Fast Tracks are day-long neighborhood excursions curated by Fast Company to bring you inside some of the most intriguing and
creative enterprises in Los Angeles.
Fast Track neighborhoods on May 16th will include: Burbank,
Downtown L.A., Hollywood, Playa Vista, Santa Monica, and Venice.
9:00 AM Networking Breakfast at the W Hollywood
9:15 AM Partner Panel:The Creative Echo Chamber: Questioning Unconscious Bias, Insularity, and Sources of Inspiration (Presented by Ketchum)
9:30—10:30 AM FC/LA shuttles depart for Fast Tracks across Los Angeles
11:00 AM—12:30 PM Fast Track #1
1:00—2:30 PM Fast Track #2 (Lunch will be served)
3:00—4:30 PM Fast Track #3
5:00—7:00 PM Happy Hour at Deutsch LA for west side Fast Tracks and Giphy Studios for east side Fast Tracks
7:00 PM+ TBA
*Note: Schedule and times are subject to change
11:00 AM—12:30 PM
FOUNTAINS OF THE FUTURE: HOW WET BUILT A CREATIVITY DREAM TEAM TO DEFEAT GRAVITY ITSELF
With more than 250 fountains across five continents, it’s safe to assume you’ve seen WET’s work (they’re behind the fountains at the Bellagio and the Dubai Fountain—the world’s largest performing fountain). At this visit to the eminent water-design firm’s Burbank Idea Playground, you’ll break into groups and explore everything from the company’s design studio to Area 9 (WET’s secret R&D Lab) and WET You University—the company’s internal staff education and enrichment program. Then you and your team will embark on a design sprint led by WET’s design team that will take you decades into the future as you imagine the future of water art and entertainment. The winning team will successfully pitch WET CEO (and Fast Company Most Creative Person) Mark Fuller—and take home a prize!
Comedy Dynamics (Special Guest Just Announced!)
HOW COMEDY DYNAMICS PROPELLED STAND-UP COMEDY INTO A NEW ERA
Visit Comedy Dynamics, the nation’s largest independent producer and distributor of comedy specials, and take a seat as CEO Brian Volk-Weiss and comedian Bob Saget bring you inside the modern world of stand-up comedy. From initiating innovative partnerships with the likes of Amazon and Hulu to experimenting with VR, Volk-Weiss and his team have had a major hand in giving the spotlight to the stand-up work of today's biggest comedians, including Kevin Hart, Louis C.K., Ali Wong, and more. On this visit to the Comedy Dynamics HQ (home to a full camera house and postproduction line), learn what it takes to always think a few steps ahead of where culture is going—with lots of laughs along the way!
THE PROFITABILITY OF PLAY: HASBRO'S GAME PLAN FOR INJECTING FUN INTO EVERYTHING IT DOES
Step inside Hasbro West’s brand-new 80,000-square-foot campus and see how the worldwide brand makes fun a priority, from photography to animation to toy making (down to the doll-hair machine!). You’ll explore the brands that Hasbro has brought to life in film, games, and on toy-store shelves in a tour led by SVP of entertainment and consumer products Simon Waters—and see how the company goes beyond toys with its signature consumer products and experiences. Plus, you’ll get an inside look at Hasbro’s new projects and how one of the world’s largest toy makers evangelizes its ethos of play company-wide with an unbeatable company culture.
2. Downtown L.A.
11:00 AM—12:30 PM
Absolut Art (New Details!)
ART IS FOR EVERYONE: SEE HOW ABSOLUT ART MAKES IT SIMPLE TO DISCOVER AND DISPLAY ORIGINAL ARTWORK
Join Absolut Art’s founders for a hands-on creative session inside the downtown L.A. studio of one of their favorite L.A. illustrators, Carly Kuhn. Absolut Art cofounder and CEO Nahema Mehta and cofounder and head of digital Marcus Lådö will share how they built an affordable online art market, making it easier than ever to own and display original pieces by contemporary artists from around the world. Kuhn (known on Instagram as @TheCartorialist) will guide you through an illustration activity, and you'll get to leave with their own artistic creation. Plus, you'll also get to explore the unique art scenes of cities across the globe with Absolut Art’s pop-up gallery of original prints, paintings, and drawings.
NEW MODELS FOR DOING GOOD THROUGH BUSINESS: INSIDE NONPROFIT HOMEBOY INDUSTRIES' FOR-PROFIT ACQUISITION
Homeboy Industries—a nonprofit job-training and rehabilitation program for the formerly incarcerated and gang-affiliated, led by Los Angeles icon Father Greg Boyle, S.J.—recently acquired a for-profit electronics recycling company, now known now as Homeboy Recycling. The partnership effectively created a new model for how the two sectors can work together for good, and defines what Homeboy Industries CEO Tom Vozzo calls the future of capitalism. On this visit to their HQ in downtown L.A., Father Boyle, Vozzo, Homeboy Recycling COO Chris Zwicke, and Homeboy Recycling employees including formerly incarcerated warehouse manager Xuong Cam will reveal how the innovative merger came about, and offer thoughts on how private sector companies can better engage with the nonprofit world to the tune of both great social benefit and financial success. (Also enjoy lunch catered by Homegirl Café, another of the organization’s social enterprises, where formerly incarcerated or gang affiliated men and women receive restaurant service training and critical job skills!)
