Fresh ideas about design
“The largest, most exclusive gathering of young entrepreneurs and game-changers in the world.” Author Randall Lane’s description of the Forbes Under 30 Summit is high praise. From star-studded lectures, panels, concerts, fashion shows, food competitions, quizzo, collaboration dinners, running meet-ups, and everything else… Forbes demonstrated that it understands how to identify and entertain emerging trendsetters.
As a newcomer to the group, the conference strengthened my resolve and identity as a millennial designer and social entrepreneur. Every session seemed poised to emphasize ways that we can capitalize and utilize our creative power for the common good. Below are three highlights from the many lessons I learned at this life-changing event!
1) The New Normal
Breakoff innovators have come to expect that their offices will reflect the entrepreneurial work environments they became familiar with at former employers (such as Google, YouTube, Facebook, etc.). Business owners and staff at companies such as Victorious, Oculus Rift, and scoreAscore run their shops like labs, innovation hubs, and tech entrepreneurs… all at once! They embrace new modes of working that favor multiplicity and flexibility because it ultimately leads to happier and more productive staff. The break-out prototypes made famous by tech giants are no longer the exception, they are a ubiquitous standard.
2) “Good” Company
As the generation with the largest purchase power, millennials are changing the way markets operate by voting with our dollars. In this emerging cultural landscape, the most successful businesses are those that clearly define their social mission and effectively communicate how the purchase of their products/services directly contributes to the personal betterment of the consumer and the increased welfare of the community.
Socially-responsible designers seem particularly ready to make the most of this mindset, and uniquely poised to profit from helping other institutions update their own brand. The proof is in the cash: companies such as Warby Parker reap the profits of progressive purchase programs.
3) Social Media meets a Media Social
While speakers ranging from Monica Lewinsky to Nobel Laureate Malala Yousafzai presented their humbling stories, press for the event was broadcast by local news outlets, CNN, the BBC, and beyond. Family and friends were hounding everyone attending by text, email, and Facebook for more information.
Internal to the summit, however, Forbes had created a custom app that allowed the 1,500 attendees to communicate and collaborate in relative isolation. We could schedule dinners, networking breaks, and share content with the whole conference.
Most importantly, Forbes announced that the app would remain live for the indefinite future. This now gives us each exclusive access to the informal brain trust of the Forbes Under 30 list, as well as the network of professionals around the globe.
In the weeks since the conference, we’ve been scheduling meet-ups, posing technical questions to forums, and advertising our own services to eachother in a way that I never could have imagined possible. Unlike most conferences where you arrive and leave in relative anonymity, these are all connections I will carry with me for the rest of my life!
Read more about the Summit here.
Or, watch the highlight reel here.
Collectively, the design and construction industry has risen to the challenge and we’re diligently doing our part in reducing the amount of waste generated, however statistics don’t lie… We still have a long way to go!
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