Inspired by our clients and partners, and fueled by our own participation in Jeffersonian dinners and memorable evenings at TED, we wanted to invite smart people around a table to talk about one thing over dinner. So in 2017 the iF Salon was born.
The purpose of the invitation-only dinners is to provoke deeper conversation and create new connections. Topics are broad but share a common characteristic: a thorny, unsolved problem. Evenings are fun, challenging, and always contain a few surprises.
If you would like to partner with us to develop and host an iF Salon, please contact us at email@example.com.
Read on for a sampler of our past Salon dinners.
The Fight for Truth
We brought together politicians, people from the media, and tech entrepreneurs to explore the ramifications of technology that can mimic people’s faces and voices. During our lively discussion, we considered what this might mean for the future of information dissemination, and mused about who will hold messaging power in the future. Attendees came from the State of Washington, Intellectual Ventures, and Dreambox Learning, among others.
The Future of Food
Farmers, agriculture experts, and technologists discussed alternative proteins, modern agriculture, and the food system. We wondered what it would take to move the masses away from resource-intensive meats, and discussed the global impact of crop losses. Attendees included leaders at the Global Child Nutrition Foundation, Full Circle Farms, the WSU Bread Lab, BMGI, and EarthLab.
We invited game designers, educators, and professional players to work through whether playing games can create lasting social and behavior change. We discussed the challenge of social game design and the promise of democratization of tools. An enthusiastic group of people connected with each other that night, representing companies like ThinkFun, Forrest-Pruzan, Gencon, Microsoft, Ravensburger, Blue Canoe, and Wizards of the coast.
Experiential designers, writers, and artists considered the elements that are necessary to draw Millennial and GenZ audiences out of their homes and into real-life experiences. How should event designers adjust their spaces for an increasingly socially isolated group that craves meaningful moments? We debated the merits and perils of connection in both online and offline spaces. Attendees came from True Brands, Vera Project, RoundGlass, Starbucks and Reality Break Escapes.
United States of Philanthropy
We considered how consumer and foundation charitable giving is filling the gap for what has traditionally been the responsibility of local, state, and the federal government. A spirited debate took place around this table, with more conversations to follow. Participants came from the Group Health Foundation, UW Evans School, Gates Foundation, Seattle Foundation, New Beginnings, and the Clean Energy Transition.
In a series of 3 salon dinners (Seattle, San Francisco, New York), we discussed how to develop strategies to be more inclusive so that employees and partners become champions of the vision. Our far-reaching conversation covered the role of boards and company culture, mission statements, and the willingness to fail. We wondered how to get past fear, which can be a huge blocker for strategy implementation. Attendees shared success stories and traded tactics for future strategy development. Participants included leaders from Sellen Construction, KUOW, Microsoft, Viacom, Amex, IDEO, and the Gates Foundation.
Mission-Driven Companies: Risks & Rewards
The next series of salons, which will be held in the second half of 2019, will delve into whether mission-driven companies are more enduring and profitable than profit-driven ones.