EXPERIENCE THE ENTERTAINMENT RENAISSANCE AT GIPHY STUDIOS
We no longer simply watch entertainment—we share it. Users share GIFs on Facebook, Twitter, Slack, Tinder—even inside text messages—all powered by Giphy, the world's de facto GIF engine. Users watch more than 4 million hours of GIFs every day—and many of those are made right in L.A. by Giphy's not-so-secret secret weapon: Giphy Studios. At this behind-the-scenes session, be the first inside Giphy's brand-new Chinatown HQ and get the lowdown on how Studios plans to be ahead of the pop culture curve (again). Then record some #reaction GIFs of your own!
11:00 AM—12:30 PM
CONTENT x COMMERCE x CONTOURING: REDEFINING MILLENNIAL MARKETING WITH BEAUTYCON MEDIA
Step inside the hottest beauty startup’s Hollywood headquarters and see how Beautycon has built a hyperdiverse audience, a haven for influencers, and the world’s buzziest beauty-media company. In less than five years, CEO Moj Mahdara has transformed the company from a B2B network for online content creators to a consumer-facing media powerhouse for the young beauty obsessed and their Snap and YouTube heroes. See how Beautycon pulls off its three-pronged approach of beauty subscription boxes, digital media, and Beautycon Festivals that draws thousands of avid young consumers and nearly doubles in size each year. The team at Beautycon (and an influencer or two) will give you a peek behind the Beautycon curtain and share how the millennial and gen-Z beauty-industry machine has attracted attention and investment from the likes of BBG Ventures (AOL’s venture fund), A&E, Hearst Media, Bethany Mota, and more.
Huge (New Details!)
LESS ARTIFICIAL, MORE INTELLIGENT: A HUGE PLAYBOOK
As AI begins to redefine our relationships with brands, Huge is at the forefront of data-powered experiences, which meet user needs and respond to user emotions. Michael Horn, managing director of data science, will share the Smart Brands Index—Huge’s playbook for developing effective AI experiences. He'll be joined by Sophie Kleber, global head of product innovation, who will break down the right way to design emotionally intelligent machines. Together, you’ll learn how to build compelling, transformative experiences leveraging the latest methods and best practices.
Creative Artists Agency
INSIDE-OUT INNOVATION: HOW CAA TRANSLATES ITS COMPANY CULTURE INTO CREATIVE BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES
What is the secret to CAA’s approach to client representation and service across sports, entertainment, tech, brands, and more? Hint: It all starts with its company culture, which touches nearly 2,000 employees in multiple offices worldwide. By helping each other first, CAA's team is best able to service its A-list clients across the globe. At this session inside CAA’s spectacular Century City HQ, you'll meet the agents and executives who sit at the epicenter of the ever-evolving entertainment and sports landscape—plus get an inside look at its diversity practices and how the group stays nimble at massive scale.
4. Playa Vista
11:00 AM—12:30 PM
Aloft Hotels (Partner Fast Track)
DIFFERENT BY DESIGN: HOW ALOFT DRIVES INNOVATION FOR GUESTS
Aloft Hotels has been an innovative brand since its inception in 2008. From design to programming to food and beverage, the brand has revolutionized the way the staid hospitality landscape approaches the guest experience. Keyless check-in? They were first. Robotic butler? Check. Global music programming? (Mic) Check. And with more than 115 hotels around the world, there are no signs of slowing down. At this session inside Aloft's El Segundo location, you'll experience a conversation with Aloft, one of their innovation partners, and Co.Design editor Suzanne LaBarre on how these innovations come to life from concept to rollout within a global hospitality landscape as well as the future of creativity and technology for the brands. Then you’ll experience an outdoor musical performance and some of Aloft's tech innovations for yourself!
Ignition Creative + Kat Holmes
AT THE FOREFRONT OF TECH'S NEXT DESIGN WAVE: KAT HOLMES + IGNITION CREATIVE ON INCLUSIVE DESIGN
Join designer Kat Holmes—who pioneered the inclusive design program at Microsoft before striking out on her own to evangelize inclusivity everywhere—for an interactive session about design's next big discipline. Holmes is a special guest of Ignition, a creative agency with roots in the entertainment and branding worlds with clients like Netflix, Sony, and the L.A. Lakers, at their headquarters in Playa Vista. Not only will you get a front row seat to the innovation happening in this exciting new area of design, but you'll experience an interactive workshop that explores the marketability of inclusion using a real-world design challenge. How can including people with a range of abilities and disabilities at the outset of a project help you and your business reach a much broader audience? You'll find out in this workshop, which will be documented by a live storyboard illustrator!
