for your inspiration: inaugural nantucket “ideas conference”

August 31st, 2011

The Nantucket Project is a new ‘ideas conference’ that has a refreshing take on the inspirational concept. The inaugural Nantucket Project conference will take place at the White Elephant hotel on Nantucket Island Friday, September 30 through Sunday, October 2nd, and will feature a unique format designed to promote heightened engagement.

The Nantucket Project’s inaugural theme is Re-Think. Over the course of the weekend 350 participants will be encouraged to re-think the status quo and explore change through talks led by eminent and accomplished visionaries, thinkers, business leaders and innovators. Topics will span from economics and medical science to sustainability and globalism.

A distinguishing hallmark of the Nantucket Project is the program’s dedication to creating an intimate participant experience. All participants will experience the exact same program, with scheduling designed to eliminate competing presentations in favor of fostering a cohesive collective conversation. Innovative hospitality, entertainment and creative performances will keep participants engaged and leave them inspired. Weekend passes start at $3200 per person, and include access to all Nantucket Project sessions and event meals. Special nightly rates at the White Elephant start at $365 per night for Nantucket Project ticket holders.

Created in partnership with Big Think, a global knowledge forum that creates significant, relevant and actionable content from its over 3000 leading experts, the Nantucket Project intends to become an annual event on Nantucket with the goal of expanding into a permanent Institute based on Nantucket.


Over 20 presenters will explore and expand on a range of topics during the first Nantucket Project program weekend. Presenters speaking include:

Rebecca Costa           Socio-biologist

Ed Crane                       Founder & President, Cato Institute

Stephen DeBerry      Founder Bronze Investments, Partner at Kapor Capital

Thomas DeLong        Professor, Harvard University Business School

Peter Diamandis        Chairman & CEO, X Prize

Rahm Emanuel          Mayor, Chicago, Illinois

Deborah Fallows       Author

James Fallows            Journalist

Henry Louis Gates    Professor, Harvard University

Mellody Hobson        President, Ariel Investments

Dean Kamen                Inventor

Sarah Kay                     Performance Poet

Eddie Lampert           Founder, ESL Investments

Jim Lasko                   Artistic Director, Redmoon

Richard Marcinko     Former Navy SEAL, Author

William McDonough           Architect, Author

Casey Neistat                         Filmmaker

Jay Parkinson MD     Founder, Hello Health & The Future Well

Kenneth Roman        Former Chairman & CEO of Ogilvy & Mather

Deb Roy                     Co-Founder, Bluefin Labs

Eric Schmidt               Executive Chairman, Google

Larry Summers         Professor, Harvard University

Julie Taymor              Director

Krista Tippett            Author, Broadcaster & Journalist

Craig Venter              Founder, Celera Genomics & the Institute for Genomic Research and the J. Craig Venter Institute

Bob Wright                Former Chairman & CEO NBC Universal, Founder, Autism Speaks


Nantucket Island, one of the most storied destinations in the United States, is the home of the Nantucket Project.  The White Elephant hotel, set on Nantucket’s Brant Point and steps from historic downtown, will serve as the epicenter of programming and hospitality for the Nantucket Project during the event weekend.  Special nightly rates at the White Elephant Hotel range from $365 per night for a guestroom to $990 per night for a three-bedroom cottage. The rate is valid for stays from September 30 – October 2 and a two-night minimum stay is required.

Founders & Founding Circle

Several individuals concerned about diversifying and sustaining Nantucket’s economy and offerings year-round came together to create the Nantucket Project. The project is co-founded by Tom Scott, founder of Nantucket Nectars, Plum Television, and Kate Brosnan, General Manager & Host of Plum Television, Nantucket. Prominent business and civic leaders on local, national and international levels have joined the Nantucket Project’s Founding Circle including: Bob Diamond (Chief Executive, Barclays), Jennifer Diamond, Steve Karp (Chief Executive Officer, New England Development), Jill Karp, Tim Mullen, Alicia Cannon Mullen, Wendy Schmidt, Emily Scott and Tom Bresette. These founding circle members have provided seed capital, direction and/or advisory guidance. Bob Wright, Suzanne Wright, Judy Seinfeld, Jim Broder, Maureen Hackett, Bob Nolan, Getty Rothenberg, Sean Moran, Gregg Renfrew, Tyler Wolfram, Brian O’Callahan, Bob Lord, Jim Lasko, Iain Shovlin are members of the advisory board to the Nantucket Project.


Limited to just 350 participants, individuals attending the Nantucket Project will bring a variety of perspectives to bear on the issues raised as the group’s make up ranges from entrepreneurs to corporate executives to educators to leaders of companies and of non-profit organizations. Individuals who have registered during the Project’s advance registration period are designated Founding Participants, which affords them priority participation status for future Nantucket Project events. The Nantucket Project Fellows program has been created to help subsidize attendance and participation in the event for individuals who could not otherwise financially afford to participate.  Several organizations and individuals have endowed fellowship positions including the Inquirer & Mirror, Judy Seinfeld, Bob & Jennifer Diamond, Tim & Alicia Cannon Mullen and Tom & Emily Scott.


Event partners and sponsors for the inaugural year include Bing, Bloomberg media, Inquirer & Mirror, Nantucket Today, Plum media and the White Elephant Hotel/Nantucket Island Resorts.

Detailed information on the event, including registration and program schedules is available at

About the Nantucket Project

Based on Nantucket, Massachusetts, the Nantucket Project is the Island’s first ideas conference. Several years in the making, the event is co-founded by Tom Scott & Kate Brosnan. Launching in September is the Nantucket Project’s first program weekend at the White Elephant Hotel from Friday September 30 to Sunday October 2nd.  For more information about the Nantucket Project, visit


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