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Dent is coming back to Sun Valley, ID March 22-25th 2015. Check out the schedule of sessions and activities below:

March 22nd

10:00 am

Activity Day

The Dent Activity day features skiing, wine tasting, and other great group activities with your fellow Denters in Sun Valley, ID.

March 23rd

10:00 am

Trust & Ethics in Journalism: A Conversation With Craig Newmark

Speakers: Craig Newmark , Amy Webb

American journalism is such an important actor in our democracy that it is often called "The Fourth Estate." It's no secret that this industry is in flux, and in an era of such rapid change it's important to understand what aspects of the news business have given it this role, so that we don't neuter it in the name of innovation. 

As a member of the board at The Poynter Institute, Columbia Journalism Review, The Center for Public Integrity, and the Sunlight Foundation, it's an understatement to say that Craig is an interested news consumer. 

In this session, Craig will join us for a fireside chat interview to discuss from his perspective as a nerd, as the founder of craigslist and craigconnects, and as a news-reading citizen, the opportunities and challenges faced by organizations and journalists hoping to run a business delivering unbiased and trusted news. 

11:00 am

From Scrappy to Scale: Management Tips for Entrepreneurs at Growing Companies

Speakers: Sarah Milstein

"Management" is the stuff taught in business school and for people running Fortune 500 companies with big teams and thousands of employees. But entrepreneurs need to begin managing their companies well before they're public, and many founders struggle with the transition.

Sarah Milstein, CEO and co-founder, with Eric Ries, of Lean Startup Productions, will share her insights into the process of learning to manage a company as it grows from a startup into a mature organization.

11:30 am

Understanding Insight: Humor, Inspiration, and The Creative Process

A "flash of insight" can lead to all kinds of things: a breakthrough product idea, a time-traveling flux-capacitor, or even a cartoon. LA Times Editorial Cartoonist and Columnist David Horsey is no stranger to the creative process. With more than thirty years of writing and cartooning---and two Pulitzer Prizes---under his belt, he has learned to consistently strike the right balance of novelty, insight, and entertainment. 

Seattle Times Columnist Monica Guzman will join David on stage to conduct an interview about his creative habits: what routines, sources of inspiration, processes, and practices have led to his Pulitzer prize-winning work.

01:30 pm

In House: Practical Solutions for Managing a Virtual Team

Speakers: Cheryl Contee

Apple's fierce insistence on keeping things "in house"--from their operating system to their hardware and even, to some extent, their supply chain--has underlined over the past decade how important it is to own your "core competencies" when you're attempting to dent the universe. But having talent "in house" no longer needs to mean in the same building, which introduces new challenges in building culture and camaraderie (but not, usually, in recruiting).

Cheryl Contee, the Co-Founder of Fission Strategy,, both of which have a small team of employees scattered around the world, will join us on stage to discuss the techniques you can use to successfully create strong culture, loyalty, and interconnection in a virtual team. 

02:30 pm

Personal Mission, Personal Challenges: An Interview with David Risher

David Risher is the founder of the nonprofit organization Worldreader, an organization dedicated to bringing digital books (and therefore reading) to every child on the planet. David doesn't have to do this; he's been successful in business twice, first as an executive at Microsoft and later as an Amazon's first Vice President of Product and Store Development.

In this session, Paul Shoemaker, Executive Connector at Social Venture Partners and author of the upcoming book "Can't Not Do," will discuss the formation of Worldreader, the motivations behind it, the challenges David has faced personally, how he has tackled them personally and organizationally, and the reasons why Worldreader is what David can't not do. 

03:00 pm

Associative Fluency: The Intersections of Art, Sports, Law, and Innovation

Steve Jobs once said, “Creativity is just having enough dots to connect.” With the diversity of professional experience that Binta Niambi Brown has accumulated, she may well have more “dots” than anyone her age. As a bass player, an advisor to Hillary Clinton and Andrew Cuomo, an Angel investor, a strategic business advisor, a former partner at a law firm, and doubtless other escapades that didn't make the cut for her bio, she is perhaps perfectly positioned to share the benefits of broad experience. 

What can artists learn from professional sports teams? What can big, lumbering businesses learn from their own history? In this fireside chat interview, Christina Wallace, the director of BridgeUp, a new program at the American Museum of Natural History focused on girls in STEM, will interview Binta Brown on how disparate industries can learn from each other, and what you can learn from working in (or studying) wildly different fields.

