With a record crowd in attendance, the 8th annual Milken Institute Global Conference brought together some of the world's most extraordinary thinkers and decision makers for three days of intensive discussions on a wide range of economic, business, public policy and social issues.
More than 325 panelists on more than 80 sessions provided a detailed look at current global conditions, and some not-so-far-off predictions about the future.
Panelists included former Vice President Al Gore, News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch, Gen. Wesley Clark and seven winners of the Nobel Prize.
Attendees enjoyed their pick of more than 80 sessions, from the future of Social Security and China's growing economic clout to intellectual property rights and real estate investments. In addition to the general and breakout sessions, the conference also included many small roundtable discussions that allowed attendees to participate directly in the debates.
This year's conference focused on how to improve the productivity of our people through increased use of creative financial tools and technologies; improvement in health care, at lower costs; and improved education, from early childhood to retirement. Panels also examined specific regions of the world, from Asia to Europe, and specific industries, including energy and the media.
One of the highlights of this year's conference was the Tuesday night dinner panel, "Democracy and the Media: Are They Compatible?" with former Vice President Al Gore, Fox News CEO Roger Ailes, Publisher Mortimer Zukerman and moderator Jeff Greenfield of CNN. The lively debate included jabs between the participants over the impact of the Internet, the future of newspapers and the media's obsession with events like the Michael Jackson trial.
Now in its eighth year, the Global Conference has become an important gathering for a diverse audience of business leaders, financial executives, investors, institutional investors, philanthropists, government officials, journalists and top academics - including many Nobel laureates - from more than 50 countries. This year, a record 2,400 people attended.