A First-Timer’s Picks for NewCo’s Bay Area Festival


I joined NewCo a little under a year ago to help tell the story of capitalism at a crossroads. The role of business in society is being redefined by innovative, missi0n-driven companies that are measuring their success by more than just profit. We think this is the biggest shift in business and culture since the Industrial Revolution, and we connect and celebrate these purpose-led companies through both our media and our festivals across the world.

Next week, we’re hosting our largest event yet: the Bay Area Festival, from Feb 6th to 9th. I’m really exited to actually experience the story myself for the first time, and visit the companies on the front lines of this shift towards purpose-driven business. There couldn’t be a better moment: businesses are transforming faster than ever before, industries are being reshaped, and we’re all trying to stay ahead of the curve and chart a better course forward. Our festival offers the one-of-a-kind event that lets attendees personalize their experience and visit the companies they’re most inspired by. Here are companies on my list:

Monday, February 6 — Masterclasses at the St. Regis in San Francisco

10:00 AM: Twitter for Executives


Master Classes offer immediate take aways that I can apply to my professional developement. In today’s world, connecting to your customers, colleagues, employees, partners and peers while controlling the message and is an indispensable skill. In this session, we’ll cover the top ways business leaders use Twitter and share pro tips and best practices.

11:00 AM:: The Art of Leading Brainstorms

I still don’t fully appreciate the power of Pinterest, which is why I chose this class. In this MasterClass, Scott Tong, Product Designer at Pinterest, will lead an interactive session that will leave attendees with a very strong handle on how to lead a constructive brainstorming session.

1:30 PM: How to Find Your Brand Story

I chose to attend this class because I certainly don’t want to work for a company whose only purpose is to make money at the expense of people, the environment, or ethics. Increasingly, people want to hear the “why” about your brand, so you need to know how to articulate your story. This class will resonate with startup founders looking to better present their true brand story.

2:30 PM: The Value of Iterative Design

Nothing is ever perfect on the first try, but iterative design can help us constantly work towards building better products. Most of the apps we use go through multiple testing and design iterations to get to the latest version that we see today, and there’s a lot to be said for this way of working and creating.

3:30 PM: Testing to Campaign Success

Everything should be always tested. Startups founders obsess over various parts of their product, but easily overlook opportunities for testing their social media and email marketing campaigns to drive incremental improvements. I think after taking this class I’ll leave with numerous ways to implement testing strategies that can have a big impact on my work with NewCo.

Tuesday February 7 — Oakland

9:30 AM: Young Women Cooking up a Movement!

Mamacitas Cafe is about more than just food: it’s a hyper-local effort to disrupt growing disparity in Oakland by empowering young women of color with the tools they need to build their own economic ladders. I also look forward to the delicious food and drinks, and meeting the inspiring women of Oakland who are cooking up a movement!

11:00 AM: Leveraging Media for Leadership 2.0

Brick House Media hosted a sold-out crowd for Transforming Experts into Leaders via Media. As a media professional, the learning never stops — I look forward to learn about visual media, content syndication, video marketing and new digital mediums.

1:30 PM: Beyond CSR: Taking Social Impact to the Next Level

Access to clean water means life or death. Numi Foundation is a non-profit initiative that’s taken action about the global concern for water access. They’ve built 23 wells, and now provide over 3,500 people with clean drinking water across 12 villages in rural Madagascar, all of which are Numi farming communities. I look forward to learning more about them.

3:00 PM: A Tour of Youth Radio

As a media professional, I always look forward to meeting and learning about inspiring storytellers. I can’t wait to meet them at Youth Radio, a place whose mission is to launch young people into great education and meaningful careers by engaging them in work-based learning opportunities, creative expression, professional development, and health and academic support services.

4:30 PM: Journalism in the Misinformation Age

Alternative facts seem to be a thing now, and I feel there has to be a strong answer to those forces. That’s why I want to visit the Center of Investigative Journalism. I want to know the challenges facing the nation in a time when journalism is under assault. I would love to learn and meet those on the front lines of journalism in a time when we need them most.

Wednesday, February 8 — San Francisco

9:30 AM: Affordable Housing, a Design Solution

I live in the Bay Area, and I know how the price of living here has affected me. I would love to learn about a solution to this endemic problem. Exygy’s design team and The San Francisco Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development will discuss methods and processes they’ve gleaned towards building the city’s first affordable housing platform and pattern library. Interesting idea.

11:00 AM: A Brave, New World — Election 2016 & Beyond

I believe our current political predicament was due the lack of enthusiasm and involvement in politics from a large number of people. Brigade CEO Matt Mahan will use this historic moment in American politics as a springboard for a discussion about how attendees can become more civically engaged year-round — not just in the days or weeks leading up to Election Day.

1:30 PM: What’s Next in Fashion Tech, Retail and Ecommerce

I always look forward to learn about game-changing new technologies that are on the horizon. How will VR/AR and AI will influence the shopping experience of the future and open opportunities for Bay Area designers? We’ll find out in this session.

3:00 PM: The present and future of urban manufacturing

Can manufacturing come back to the homeland? Maybe. See this bag company’s sewing machines in action, hear their story and discuss the present and future of urban manufacturing. They call it “manufacturing theater,” and there’s no business like show business.

4:30 PM: Nerdy Insights about Personal Finance

Can I walk away with basic knowledge about personal finances decisions? I would love to gain insight on picking the best credit card, travel hacks, rewards, and more.

Thursday February 9

9:30 AM: PayPal: Rewiring the Commerce Experience

What is PayPal up to these days? This session will provide me with an overview of how PayPal connects consumers and merchants together and the chance to see PayPal products in a real-world merchant environment.

11:00 AM: Urban Bounty — Food, Diversity and Stewardship

Urban farming has always interested me since visiting a rooftop garden in New York. I would love to visit this flourishing 6-acre urban farm and learn about Veggielution’s core projects. I also can’t wait to taste some of Veggielution’s fresh produce.

1:30 PM: Introduction to Plant*SF

More gardens in the South Bay. I plan to Join Plant*SF for a guided tour of an urban sustainability garden. I get to see a completed project in action, and hear about the process of starting a non-profit, successful implementation of the core mission and engaging with city agencies.

3:00 PM: Sowing Creativity in Silicon Valley

The South Bay is not known for its art, but that’s changing fast. I’ll be heading to the San Jose Museum of Art for a tour with interim director, Susan Sayre Batton, including a sneak preview of a new experimental exhibition about art and mindfulness.

4:30 PM: Introducing WeWork Valley Towers’ Community

Work life balance is always mentioned in today’s world. Maybe I will learn how WeWork members work to create a life, not just a living — utilizing beautiful workspaces and interacting with a vibrant community. Wondering about what the future of work looks like? WeWork’s where you want to be.

5:30 PM: Financial Inclusion through a Global Lens.

I can’t wait to join them for a drink and some tasty bites at this meetup to share experiences and celebrate mission-driven business. The event is hosted by the World Affairs Council. Come say hi!

After the meetup, I will stay for World Affairs panel and presentation that follows — Financial Inclusion through a Global Lens. Learn more at www.WorldAffairs.org.

It’s going to be a busy few days, but I can’t wait for the Bay Area Festival to get started. These companies are driving the shift towards a more purpose-driven, and sustainable way of doing business. If you’re interested in checking them out too, sign up for the Festival!

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