March 24th

10:00 am

Using All Four Burners: How to Find Professional and Personal Success

Author David Sedaris coined the "Four Burners" theory: in his analysis, a four-burner oven represents your family, your friends, your health, and your work. To be successful in any one arena you have to “shut off a burner”, and to be really successful you have to shut off two.

Is this true? Or can smart optimization of time and obligations allow for success in 3 or 4 arenas? In this unique fireside chat, Dr. Julie Kientz and Dr. Shwetak Patel, both independently selected for MIT's Innovators under 35 in separate fields of work, will both join us on stage as a pair of married professionals, to share their tips and strategies for time management, seeking and evaluating opportunities, and how their experience as professors has helped them navigate entrepreneurial waters.

10:45 am

Steve Jobs' Reading List: Reflections from Daniel Kottke

In the early '70s, Reed freshmen Daniel Kottke and Steve Jobs connected in the college bookstore, both drawn to a copy of Ram Dass' "Be Here Now." This book became the cornerstone of a reading journey that spanned years, continents, and pieces of history as Steve and Dan shared copies of texts exploring science, enlightenment, ancient wisdom, and more.

The lessons of these books – some which Steve read annually over the course of his life – shaped both Steve's trajectory and Dan's own life experience. In this session, Ellen Petry Leanse, an early Apple evangelist, will interview Dan about the books he shared with Steve from their early Reed days through the launch of Apple.

01:30 pm

Big Impact, Small Budget: Unreasonably Effective Ways to build and market with Smarter Asks

Speakers: Ron J. Williams

It’s common knowledge that small upstart firms (“Davids”) have the capacity to disrupt “Goliath” incumbents, but it takes more than just an ability to innovate, pivot and adapt to win the disruption game. In the tech world of power-law (winner takes all) distributions, it’s critical that small players make big impacts in order to survive and thrive. 

Resource constraints are a real challenge. Whether you're running a startup, a skunkworks project, a nonprofit, or even leading a project at a large company, you'll never get a blank check. (If you do, let's chat...) Given that, the key is to optimize marketing, staffing, engineering, and cash flow. 

Entrepreneur Ron Williams has spent years mapping and understanding networks, and will join us on stage to share his hacks for "the little guy" -- what techniques, tools, and services, can make the difference between success and failure. 

02:00 pm

The Anatomy of Disruption

Speakers: Nela Richardson

When you look at the companies today who have shaken up their respective industries (AirBnB, Uber, Kickstarter, Redfin, Amazon, Netflix, etc.) they all have one thing in common: their business models are firmly grounded in traditional microeconomic thinking and principles. 

When competitive advantage can be gained (or lost) by understanding things like “asymmetric information” or "principal-agent problems” or “artificial scarcity” or “Vickrey auctions,” it makes sense for organizations to hire Chief Economists. Redfin lured Nela Richardson away from Bloomberg Government to join the organization in that role. And Redfin isn’t alone. These days, companies like Google, Valve and Microsoft have all brought in chief economists because economic thinking can assist in everything from grand strategy to marketing tactics.  

In this fireside chat, Nela Richardson, Chief Economist for Redfin, will discuss how economic analysis differs from traditional business thinking — and how the tools economists use can determine markets that are ripe for disruption. Along the way, Richardson will also address the practical use of econometrics: how data, apps and services can create predictive models and guide editorial development, and why many companies are choosing to take a “full-stack” Apple-inspired approach to their markets.

03:45 pm

Lessons From a Consulting Detective

Speakers: Mark Duncan

At our first Dent gathering in 2013, Maria Konnikova, author of "Mastermind: How to Think Like Sherlock Holmes" discussed how mindfulness and focus can enhance creativity and problem-solving.

For 2015, we will expand on that theme by bringing in Mark Duncan, a real-word Sherlock Holmes. For the last six years Mark (a "retired" police detective) has been sought after by numerous police departments on a contract basis to help them solve a number of cold-case homicides that have defied conventional resolution.

Over his 36 years of experience in law enforcement Mark has developed a variety of effective techniques for interviewing suspects and witnesses, as well as for reading subtleties in the evidence. Unlike the abrasive style the fictional Holmes takes, Mark's approach is focused on reading his subject in order to build rapport and affinity. 

In this fireside chat Mark will discuss real-world/everyday applications of the tools, techniques, strategies and tactics he uses on the job to weed out deception, drive revelation, and to steer behavior. 

05:00 pm

Dent Unconference Sessions hosted at SCOTTeVEST

An hour and a half of first-come first-served unconference sessions open to everyone in the Dent community, and hosted at SCOTTeVEST HQ in downtown Ketchum.