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Summit Holds Leadership and Innovation Conference on Powder Mountain

26 July 2013
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Last weekend Summit hosted their annual BIG EVENT.  The Summit Series, this time called "Summit Outside".  Summit Outside was a massive event put on by a team who's goal  is to create a platform and a community that fosters collaboration and amplifies the positive impact of global leaders and innovators. Instead of renting a cruise ship for their guests, as they did in year's past, this year Summit outdid themselves this year by buying all the dirt underfoot before the bash... In fact, they bought the entire mountain.   Powder Mountain that is, all 7000 acres of it!

 "Make no small plans" is one of the inspirational motives of the group who rolled into the Ogden Valley just over a year ago and who have begun to make quite an impact in the community.  So far their core group has grown from 15 to over 50, they employ a wide range of locals in supportive roles, and for a select few they've been invited to participate in their very exclusive events.  In the process Summit has connected with various local non-profits, Ogden City, Weber County, Weber State University, and other community members.  You name it, the crew at Summit has made their presence known in a very short period of time and based on what we saw happening at the top of Pow Mow this weekend, this is just the start of a new relationship between Summit and the community that will seen and felt on many levels.

What is Summit you ask?  That's hard to put your finger on.  It's an entrepreneurs and visionary network, it's a real estate deal, it's a series of community building events, it's something that we all wish we had thought of and were able to pull off.  But yes, it takes a team and that's what Summit really is.  They're an energetic and inspired team of young people coming together to raise a collective consciousness and attempt to make a difference in this world.  Can they do it?  We think so.  Call it what you will, illuminati, dedication,  pop-elite A-listers,  Summit is a bit of all that and quite a bit more.  The dedicated core Summit Team provides the incredible horsepower required for hosting and curating some of the most enlightening, thoughtful and hip events being produced anywhere.  And now they've come to Ogden.

This weekend's Summit Outside was no exception.

Summit Outside, the first-ever annual innovation and leadership event held on Powder Mountain, came to a close. The three-day event convened 850 entrepreneurs, nonprofit leaders, scientists, musicians, and academics from across the globe.

Summit Outside pumped nearly $2 million into the economies of Weber County and the state of Utah, while raising nearly $100,000 for local non-profits, including the Weber School Foundation, Ogden Valley Land Trust, Weber Pathways, and the Weber County Fire Officers Association.

"For years, Summit has offered immeasurable help to the UN, generating more than 100 relationships that have benefited issues ranging from global health to human rights," said Elizabeth Gore, resident entrepreneur at the United Nations Foundation. "Summit even helped us conceive of the Global Entrepreneurship Council, which is becoming a model that governments and NGOs are adopting for the engagement of entrepreneurs. To see this first event at Powder Mountain is a sign of great things to come."

The topics of discussion at the event covered a range of issues from conservation, education, health and technology, and many others.

The Nature Conservancy CEO Mark Tercek led a discussion called "Nature's Fortune: How Business and Society Thrive by Investing in Nature," which explored how a collaborative and investment-oriented approach to environmental challenges leads to more people on the side of nature, more financial resources for conservation, and a better dialogue between environmentalists and everyone else.

The discussion titled "The University is Dead, Long Live the University" addressed the need for innovation in post-secondary education. The problems: US student loan defaults are at a historic highs; the percentage of recent graduates that are underemployed or jobless exceeds 50 percent in some national surveys; and the cost of conventional college and post-graduate programs have been ballooning faster than inflation. Solutions were discussed with education start-up founders Dr. Daphne Koller of Coursea and Jeremy Johnson of 2U and Rob Hutter, managing partner of ed-tech fund Learn Capital.

US Congressman Raul Ruiz and CEO of the NAACP led a discussion with NPR's Guy Raz called "Black, Brown, Yellow, White: The Future Face of America," which explored the fact that 15% of new marriages in the US are interracial and the country is more multicultural and multiracial than ever before.

There were musical performances by Jon Batiste, Big Boi, and LP, among others.

In addition to the national and international guests, the Utah presence at the event featured many local entrepreneurs in attendance including leaders and executives from The Utah Film Center, Weber State University, University of Utah, Zefr, Silicon Slopes, the Standard-Examiner, Levinthal Capital, and county and state officials.

The Ogden Astronomical Society led stargazing, the Weber State Football team was hired to help with the build out, and dozens of local vendors from Diamond Peak to Red Cliff Ranch participated.

The animal rescue center Pack and Pounce created a puppy pen for attendees to adopt stray puppies that would have otherwise been put down. Nine puppies were adopted and saved. The raptor nonprofit Earthwings released two rehabilitated birds of prey back into the wild.

"I am amazed at the organization and attention to detail from the event," said Ogden Mayor Mike Caldwell. "I have heard it said this was one of the most unique gatherings since the Olympics and I would agree. I appreciate Summit's sensitivity to this unique environment and partnership with the community. Amazing things will result from us all working together and I really look forward to the future."

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