“Sunny is just that – sunny. She shines light on interesting new paths and people. When we’re looking for someone to jump-start our thinking in a new area, we often turn to Sunny. We have made incredible connections thanks to her strong network and ability to connect people and ideas – and often it’s those that have seemingly little in common that prove to be the most valuable. I’m convinced that if Sunny doesn’t know everyone in the world, she at least knows how to get to them. And she does so with a style that is as energetic as it is insightful.”
“Sunny introduced me to contacts and organizations that proved absolutely instrumental to my work in America. They led directly to key staff hires, to my joining the Young Presidents' Organization, and to a series of great, enduring friendships. Most significantly, she is the person who introduced me to the TED Conference (which I now run), a truly life-changing experience.
She has a unique combination of skills: the ability to understand—truly understand—someone's needs, and to match those against an astonishing, encyclopedic knowledge of literally thousands of special people and possibilities. Combine that with her irrepressible passion for life, the pure sunny-ness of Sunny, and you have a real force of nature who brings warmth, light, and joy everywhere she goes.”
“I worked with Sunny for two years on an experimental circus project, and came to understand that her brilliance lies in gently pushing everyone to discover their own high-wire act—for which her cleverness, generosity of spirit, patience and all-around good sense form a kind of safety net.”
“Sunny teaches us all that to be truly fulfilled in your work, that you need to be somewhere that values all of you.
Sunny has the unique capacity to know everyone while knowing them all deeply.
Sunny embodies a truly globally connected spirit that knows exactly who to see, what to do, when to do it, and where you should be exactly on planet earth.”
“In a world of growing social networks, and ever-broader business ambitions, Facebook, LinkedIn et al sometimes provide who but not how. Sunny Bates is a master at the latter. Few have such a deft touch for integrating people and networks. She knows who matters, who can get things done, and makes sure it gets done.”
“Sunny is an extraordinary woman with boundless energy, a seemingly infinite network, deep intuition and emotional intelligence, and the ability to make connections of all sorts. She has been a major supporter of Acumen, helping me in coaching team members, bringing in needed resources (especially great people!), and bringing a great vitality to our organization.
Sunny is a believer. Once she decides a project or cause is worthwhile, she will dig into understanding it, work to make it better, and get others involved in it. Her enthusiasm is infectious, and it is a delight to know her and to work with her. She is generous to a fault, and makes you want to be a better person by knowing her.”
“Sunny Bates is a tour de force of pathological optimism and deep personal connection—she is a maven.
Be prepared to be transported into networks of ideas and people that were out of reach. Once you’ve experienced her impact, you’ll define your success pre- and post-Sunny. It's an honor to call her a friend.”
“When everyone thought i was crazy, Sunny knew I was crazy! Glad she took me under her wing.”
“Sunny has been instrumental in making critical connections for me, both professionally and personally. She seems to know everyone I'd ever want to know, and is knowledgeable about so many industries and disciplines. She's truly a one-stop-shop for people looking to expand their network.”
“Sunny is focused and upbeat which means that the work will get done and it will be a pleasure.”
“Sunny is a human dynamo who can make anything happen. And I mean ANYTHING. Sunny is a miracle worker, in business and in life. Plus the most charming, entertaining and fun miracle worker you'll ever encounter.”
“Sunny is an energetic, generous, empathetic curious adventurer who is fantastic at connecting people from many different walks of life. She creates relationships that have a significant impact on businesses.
Given a question, she thinks of the many paths that could be taken to answer it and who could help direct each path. Sunny's ability to understand people and problems makes her incredibly helpful professionally. She synthesizes discussions in a way that help me clarify what I need.
Her sunny, vivacious personality, as well as her depth, make it a pleasure to be with her anytime.”
“What I say about Sunny to all is that she is the most generous and unfailingly positive person I know. She is the world's greatest connector, and she shares everyone in her world with everyone else in your world, and in doing so she makes all our worlds richer.
And that is all besides being smart and funny and wild.
I am a completely biased source, and proud to be so!”
Sunny is a curator of ideas, talent and disruption. For nearly 25 years, Sunny Bates Associates (SBA) has guided businesses through key points in their development: connecting them with the individuals and companies that help them realize their objectives and explore new possibilities. SBA works with clients to evaluate and select strategic alternatives, reposition their businesses in existing and new markets, and assess and optimize resources. They are infused with fresh talent and thinking introduced through SBA’s unparalleled domestic and international networks.
How we do it.
SBA iterates new directions for businesses through focused, personal engagement. Working intensively with individuals and groups—CEOs, boards, senior managers, founders, decision makers—Sunny leads clients on a journey of brainstorming, challenging, questioning, and validating new ideas and possibilities. Exposing clients to fresh influences and thinkers—sometimes complementary and adjacent, sometimes further afield—SBA strategically identifies then builds the networks, which help clients achieve their goals and unearth new possibilities along the way.
Please contact us and let us give your initiative meaningful impact. We are based in New York City.
Sunny operates wherever executives, thinkers, artists, creators, innovators, entrepreneurs, educators, philanthropists connect and collide around the globe. Her medium is people, her expertise human network development.
