YPO member since 2003
YPO EDGE 2017 will bring almost 3,000 chief executives together with architects of change from around the world who impact every field of thought from business to personal development, wellness, the arts and entertainment, politics, philosophy and social issues.
For the first time, the EDGE is coming to Western Canada, and Vancouver is the perfect location. It is a city that is continually reinventing itself, with an edge in technology, a dynamic multicultural population, a spirit of respect for nature and a passion for the great Canadian outdoors.
When I set out on this journey with Host City Chair Paolo Kalaw from the YPO British Columbia Chapter, we aimed to set the EDGE spinning on its head. This year’s theme is “Sharpen Your Edge” and, more than ever before, we seek to challenge traditional ways of thinking and doing business, with groundbreaking ideas and concepts centered on three content themes — creativity, innovation and disruption.
In fact, we are “disrupting” the EDGE in many ways including program changes such as bringing the very best of YPO’s exclusive faculty-to-global-leaders programs to Vancouver.
With the help of my fellow YPO member Brian Cohen who has organized annual YPO programs at Harvard Business School, we will enjoy concurrent executive-education EDGE breakout sessions featuring professors from Harvard, Columbia, Oxford, Berkeley, Stanford, Queens and Carnegie Mellon. Their discussions will cover an array of topics that could change your business or your life, including 3D printing of human organs, big data, conflict resolution, disrupting your operations, and the latest research on money and happiness.
Our specially curated plenary sessions will feature unique and unforgettable speakers who will share how massive changes in technology and thinking have affected virtually every aspect of our lives. Here are just a few of the presenters who will be addressing each of the program’s three themes.
- Vicki Dobbs Beck, head of Industrial Light & Magic’s Experience Lab (ILMxLAB), will preview breakthroughs in virtual reality from the company that brought us Star Wars.
- Huffington Post Founder Ariana Huffington, who recently launched Thrive Global, will talk about how sleep impacts your creativity and productivity.
- Rock icon Gene Simmons, Founder of KISS, will talk about his early life as an immigrant and his climb to stardom and success — not only as a rock ‘n’ roll legend but also a legend in business.
- Jared Cohen, Founder and President of Jigsaw, Advisor to the Executive Chairman of Alphabet Inc. and best-selling author, will discuss cutting-edge ways to keep your information — and identity — safe.
- Dubbed “the Thomas Edison of our time,” Dean Kamen, creator of the Segway and multiple life-changing medical devices, will preview the most important inventions of tomorrow that he has already created today.
- Ford Motor Company CEO Mark Fields will share the company’s ambitious plans to speed to the forefront of the industry through a “transformation from being an auto company to being an auto and mobility company.”
- YPO member Gillian Zucker of the L.A. Clippers and Luc Robitaille of the L.A. Kings will share strategies they are using to amplify the experience of sports fans and extend their businesses into true global brands.
- Chip Conley recently retired as Head of Global Hospitality and Strategy for Airbnb. He will talk about how they undercut the big hotel chains, resulting in
- John Chambers, Executive Chairman and former CEO of Cisco, will discuss how digitization has eliminated countries’ borders and opened economic growth everywhere.
- YPO member Ziv Aviram, Co-founder of Mobileye, will shed light on the fascinating and far-reaching consequences of the self-driving car—technology that his company pioneered.
- YPO member Dan Price, Gravity Payments founder, will talk about his decision to set a USD70,000 minimum yearly salary for each of his employees and the growth that happened as a result.
- YPO member Jeff Booth, CEO of BuildDirect, will discuss how his business disrupted the monolithic building-supplies industry.
And there is so much more. Hear stories of inspiration from Margaret Trudeau, who advocates for mental-health issues; JD Roth, who created—figuratively and literally—transformative television with the “The Biggest Loser” and other weight loss shows; Maria Shriver, who has tirelessly researched and advocated for a cure to Alzheimer’s Disease; and Taps Mugadza, an orphan from Zimbabwe who realized his dream of being a music star in the United States to help the 1.2 million orphans back in his homeland.
This year’s EDGE will absolutely change how leaders think about their personal, social and professional lives, and our speakers will provide amazing take-home value that will continue to inspire long after the EDGE concludes.
Whether you experience YPO EDGE live in Vancouver, follow the action via social media, or watch video highlights in the days and weeks to come, I encourage you all to continually “Sharpen Your Edge.” Seek out and discover current and future developments that will disrupt your business and life — and don’t let others pass you by in their autonomous vehicles!