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09.14.10

Reboot America! The Daily Beast Innovators Summit

At our Innovators Summit in New Orleans, we bring together Gen. Stanley McChrystal and 300 world-class influencers to brainstorm about getting America out of the blues.

Reboot America! That’s the mantra of the first-annual Daily Beast Innovators Summit, taking place from Oct. 21 to 23 in New Orleans, the city that, in fighting back from devastation, has become a laboratory for reinvention.

With 14 million Americans out of work, and the economy still barely moving, it is clear we need new ideas more than bitter exchanges and partisan antics. We’ll brainstorm with some of the brightest, most original minds from the worlds of business, culture, media, government, and social innovation to suggest new ways to lift us out of the economic glums.

What should we change about the way we work and think and research and invest? How do we foster a business environment where new entrepreneurs can flourish and small businesses can flower? What policies should we put in place that would bring to full bloom our strengths, our muscle, our flair, our genius, and our resilience as a country? What should we learn from others’ mistakes?

The Daily Beast’s summit will share new ideas, proposed solutions and hard experience, with live streaming and interactive discussion on this site.

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New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu (Photo: J. Scott Applewhite / AP Photo)

Over two and a half days, at the great meeting space Mardi Gras World on the Mississippi River, we’ll share new ideas, proposed solutions, and hard experience—and report on all in live streaming, commentary and interactive discussion on this site. A gift for self-examination is part of America’s vigor as a nation, and The Daily Beast’s summit will be a venue for it.

We will ask former Afghanistan forces commander and retired four-star Gen. Stanley McChrystal what he's learned about leadership in the face of life or death military challenges. We are grateful that H-P has partnered with us as the summit’s founding sponsor, thanks to chief marketing officer Michael Mendenhall. HBO also brings support, at the generous instigation of co-president Richard Plepler; he joins us in conversation with filmmaker and documentarian Spike Lee and David Simon, creator of Treme and The Wire.

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Dambisa Moyo (Photo: Helen Jones)

Mayor Mitch Landrieu, New Orleans’ visionary new leader, will host our opening night celebration on the banks of the Mississippi at Mardi Gras World. He says that post-Hurricane Katrina New Orleans has been an incubator for innovation and an effective model for social change. The city he is serving with such dynamism is a source of inspiration to us all. Undaunted by the devastation of Katrina and the debacle of the BP oil spill, the Big Easy has battled back, sustained by its rich culture, entrepreneurial flair, and social energy. It is now marching forward again with a Super Bowl champion football team.

Get America Back to Work! Daily Beast ManifestoEducational think tank The Thomas B. Fordham Institute recently pronounced New Orleans the most reform-minded city in America. You will meet some of the city’s exciting young faces at The Daily Beast summit, and others brought to us by the third of our co-hosts, Cheryl Dorsey’s Echoing Green, the organization that invests in and supports outstanding emerging innovators working on new solutions to combat society’s toughest problems. For the still-assembling lineup of participants you will hear from, see the list below.

Meanwhile, please note our choice of the verb “reboot.” We aren’t saying “rebuild” or “remake” or “reconstruct” America. For all its many problems today—political, economic, educational, and social—America is still, emphatically, the world’s leading economy, the world’s security scaffolding, and the greatest magnet for immigration. There’s a reason why people the world over want to live here, be they Guatemalans or Greeks, Haitians or Hungarians, Bangladeshis or Brits like my husband and me. And it’s the very same reason why America is admired and emulated everywhere in the world, even in these hellishly trying times. America is synonymous with opportunity.

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Spike Lee (Photo: Patrick Semansky / AP Photo)

As we head for our second anniversary in October, The Daily Beast too is alive with optimism. A startup ourselves, in 23 months we've amassed five million unique users a month, won six main industry awards, and find ourselves on Time magazine’s 50 Best Websites list as “a triple threat: a trendsetter, an insightful and analytical clearinghouse of events and ideas, and… quite the time saver.” In the coming weeks, we will continue to update you on the program of our summit. Start a dialogue with some of our great panelists, and with us at The Daily Beast. We want to  hear about your bright ideas. Follow Reboot America on Facebook and Twitter, and tweet about it using the hashtag #RebootUSA.

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H-P chief marketing officer Michael Mendenhall (Photo: Andreas Rentz / Getty Images for Hubert Burda Media)

You will also hear from: Ken Auletta, Sheila Bair, Peter Beinart, Steven Brill, James Carville, Robin Chase, Silas K. F. Chou, Johan de Nysschen, Barry Diller, Cheryl Dorsey, Sir Harold Evans, Sergio Fajardo, Niall Ferguson, John Fetterman, Harold Ford Jr., Theodore Forstmann, Leslie Gelb, Bianna Golodryga, Robert Hormats, Glenn Hutchins, Walter Isaacson, John Kao, Vinod Khosla, David Kirkpatrick, Joel Klein, Marc Koska, Spike Lee, Ron Meyer, Dambisa Moyo, David Neeleman, Peter Orszag, Maureen Orth, Paul Pastorek, Pete Peterson, Wendell Pierce, Sam Pitroda, Michael Polsky, Michelle Rhee, Connie Rice, Shane Robison, Bob Schieffer, Lori Senecal, Dan Senor, Ralph Simon, Joseph Stiglitz, Tarun Tejpal, Gillian Tett, Frances Townsend, Diane von Furstenberg, Jochen Zeitz. We thank in advance this cross section of public spirited Americans who give freely of their time and experience.

Tina Brown is the founder and editor in chief of The Daily Beast. She is the author of the 2007 New York Times bestseller The Diana Chronicles. Brown is the former editor of Tatler, Vanity Fair, The New Yorker, and Talk magazines and host of CNBC's Topic A with Tina Brown.