Greg Lindsay's Blog

September 22, 2023  |  permalink

Fast Company Innovation Festival 2023

Once again, I was back in the moderator’s chair at the 2023 Fast Company Innovation Festival — the premier event of the magazine I’ve been affiliated with for nearly two decades. These days, I’m the host’s Swiss-army-knife when it comes to leading panels headlined by Festival partners covering everything from AI to rewards cards to post-ESG investing to the future of the humble bar code. Here’s a quick listing of the disparate subjects I was assigned this year:

• “Dollars Doing Better: How Responsible Investment Can Drive Change and Returns,” (pictured at top and bottom) with Janus Henderson Investors’ Michelle Dunstan, NYU’s Carolyn Kissane, and the Mentora Institute’s Hitendra Wadhwa. How do you build a personal investment portfolio designed to both thrive in and improve our future? One key is to move beyond investment strategies that merely exclude bad actors and instead to embrace innovative companies committed to creating meaningful change. This approach requires proactive analysis that factors in a host of insights around company trajectory, market performance, and the technologies in play. Hear how far-sighted businesses aligning their company’s vision and strategy to the future are better prepared to succeed and to help drive global change—and meaningful returns for their investors.

• “How to Accelerate AI for Business,” with IBM’s Rohit Badlaney, Fidelity’s Sarah Hoffman, and Columbia Business School’s David Rogers. Generative AI is having its spotlight moment, yet the true value of AI for organizations is based on having a resilient, secure, compliant hybrid cloud infrastructure that delivers the required performance. How do you scale up an AI strategy? How do you keep everything secure? Hear from business and technology leaders as they share their insights on how to unlock the full potential of data and AI.

• “The New Premium Frontier: How Elevated Experiences Create Forever Customers,” with Capital One’s Lauren Liss and Daniela Jorge, along with Leading Hotels of the World CEO Shannon Knapp. As the world grows more complex, the premium on products and services that enrich and simplify people’s lives has never been higher. With the luxury market set to triple in the years ahead, winning high-earning, tech-savvy consumers starts with providing exceptional benefits, world-class design, and a people-first approach. Leading executives from the travel and financial services industries will unveil their strategies for innovating the customer experience in ways that connect with the modern premium consumer and outshine the competition.

• “Disrupt or Be Disrupted: Rethinking Commerce with Next-Level Consumer Engagement,” with GS1 US’ Carrie Wilkie, Bitly CEO Toby Gabriner, Puma’s Lauren Antenucci, and Dillard’s Chuck Lasley. Today’s consumers enjoy more transparency and options than ever before. In this new world of limitless information, how can you better preserve the authenticity that creates consumer loyalty and trust? Innovation is at full throttle with brands and retailers that are choosing to disrupt the shopping experience in groundbreaking ways—versus being on the receiving end of disruption due to marketplace shifts or consumer demands. In this thought-provoking discussion, join a panel of experts, leading retailers, and innovators as they discuss how emerging technologies like two-dimensional (2D) barcodes and radio-frequency identification (RFID) are fueling next-level commerce experiences by creating limitless consumer engagement.

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Greg Lindsay is a generalist, urbanist, futurist, and speaker. He is a 2022-2023 urban tech fellow at Cornell Tech’s Jacobs Institute, where he leads The Metaverse Metropolis — a new initiative exploring the implications of augmented reality at urban scale. He is also a senior fellow of MIT’s Future Urban Collectives Lab, a senior advisor to Climate Alpha, and a non-resident senior fellow of the Atlantic Council’s Scowcroft Strategy Initiative.

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