As conference season moves into full swing, I wanted to point out a show that might fly under the radar of most TV[R]EV readers, one that I’m not speaking at either, so this is not a plug-for-self.
It’s called WORLDZ, and it’s taking place in LA this summer. Now LA in summer is not the Croisette in June, nor is it a ski resort in Alberta or Utah. But if you like your beaches sans humidity, it’s definitely something.
Conference tourism aside, the main reason to go to WORLDZ is to actually learn something. That’s a pretty radical thought given that most people go to conferences to meet someone.
But it’s definitely worth the effort.
Granted I am someone who could easily have spent a few decades in college just making my way through the course catalog. And while reality and the need to earn a living put a stop to that, I always tried to keep that going—back in the day, for instance, I used to love going to SXSW sessions on things I knew nothing about—the Internet in Africa, new advances in medical technology, this thing called virtual reality— because it was a chance to learn about something I knew nothing about but found seriously interesting.
WORLDZ appears to offer the same opportunity. With speakers ranging from champion surfer Kelly Slater to music legend will.i.am to polar explorer and photographer Sebastian Copeland, it’s a chance to listen to people talk about things a bit heavier than the viability of skinny bundles and why Millennials watch video on their smartphones.
“Part of our mission at WORLDZ is to unite the top leaders from over 70 industries to maximize the learnings and takeaways our community can use to grow both personally and professionally,” says Roman Tsunder, CEO and Co-Founder of WORLDZ. (Tsunder is also founder of PTTOW, an event that’s been described to me as a “hipper, cooler Davos.”) And while most of those top leaders are in some way related to the greater Media and Entertainment Complex, the range of what’s being discusses is much, much broader.
What that means for the folks on the ground is that there’s a whole lot of interactivity and a whole lot of sessions designed for learning, rather than the usual array of keynotes and panels. With Master Classes on things like Building A Story Universe, Artificial Intelligence at Work, Urban Farming: Scaling Hyperlocal, Neuroperformance: Unlocking Your Brain’s Potential, and the Future of News, just to name a few.
For me, it sounds a lot like all those classes in the college course catalog I never got to take, only compressed into two days in Los Angeles, not four years in upstate New York.
So if you’re looking for something a little more stimulating this summer than a Red Bull Martini, definitely consider Worldz as an option. If nothing else, you’ll come away a little bit smarter.