by: David Nazario
Forward. That was the overarching theme of the third annual Forward Conference presented by speaker and author George Olokun. This year the conference took place in Long Island City, New York and included panel and master mind discussions and a black tie gala celebrating thirty-five millennial influencers. The three day conference kicked off on Friday, March 9, 2018 with an informative and empowering panel discussion featuring life coach Ashley Arthur, Founder of eLo Lip Care, Timothy George, CEO of BleuLife Media, De’Von Christopher Johnson, and influencer and model Randy Bowden Jr.
Day two of the conference was packed to the brim with panels and keynote presentations, one of the most powerful coming by way of entrepreneur and fashion designer Antonio Brown, who recently sold his college curriculum on entrepreneurship to The Art Institutes. Antonio reminded audience members to protect their creative mind and to prepare for life’s struggles by figuring out who they are. Before this, speaker and entrepreneur Bailey Hancock facilitated an informative presentation on the art of connection and collaboration. Bailey spoke about ways that businesses and individuals can use collaborations to amplify their message and reach a wider audience. She also encouraged us to remember that we are successful to a lot of people, and to keep this in mind when leveraging our individual communities.
Although most conference attendees were up late the night before at the black tie gala, day three of the Forward Conference started bright and early with a powerful self-care workshop followed by a mastermind discussion featuring host George Olokun, authors Adil Ismaaeel and Donovan Boyd. The conference concluded with a final session with filmmakers Reggie Lochard and Riley Wilson who shared clips from their latest projects, “Little Apple” and “When The Well Runs Dry.” Both Riley and Reggie spoke candidly about both the struggles and triumphs being young filmmakers of color.
While all of the speakers, panels and presentations were without a doubt the highlight of the Forward Conference, one of the best things about the experience was the connections and personal and professional friendships that were made by those in attendance. “Our conference is a place where creative millennials from all around the world come to be inspired, connect with others on the same wavelength, and create their next big thing through our collaborative ecosystem,” said. Olokun. Needless to say, cards were swapped and grams were followed. Be sure to be a part of next year’s conference which will take place in Los Angeles from January 17 – 20th.