Edge Dinners 1998 - 2013


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Ginevra Elkann e Carlo Antonelli
hanno il piacere di invitarla all'
Edge Dinner 
in onore di John Brockman, J. Craig Venter e Brian Eno 
martedi 10 Luglio
ore 19.30 aperitivo

ore 20.30 cena
Ristorante Del Cambio  Piazza Carignano, 2  – Torino

After Dinner Talk:
J. Craig Venter"Biology At The Speed Of Light" 


Ginevra Elkann, Film Producer, Asmara Films; President, Pinacoteca Giovanni e Marella Agnelli
Carlo Antonelli, Editor in Chief, Wired Magazine, Italy


Massimo Banzi, Co-founder, Arduino Project
Gabriele Beccaria, Editor, Tutto Scienza, science supplement of La Stampa
Tommaso Bertani, DJ
Vittorio Bo, Director, Genoa Science Festival; Codice Publishing
John Brockman, Publisher & Editor, Edge.org; CEO, Brockman, Inc.; Author.
Mario Calabresi, Italian Journalist and Author; Director, La Stampa
Andrea Cane, Publishing Director, Trade Division, De Agostini Editore
Max Casacci, Guitarist, Producer
Franca De D'Agostini, Philosopher, University of Turin & University of Milan 
Alain Elkann, Novelist, Journalist; President, Egyptian Museum of Turin; Director of Cultural Programs, Italian Television
Brian Eno, Artist; Composer; Recording Producer: U2, Coldplay, Talking Heads, Paul Simon; Recording Artist
Lara Favaretto, Artist
Marco Gilli, Director Politecnico di Torino; Professor, Department of Electronics and Telecommunication
Jennifer Jacquet Researcher, NYU, studying the effect of honor and shame on cooperation
Heather Kowalski, Communications Consultant, J. Craig Venter Institute
Arto Lindsay, Pop Musician, Audio Provocateur, Producer
Katinka Matson, Artist; Literary Agent; President, Brockman, Inc.; Co-Founder, Edge.org
Marzia Migliora, Artist
Martina Mondadori, Publisher, Tar magazine; Non-Executive Member, Board of Directors, Momdadori
Franco Noero, Galleria Franco Noero 
Marcella Pralormo, Director, Pinacoteca Agnelli
Gaetano Prisciantelli, Journalist, Il Venredi, La Rebbublica
Patrizia Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Director, Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo
Tadjbakhsh Shahriar, COO, EXOR; Former Director, Goldman Sachs, Paris
Gianluigi Ricuperati, Writer and Essayist, La Repubblica 
Scarlett Rouge, Artist
J Craig Venter, Genomics Researcher; Synthetic Genomics, Inc.; J. Craig Venter Institute; Author, A Life Decoded



"The dinner party was a microcosm of a newly dominant sector of American business. "
— Gary Wolf, Wired

[Photos by Nathan Myhrvold]



In a 2009 talk at the Bristol Festival of Ideas, Freeman Dyson articulated a vision for the future. Referencing The Age Of Wonder, by Richard Holmes, which was centered on chemistry and poetry, Dyson pointed out that we are entering a new Age of Wonder, which dominated by computational biology. 

"A new generation of artists," Dyson said, "writing genomes as fluently as Blake and Byron wrote verses, might create an abundance of new flowers and fruit and trees and birds to enrich the ecology of our planet. Most of these artists would be amateurs, but they would be in close touch with science, like the poets of the earlier Age of Wonder. The new Age of Wonder might bring together wealthy entrepreneurs ... and a worldwide community of gardeners and farmers and breeders, working together to make the planet beautiful as well as fertile, hospitable to hummingbirds as well as to humans." 

The leaders of the new Age of Wonder, Dyson noted, include "biology wizards" Kary MullisCraig Venter, medical engineer Dean Kamen; and "computer wizards" Larry Page, Sergey Brin, and Charles Simonyi, and  John Brockman and Katinka Matson, the cofounders of Edge, the nexus of this intellectual activity.



"The crowd was sprinkled generously with those who had amassed wealth beyond imagining in a historical eye blink."
— Kara Swisher, Wall Street Journal 

The "Billionaires' Dinner" at TED: Readjusted for the 2009 Econalyspe
February 9, 2009
By Kara Swisher

Many years ago in the midst of the Web 1.0 boom, when working as a reporter for The Wall Street Journal,BoomTown redubbed an annual dinner that book agent John Brockman threw ... called the "Millionaires' Dinner," but I renamed it the "Billionaires' Dinner."That was due to the frothy fortunes that had been made at the time by the Internet pioneers, from Amazon to AOL to eBay. Well, despite the economic meltdown, there were still a lot of billionaires in attendance at Brockman's most recent dinner last Thursday in Long Beach.

Indeed, Brockman now calls the event the "Edge Dinner," after his lively Edge Web site, where he presides over a variety of eclectic online debates and discussions (in January, for example, the topic was: "DOES THE EMPIRICAL NATURE OF SCIENCE CONTRADICT THE REVELATORY NATURE OF FAITH?").

