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Sun Valley: Bill Gates, Phil Knight, Gen. Lori Robinson to Address Moguls (EXCLUSIVE)

Variety logo Variety 7/12/2017 Brent Lang
© Provided by Variety

Some of the top media and technology chiefs are getting a crash course in economics, philanthropy, and the opioid crisis at Allen & Co.’s annual conference in Sun Valley, Idaho.

The gathering is put on by the investment bank and is closed to press. It attracts an impressive array of moguls. Warren Buffett, CBS CEO Leslie Moonves, Snap Chairman Michael Lynton, Viacom Vice Chairman Shari Redstone, and Discovery CEO David Zaslav are among the bold-faced names who have flocked to the resort.

According to an itinerary obtained by Variety, the gathering will include panel discussions on the state of the economy, the political divide in America, the drug epidemic, and scientific breakthroughs. Bill Gates, the former Microsoft head who has devoted himself to healthcare and poverty reduction through the Bill & Melinda Gates foundation is expected to speak on philanthropy.

Other speakers include Nike co-founder Phil Knight, Colombia President Juan Manuel Santos, King Abdullah II of Jordan, and General Lori Robinson, who oversees North American Aerospace Defense Command and U.S. Northern Command.

There will likely be other surprise guests and panel discussions throughout the week. Past gatherings have included talks from the likes of Argentina President Mauricio Macri, Canada Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and former Secretary of Defense Ash Carter.

Most of the media attention around the event focuses on the dealmaking that takes place in between the talks. Many mergers and acquisitions have been hatched in the mountainside resort, including Time Warner’s union with AOL, Jeff Bezos’ purchase of the Washington Post, and Comcast’s acquisition of NBCUniversal.

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