The Secrets of Generation Flux
The velocity of change in our business world-and our culture-has reached unprecedented levels. This is a historic era that transcends industries and national borders, and it presents new challenges to all of us, as individuals and as organizations. Fast Company editor Robert Safian had been studying and chronicling this dynamic, tumultuous transition, identifying the traits that will enable success. He coined the term Generation Flux to describe both the chaotic time we are living in and the group of people-and businesses-best positioned to thrive in this environment. In an inspiring, thought-provoking presentation, Safian will sketch out who and what defines GenFlux, how models like Apple and Facebook--and leaders like Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg--both define this era and are useless to those looking to navigate it. The ultimate lessons of Generation Flux are about adaptability. All the ways we've been taught to operate, the rules we've come to rely on, offer false comfort.
Cisco Chief Technology & Strategy Officer Padmasree Warrior is charged with aligning technology development and corporate strategy to enable Cisco to anticipate, shape, and lead major market transitions. She helps direct technology and operational innovation across the company and oversees strategic partnerships, mergers and acquisitions, the integration of new business models, the incubation of new technologies, and the cultivation of world-class technical talent.
In her previous role, Warrior served as Chief Technology Officer (CTO) and also co-led Cisco’s worldwide engineering organization. As Senior Vice President, Engineering, she was responsible for core switching, collaboration, cloud computing and data center/virtualization, security, and architectures for business transformation.
Robert Safian is editor and managing director of the award-winning monthly business magazine Fast Company. He oversees all editorial operations, in print and online, and plays a key role in guiding the magazine's advertising, marketing, and circulation efforts. Safian was named 2009 Editor of the Year by Adweek and recognized as 2008 Innovator of the Year by B-2-B Media. Under his leadership, Fast Company has received numerous accolades: a 2011 winner of a National Magazine award, two-time winner of Magazine of the Year from the Society of Business Editors and Writers; twice honored with the prestigious Gerald R. Loeb Award for Distinguished Business Journalism, among many others.
Safian came to Fast Company in 2007 from Fortune, where he served as executive editor. Prior to that, he was an executive editor at Time and headed Money as its managing editor for six years. Safian has appeared on CNN and other TV networks and has been a featured speaker at events ranging from the Cisco Systems CIO Summit to the Danish Top Executive Summit in Copenhagen. Safian began his career with a seven-year tenure at The American Lawyer, where he rose from summer intern to executive editor. He joined SmartMoney in 1994 and moved to Fortune in 1997.
Troy Carter is an artist manager and the CEO and founder of Atom Factory, a multidimensional management company. His expanding roster of musical innovators includes Lady Gaga, John Legend, Mindless Behavior, Greyson Chance, and Priyanka Chopra. As a brand and corporate strategist, his portfolio of investments and startup endeavors read as a summary of the hottest trends in today’s technology landscape, heralding his uncanny knack for identifying tomorrow’s consumer trends today.
As Lady Gaga’s manager, Carter — who has worked alongside the likes of Will Smith, Sean “Diddy” Combs, and the late Notorious B.I.G.— has helped cement the pop star’s formidable online presence by cultivating and encouraging the philosophy of “fans first.” Beyond social media, Carter's brand strategy has culminated in Gaga’s continued cultural pervasiveness — both because of the genuine loyalty between Gaga and her fans as well as through creative and compelling partnerships with the likes of MAC, Google, Virgin Mobile, and Zynga.
After founding Atom Factory, Carter has continued his disruptive approach with the creation of various entities. In 2011, he co-founded The Backplane, a silicon valley based startup that redefines social media by allowing celebrities and brands to connect with fans, foster community, and cultivate brand loyalty. The following year, he created A IDEA, a product development and branding agency, as well as AF Square, an angel fund and technology consultancy.