9 Innovators to Watch: Deo Niyizonkiza
School ties: Academia meets entrepreneurs

This week we are proud to introduce you to Jeff Rosenthal who is part of our 9 to Watch series – a set of interviews that highlights 9 incredible innovators from around the world.

Photo courtesy of Jeff Rosenthal
Photo courtesy of Jeff Rosenthal

If you ask Jeff Rosenthal’s friends and collaborators about the Summit experience, they will say that he always over-promises and then over-delivers.

Once again, he and the Summit team have delivered. Summit Series is a salon-type community of artists, entrepreneurs, nonprofit leaders and scientists that has grown exponentially since its first 19-person gathering six years ago. A phenomenal new level of scale was achieved last May when Summit acquired Powder Mountain, a 10,000 acre ski resort in Eden, Utah and a fine match for Summit’s impact.

Jeff is involved in most aspects of Summit’s work and has a broad perspective. “The long and short of it is that we’re building what we hope will be the coolest town in the world. And it’s centered around the ideas of open-mindedness, creativity, innovation and kindness. That’s really what we’re all about.”

If this isn’t all exciting enough, Summit and UNICEF are launching a fellowship program in just a few months. They’ve done a lot of thinking, and had some tough conversations, about the best way to ensure that there’s real value and meaning for everyone involved. One major contribution is a database of about a hundred truly amazing individuals, and their respective skill sets, to be available to UNICEF country offices all the time, for any issue they may have. Longer engagements will also be structured for entrepreneurs in-country if there is an issue that could use their specific expertise.

WATCH Jeff as he inspires, builds relationships and grows the global friendship economy from a mountain in Utah.

Jeff Rosenthal explains how networks are fundamentally shifting in the digital age:

“Our friend Eric Weinstein, a theoretical physicist who now runs Thiel Capital, had a really great take on this. He said that there are three singularities: a digital, a robotic and a social. The most interesting one for him at the moment is the social singularity because it is happening right now. Twenty years ago, and even beyond, if you met 10 exceptional people in your lifetime you would hold onto them for dear life and they would be the most inspirational people you would ever meet. Now, due to our inter-connectivity and things like Summit, we are passing our Dunbar’s number of the unbelievable people we can even maintain in our lives. And you know who the person you’ll meet next is, because enough people are telling you that you need to meet this person. So the network effect of community is really speeding up our ability to connect with one another, make friendships, build projects together, and it’s going to have an exponential impact on the work that we’re going to do together as a generation.”


Check out the full 9 to Watch series here



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9 Innovators to Watch: Deo Niyizonkiza
School ties: Academia meets entrepreneurs