Fast Company Announces The Fast Company Innovation Festival Line-up

Over 100 Events at 75 Venues Throughout New York City Featuring Nike’s Mark Parker with Serena Williams, Goop’s Gwyneth Paltrow with Lisa Gersh, Beth Comstock, Troy Carter, Ari Emanuel, Steve Aoki and More

November 9-13, 2015

NEW YORK--()--Fast Company announces the line-up for its first ever week-long event, The Fast Company Innovation Festival, November 9-13, 2015 in New York City. Over the course of five days, the Festival will bring together extraordinary personalities from the worlds of business, technology, design, and entertainment for bold conversations, hands-on workshops, and behind-the-scenes site visits designed to inspire and surprise. The Festival will also celebrate Fast Company’s 20th anniversary.

“With over 100 events at 75 venues throughout New York City, The Fast Company Innovation Festival is the largest event of its kind that any business media has ever produced,” noted Bob Safian, Editor and Managing Director of Fast Company. “We are excited to host hundreds of readers, thought leaders, innovators and entertainers as we celebrate this milestone in our history.”

Fast Company Innovation Festival attendees will design their own agenda, selecting from a series of high-level keynote conversations taking place at NYU’s Skirball Center; curated panel discussions and workshops at Civic Hall, a new tech-minded collaborative workspace in the Flatiron district; and 70+ behind-the-scenes tours of some of the most creative companies and locations across New York City.

Confirmed Conversations for the Skirball Stage:

  • Building a Business That Matters: featuring Katia Beauchamp (Birchbox), Neil Blumenthal and Dave Gilboa (Warby Parker), Tristan Walker (Walker & Company) and Yancey Strickler (Kickstarter)
  • The Business of Goop: featuring Goop founder Gwyneth Paltrow and CEO Lisa Gersh, interviewed by Yahoo’s Katie Couric
  • Inside Nike’s Playbook: featuring Mark Parker, CEO of Nike Inc. with Serena Williams
  • Why Design Matters: featuring Tony Faddell, co-founder and CEO of Nest Labs and a special guest
  • The Future of Entertainment – The Next Intersection for Hollywood: featuring William Morris Endeavor’s Ari Emanuel and Patrick Whitesell, with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson
  • How Science Will Change the World: featuring DJ and producer Steve Aoki and a special guest
  • Creative Conversations: featuring musician, writer, and actress Carrie Brownstein
  • Black List Live! A reading of Hosers, an as-yet-unproduced sitcom: featuring Jason Biggs (The Heidi Chronicles, Orange Is the New Black), Anthony Ramos (Hamilton), and more to be announced
  • A Creative Look Inside TV Land’s Younger: featuring TV icon Darren Star and other guests to be announced

Confirmed Conversations for the Civic Hall Stage:

  • Building a Business That Matters, Part II: Aaron Levie (CEO, Box), Sallie Krawcheck (CEO, Ellevate) and Beth Comstock (Vice Chair, GE)
  • Building a Business That Matters, Part III, Social Entrepreneur Edition: Barbara Bush (Global Health Corps), Meighan Stone (The Malala Fund), Charles Best (DonorsChoose), Leila Jana (Samasource) and Casey Gerald (MBAs Across America).
  • Innovation is Everything with Troy Carter (Atom Factory) interviewed by NPR’s Kai Ryssdal
  • Inside Obama’s Tech Startup: White House advisors Todd Park, chief data scientist DJ Patil. Lisa Gelobter, Hilary Hartley and Hayley Van Dyck
  • Data + Drugs: A Look at the New Evolution of Drugmaking with Anne Wojcicki (CEO, 23andMe) and Cindy Whitehead (CEO, Sprout Pharmaceuticals) interviewed by NPR’s Lizzie O’Leary
  • Food as Experience with chefs Amanda Freitag and Marcus Samuelsson
  • The Future of Retail: From Brick and Mortar to eCommerce, Why Experience is Supreme: Olivia Kim (Nordstrom), Uri Minkoff (Rebecca Minkoff), and Rosie O’Neill (Sugarfina)
  • Lessons from the Digital Screen to the Small Screen: Adam Conover (truTV’s Adam Ruins Everything) and Sam Reich (CollegeHumor)
  • Are we all Designers? A Debate on Design and Technology featuring Ayah Bdheir (Littlebits) and Jake Barton (Local Projects)
  • From the Runway to the Social World: Eva Chen (Instagram) in conversation with Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez (Proenza Schouler)

Behind-the-Scenes Site Visits:

