Schedule

The Fast Company Grill will be open daily March 8 - 11, 10:30AM - 4:30 PM

Scroll down for the 2019 schedule.

Attendance to talks is on a first-come, first-served basis.

Friday, March 8, 2019
FAST COMPANY GRILL OPENS
10:30 AM
THE POWER OF PLAY
 
SPEAKERS: JORGE CASIMIRO, VP, Global Community Impact, Nike; CHRIS DOWN, chief design officer, Mattel; and SANYA RICHARDS-ROSS, Four-time Olympic Gold Medalist, Entrepreneur, and Author, Chasing Grace

MODERATOR: JILL BERNSTEIN, editorial director, Fast Company

For a generation of “digitally native,” highly scheduled kids and teens, the need to get out and play has never been more urgent. Some three-quarters of kids globally don’t get the physical activity they need, and research shows that play with complex objects and physical activity are essential to helping children learn and thrive in life. For girls, the need for activity and object play is especially urgent: It can boost confidence, enhance physical and mental health, and help create a new generation of creative thinkers.

11:30 AM - 12:10 PM

THE NEXT WAVE OF THE DTC REVOLUTION 
Presented by Shopify 

SPEAKERS: LILY KANTER, CEO, Boon Supply; and Cofounder, Serena & Lily; BRIAN SPALY, Executive Chairman, Tecovas; Founder, Trunk Club; and Founder, Bonobos; and JEFF WEISER, CMO, Shopify

MODERATOR: BEN BAER, Executive Editor - Content Strategies, FastCo Works

The rise of direct-to-consumer (DTC) brands forever changed the relationship between consumers and their favorite products. It also ushered in a new era of entrepreneurship, with successful merchants focused on building their brands and a customer base dedicated to their products. But as the DTC trend has taken off, what trends will disrupt the industry again? This panel will focus on how some of the most successful DTC companies have propelled their businesses forward and navigated these new consumer trends, while sharing tips for future entrepreneurs about building a brand that can stand out in a crowd.

1:10 PM - 1:50 PM

A CONVERSATION WITH ACTOR MATTHEW MCCONAUGHEY AND MICHAEL ACTON SMITH

SPEAKERS: MATTHEW MCCONAUGHEY, Academy Award-Winning Actor and Founder, just keep livin Foundation; and MICHAEL ACTON SMITH, Cofounder and Co-CEO, Calm

MODERATOR: STEPHANIE MEHTA, editor-in-chief, Fast Company

2:00 PM - 2:30 PM

WOMEN SQUARED: FEMALE FINANCIERS MEET FEMALE FOUNDERS      

SPEAKERS: SARAH JONES SIMMER, COO, Bumble; and ELIZABETH GORE, President and Chairwoman, Alice

MODERATOR: PAUL SMALERA, executive editor, digital, Fast Company

Fast Company explores the potential for exponential gains when women financiers back women founders and female-led companies.

2:50 PM - 3:30 PM

HAPPY HOUR
Sponsored by INTRINSIC Wine Co.

4:00 PM - 6:00 PM
FAST COMPANY GRILL CLOSES
 
6:00 PM
Saturday, March 9, 2019
FAST COMPANY GRILL OPENS
10:30 AM

THE PERSONAL PROJECT: ONE-ON-ONE WITH PAMELA ADLON

SPEAKER: PAMELA ADLON, Executive Producer, Writer, Director, Actor, Better Things

MODERATOR: JILL BERNSTEIN, editorial director, Fast Company
 

Pamela Adlon spent most of her almost 40-year entertainment career under the radar, playing supporting roles or doing voice work in nearly 200 films and shows (including King of the Hill). Her acclaimed show, Better Things, now in its third season on FX, has opened up a whole new set of opportunities for the Hollywood veteran—and responsibilities, too. Fast Company explores how Adlon handles numerous jobs at once, hires and motivates creative talent, and manages today’s ever-shifting cultural dynamics.

