The Nantucket Project

The Nantucket Project
Type of site
Available in English
Headquarters Nantucket, United States
Area served Worldwide
Key people Wendy Schmidt, Bob Diamond
Launched 2010
Current status Active

The Nantucket Project is an annual conference[1] that takes place on Nantucket, Massachusetts.

The event is held in a tent overlooking Nantucket Harbor,[2] offering "an intimate and relaxed setting."[3] By bringing together leading thinkers and decision-makers, the event aims to create "a powerful distillation of ideas that will spark meaningful conversation and lead to meaningful change."[4]

The Nantucket Project was co-founded in 2010 by Tom Scott and Kate Brosnan. The Nantucket Project's founding circle includes Scott, founder and CEO of Nantucket Nectars and creator the HBO television series The Neistat Brothers,[5] Wendy Schmidt, President of The Schmidt Family Foundation, former Senator Bill Frist, Alicia Mullen and Jennifer and Bob Diamond, the former Group Chief Executive of Barclays.[6]

Co-founders Tom Scott and Kate Brosnan at the 2013 Nantucket Project

The inaugural event was held in the fall of 2011 at the White Elephant hotel. The Nantucket Project has remained at that venue.[7] Past speakers have included Casey Neistat, Rahm Emanuel, Eric Schmidt, Larry Summers, Meredith Whitney, Senator John McCain, David Rubenstein, Steve Case, Mellody Hobson, Peter Thiel, Craig Venter, former Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, Former Barclays CEO Bob Diamond, X Prize Foundation founder Peter Diamandis, Dean Kamen, Tony Award winner Julie Taymor, former Thomson Reuters chief executive Tom Glocer, former NBC Chairman Bob Wright, Former Patagonia CEO and Professor of Advanced Strategy™ Michael Crooke and many others.[8]

Speakers participate in a variety of formats, which include individual presentations, panels and intimate one-on-one conversations. All speakers are directed to address the theme of each year's event.[9] The theme of the 2011 event was "Re-Think."[10] The theme of the 2012 event was "Collective Intelligence," or "how we can leverage technology and other advances to aggregate and amplify human intelligence."[11] The theme for 2013 was "Seek the Truth, Endure the Consequences."[12] The theme for 2014 was Art + Commerce, "a convergence" that conference organizers say "best defines our world today."[13]

Finance Forum

Chris Matthews addressing the 2013 Nantucket Project theme "Seek the Truth, Endure the Consequences."

In 2013, The Nantucket Project added a one-day Finance Forum that featured some of the world's top financial minds such as David Rubenstein, Tim Draper, Andrew Ross Sorkin, Anne Finucane, Bob Diamond, David Stockman and Alan Schwartz.[14]

Fellows Program

The Nantucket Project offers a Fellows program that provides full access to a diverse group of participants and covers the cost of their attendance.[15]

TNP Labs

In 2014, the Project launched TNP Labs, a production and innovation laboratory. The first film released by TNP Labs, "Reclaim Democracy," explores how Lawrence Lessig's MayDay political action committee aims to revolutionize campaign finance.[16] The film was viewed over 3 million times on Upworthy and other social media sites.[17]

Another TNP Labs production, "Shirt," is a visualization of a Robert Pinsky poem that is read by several performers such as Herbie Hancock, Kate Burton, Nas and Pinsky himself. "Shirt" was released on The New Yorker's website in December, 2014.[18]

In addition to its own in-house productions, TNP Labs brings "cutting-edge filmmakers to the island to create short films inspired by presentations at the event."[19]

Julian Assange Hologram Appearance

At the 2014 Nantucket Project, Wikileaks editor-in-chief Julian Assange appeared in the form of a hologram.[20] While Assange was physically located at the Ecuadorean Embassy in London, where he has been given asylum, a virtual representation of Assange appeared onstage with American film director Eugene Jarecki.[21]

Jarecki wrote in The Guardian before the event, "it crosses my mind I may be abetting a crime or violating international extradition laws. But I reassure myself that, in this regard, the worldwide web remains a kind of wild wild west, and the virtual escape of a person is not (yet?) a crime."[22]


  1. Kadlec, Dan (2012-10-15). "Nantucket Project: Small Island, Big Ideas for Fixing Our Economic Future |". Retrieved 2014-03-07.
  2. Heath, Thomas (2011-02-24). "Value Added: The Nantucket Project is an enterprise in the vein of the startup". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2014-03-07.
  3. "Schedule". Retrieved 2014-03-07.
  4. "Our Story". Retrieved 2014-03-07.
  5. Barry Garron (2010-10-14). "The Neistat Brothers -- TV Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2014-03-07.
  6. Tamny, John. "Can The Nantucket Project Change Who We Are?". Forbes. Retrieved 2014-03-07.
  7. Joshua Balling (2013-09-26). "Nantucket Project brings big names together on small island". Retrieved 2014-03-07.
  8. "Presenters 2013". Retrieved 2014-03-07.
  9. Daniel Honan (2012-08-26). "The Nantucket Project Announces This Year's Theme: Collective Intelligence". Retrieved 2014-03-07.
  10. Dan Kadlec (2011-10-04). "Can Entrepreneurs, Stuck On An Island for a Few Days, Solve the World's Biggest Problems?". Retrieved 2014-03-07.
  11. Daniel Honan (2012-08-26). "The Nantucket Project Announces This Year's Theme: Collective Intelligence". Retrieved 2014-03-07.
  12. Katherine Collins (2013-09-30). "Moderates Of The World, Unite! – dispatch from The Nantucket Project". Retrieved 2014-03-07.
  13. "2014 Nantucket Project". Retrieved 2014-03-07.
  14. "2013 Finance Forum". Retrieved 2014-03-07.
  15. "Fellows". Retrieved 2014-03-07.
  16. Davidson, Philip (2014-10-24). "Larry Lessig's Mission to Reclaim Democracy". TIME. Retrieved 2014-10-24.
  17. "All It Took Was A Laptop And Markers To Silence The Crowd. And What He Said Made Them Furious.". Upworthy.
  18. Denison, Elisabeth (2014-12-10). "Poetry on Film: Robert Pinsky's "Shirt"". The New Yorker. Retrieved 2014-12-10.
  19. "TED Meets ACK - Nantucket Magazine". Nantucket Magazine. 2014-06-30. Retrieved 2016-05-25.
  20. Locker, Melissa (2014-09-28). "Julian Assange Beamed Into Nantucket as a Hologram". Vanity Fair. Retrieved 2014-12-15.
  21. Hartmann, Margaret (2014-07-29). "Julian Assange Appeared in Nantucket Via Hologram". New York Magazine. Retrieved 2014-12-15.
  22. Jarecki, Eugene (2014-07-27). "Nantucket Project: why we're sleepwalking into a digital future". The Guardian. Retrieved 2014-12-15.
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