10 Innovation Festival Fast Tracks that only Fast Company could deliver

The 5th annual festival of business and creativity features experiences at New York’s iconic cultural institutions and hip companies.

10 Innovation Festival Fast Tracks that only Fast Company could deliver
[Photo: Benjamín Gremler/Unsplash]

The Fast Company Innovation Festival is known for its world-class speakers, insightful panels, smart workshops, and purposeful networking.


At the heart of the festival, which attracts thousands of attendees each year, are Fast Tracks, Fast Company’s version of field trips and interactive experiences, hosted at companies and institutions throughout New York. We asked Fast Company’s editors to share some of the sessions they’re most excited about. At first they demurred: “They’re all amazing,” said Stephanie Mehta, editor-in-chief. “The Fast Tracks give our attendees unprecedented, behind-the-scenes access to some of the world’s most innovative and exciting companies and organizations.”

But when pressed, our journalists shared 10 of the dozens of selections that spotlight some of Fast Company’s core areas of content, including creativity, design, technology, leadership, and social impact. The festival, “A Connected World,” takes place November 4-8, with panels and newsmaker interviews taking place at The Caldwell Factory (547 West 26th Street). The Innovation Hub will be housed at Union West (535-547 West 28th Street).

Here are just 10 of the 100 or so Fast Tracks at #FCFestival that only Fast Company could curate.

  1. “Yes And!’ Tapping Improv Methods to Unlock Creativity. Comedy and improv powerhouse Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre—a perennial Innovation Festival favorite—will host an interactive workshop. You’ll learn how comedy teams collaborate, and how the basics of improvisation can improve their own connections.
  2. ABT Incubator Studio Visit and Conversation with David Hallberg. American Ballet Theatre’s ABT Incubator is a two-week choreographic program that provides a focused lab to generate and inspire ideas for the creation of new work. The visit will feature a conversatoion with David Hallberg, an ABT principal dancer and director of the incubator, in the ABT dancer’s lounge.
  3. Orange Is the New Experience. Orangetheory founder Ellen Latham and CEO Dave Long will walk you through the fitness chain’s workout—from technology that integrates with the equipment directly from wearables to the science behind each move. The session will end with a 60-minute class taught by Latham. Prepare to perspire.
  4. Cities as a Content Platform. Cities are undergoing a digital renaissance, upgrading old infrastructure and static surfaces with connected, digital displays. Take a tour of the offices of Intersection, a leading technology and media company headquartered at Hudson Yards, then hear from Intersection executives and Gary Zenkel, president, NBC Olympics, on what it means to “program” a community. Attendees will also engage in a workshop on how to define a content strategy for a city.
  5. Life Infused: How Our Stories Can Reveal the Incredible Human Value of Design. Cannon Design hosts an interactive session that highlights the power of storytelling to help you understand and elevate the importance of design in society. You’ll break into teams for creative workshops that will inspire you to unlock your human-focused storytelling.
  6. Brand in the Boardroom: Innovating with Purpose. Saneel Radia, global chief innovation officer of consultancy R/GA, and Karen Possemato, chief marketing officer of Illumina, a gene sequencing company, will discuss how Illumina brought creativity into the boardroom to inform corporate strategy, and ultimately evolve their global brand through purpose-driven innovation.
  7. Inspiring a More Conscious World Through the Power of Photography. Experience a private, guided tour through Fotografiska New York’s current photography exhibitions. Exhibitions director Amanda Hajjar will explain how exhibitions are selected and produced, and partner Geoffrey Newman will discuss how Fotografiska arrived in Manhattan, and what the future holds.
  8. The Female C-Suite: Breaking News and Smashing Barriers at The Daily BeastMeet The Daily Beast’s female C-suite—CEO Heather Dietrick; Mia Libby, chief revenue officer; Lauren Bertolini, chief product officer; and Tracy Connor, executive editor—as they discuss the impact their diverse leadership has on business and product decisions, driving revenue, and the company culture at-large.
  9. CBD: A New Frontier in Wellness. Explore the benefits and healing properties of CBD with Anthony Saniger, founder and CEO, Standard Dose; Christopher Gavigan, founder of Prima; and Casey Georgeson, founder of Saint Jane.
  10. Transforming Industry: Creative Collaboration in a 5G World. FIT, New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology, hosts a session on how technologies such as 5G wireless systems are transforming creative industries to become major contributors in artificial intelligence, data analytics, user experience, and more.

Tickets for the Innovation Festival may be found here. Prices increase on October 15.


Call for Most Innovative Companies entries! Apply now.

500+ winners will be featured on Final deadline: 9/23.