On this 4th July, it feels like we are at a poignant inflection point in time.

Just over a week ago, the FairShare team helped curate and moderate the Sun Valley Forum for our 5th year of conversations with 200 builders, creators, inventors, academics, and policymakers working to address the very real issues facing our society and planet.

We gathered in Ketchum, Idaho, and worked harder than ever before, pulling conversations from the main stage, through working breakfasts, lunches, and dinners, working on ideas for progress with action plans in place as our marching orders for departure.

More to come on this, but here are some key takeaways:

– The Paris Agreement is a bust less than a decade after it was written.
– Washington State state now has a 9-month forest fire season.
– For all our talk about a more inclusive society, less than 1.3% of trillions of dollars of investment is awarded to females or people of color founders
– The future of the critically fragile Antarctic comes up for review in 2041.
– One hectare of the western Australian Daintree Rainforest has more biodiversity than the entire content of Europe. And yet finding basic investment is exhaustingly slow.

Among the many difficult stories, we also heard about great stories of progress. Basalt sequestration of carbon. Biochar energy generation. New building practices with commercial hemp. The application of AI and robotic technology to dramatically improve the quality of life for people living with neuromuscular illness. And we drew great comfort hearing the passionate voices of the diverse young members at the conference.

Amidst all of the intensity of Ketchum, Idaho, it was hard to escape the social media explosion of postings from some 20,000 marketers, celebrating the progress of the advertising industry, spending over $100,000,000 in celebration of advertising excellence, at the Cannes Lions.

I can’t help but wonder what real creative progress has been made in the last year, and what the carbon footprint of a Lion truly is.

For an industry plagued by over-promise and exaggeration, there needs to be a better way to champion authentic and meaningful creative progress.

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