Fast Company Announces the Third Annual Fast Company Innovation Festival

Leading With Optimism: October 23-27, 2017

NEW YORK--()--Fast Company announces its third annual Fast Company Innovation Festival, taking place October 23-27 in New York City. Over the course of the week, the festival’s theme of “Leading With Optimism” will bring together extraordinary personalities from the worlds of business, technology, design, and entertainment for bold conversations, hands-on workshops, and exclusive tours inside innovative companies. The Festival will also feature a variety of purposeful networking sessions to help attendees effect positive change in their careers and industries.

Innovation Festival attendees will design their own agendas, selecting from a series of high-level keynote conversations, taking place at 92Y (1395 Lexington Avenue), thought-provoking discussions and workshops being held at Convene (237 Park Avenue), which is a premium meeting and event space that will serve as the Festival hub, where attendees can connect with the Fast Company team and each other. Also on the line-up are more than 100 Fast Tracks to choose from—offering behind-the-scenes tours of some of the most creative companies and institutions around New York City.

Abby Wambach, Athlete and Activist
Andy Cohen, Host, “Watch What Happens Live”
Caryl Stern, CEO, UNICEF
Carol Lim and Humberto Leon, Founders, Opening Ceremony, Co-Creative Directors, Kenzo
Cecile Richards, President, Planned Parenthood Federation of America
Common, Artist, Actor, Poet, and Producer
Derek Jeter, Founding Publisher, The Players Tribune
Emily Weiss, Founder and CEO, Glossier
Jessica Alba, Founder, The Honest Company
Jim Hackett, CEO, Ford
Jonah Peretti, CEO, Buzzfeed
Kate Hudson, Actress; Cofounder, Fabletics
Kimbal Musk, Cofounder, The Kitchen
Lena Waithe, Actress, Screenwriter Master of None
Marc Lore, President and CEO of
Mario Batali, Chef and Restaurateur
Michael Strahan, Cohost, Good Morning America; cofounder, SMAE
Rashad Robinson, Executive Director, Color of Change
Tristan Walker, Founder and CEO, Walker & Company Brands

Fast Company is proud to welcome our Festival sponsors from across the most innovative and forward-thinking industries, from automotive to entertainment to biotechnology. Our partners will be represented on panels, Fast Tracks, and on-site activations.

Audi of America
Audi will offer a look into the future of automotive transportation, how different technologies will likely alter the driver and passenger experience, and further explore the societal impact of those changes.

Cartoon Network
Cartoon Network is the official partner of the Creativity Track at the Innovation Festival. The network will be joined by leading creative minds for a dynamic panel and breakfast exploring the importance of creativity and how to shape the next generation of great minds to be creators.

Through discussion and live demonstration, Pfizer will explore how the intersection of a mission-based culture and emerging technologies provide a solid foundation for the future of health care and the exponential increase in the value of a brand.

3M was built on the notion that the foundation of innovation is curiosity. Attendees will be encouraged to join the conversation about how nurturing social curiosity and applying it with a social mission can lead to social impact on a global scale.

Shell is changing the way big business embraces futurism, by collaborating with innovators and entrepreneurs to unlock global energy solutions. Visit the Shell Synergy Food Truck to see and experience these solutions first hand.

Lifeway Foods
Lifeway Foods is the official Café Sponsor of the Innovation Festival. Lifeway Foods is providing kefir products and sparkling probiotic Elixir to the Nourish cafés at Convene throughout the festival. On Thursday, October 26 Lifeway Foods CEO Julie Smolyansky will host a discussion on company growth and innovative pivots.

Flex provides sketch-to-scale solutions ranging from innovative design and engineering, through manufacturing, real-time supply chain insight, and logistics services to companies of all sizes in various industries and end-markets. Flex will also offer an exclusive behind-the-scenes experience at their NYC innovation hub.

UCLA is partnering with the Innovation Festival to explore how the power of optimism—that can-do attitude that shatters boundaries and upends the status quo—can change the world. Every day and everywhere across the planet, people's lives are made better because of something UCLA optimists discovered, refined, invented, or perfected. At the Innovation Festival, UCLA—the top-ranked public university in America—will host a panel featuring its storied faculty and accomplished alumni on “Ideas that Take Off,” as well as a Purposeful Networking cocktail party with legendary UCLA astronomer and galactic explorer Andrea Ghez. The UCLA Wall of Fame will be live at Convene throughout the week.

Innovation Festival attendees will network, connect, and recharge at CBRE’s on-site workspace. Designed to enable guests to have a great conference experience, the space provides cutting edge work settings, interactive space, and a concierge team ready to solve their needs.

Who is the customer of the future? Creative consultancy Lippincott, a global leader in brand, design, innovation, and culture-building, will host attendees at their Park Avenue headquarters for a fast-paced workshop unpacking the tech-driven trends shaping our future. Dan Clay, a leader in Lippincott’s innovation practice, will also join top retail experts on the Convene stage to discuss how data is changing the future of retail.

Bumble Bizz
Bumble Bizz will change the way professionals network through a sponsored Hive Pollination Station, where attendees will develop their careers through one-on-one mentoring sessions from a mix of business leaders. On Bumble Bizz, users swipe and match with others based on location. Bumble Bizz, launching in October 2017, instantly connects members with potential mentors, industry leaders, brands—and maybe their next business partner.


For more information including additional venues, programming and speakers, click here


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 | #FCFESTIVAL| @fastcompany


For Fast Company
Mary Vertin, 917-593-3223
Mistrella Murphy, 917-797-3475


For Fast Company
Mary Vertin, 917-593-3223
Mistrella Murphy, 917-797-3475