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Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Media-Whore D'oeuvres: Sundance and Davos Edition



"(IMF head Christine) Lagarde is outlining just how much the world has changed in recent years, and about how much more change is heading our way. She cites the 'openness, inclusiveness and accountability' that young people hold valuable - we can all learn from that she says. She also points to the huge popularity of social networks -- saying Facebook's userbase would make it the third biggest country in the world. Twitter would be fourth." (The Guardian/Liveblogging Davos)

Cynthia and Dan Lufkin via NYSD/JH
 "Last Wednesday night I went to one of the few gala benefits I’ve heard about this month, and a spectacular success it was: The National Audubon Society’s annual Gala Dinner at the Plaza. I first heard about it from Dan Lufkin when we ran into each other at Michael’s a couple of weeks before.  I already knew that he and his wife Cynthia were very involved with the National Audubon Society. I didn’t know this dinner would also mark the Dan W. Lufkin Prize for Environmental Leadership being awarded for the first time. The Lufkin Prize is $100,000. This dinner also presents an Audubon Medal -- although not necessarily annually -- which is given in recognition of outstanding achievement and influence in conservation and environmental protection. First presented in 1947, among its distinguished recipients are Laurance Rockefeller, William O. Douglas, John D. Rockefeller Jr., Ted Turner, Rachel Carson, Robert Redford, John Chafee, Stewart Udall. This year’s recipient was Louis Bacon, a well known New Yorker in the financial business (he founded Moore Capital) and equally as well known among his peers and partners in interest, as a great conservationist and supporter of ecological interests. He’s a rich man, with a reputation preceding him of being 'brilliant,' and has lots of land in different parts of the country. Last year he donated 167,000 acres of the Blanca Trinchra Ranch in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains bordering the San Luis Valley in Colorado to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service which will protect the land and its wildlife in perpetuity." (NYSocialDiary)
 

"Few passing London tourists would ever guess that the premises of Bulgari, the upmarket jewellers in New Bond Street, had anything to do with the pope. Nor indeed the nearby headquarters of the wealthy investment bank Altium Capital, on the corner of St James's Square and Pall Mall. But these office blocks in one of London's most expensive districts are part of a surprising secret commercial property empire owned by the Vatican. Behind a disguised offshore company structure, the church's international portfolio has been built up over the years, using cash originally handed over by Mussolini in return for papal recognition of the Italian fascist regime in 1929. Since then the international value of Mussolini's nest-egg has mounted until it now exceeds £500m. In 2006, at the height of the recent property bubble, the Vatican spent £15m of those funds to buy 30 St James's Square. Other UK properties are at 168 New Bond Street and in the city of Coventry. It also owns blocks of flats in Paris and Switzerland. The surprising aspect for some will be the lengths to which the Vatican has gone to preserve secrecy about the Mussolini millions." (TheGuardian)


"Founder of Sundance Robert Redford opened Sundance at the famous Egyptian theater in Park City by saying technology and change were the main themes for 2013. Referring to the industry changes technology has bought to Hollywood, Redford said 'I think change can be divided into three sections. Since it’s inevitable, some people fight it and resist it because they’re afraid of it. Other people accept it and roll along with it…others see it in a positive way' Hollywood and Silicon Valley have traditionally had a difficult relationship with the movie and music industry trying to pass the SOPA and PIPA bills through congress last year to stop online piracy and IP theft- exploits largely enabled by the Internet. But the Internet is also enabling filmmakers to not only produce films and music more economically as the tools to do so become cheaper, it also provides a platform where filmmakers can crowd-fund their films, advertise and distribute for cheaper." (TheNextWeb)

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