Since I managed to miss the fete entirely (embarrassing confession: I fell dead asleep at 7 p.m. and did not wake until the next morning) and could not chronicle it, Brockman allowed me to post some photos from the event taken by him and by former Microsoft research guru and current intellectual property mogul Nathan Myhrvold.



"The crowd was sprinkled generously with those who had amassed wealth beyond imagining in a historical eye blink." — The Wall Street Journal



"This goes beyond all known schmoozing. This is like some kind of virtual-intellectual conspiracy-in-restraint-of-trade."
Bruce Sterling



"The dinner party was a microcosm of a newly dominant sector of American business." — Wired



Laws of attraction in action
January 31, 2006

This year's Scientists Meet the Media gathering at the Royal Society showed that boffins know how to party, too. Nic Fleming reports

The heady mix of scholarly gossip and highbrow chitchat was also enriched by the contributions of Nature, Science and New Scientist writers, the authors Dr Matt Ridley and Sanjida O'Connell, the New York agent John Brockman, Craig Venter, the legendary American "bad boy" of genomics, the zoological sex therapist Dr Tatiana (Olivia Judson), the mutant expert Armand Leroi and the Sky TV meteorologist, Lisa Burke.



"This goes beyond all known schmoozing. 
This is like some kind of virtual-intellectual conspiracy-in-restraint-of-trade."
— Bruce Sterling, "Third Culture Schmoozing"

"The dinner party was a microcosm of a newly dominant sector of American business." — Wired

There's no such thing as a free lunch, or a free Billionaires' Dinner.

Ariane de Bonvoisin - Daniel Gilbert - Eva Wisten?(En route to The Billionaires' Dinner - 2004)


This media life
My Dinner with Rupert

How do you get the king of all media to break bread with you when — truth be told — you've often said unkind things about him? Michael Wolff on his precious moments with the gossipy mogul.

By Michael Wolff

In an unlikely turn of events — and thanks to some shameless maneuvering to achieve (and protect) proximity — our Murdoch-deconstructing media columnist breaks bread with the man himself.

Rupert kept talking. He grew more expansive, more conspiratorial, even (although it did seem like he'd conspire with anyone), his commentary more intimate. We proposed that he come with us to the dinner we were scheduled to go to — John Brockman's Billionaire's dinner, a TED ritual......

"The TED Conference: 3 Days in the Future"
By Patricia Leigh Brown
February 28, 2002
(free registration required)

MONTEREY, Calif., Feb. 23 — What preternatural power can prompt Rupert Murdoch, Jeffrey Katzenberg, Richard Dawkins, Neil Simon, Art Buchwald, Frank Gehry and Quincy Jones to sit for hours in a hot room contemplating the nano-sized split ends on gecko toes? ...

...Where else but at TED would Mr. Katzenberg, standing Armani-deep in sawdust with Spirit, his stallion and the namesake of his new animated film, be upstaged by Rex, a biologically inspired robot with springy legs and gecko-like feet capable of navigating the outer reaches of the Amazon — specifically, the leg of the Amazon.com founder, Jeff Bezos, a longtime Tedster?

It can get deep. Very deep. Steven Pinker, the eminent cognitive psychologist, found himself deep in conversation with the singer Naomi Judd about the role of the amygdala, the part of the brain that colors memory with emotion; something, he aptly noted, "that would not happen at the meeting of the Cognitive Neuroscience Society."

It happened here one night last week over chicken and polenta at the annual private dinner, given by the New York literary agent John Brockman, formerly called the Millionaires' and Billionaires' Dinner after the rich techies who traditionally flocked to TED. There were still a few members of that endangered species scattered about, among them Nathan Myhrvold, the retired Microsoft chief technology officer, who gave an electrifying discourse at the 1997 TED about dinosaur sex. .....


February 2000: "A few TEDs ago, John Brockman began hosting an annual Millionaires' Dinner in honor of his acquaintances at the conference whose net worth exceeded seven figures. But rising equity values prompted Brockman to rename his party the Billionaires' Dinner. Last year, Steve Case, Jeff Bezos, and Nathan Myhrvold joined such comparatively impoverished multimillionaires as Barnes & Noble's Steve Riggio, EarthLink's Sky Dayton, and Marimba's Kim Polese. The dinner party was a microcosm of a newly dominant sector of American business." — Gary Wolf, Wired

January 8, 2001: "These days, it's open season on the Web. Where that will take us now is anybody's guess, but it won't be back to headier times, says John Brockman, a New York literary agent who became known in Silicon Valley over the past several years for throwing an annual "Billionaires Dinner".....He wants to change the name of the event. "This year," he says. "It's the 'Joy of the Ordinary Income Dinner.' .....Bon appetit and pass the Rolaids." — Kara Swisher, The Wall Street Journal



"Boom Town: At the Growing Billionaires' Dinner, Tech Stars Move to Grown-Ups' Table" — Kara Swisher, The Wall Street Journal

"Bond Trading: At TED, the new-media version of a Mafia wedding, you rub elbows with the dons and capos of the Internet world and become an instant member of the family." — Michael Wolff, New York