Walking into the Unknown, Good Vibes are Contagious, Living Fearlessly, Showrun

Brigadoon Weekly March 2019.png

Walking into the Unknown, Good Vibes are Contagious, Living Fearlessly, Showrun

Brigadoon Weekly
March 24, 2019
Curation and commentary from 
Marc A. Ross

Reporting from Alexandria, Virginia 

Brigadoon Weekly  = Emerging Issues Shaping Commerce + Culture


Photo Feb 23, 12 17 41 PM.jpg

Photo credit: Mike St. Clair

Taking a step forward isn't easy, but it is wonderful

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?

Brigadoon is going back to Motown

We will gather for a special dinner and discussion at the Shinola Hotel's San Morello restaurant on Thursday, October 3 and enjoy a morning tour of the College of Creative Studies (CCS) on Friday, October 4.

Two inside bits about this gathering.

During my vagabond gap year of universities studies, I submitted a portfolio to seek admission as a student of the College of Creative Studies. I was told politely to take my talents elsewhere.

And already 25% of the tickets have been sold for the dinner.

So, if you want to spend some QT in my hometown and help me get into CCS, book your spot - here.


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.


Good vibes are contagious: The science all points toward the same basic truth, we are mirrors reflecting onto each other. The people we surround ourselves with shape us, and we shape those around us, too. The implications of this truth are important and actionable. http://bit.ly/2U2taml 

Future shock: inside Google’s smart city: Plans to build a tech-fired Utopia in Toronto are gaining momentum — as privacy fears grow. https://on.ft.com/2U6AQUp

A creative director explains color psychology in movie poster designs: Indika Entertainment’s creative director James Verdesoto has teamed up once again with Vanity Fair to spotlight movie poster design, this time focusing on color psychology.  Verdesoto, who is the artist behind the iconic posters of Pulp Fiction, Ocean’s Eleven and Girl, Interrupted, explains the use of certain hues in specific genres, while referencing various film titles as examples. http://bit.ly/2JCRyH3

From its new $38-million home, can radio tastemaker KCRW adapt to a podcast world? https://lat.ms/2JBj3AG

BTW, if you don't listen to KCRW, you are doing it wrong.

Inside the secretly effective–and underrated–way Netflix keeps its shows and movies at the forefront of pop culture: How the streaming giant presents itself as a TV and movie super fan and uses meme-able, self-aware social media content to keep us watching more. http://bit.ly/2JCeExE


Brigadoon Radio: Episode 3: Number 7: Record at Pinehaven House at Sundance Mountain Resort, Brendan Kownacki speaks with Brigadoon Founder Marc A. Ross at the start of Brigadoon Sundance 2019.

The interview covers expectations for the 2019 gathering, the vision of Brigadoon, and what makes this project so special for participants.

Brigadoon Radio: Episode 4: Living Fearlessly: Record at the lounge inside the Robert Redford Center at Sundance Mountain Resort, Brendan Kownacki speaks with Kelsey Durkin during Brigadoon Sundance 2019.

Kelsey is a 2x Brigadoon Sundance participant and for 2019 joined the main stage to lead a discussion on "Living Fearlessly."

Kelsey is a writer and comedian and you can find her at the Keep On podcast.

You can listen - here.


a16z Podcast: For the billions of creatives out there: The writer-showrunner is a relatively new phenomenon in TV, as opposed to film, which is still a director-driven enterprise. But what does it mean, as both a creative and a leader, to “showrun” something, whether a TV show… or a startup? Turns out, there are a lot of parallels with the rise of the showrunner and the rise of founder-CEOs, all working (or partnering) within legacy systems. But in the day to day details, really “owning” and showunning something — while also having others participate in it and help bring it to life — involves doing the work, both inside and out. This episode of the a16z Podcast features Billions co-showrunner Brian Koppelman — who also co-wrote movies such as Rounders and Ocean’s 13 with his longtime creative partner David Levien — in conversation with Marc Andreessen (and Sonal Chokshi). http://bit.ly/2JAE9zl 


The age of artificial intelligence:


HT Human-Centered AI Institute @ Stanford University.

You can see the full infographic - here.


The First Big Weekend by Arab Strap Listen - here.

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.