Hanging out in Hollywood with people who “get things done”

You might be able to spot a Hollywood star or two this week at the Beverly (Hills) Hilton Hotel, but the normal red carpet crowd is being replaced by an eclectic group of leaders to discuss important issues ranging from education to infrastructure to health and medical research, philanthropy, macroeconomics, media, and entertainment.

The event is the annual global conference sponsored by the Milken Institute, which describes itself as a nonprofit, nonpartisan think tank, with a mission “to improve lives around the world by advancing innovative economic and policy solutions that create jobs, widen access to capital and enhance health.”

The conference in Los Angeles, held in the same venue as the Golden Globes awards show, is in its 17th year and will bring together more than 650 speakers in 140 sessions. More than 3,000 attendees will hear from major investors, CEOs, government officials, scientists, educators, philanthropists, and journalists, on a variety of topics.

As examples, Tony Blair, Former Prime Minister of Great Britain, will talk about investments in emerging economics. Matt Damon, the actor, will share details of his work to improve access to safe water and sanitation in sub-Saharan Africa.  And Moncef Slaoui, global chairman of R&D and vaccines at GSK, will be on a panel with the head of the National Institutes of Health, Francis Collins, to discuss the creative approaches industry and government researchers are applying to speed and improve the development of new medicines.

The event is a big media draw – CNBC, Bloomberg TV and Fox Business News will all be broadcasting live from the conference. Want to tune in? Blogs and videos from sessions will be available online at http://www.globalconference.org/ and you can follow along on Twitter at #2014GC.