Thoughts on Brigadoon Sundance 2018 + That Left Turn

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Thoughts on Brigadoon Sundance 2018

The Weekly | Brigadoon
March 3, 2018
Curation and commentary from Marc A. Ross

Reporting from Alexandria, Virginia

The Weekly = Enterprise + Culture + Sport + Policy

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That Left Turn

For me, Brigadoon starts when I make that left turn.

Not when I depart the efficient SLC airport and walk across a few lanes of arrival and departure traffic and access my rental car with the quickness.

Not when I head south on I-15 and catch a glimpse of the magnificent Cottonwood Canyons and the awe-inspiring Wasatch Range to the east.

Not when I secure adult winter camp provisions from Harmon Grocery like a massive conversation inducing bag of movie time popcorn and proper tortilla chips that let you know you are no longer on the East Coast.

Not when you enter the spectacular Provo Canyon Road with mountain walls as high and as impressive as anything humanmade on Manhattan Island.

For me, Brigadoon starts when I make that left turn off Utah State Route 189 on to North Alpine Loop Scenic Byway.

As I work my way up the Scenic Byway, my cell service is less reliable, and I become more relaxed breathing in the brisk mountain air knowing full well I won't be bombarded with all forms of digital communications for a few days.

The trees overhang the mountain road like a Marine Corps Honor Guard performing the Arch of Sabers ensuring safe passage to all those work there way up to the special place that is Sundance Mountain Resort at the base of the otherworldly Mount Timpanogos. 

And, I must say, the 2018 edition of Brigadoon at Sundance felt to me to be the most special gathering we've had yet.

True, every year the quality of the attendees and the speakers keeps getting better and more robust. But this year's gathering for me had more energy, more emotion, and more enthusiasm.

Maybe I was more relaxed, more confident, and more committed.

Regardless, it doesn't matter why I feel Brigadoon Sundance 2018 was the most successful yet. 

All that matters is a diverse group of creative, curious, and compelling entrepreneurs and thought leaders for the sixth time decided to also, make that left turn. Ensuring we all could spend a few days sharing our diverse talents, have a conversation or three, exchange insights, and drive creativity.

Here are nineteen ideas and questions I picked up from this year's gathering: 

1. We all have blind spots, and they are a challenge to recognize because they are blind spots.

2. Nuclear bombs have impacted our comprehension of technology for good and bad as well as have altered the US Presidency forever.

3. The first week is easy, but do you have an answer to the second-week problem?

4. Should I be more canna-curious? (Probably) 

5. Mayor of Friendville is a spectacular title for a Country-Western song.

6. Businesses are being asked to take on more and more roles and tasks traditionally assigned to governments.

7. Every company is a data company.

8. Computers do not care about why. Humans are obsessed with why.

9. The future of leadership is an astronaut or a Jimmy Buffet song (natch).

10. Securing investors is not for the timid and leads to more questions than answers. Also, you need to find more and more investors that want to ask you those questions.

11. Iowa is first for a reason.

12. Parking garages need to be designed for multiple purposes to allow for short-term and long-term modern life applications.

13. The blockchain is legit and will disrupt rent seekers and vendible business models for the better.

14. James Beard is my spirit animal, and I must secure copies of Beard on Bread, Beard on Pasta, and Menus for Entertaining.

15. Organizations are woefully unprepared for the EU's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). 

16. Commit to be world-class from day one.

17. The brand is the story.

18. Support your local governments and mayors - they have a lot on their plates and keep our neighborhoods going.

19. Playing in the mountains is never commonplace. 

What did you pick up? 

What did I miss? 

For those that attend this year and those who have participated in the past, thank you. I am humbled by your support and commitment to this idea.

Please let me know how we can better serve this community and what tools you need to further propel your talents.



Thought leadership conferences target high-end travelers: Nowadays, luxury travel is all about discovering new frontiers. It's not just about expanding physical and geographic boundaries. The travel cognoscenti are "brain dating" around the world in order to stretch their minds.

The US is now buying more stretchy pants than blue jeans

NatGeo: Smart cities: Detroit, Michigan: Teeming with development, this comeback city unveils a wide range of fresh initiatives.

Bain fights back in the battle for MBA hires: FT reports, the head of recruitment on skills, talent — and why to choose consultancy over Big Tech.

Are driving bans coming for German cities? Der Spiegel reports, a court ruling could ban millions of diesel cars from German city centers, rendering the vehicles worthless. The federal government has considered responding with free public transportation and by forcing car manufacturers to submit to new requirements.


Skydio: The self-flying camera has arrived. Check out this promo video:


Be a professional: I am currently reading Steven Pressfield's Turning Pro

The book is laid out with vignettes to help us better understand the commitment necessary to pass from the amateur life to a professional practice. 

Pressfield believes when we decide to turn pro, we give up a life that we may have become extremely comfortable with. We give up a self that we have come to identify with and to call our own. 

The passage from amateur to professional is often achieved via an interior odyssey whose trials are survived only at great cost, emotionally, psychologically and spiritually. As a professional, we become who we always were but had, until then, been afraid to embrace and live out.

"You don't need to take a course or buy a product. All you have to do is change your mind." --Steven Pressfield. 


Cut from a Different Cloth: This doc provides a firsthand look at the unique collaboration between the fashion empire founders of Superdry and actor Idris Elba who launch a new clothing line. 

Superdry, based in commonplace Cheltenham‎, United Kingdom and not the fashion-forward Toyko, Japan - who knew?, combines vintage Americana styling with Japanese inspired graphics. It is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 250 Index. The global fashion brand generated over $800 million in revenue last year.

You can catch the doc on Netflix -

Thanks for reading and supporting this passion project. Feel free to send me an email with news, gossip, commentary, and restaurant tips - 


Marc A. Ross

Marc A. Ross is the founder of Brigadoon and specializes in global communications and thought leader management at the intersection of politics, policy, and profits. Working with boardrooms and C-Suite executives from multinational corporations, trade associations, and disruptive startups, Marc helps leaders create compelling communications, focused content, and engaging presentations.

Established in 2013, Brigadoon is the global community where creative, curious, and compelling entrepreneurs and thought leaders gather bringing together diverse talents to exchange insights and drive creativity.

Marc Ross

Based in Washington, DC, I specialize in thought leader communications and global public policy for public affairs professionals working at the intersection of globalization, disruption, and politics.

Clients hire me to ghostwrite, engage influencer networks, manage media relations, produce events, audit their communications infrastructure, consult on hiring, provide issue briefs and news generating talking points, as well as manage end to end communications projects where I assume a role of project leader and general contractor.

I work independently but provided access to a substantial global network of collaborators with expertise in websites, graphic design, audio, video, polling, data analytics, and research.

Using the latest tactics of an American political campaign with expertise shaped by being a practitioner of global business communications, I help clients tell their story and build trusted relationships with all necessary stakeholders.

Successful communications are all about STOCK = strategy, tactics, organization, consistency, and know-how.