The Aspen Ideas Festival was a feast—both literally and figuratively. My father and I ate some of the most delicious foods I have ever encountered- “elk lollipops,” and smoked venison topped crackers amongst them- but perhaps more importantly, we met and conversed with some of the most interesting people I have ever met. Aspen has long been known as a hub for the wealthy, famous and well-connected, but the annual Ideas Festival went a step further and put all these brilliant, interesting people (and those that choose to pay a hefty entrance fee) in the same room. While many of the lectures we attended focused on global health, food, and social entrepreneurship, we spent the week sitting in on lectures about things we did not know much about. The best part for us, and for 2 Degrees, was that each attendee and speaker received a shoulder bag full of information, water bottles, pens, marketing materials from banks, and a 2 Degrees bar! That’s right, each of the 2,000 plus attendees received one of our delicious, nutritious, and socially conscious bars. Conversations with senators, supreme court justices, public health workers, CEO’S, editor-in-chiefs, investors, celebrities, athletes and the like all began quite easily: “We’re from 2 Degrees…you know that bar that was in your bag?” Responses were overwhelmingly positive! Some thought the bars were the best they had
ever tried…others didn’t really care what food we were selling…they just loved our mission and philosophy. I learned three valuable things from Aspen: first, make connections and meet as many people as you can; you never know how you can help one another, and whose friend/father/brother/uncle is the CEO of that one company that could enable you to soar. Second, 2 Degrees is really unique. In business it’s hard to separate oneself from the rest of the pack—especially in the food bar industry where we’re just another company in the “sea of bars”; we are the first one-for-one food company, and people love it. I couldn’t tell you how many people asked how they could get involved, where they could buy some, and if they could have another (I kept about ten with me at all times for these encounters). And lastly, go to the Aspen Ideas Festival…do whatever it takes…forgo the martinis, keep your car in the garage for a month—do what you need to do to get to the Aspen Ideas Festival. It is an event to remember.
Ps. I met Lance Armstrong and gave him a bar…waiting to see what he thought!
Check out my father, Lauren Walters- CEO of 2 Degrees- speaking at AIF