This is our focus: to cultivate a one-stop-shop of world-class people—people like yourself—that ignites the kinds of conversations that lead to new ideas, enlivened dreams and personal motivation. A tall order, for sure, but one we’ve been successful at for 32 years.
Over the past three decades, the Churchill Club has hosted industry and government leaders and luminaries. Past speakers include founders and executives of major companies such as IBM CEO Ginni Rometty, Xerox CEO Ursula Burns, Google co-founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, Oracle founder Larry Ellison, Netflix founder & CEO Reed Hastings, SpaceX and Tesla CEO Elon Musk; prominent investors such as Vinod Khosla, Peter Thiel, Marc Andreessen, and Ron Conway; and government and other leaders such as former U.S. presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, filmmaker James Cameron, and Hollywood talent über-agent Ari Emanuel.
It’s an impressive list, but it would be no more than a roster if we weren’t committed to the idea of an independent forum that facilitates the open and timely exchange of ideas, opinions and viewpoints among business leaders and innovators. At the Churchill Club, collaborators and competitors meet on stage to share and discuss their newest thinking. They commit to have unscripted conversations that go beyond the hype. Attendees have the opportunity to ask questions directly of speakers, uncensored by the moderator.
We host about 30 such events every year, regularly drawing more than 400 of our 7,000 members and other leaders from the innovation capital of the world. We also offer opportunities to network and develop critical business relationships with influential individual and corporate members representing a diverse range of industries, companies and expertise.
Churchill Club Mission and Equality Statement
As a not-for-profit, public benefit organization, Churchill Club exists to encourage innovation, economic growth, and societal benefit for all who share our interests and intentions, regardless of race, color, religion, national origin or citizenship status, sex, gender identity or expression, pregnancy, sexual orientation, age, income, or disability.
Churchill Club History
The first meeting of the Churchill Club was held November 12, 1985, featuring speaker Robert Noyce, inventor of the integrated circuit and founder of Fairchild and Intel. More than 275 attended that first program.
Churchill Club was founded by Rich Karlgaard, now publisher of Forbes magazine, and Tony Perkins, former Editor-in-Chief of AlwaysOn. The two and a group of friends set about creating an organization dedicated to producing programs where “important people say important things.” As a Churchill Club speaker, then Arkansas governor Bill Clinton suggested that America needs a nation of Churchills—leaders rather than followers.
Reared in the tradition of parliamentary democracy, Churchill once personified the democratic values of open discourse and freedom as well as what is now called the “entrepreneurial spirit.” Not a perfect man—in fact, as he himself said, “Nothing is perfect on the human stage”—Churchill nonetheless possessed the qualities of intelligence, creativity, risk-taking and boundless energy. His vision, perseverance, and wit provided the bridge necessary to bring together great leaders, opinions, ideas, and events.
What’s with the bowler hat?
We’re glad you asked. Once a favored chapeau of Winston Churchill, it also became a symbol of class equality throughout the 19th and 20th centuries. The bowler leveled the visual playing field and encouraged the free exchange of ideas—exactly what we strive to do by igniting conversations.