  • iHeartMedia, Inc. featuring Bob Pittman and recording artist Bea Miller
  • Metropolitan Museum of Art led by Chief Digital Officer Sree Sreenivasan
  • Cooper Hewitt tour led by curator Brooke Hodge
  • Droga5 featuring luminary advertising executive David Droga
  • Valrhona hosted by Francois Payard who will discuss chocolate innovation
  • Brooklyn Fashion and Design Accelerator featuring a sustainable fashion show with Eileen Fisher and Maiyet, plus a panel discussion with Eileen, Paul van Zyl (Maiyet), and Tyson Toussant (Bionic Yarn)
  • ENJOY with Ron Johnson (creator of the Apple Store) on the future of retail
  • BirchBox, Eataly, Etsy, General Assembly, IBM, L'Oreal, Major League Baseball Advanced Media, the Brooklyn Nets, Pentagram, PepsiCo’s Design and Innovation Center, Refinery 29, the Rockefeller Foundation, Shinola, Squarespace, West Elm, and dozens more


To purchase tickets and to see complete festival information, go to


Aloft: Aloft Hotels is the official Hotel Partner for Fast Company’s Innovation Festival. Aloft Hotels will outfit NYU’s Skirball Center with a comfortable networking lounge for guests to re-charge, relax and mingle in between content sessions. Guests will also have the opportunity to interact with Botlr, Aloft’s innovative robotic butler, who will make a special guest appearance. At Civic Hall, guests can stock-up on snacks and drinks at Aloft Re:fuel stations, located throughout the festival hub. Additionally, Aloft will be featuring a custom “FCIF Playlist” via Spotify, inspired by their Live At Aloft Hotels programming.

LAB at Rockwell Group: Rockwell Group’s focus on storytelling and spectacle in all of its projects, from interiors to theater sets, make it a perfect partner for Fast Company’s goal of bringing unexpected personalities and experiences together for the Innovation Festival. Specifically, the LAB at Rockwell Group—an innovation studio that merges interactive technology with architectural experiences—is uniquely positioned to fill Civic Hall—the Innovation Festival’s headquarters for the week—with surprising, memorable activations.

Mercedes: For the 4th year, Mercedes-Benz Vans and Fast Company are teaming up to award an innovative and growing entrepreneurial business with a Metris, the new mid-size addition to the Mercedes-Benz Vans family, along with $10,000 towards customization. This year’s winner, Social Imprints, a branding company that hires at-risk adults, won the “Drive Your Business Forward” contest. Social Imprints will be at the Fast Company Innovation Festival, parked outside Civic Hall offering branded materials to attendees. Mercedes-Benz Vans will also transport attendees to events across the city in custom co-branded Sprinter and Metris vans.

MOO: MOO is Fast Company’s official printing partner for the Fast Company Innovation Festival. In additional to printing various collateral and materials, MOO is offering attendees a discount on custom business cards to pick-up at the event: They will also be distributing NFC cards with connection to the live-stream footage of the event and connection to wifi for all Android users. Additionally, MOO and Fast Company will host a panel discussion titled “How Good Design Informs Good Business,” featuring successful entrepreneurs, including Scott Norton of Sir Kensington’s Ketchup, Marawan El-Asfahani of Jacknife Design and ZeShan Malik of Melee Media.

MLBAM: Fast Company is collaborating with MLBAM and leveraging its streaming technology infrastructure to provide live access to select content sessions at NYU’s Skirball Center throughout the week. The live streams will allow anyone tuning in to participate in the event from their computers or smart phones.

Post-it Brand: Post-it Brand offers a suite of collaboration products, including Post-it Big Pads, Post-it Dry Erase Surface and more, that will be integrated within the workshops, content sessions, site visits and book signings throughout the week. To help drive conversations, brainstorming and idea sharing Post-it Brand will be sponsoring a series of “Building a Business that Matters Speed Solutions” sessions following panels at Civic Hall, giving attendees a unique opportunity to consult with industry leaders from the panels about their own businesses. Post-it Collaboration products will be used to facilitate sessions, providing the necessary tools for participants to brainstorm and receive feedback and tips from the experts. Festival attendees will also have access to a variety of Post-it Products across all venues.

Viacom: Viacom’s compelling entertainment content will come to life at the Fast Company Innovation Festival through custom interstitials before the keynote sessions at NYU’s Skirball Center. The videos will showcase the power of Viacom’s iconic brands and integrate it with Fast Company’s unique sensibility, setting an inspiring tone for Festival attendees. The Fast Company Innovation Festival will also serve as a platform for sharing the Made Here: Creators At Viacom series, a behind-the-scenes look at how the company’s innovative creators make shows, engage fans and drive culture.


Fast Company is one of the world’s leading business media brands, with an editorial focus on creativity and innovation in technology, ethical economics, leadership, and design. Headquartered in New York City, Fast Company is published by Mansueto Ventures LLC, along with our sister publication Inc. and can be found online at | #FCNY | @fastcompany


Mary Wible Vertin, (917) 593-3223
Mistrella Murphy, (917) 797-3475


Mary Wible Vertin, (917) 593-3223
Mistrella Murphy, (917) 797-3475