senior Program Manager, Bing
© 2013 Microsoft