Ultimate Unknown + What I Learned at Brigadoon Sundance 2019


With a Brigadoon gathering, you really never know what you are walking into.

Sure there is an agenda and a speaker or two. A location, a room, and a meal or two. Smart participants certainly and a PowerPoint-free format.

But you don't know what will transpire. What ideas will be created? What conversations will occur? What will make an impact and change your perspective?

Walking into the unknown, getting out of your comfort zone, and taking a step forward isn't easy, but it is wonderful.

Organizing Brigadoon Sundance is the ultimate unknown.

From year to year, I have no idea who will attend or who will speak.

I have no idea if I have selected the right speakers and curated the right emerging issues shaping commerce and culture.

Having the trust of the audience, feedback from past participants and the ever growing quality of the speakers has sustained me to step forward and keep this project going.

With less than a year to go, Brigadoon Sundance 2020 will be the eighth edition of this conference that isn't' a conference.

As the formal planning and thinking for the eighth edition begins in earnest today, here are 12 things I learned from the seventh edition:

1. Selling art and luxury is the highest form of behavioral economics.

2. Holding statements and key phrases can be the difference between success and failure.

3. Homophily.

4. If ... Then ... Else.

5. "Your kids will never get lost."

6. "Lean into the pain."

7. Purpose over pleasure.

8. Embrace curiosity.

9. Find and foster community.

10. Backlash over companies becoming too human while becoming communities.

11. "Dolphin Tank."

12. Cheap answers led to expensive questions.

What did you learn?

What should be discussed at the eighth edition?


Marc A. Ross is the founder of Brigadoon and specializes in thought leader strategy and global public policy for senior executives working at the intersection of globalization, disruption, and politics.

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.