Author, serial entrepreneur, mentor and advisor, her client roster has included some of the world’s most prominent organizations, from GE, TED and Credit Suisse to MTV, the National Academy of Sciences, Techstars and Kickstarter, of which she is a founding board member. Sunny’s approach to unleashing potential is unique: it puts people, network building and management at the center of growth and possibility.
Mariah Peebles joined Sunny Bates Associates as Project Manager in 2013. Prior to joining Sunny's orbit, Mariah worked at Year Up as the Manager of Influence Knowledge Transfer and FAO Schwarz Family Foundation Fellow. While at Year Up, she focused on shifting perceptions, practices, and policies to close the opportunity divide, bridge the skills gap, and re-imagine the way we develop human capital in the US. Before that, she developed a passion for education and new models for social impact while working at New Sector Alliance and as a campus co-coordinator for Peer Health Exchange. Mariah graduated from Harvard College with a degree in History of Science.
Alejandro Calcaño has been with Sunny Bates Associates since 2011. In college, he organized and produced concerts and events with bands The Knocks, of Montreal, Kid Sister, Yeasayer, Javelin, and DJ Mia Moretti, among many others. Alejandro coordinates social media and graphic design in addition to research and event production for Sunny Bates Associates. He is a Media Studies graduate from Vassar College.
An ongoing speaker series, Sunny Bates Associates brings wildly diverse voices to bear on fascinating topics at The Standard Talks, including cybercrime, embracing and denying death, improvised storytelling, the paranormal, game theory, werewolves, polyamory and the architecture of mourning. Taking place at The Standard, High Line and The Standard, East Village, SBA curates the speakers, audiences, and topics for this ever-engaging series.
Sunny Bates Associates (SBA) has curated experiences for the Chief Marketing Officer and her team that focus on GE’s greatest areas of interest with potential for disruption. SBA selects themes, designs interactions, sources speakers, and curates audience. The experiences consist of socially centric events that facilitate connections for GE’s leaders. We are currently working with GE on the Global Insights Network, a group of remarkable individuals tackling some of the most pressing issues facing the world today. In addition to this, we have planned:
Disruptor Dinners: intimate occasions that allow for one on one connections and engagement with thought leaders. Some of the themes explored were mobile innovation, the vectors of change over next 15 years, future of advertising, the future of the customer, and experience design.
SBA conceived a one-time, full-day conference—the ‘GameChangers Summit’. We curated a group of 27 disruptive entrepreneurs around the themes of health-enhancing gadgets, research, and innovations that challenged the audience to think deeply about these intersections and the future of the Quantified Self. The event was attended by 150+ people—GE employees, healthcare-focused organizations, journalists, scientists, and some of GE’s most prized clients.
Founding Board member
Board of Directors, since 2006.
Kickstarter stumbled upon Sunny Bates at that perfect and daunting moment when they knew they had a revolutionizing idea in their hands but needed a final push. ‘Where to go next?’, they asked. Sunny advised and helped them generate a network that was crucial for the successful building and launching of this groundbreaking service. Since then, Sunny has been there whenever needed, pushing and opening doors in ways that have allowed Kickstarter to continue their growth while staying faithful to their mission of connecting untapped talent and a supportive (and growing) public.
Executive Development Course (EDC): SBA curated and organized a hands-on learning journey focusing on entrepreneurship in emerging markets. We arranged 100+ meetings for 20 of GE’s most senior executives, divided into 3 different groups across Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Nairobi, New Delhi, and Mumbai. Themed clusters built a story for each country around the areas of greatest future potential for GE. Executives gained crucial context from which to build their next-generation global business strategies.
“Sunny and her team have one of the broadest and deepest networks I’ve ever seen in action. We leveraged SBA’s talents in the building of an Executive Leadership course that sent our participants around the globe meeting with senior leaders from various businesses and industries. She was able to arrange viable speakers, social and cultural events, and other relevant resources to help make our event a huge success. Her teams’ can-do attitude and willingness to problem solve when needed was consistent and much appreciated. I look forward to working with Sunny and her team in the future!”
General Electric, Inc.
Sunny Bates Associates has helped the leadership of Guardian Life Insurance explore the future of insurance with several day-long discussion and learning journeys. The engagements have featured experts in personal finance, innovative insurance products, emerging trends in big data, and social media. These eye-opening events have prompted a new kind of thinking about the possibilities in Guardian's own market, with an increased emphasis on inclusiveness. SBA continues to advise Guardian and help discover ways to stay at the forefront of the life insurance market.
Together with Credit Suisse’s leadership, SBA developed the Proactive Engagement series, with 4 sessions in 2011 and 3 in 2012 in both New York City and Zurich. The series serves as a forum allowing the Credit Suisse internal audience to engage with key disruptive leaders who chart the future of business in several different key areas. Together they explore major trends in industries that affect not only the bank and its work; but that are crucial to understanding the 21st Century economy.
Some topics explored throughout the Proactive Series include:
- Green energy trends.
- The Future of Cities
- Future of Personal Mobility
- Flash Retail e-commerce.
- User Experience
- Social media in business.
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