*Requires a photo I.D.
MOVING FROM AI SKILLS TO SERVICES WITH DEUTSCH AND VOLKSWAGEN
Single-focused utility bots are now the benchmark in AI. How can we create a bot for more than just skills, but services too? And depending on how we define the service, what is right for each bot? Take a look inside a few of VW’s bots in-the-making and engage with their creators to brainstorm the future of branded bots.
5. Santa Monica
11:00 AM—12:30 PM
HOW FOODSTIRS IS DISRUPTING THE BAKING AISLE AND UPGRADING THE PANTRY—WITH ONE SWEET STARTUP
Join Foodstirs cofounders Sarah Michelle Gellar, Galit Laibow, and Greg Fleishman for a scrumptious behind-the-scenes session of their from-scratch
baking startup, which offers the first organic, non-GMO line of baking kits and mixes made with pure, clean ingredients. From brownies to cookies to cake pops and pancakes, Foodstirs is disrupting the $4.7 billion baking-mix industry and leaving behind the celebrity-startup stereotype. Hear how the brand is deploying its mission of better baking across its retail and subscription businesses with delicious mixes and creative crafting kits—all while making your own sweet Instagram-worthy treats!
Goop (New Details!)
GETTING REAL WITH GOOP AND GWYNETH PALTROW
Since launching as an email newsletter in 2008, Goop has grown into a full-fledged lifestyle, media, and (most recently) live events business with the advent of the Goop Wellness Summit, In goop Health. And nearly 10 years after its launch, the brand’s founder and CEO, Gwyneth Paltrow, is continuing to stay ahead of the curve and the chatter surrounding good living—as with the recent foray into nutritional supplements, Goop Wellness. At this behind-the-scenes session, you'll get an inside look at Goop's newest projects as you visit the company's airy Santa Monica headquarters. Enjoy lunch in the Goop kitchen, then sit down with Paltrow (one of Fast Company’s Most Creative People in Business) as she dives into the brand's approach to content, commerce, and more.
MAINSTREAMING MINDFULNESS: HOW HEADSPACE HAS BUILT A COMPANY ON CONTEMPLATION
Cofounded by a former Buddhist monk, Headspace provides the most comprehensive and engaging guide to meditation, delivered to users through its website and app. And with 500,000 subscribers, more than 14 million downloads, and a spot on Fast Company’s 2017 Most Innovative Companies list, Headspace is quickly becoming the authority on modern mindfulness. Through its partnerships with top innovators like Spotify and major airlines, the startup is finding inventive new avenues for its original content. At this session inside the company’s West L.A. headquarters, you'll experience a live meditation. Then cofounder and CEO Rich Pierson will delve into how Headspace thoughtfully approaches its growth—as well as how reflective practices can improve the health and happiness of the world.
11:00 AM—12:30 PM
HOW WEVR IS EMBRACING ITS L.A. ROOTS TO MAKE CAPTIVATING VIRTUAL REALITY
On this visit to the Venice bungalow turned creative office space of pioneering VR studio Wevr, you'll discover the creative approach behind some of its most popular and deeply immersive experiences—from Jon Favreau’s Gnomes & Goblins to Reggie Watts’s Waves and Jake Rowell’s theBlu: Season 1. Attendees will hear from Wevr cofounders Neville Spiteri and Anthony Batt about their thoughts on the state of cinematic VR today and the captivating wonders we can expect to see tomorrow. Spiteri and Batt will also be joined by filmmaker, author, and entrepreneur Gotham Chopra who'll weigh in on the making of Deepak Chopra’s meditation simulation, Finding Your True Self, and what VR means for the future of health and wellness.
LESSONS IN MASTERING CULTURAL RELEVANCE WITH ANOMALY
On this visit to the office of stealthy ad agency Anomaly, join global chief creative officer Mike Byrne for a conversation with Geoff Cottrill, an executive alum of Starbucks, Coca-Cola, and most recently Converse. Mike and Geoff will reveal their approach to building a global brand that resonates across culture. Learn about the process that agency and brand embark upon each time they endeavor to tell a new story, and discover what it takes to sustain cultural relevance in today's market.
Microsoft (New Details!)
WAY BEYOND AESTHETICS: INSIDE MICROSOFT'S DESIGN RENAISSANCE
Step inside the Microsoft Lounge in Venice for a look at the many ways the tech giant is refocusing its worldwide agenda on design. On the heels of the 2017 Build developer's conference, Microsoft's brand-new global design partner Tim Allen will take you through the design innovation happening across products, enterprise, mobile, and beyond. You'll get a front-row seat to Microsoft's latest design efforts from the inside out—plus, you'll see how the company is setting the precedent for inclusive design across Surface, Windows, HoloLens, and more!