Last month Stanford University hosted a roundtable titled “Anxious Times: Beyond a World of Perpetual Threats” where the panelists were literally sitting on a global stage. The event was co-produced by DaVinci Fusion, with DaVinci president Solomon Rosenzweig leading the production.
TV news veteran Ted Koppel hosted the luminaries from all sectors of business, government, and academia—many of them Stanford grads themselves: Stanford president John L. Hennessy, GlaxoSmithKline CEO Jean-Pierre Garnier, Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, former US Secretary of Defense William Perry, former US Secretary of State George Shultz, director of Stanford’s Beckman Center on Molecular and Genetic Medicine Dr. Lucy Shapiro, and Yahoo! cofounder Jerry Yang.
“The roundtable was held on homecoming weekend and was the kickoff to the university’s major fundraising campaign,” Rosenzweig notes, “so one of the goals was to get as many people as possible to attend. C-SPAN covered it, and the event was also webcast by the University.”
Rosenzweig conceived a bold metaphorical environment for the roundtable, which took place in Maples Pavilion, the university’s basketball arena. No dais and talking heads for this panel. Instead, the visionaries talked to moderator Koppel across the vastness of the continents and the oceans.
DaVinci Fusions’ artists hand painted a striking gold, brown, and blue-toned armillary inspired, map of the world on the raised, circular stage in the Pavilion. Red leather chairs were located around the world for the panelists who provided the audience of 4,000+ with insights on our place in the global community and how to gain confidence that we can survive on a shrinking planet.
“The circular stage and hand-painted floor really defined the timbre and tone of the roundtable,” says Rosenzweig. “Everyone watched with hungry eyes, looking for some kernel of wisdom to help them gain comfort in these anxious times when we are but a speck on the global stage.”
DaVinci Fusion also handled the IMAG, lighting, and video aspects of the roundtable. “The idiosyncrasies of a pavilion in a basketball court are many, and they presented numerous technical challenges,” Rosenzweig notes. “We wanted to enhance the experience for the attendees with the use of video. I didn’t want this program to be a sit back and listen to the drone of voices far away. We filmed with five cameras. The fifth camera was mounted on a jib and got that all-important global shot.” We used the built-in screens on the scoreboard to strengthen that sense of a Global Forum. The use of a 360° stage and video screen facing every direction truly enhanced the magnitude of the program."
The stage was illuminated with computerized moving lights and the DaVinci Fusion crew saw to every detail.