25 Reasons To Call In Sick And Come To The Fast Company Innovation Festival

From November 1-4, more than 125 events, 175 speakers, and thousands of attendees will take over New York City for #FCNY16.

25 Reasons To Call In Sick And Come To The Fast Company Innovation Festival

The second annual Fast Company Innovation Festival comes at a busy time of year—one week before this whirlwind of a presidential election comes to a close, and days before the New York City marathon. The lead-up to the festival has been a marathon of sorts for the staff here, and we’re pretty excited about the lineup we’ve pulled together. Running from November 1-4 at venues across New York City, the festival’s content is built around the theme, “Find Your Mission. Deepen Your Purpose.” Here are 25 good excuses to play hooky and join us:

  1. Join the cult with SoulCycle CEO Melanie Whelan, Casper COO Neil Parikh, and Drybar cofounder Alli Webb who will discuss the unique challenges and massive opportunity in growing fan-favorite brands.
  2. Laugh with Full Frontal host Samantha Bee as she talks politics, late-night, and breaking down the boys’ club barriers.
  3. Listen to Warby Parker CEO Neil Blumenthal and Shake Shack founder and Union Square Hospitality CEO Danny Meyer trade insights about how their people-first strategies set their brands apart.
  4. Take notes as AOL’s CEO Tim Armstrong shares the secrets of re-energizing an iconic brand.
  5. Get a taste of PepsiCo’s passion for design, science, and risk with Chief Design Officer Mauro Porcini, CEO Indra Nooyi, and Chief Science Officer Mehmood Khan.
  6. Stop by the Lowline Lab, where cofounders Daniel Barasch and James Ramsey have built a scaled-down version of the world’s first underground park.
  7. Hear Chobani CEO Hamdi Ulukya speak about his audacious efforts to build a company with soul.
  8. Meet surprising new people and jump-start your next great project at one of our purposeful networking sessions.
  9. Go behind the scenes of the Onion and learn their strategy for covering the election.
  10. Get inspired by Melinda Gates as she explores the future of work.
  11. Hear fearless leaders of taboo-busting brands Thinx, Sustain Natural, and Grindr talk about how they are using business to change culture.
  12. Learn to be a more empathetic manager at, Sub Rosa, Shine, and SYPartners.
  13. Go deep with activist DeRay McKesson, Prosecutor Integrity founder Adam Foss, and Google’s senior counsel on civil and human rights, Malika Saada Saar, as they come together to discuss the challenges we face in changing the criminal justice system.
  14. Check out contenders for this election’s Hope poster.
  15. Satisfy your coffee craving with a tour and tasting at Birch Coffee’s roast house.
  16. Deep-dive into data at R/GA, SeatGeek, NBBJ, and
  17. Have a beer and learn about the origins of the Brooklyn Brewery.
  18. Design the work you love with award-winning product designer Ayse Birsel.
  19. Take a walk down memory lane at Brooklyn’s Alamo Drafthouse and Co.Create’s ’90s Nostalgia Night.
  20. Absorb the totally human job skills of the future with Pinterest’s Candice Morgan, Black Girls Code’s Kimberly Bryant, and Global Citizen Year‘s Abby Falik.
  21. Join DNCE’s Joe Jonas, Kevin Jonas II, and Philymack CEO and founder Phil McIntyre as they offer a first look at how artists and management identify new revenue streams.
  22. Get a glimpse into the future of VR documentary making with Gary Hustwit.
  23. Peer into the future of the on-demand economy with Instacart’s Apoorva Mehta and Uber’s Rachel Holt.
  24. Hear New Harvest CEO Isha Datar, Ginkgo Bioworks Creative Director Christina Agapakis, and Genspace cofounder Ellen Jorgensen discuss their work sciencing the s%*t out of everything from the food we eat to the way we smell.
  25. Cher uncensored.