11:00 AM - 11:30 AM

THE NEW, NEW CONSUMER

SPEAKERS: AHSAN RIZVI, Founder and CEO, Kiddom; ALICIA TILLMAN, CMO, SAP

MODERATOR: STEPHANIE MEHTA, editor-in-chief, Fast Company

Your customer no longer is simply the person who buys from you; a whole ecosystem of people influence buying decisions today. For consumers it might be their kids or friends; for enterprises it could be employees or shareholders. And more often than not, those influencers are young or vocal (or both) and come with entirely different sets of expectations. This panel will explore the expanding universe of decision makers, what is shaping their values, and how best to serve them.

11:30 AM - 12:10 PM

INNOVATING AT SPEED: HOW BIG BRANDS AND SCRAPPY STARTUPS DEVELOP NEW IDEAS
Presented by United Technologies

SPEAKERS: JASON CHUA, Executive Director, United Technologies Advanced Projects (UTAP); COTTER CUNNINGHAM, Founder and Chairman, RetailMeNot; and CLARA VU, Cofounder and VP, Engineering, VEO Robotics

MODERATOR: BIZ MITCHELL, Editor, FastCo Works

Ideas are the lifeblood of business, so creating a culture that encourages creativity is critical to staying ahead of the competition. So how do you create the structure necessary to encourage innovation without losing focus on your core business? In this panel, we examine how startups and longtime industry players maintain a culture of creativity in their own unique ways and what lessons can be learned from each approach.

2:00 PM - 2:40 PM

TOMORROW’S OFFICE: HOW TECH CAN HELP KEEP A DISPARATE WORKFORCE PRODUCTIVE
Presented by Citrix

SPEAKERS: DONNA KIMMEL, EVP, Chief People Officer, Citrix; and SARA SUTTON, Founder and CEO, FlexJobs; and MARTIN WEZOWSKI, Chief Designer at SAP

MODERATOR: BIZ MITCHELL, Editor, FastCo Works

One of the biggest challenges facing innovative companies is keeping an increasingly disparate workforce engaged and productive. Managing teams of free agents who work on-site, remotely, or a combination of the two, will require an evolution of skills and savvy use of technology to establish a culture that is stable enough to maintain continuity yet flexible enough to pivot quickly. Communications, productivity monitoring, and human resources are just three areas that will experience a radical transformation. In this thought-provoking panel, we'll examine what productivity will look like in tomorrow’s workforce and the role technology will play in changing workplace expectations.

3:40 PM - 4:20 PM

MAKING DAVID MAKES MAN

SPEAKERS: TARELL ALVIN MCCRANEY, Academy Award-Winning Writer; creator, David Makes Man; TINA PERRY, President, Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN); and PHYLICIA RASHAD, Award-Winning Actress, Creed and The Cosby Show

MODERATOR: KC IFEANYI, associate editor, Fast Company

Prolific writer Tarell Alvin McCraney (Moonlight, Choir Boy, High Flying Bird) pushes into television with the semiautobiographical David Makes Man. He and key members of the team discuss how this unusually lyrical story came to television, the never-ending tension between commercialization and art, and the overall environment for artists today.

4:30 PM - 5:10 PM
Fast Company GRILL CLOSES
5:20 PM
Sunday, March 10, 2019
FAST COMPANY GRILL OPENS
10:30 AM

ONE-ON-ONE WITH CHRISTINA TOSI

SPEAKER: CHRISTINA TOSI, Chef and Founder, Milk Bar

MODERATOR: STEPHANIE MEHTA, editor-in-chief, Fast Company

11:00 AM - 11:30 AM

ONE-ON-ONE WITH REP. WILL HURD

SPEAKER: WILL HURD, U.S. Representative, Texas’s 23rd Congressional District

MODERATOR: STEPHANIE MEHTA, editor-in-chief, Fast Company

Texan Will Hurd is a most unusual member of Congress—not just because he’s the sole African-American Republican in the house, or because he has pushed back on President Trump’s calls for a border wall. Hurd, a former undercover CIA officer, is the rare lawmaker who understands tech and cybersecurity deeply. What is Hurd’s vision for American innovation, security, and prosperity?

