Entrepreneur, venture capitalist, author and media visionary Leonard Brody is the keynote speaker at this year’s JFS Innovators Lunch April 24. (photo from JFS Vancouver
On Tuesday, April 24, Jewish Family Services (JFS) will be hosting its annual Innovators Lunch. The event, which encourages people to think as innovators and uplift lives to bring about meaningful and lasting social change, raises essential funds that go directly to serve JFS clients, programs and services. It has attracted more than 600 people in each of its 14 years.
This year, the keynote speaker is Leonard Brody, chair of Creative Labs, a joint-venture with Creative Artists Agency, the largest sport and entertainment agency in the world. He and his team are building new ventures and companies for some of the biggest celebrities and sports personalities in the world. He acts as principal in several venture capital funds throughout the world, and is behind the financing and creation of dozens of start-up companies every year. He is also one of the owners of Coventry City Football Club in England.
The award-winning entrepreneur, venture capitalist, bestselling author and two-time Emmy nominated media visionary has been called “a controversial leader of the new world order.” His upcoming book, in partnership with Forbes Magazine, is The Great Rewrite. In it, he addresses the rapid pace of change, innovation and disruption brought about by the internet and how to respond to its profound changes on our social and economic ways of life.
“Everything we do, from how we speak, how we buy, how we employ people, is being rewritten,” he told JFS. “The internet is the first time in our history where millions of people can speak directly to millions of other people at little cost, no regulation; the first time in our species that we have owned our communication at mass scale on a global level. The tools for innovation are nothing, the playing field is now level.”
Wherein lies the controversy? Brody argues that the resulting change in communication is “a massive disconnect between the institutions we’ve created and the people we’ve become.” He contends that it is the largest level of institutional shift in human history.
“Our world is inverted,” he explained. “We are fundamentally different than the people we were 100 years ago.” The institutions that run society are traditionally top down, he said. Take, for example, politics, with a prime minister at the top and the people at the bottom. Once the internet became ubiquitous, the power pyramids started to flip, or invert.
The pace can be disorienting, and Brody seeks to raise the level of our dialogue and provide a useful framework for action that people can look to and use. Through concrete stories, he provides many answers, ultimately offering a playbook on how we can engage in the world that’s being rewritten around us.
For tickets to JFS’s Innovators Lunch on April 24 at the Hyatt Regency Vancouver, visit jfsvancouver.ca/innovators. There is a limited number available, so book your space early.