SALT Draws Record Vaccinated Audience to Hear Pandemic-Influenced Views from Top Global Financial & Tech Minds
NEW YORK, Sept. 16, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — The 11th annual SALT conference, a leading global thought leadership and networking forum for those engaged on finance, technology and geopolitical matters, concluded its first-ever New York City event yesterday at the brand-new Javits Center Expansion with a keynote interview with Biden administration White House Chief of Staff Ronald Klain.
Klain, who also previously served as chief of staff to two vice presidents and the White House Ebola Response Coordinator under President Obama, engaged a large, entirely vaccinated, audience on a range of top-of-mind topics including, the economic benefits of increasing vaccinations, the impending U.S. debt ceiling, taxes, climate change and the Biden administration’s top priorities for COVID and economy heading into 2022.
“The transition from a shutdown shuttered economy to a fully open, reopened moving economy is going to have some fits and starts and is going to have some adjustments and some kinds of growing pains, if you will,” Klain said in a moderated interview with Robert Wolf, founder of the investment firm 32 Advisors. “We are getting back to normal. Things are coming along. Certainly, we’ve made a lot of progress on employment, a lot of progress on economic growth, but we have more work to do.
“The economy, COVID, climate change, combating racism. Those are the four key pillars for us this year and probably on into next year,” Klain shared with the SALT NYC crowd who participated both in-person and virtually through live streaming. “When Joe Biden ran he said there were four crises. He was going to deal with COVID, the economy, climate change and racism. Climate change is at the center of the agenda. And the build-back-better plan is a critical opportunity to make investments in combating climate change and building jobs and creating a clean energy economy. That’s absolutely central to us.”
The discussion with Klain placed a big bow on the three-day 2021 SALT conference themed “Building a Better Post-Pandemic World” that included a range of perspectives from the worlds of politics and public policymaking, finance, cryptocurrency, technology, science, healthcare/biotechnology and entertainment.
More than 4,000 attendees from across industries and professions participated in the non-partisan multi-day event, including 2,500 who attended in-person and 1,500 who tuned in virtually from around the world. Total event attendance marked a record for the SALT conference that also earned a place as one of the first large-scale in-person, vaccinated-only conferences held since the start of the COVID-19 era.
“After more than a year, I am so pleased we were able to restart the SALT conference in my home city of New York,” said Anthony Scaramucci, chairman of SALT and managing partner of SkyBridge Capital. “What we saw throughout these three days, beyond the thought-provoking conversations and networking opportunities, is that we can get back to some sort of normalcy with events like these as long as we do it in a safe way.”
The SALT conference required all attendees to provide proof of vaccination before in-person entry. Additionally, the Javits Center Expansion enhanced the experience and comfort of guest by placing additional safety protocols in place, including attendance controls and sanitation stations, as well as new high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA-grade) filters on all HV/AV equipment.
While speaking live with CNBC’s Squawk Box at the conference, former U.S. Federal Food & Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb, credited SALT for its safety protocols, noting that the event should serve as an example for future large-scale gatherings.
“This is a safe venue in the setting of COVID,” Gottlieb said. “You’re in a low-prevalence environment in New York City. They’re requiring vaccination and used a big venue so they can space people apart. They’ve taken steps to try to make this a safer environment. It’s going to become an endemic virus, and we’re going to have to learn how to assimilate daily risk into our lives.”
Throughout the three days, the nonpartisan SALT conference featured high-profile speakers from both sides of the aisle, including former Florida Republican Governor Jeb Bush and Rep. Rho Khanna (D-CA), who appeared together on a panel discussing how to keep the U.S. on the forefront of high-tech growth.
The SALT conference kicked off with Democratic nominee for New York City Mayor Eric Adams, who proclaimed “New York will no longer be anti-business. This will be a place where we welcome business.”
SALT also featured familiar speakers like David Rubenstein, co-founder and co-chairman of the Carlyle Group, legendary hedge fund founder Dan Loeb, and Ret. General and former White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, along with speakers new to SALT, including widely followed industry disruption-minded investor Cathie Wood and reality star Paris Hilton, who hosted a lunch session entitled “From Reality Star to Business Titan: A Conversation with Paris Hilton.”
The next SALT event is tentatively slated to take place in Abu Dhabi in the first half of 2022.
SALT is a global thought leadership forum devoted to unlocking growth opportunities in finance, economics, entrepreneurship, public policy, technology, and philanthropy. Founded in 2009, our flagship annual event, SALT Conference, brings together many of the world’s foremost investors, policy experts, politicians, and business leaders for four days of networking, idea sharing, and entertainment. Visit www.salt.org to learn more or connect with @SALTConference on Twitter , Facebook , LinkedIn or Instagram or by using #SALTNY.
SALT is affiliated with SkyBridge Capital, a leading alternative investments firm.
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