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SOURCE The Renaissance Institute
CHARLESTON, S.C., Dec. 27, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Renaissance Weekend, the non-partisan retreat founded in 1981 to build bridges among innovative leaders from diverse fields, tomorrow brings 1,200 participants to Charleston, South Carolina, for 631 lectures, seminars, discussions, and performances concluding with their traditional singing of "Auld Lang Syne" and "God Bless America" at the stroke of the New Year.
The tradition was founded and is hosted by the former US Ambassador to the Court of St. James's Philip Lader, who is chairman of WPP plc, the world's largest advertising/marketing company, and his wife, Linda Lader, a Presbyterian minister. This New Year's gathering is the 100th Renaissance Weekend, which has been called "the grand-daddy of ideas festivals."
"For 33 years," Ambassador Lader said, "Renaissance Weekend has continued to be a cross-generational conversation among accomplished individuals with widely divergent perspectives. Civility prevails, partisanship is frowned upon, and commercialism is banned."
"Though strikingly different views of religion, politics, media, science, and every other field are represented, there is more light than heat," Lader added.
Originally an annual New Year's event, the Laders have increasingly organized additional retreats each year with the same objectives and format. Other Renaissance Weekends in 2014 will be over Presidents' Day Weekend in Laguna Niguel, California; July 4th Weekend on Monterey Bay, California; Labor Day Weekend in Aspen, Colorado; and Autumn Harvest Weekend in the Hudson River Valley, New York.
"Each Renaissance Weekend has sought, with equally distinguished participants, to build bridges across traditional divides of religion, politics, and philosophies, generations, geography and personal backgrounds." Mrs. Lader explained.
The meetings are likened to the reunion of "an extended family" of prominent leaders in business and finance, education, religion, law, medicine, government, the media, science, technology, sports, non-profits and the arts. This year's gathering includes CEOs, venture capitalists and entrepreneurs, Nobel laureates and Pulitzer Prize-winning authors, artists and scientists, astronauts, athletes and university presidents, judges, journalists and diplomats, as well as government, non-profit, and religious leaders.
The preponderance of participants have attended regularly throughout Renaissance's 33-year history. Among those coming this New Year's will be families who have been attending since the early 1980's and several third-generation participants.
In response to three decades of Renaissance ideas and challenges, hundreds of participants entered public service, started businesses, founded non-profit organizations, and established private foundations. Also, some two dozen marriages resulted from couples meeting at these Weekends.
The discussions' breadth is illustrated by this partial list of this New Year's participants:
The New Year's Weekend's 631 programs will address a broad spectrum of public policy and personal issues, such as:
Past participants have regularly included former US Presidents Gerald R. Ford and Bill Clinton, as well as more than 18 past candidates for President and scores of Cabinet members, Governors, & US Senators, Nobel laureates and MacArthur "Genius" Award-, Pulitzer Prize-, Oscar- and Emmy-winners, Olympic champions and astronauts, best-selling authors, celebrated CEOs and investment managers, Internet pioneers and entrepreneurs, and leaders in education, non-profits, social services, law and medicine. Illustrative lists of past participants, the history of the programs, information about the founders, and other details may be found at www.RenaissanceWeekend.org.
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