"I just did the math: the majority of the speakers at @Forbes #Under30Summit are women. Changing the world starts now."
-Randall Lane, Editor of Forbes Magazine and Founder of the Under 30 Summit.
This year's Under 30 Summit made it clear that women across the globe and across industry are keen on having successful and meaningful careers. From America's richest self-made woman and youngest female billionaire Elizabeth Holmes sharing the importance of finding your passion, to World Cup superstar Alex Morgan's encouragement that the journey is more important than the end result, it is exciting to see young women vocalize their successes and the work ethic they developed to get there.
As we gathered in Philadelphia this past week, several overarching themes became apparent throughout the various keynotes, breakouts, meetings, and conversations. Here are my top three takeaways from the outstanding ladies at Forbes #Under30Summit:
1. Influence and authenticity are the new currency, and social media will help us get there.
More than ever, brands and consumers are connected through social media. Social media is the quickest and most intriguing communication platform out there (example: we were trending on Twitter within an hour of the summit's commencement). Social platforms are radically transforming the power of influence that consumers now have. A misnomer that this is only relevant in B2C markets, it is now clear that B2B markets should also be aware of the power of influence in this space.
It is important that brands, organizations, and individuals who are seeking to have influence practice authenticity and transparency with their audiences via social channels. This "trust" fosters a relationship that could never be achieved through traditional marketing or high profile endorsements. Having real customers authentically support your brand, vision, and business will take you far. As Ipsy founder Michelle Phan stated last week: "Influence is the new currency -if you have influence you can create a brand people will commit to."
2. Be disruptive.
"The reason I succeeded is the exact same reason I was told I would never succeed -I was different," shared Lindsey Stirling, violinist and performing artist, during last week's summit. The notion of being a disruptor is quickly being redefined by young change-makers. Barbara Bush also honed in on this topic during her on stage interview, noting the importance of challenging norms and not being afraid to share new ideas in the workplace.
Disruption is now being interpreted as challenging others to look at business and life differently, to challenge the way we live in a positive and refreshing manner. Being a thought-leader at any point in your career has the potential to benefit you and those around you by bringing innovative perspectives to the table.
3. Accomplishment and meaningful work are synonymous.
I departed last week's summit with a newfound confidence in the commitment millennials have to not only do good work, but to work toward something good. Elizabeth Holmes, Founder and CEO of Theranos expressed that "building a business could be a vehicle for making a difference in the world." I think this stands true for both existing and new businesses. Increasingly we are seeing organizations vocalize their commitment to building and supporting initiatives that make the world better, safer, cleaner, and smarter. Even Hitachi is demonstrating this through Social Innovation.
As we look ahead, I would like to challenge you to think about developing an authentic voice, being a disruptor, and committing to a job, a cause, or movement that has the potential for lasting impact. Why? Because we -yes, all of us - have nothing to lose and everything to gain when we challenge ourselves to look at things differently.
1- Photo courtesy of Forbes.com