Thursday, June 23, 2016

The Forbes Under 30 Summit: coming soon, to a City Hall Plaza near you (me, that is)

Last year’s Boston event brouhaha was around the blessedly aborted bid for the 2020 Olympics. Although I knew it would have been a major cluster headache, I was a bit on the fence about it. Until I read that they might be playing beach volleyball on Boston Common, and holding bicycle races in the Boston Public Garden. Forget NIMBY. When I heard about these possibilities, I went completely Not In My Front Yard. Fortunately, both the Governor and the Mayor came to their joint senses, and we took a pass on the five-ring circus.

This year’s Big Idea was having a Grand Prix race on the waterfront over Labor Day weekend. That bad idea thankfully vroomed out of town.

But “we” will be hosting this year’s Forbes Under 30 Summit.

For some pretty obvious reasons, I was not aware of the Summit. But it sounds adorbs. Or sick. Or whatever word I’d use for neat, far out, groovy, out of sight, if I were part of the target demographic:

The Under 30 Summit, the world’s greatest gathering of young entrepreneurs and game-changers, is more than tripling its size and scope in 2016. From October 16-19th, over 5,000 of the planet’s current and future leaders in every field will converge on Boston for 5 interconnected Summits, encompassing innovation in Science and Technology, Finance and Investing, Media and Creativity, and Policy and Social Good, as well as a VIP track for Forbes 30 Under 30 honorees, which will be held at Boston’s historic Faneuil Hall.

Here’s to you, Under 30 game-changers. As the passing generations are apt to do, we’ve left you with something of a mess to clean up. It’s a mixed bag, of course, but for all the good stuff – amazing advances for women (if you don’t think they’re amazing, then you just weren’t there); a more open environment for our gay friends; generally cool and at least occasionally useful technology, some medical advances (AIDS, thankfully, ain’t what it used to be). But we’ve left enough unfinished business – climate change, the seemingly blithe and blind-eye acceptance of the less-than-pleasant impacts of globalization, worsening lives for the left behinds  – that there’s plenty for the kids to take care of. Go for it, kiddoes! We need you!

Then there’s the Under 30 Village, that will take over Boston’s “mammoth” City Hall Plaza. Well, take City Hall Plaza, please. Since the “new” City Hall was built 50 yars ago (perhaps the best – or worst – example of brutalist architecture ever erected), it’s been surrounded by a brutalist brick and concrete no man’s land that, for all the concerts, food trucks, demonstrations, farmers’ markets, and  Big Apple Circuses that have been plunked down there, has always been completely cold and uninviting. U-G-L-Y.

The Under 30 Village will bring together participants from all 5 tracks for demonstrations, networking, performances and food and drink. At night, the Under 30 Summit shines, with our signature evening activities, including the Under 30 Music Festival (past acts have included Afrojack, Wiz Khalifa and A$AP Rocky), our famous citywide Bar Crawls, and the Under 30 Food Festival. And the final day is devoted to service, with optional opportunities to speak at local schools and mentor Boston’s next generation of entrepreneurs.

A day spent mentoring? Is this speed mentoring? Or will relationships get forged that will continue through social media?

But that’s a quibble.

May they enjoy Wiz Khalifa, et al. May they consume all the vegan fare and urban forage they can wrap their mouths around at the Under 30 Food Festival. May the weather gods smile upon them. Mid-October can be glorious. Or not. But, thanks to the climate change these guys are going to do something about, there may be more green leaves than leaf-peeper glory. Maybe they’ll get the feeling that it might as well be spring.

I’m going on a bucket-list trip to Venice this fall. We haven’t picked the time quite yet, but it’s conceivable I’ll be away.

But if I’m here, I’m sure I’ll mosey around while the Under 30’s are here.

They’re a lot more welcome than the Olympics or the Grand Prix, that’s for sure.

1 comment:

Frederick Wright said...

I'm trying (but failing) not to be cynical about this event. Somehow the notion of gathering a bunch of hyper-entitled trustafarian kids who believe that the $3 million inheritance they got from grandma is their "savings", and whose daddy bought them a nice brownstone to live in while they got their undergrad at BU or Harvard, doesn't seem poised to change the world in any way, just to perpetuate the exclusivity into which they were born.