Could the L2 Innovation Forum be Marketing’s New TED?

Tomorrow, a major social innovation conference kicks off in New York. Is L2 the new TED?n

Tomorrow, a major social innovation conference kicks off in New York. Is L2 the new TED?


Tomorrow, some of the most creative minds in business will gather in New York for the second annual L2 Innovation Forum. (See highlights from last year's in the video, above.) A partnership between branding think-tank L2 and New York University, the conference is being billed as the largest gathering of prestige professionals in North America. The innovation forum will feature never-before-seen research, provocative presentations, product demonstrations, and networking opportunities.

As I’ve said in the past, conferences like The Feast—which was held last month—are essentials for anyone interested in social innovation. They’re incomparable experiences designed to get you thinking about innovative solutions to the world’s most pressing problems. But if you’re planning on starting a business, you’re also going to need to know how to sell people on your ideas, which is where marketing conferences come in. With this year’s interesting and diverse group of speakers at L2, there might not be a better chance to bone up on the importance of emerging technology, breakthrough marketing strategies, and dedicated customer service.

You’ll hear from Soraya Dorabi, the co-founder of Foodspotting and one of Fast Company’s “100 Most Creative People in Business” on how your company can leverage mobile location services. David McCandless, an author and data-journalist will discuss how design can impact our understanding of facts (he’s fantastic; watch his TED talk). Remember Wired’s innovative iPad App? You’ll meet the man behind it, Creative Director Scott Dadich. You’ll also have the chance to hear New York Times columnist Anand Giridharadas, whose work focuses on new ideas, global culture, and the social implications of technology.

Perhaps most interesting, Columbia University’s Sheena Iyengar—the world’s foremost expert on the science of choice—will discuss why we choose what we choose. Her insights into decision making are sure to be invaluable to anyone hoping to raise money, attract talent, gain mentors, or tackle any of the other innumerable challenges that go into launching a business.

It should also be mentioned that the conference, now in its second year, is getting progressively more exclusive. Last year, they sold out the Times Center. Based on that success, they’ve chosen the beautiful (but smaller) Morgan Library as their venue this year. Next year, the plan is for the event to be invite-only. So, unless you’re sure you’re going to be on that list, this might be your only chance to get in a room with the some of the world’s most innovative marketers.

Like most good conferences (TED, Poptech, etc.), it’s not cheap. But if you’re planning on springing (or getting your company to spring) for a conference this year, it’s definitely worth a look.

To learn more and to purchase tickets, visit the conference website.

Julian Meehan

Young leaders from around the world are gathering at the United Nations Headquarters in New York Saturday to address arguably the most urgent issue of our time. The Youth Climate Summit comes on the heels of an international strike spearheaded by Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old climate activist from Sweden, who arrived in New York via emissions-free sailboat earlier this month.

Translated from Swedish, "berg" means "mountain," so it may feel fated that a young woman with Viking blood in her veins and summit in her name would be at the helm. But let's go out on a limb and presume Thunberg, in keeping with most activists, would chafe at the notion of pre-ordained "destiny," and rightly so. Destiny is passive — it happens to you. It's also egomaniacal. Change, on the other hand, is active; you have to fight. And it is humble. "We need to get angry and understand what is at stake," Thunberg declared. "And then we need to transform that anger into action."

This new generation of activists' most pernicious enemy is denial. The people in charge — complacent politicians and corporation heads who grossly benefit from maintaining the status quo — are buffered from real-life consequences of climate change. But millions of people don't share that privilege. For them, climate change isn't an abstract concept, but a daily state of emergency, whether it comes in the form of "prolonged drought in sub-Saharan Africa…devastating tropical storms sweeping across Southeast Asia, the Caribbean and the Pacific…[or] heatwaves and wildfires," as Amnesty International reportsare all too real problems people are facing on a regular basis.

RELATED: Greta Thunberg urges people to turn to nature to combat climate change

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"We need to act right now to stop burning fossil fuels and ensure a rapid energy revolution with equity, reparations and climate justice at its heart," organizers say.

There's no doubt the visual images from the marches send a powerful message to those on the ground but especially those watching from around the world. GOOD's own Gabriel Reilich was on the scene for the largest of the Climate Strikes. Here are 18 of the best signs from the Climate Strike march in New York City.

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Major US phone carriers have yet to build out the infrastructure necessary to provide a consistent 5G experience, so Apple didn't feel it necessary to integrate the technology into its latest iPhone.

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"A lot of people don't pay attention to their dreams and are unaware of the impact they have on their state of mind," said Dylan Selterman, psychology lecturer at the University of Maryland, says according to The Huffington Post. "Now we have evidence that there is this association."

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