12:15 PM - 12:45 PM

THE FUTURE IS FREELANCE: HOW TO SURVIVE—AND THRIVE—IN THE SELF-EMPLOYED ECONOMY
Presented by Intuit

SPEAKERS: TWISHA MEHTA, Senior Impact Manager, Samaschool; and JEREMY SULZMANN, Business Segment Leader for QuickBooks Self Employed at Intuit

MODERATOR: BIZ MITCHELL, Editor, FastCo Works

According to a recent study, by 2020, 60% of Americans will work at least part time as a freelancer or self-employed. But this increasing self-reliance—whether by choice or necessity—comes with trade-offs. How can self-employed workers learn the necessary skills when there is no entrepreneurial education or mentors to show them the ropes? What can they do to prepare for the future when they can’t rely on company health and retirement benefits? This timely panel will examine the key skills needed for self-employment and entrepreneurial success over the next decade—along with recommendations on how to acquire them.

1:10 PM - 1:50 PM
FAST COMPANY GRILL CLOSES
 
4:30 PM
Monday, March 11, 2019
FAST COMPANY GRILL OPENS
10:30 AM

NEW STORIES, NEW PLATFORMS

SPEAKERS: CURTIS HICKMAN, Cofounder and Chief Creative Officer, The Void; DAVID MODIGLIANI, Director and Producer, Running with Beto, 61 Bullets, and Crawford

MODERATOR: PAUL SMALERA, executive editor, digital, Fast Company

Storytellers have never had more outlets for their creativity: Distribution outlets for written and filmed content are proliferating; platforms such as Twitter, Instagram, and Snap have ushered in new ways of short-form expression; and ever-evolving augmented and virtual reality technologies are enabling creators to think about stories in three-dimensional, experiential ways. Our panel explores the elements of good storytelling—the subject of a documentary, say, or the narrative elements, or the way material is presented—and how technology can enhance (or distract from) a good story. Has digital transformation been good for storytelling? Has technology forced storytellers to find new ways to hold the attention of readers or viewers? And how have filmmakers adapted their timeless craft to these rapidly changing times?

11:30 AM - 12:10 PM

HOW TECH CAN SOLVE THE NUMBER ONE WORRY FOR AMERICANS–FINANCIAL STRESS
presented by SunTrust

SPEAKERS: ED DORAN, Director Product Management, Microsoft Research; WILLIAM ‘WHURLEY’ HURLEY, founder and CEO, Strangeworks; and KEN MEYER, CTO for consumer banking, SunTrust

MODERATOR: BIZ MITCHELL, Editor, FastCo Works

Technology is responsible for improving our lives in countless ways, from how we get around town to improving disaster relief. But can it address one of our greatest worries: financial stress? More than 80% of Americans lie awake at night worrying about money—and 40% don’t have $2,000 saved for an emergency. How can technology be unleashed to ignite financial confidence? Can this groundswell of innovation—from AI and 5G to personalization and the internet of things—be harnessed to combat financial stress in America?

12:20 PM - 1:00 PM

The Power of Live

SPEAKERS: KELLY STRICKLAND, Senior Vice President of Tour Marketing, Live Nation; and ROZONDA “CHILLI” THOMAS, Singer-Songwriter, TLC

MODERATOR: KC IFEANYI, associate editor, Fast Company

While their iconic music videos helped propel the R&B group to fame in the 1990s, TLC is going back on tour. Its members talk about the importance of live performance, connecting with fans, and why live experiences matter now more than ever.

2:00 PM - 2:30 PM
FAST COMPANY GRILL CLOSES
 
4:30 PM