By Aaron Pressman and Adam Lashinsky
June 16, 2017

Things are heating up in the tech industry. You’d think the cool mountain air of Aspen, Colo., would cool things down. But as I look at our recently updated agenda for Brainstorm Tech, Fortune’s annual gathering in the Rockies, I’m guessing things will still be quite steamy when we convene in a month’s time.

I wrote last month with news of a handful of luminaries who’ll take our stage, including retail chief Jeff Wilke of Amazon, Target’s Brian Cornell, technologist Yoky Matsuoka of Nest, and Michael Dell, whose name is on the door of his computer company. Now I’m pleased to call attention to another batch of tech-industry heavyweights who’ll make this nearly sold-out event a can’t-miss experience.

No two topics are hotter in Silicon Valley right now than Uber (I can’t resist this) and inclusion, which have become wrapped up in each other of late. The guy who thought up the idea for Uber, company chairman Garrett Camp, will appear in Aspen. He also founded Web 1.0 success StumbleUpon and now runs an investment company called Expa.

Following an investigation into claims of sexual discrimination at Uber by former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, Uber’s board accepted a recommendation that it appoint an independent chairman and take steps to improve the diversity of its workforce. For the first time, Brainstorm Tech will host a town hall meeting on diversity and inclusion, hosted by Bloomberg’s Emily Chang. The goal of the town hall is to go well beyond identifying or acknowledging the problems in Silicon Valley and instead have a candid conversation about how to fix them.

An air of mystery pervades a third hot topic in Silicon Valley, autonomous vehicles. Tim Kentley-Klay, CEO of super-stealthy startup Zoox will share his thoughts. Instagram, the Facebook unit that is anything but stealthy-it is blasting images by the boatload-will be represented at Brainstorm Tech by its chief operating officer, Marne Levine.

Attendees of Brainstorm Tech come to learn. Most will not have gotten close to the hot Chinese bike-sharing upstart Mobike, whose CEO Davis Wang will pedal into town. We all want to learn about the future of employment, what with gigging and sharing and hacking being what they are. Two participants on a jobs-policy panel I’m particularly excited about are former U.S. Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker and Anne Marie Slaughter, CEO of the think tank New America.

All these names just scratch the surface of the experience we are curating for Aspen. Jamie Miller, boss of GE’s transportation business will be with us. So will the retired warrior and extremely active philosopher and consultant Stanley McChrystal. (Spoiler alert: I am interviewing him, and I will make no effort to hide my immense admiration.) We’ll also present two opposite ends of the finance spectrum: Tim Sloan, CEO of Wells Fargo and Mike Cagney, CEO of Social Finance.

Tired yet? Imagine how participants will feel given that a steep bike ride, hikes, yoga and even a tour of a newly opened gallery at the Aspen Art Museum all precede the conference’s 2:00 p.m. start on Monday, July 17th.

I’ll have more to say about a few more additions to the program as we get closer to the start date. In the meantime, I’m sharpening my conferencing skill by attending next week’s Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity on the French Riviera. Yes, it’s tough duty, but rest assured I’m going all that way for you. I promise I’ll be working, and I’ll report back on the people I meet.

Have a good weekend.

Adam Lashinsky


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