Highlights From Fast Company Innovation Festival 2018

Fast Company Innovation Festival was held last week in New York City. Check out our favorite highlights from the event. 

The five day festival featured panels and presentations that included startups, industry leaders, actors and musicians. In over 150 sessions, attendees experienced talks, workshops and demos, covering everything from tech to design, leadership to creativity, fashion to healthcare, and more. A few notable speakers included Apple’s Lisa Jackson, actress Jennifer Garner, and Pinterest’s Andy Holton.

Themes we saw include leadership lessons and tips, the need for more diversity across all industries, and creating companies that prioritize social issues and impact in today’s political climate.

Here are a few of our favorite highlights from the week:

SoulCycle’s CEO Melanie Whelan announced the company will expand internationally. The first location outside of the U.S., home to 88 studios, will be in London at some point in 2019. SoulCycle will also increase online offerings through its new media division.

Fashion icon Diane von Furstenberg and Bumble’s founder and CEO, Whitney Wolfe Herd, talked about the challenges of being a woman in charge, and why being kind isn’t always nice. “We need to empower women starting early to be confident, to be secure, to know their worth,” said Herd.

During a keynote, actress Jennifer Garner spoke about a new organic family food brand she co-founded, Once Upon a Farm. You can watch the full clip here. In the video, Garner and the company’s CEO John Foraker discuss the mission of the project and how it help parents, as well as food sustainability, non-GMO awareness, the importance of fresh, healthy food and affordability.

Jennifer Salke, former NBC Entertainment president and current head of Amazon Studios, and Jason Blum, producer and founder of Blumhouse Productions (just released Halloween), discussed the changing entertainment landscape, taking risks and pushing the boundaries. They also cleared up controversy about comments made on the lack of female directors and actresses in horror movies.

Delta’s CEO Ed Bastian and Spanx founder Sara Blakely joined forces on stage to share experiences, values and leadership during uncertain times. Bastian discusses receiving emails from students of Stoneman Douglas High School after the shooting in Parkland, Florida, while Blakeley covered the #MeToo movement.

More details about this year’s event can be found on Fast Company’s website. We’re looking forward to hearing from new and established leaders, innovators and creators at the Innovation Festival next year!


Thanks for the photo, Unsplash

Carrie Weiss
Published: Oct 29, 2018

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