CAA Launches New Business Summit for Young Executives (Exclusive)

Brian Grazer, Arianna Huffington and Doc Rivers-Getty-Split-H 2019
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CAA Convene will kick off with a two-day conference June 26 at the Ojai Valley Inn.

CAA is continuing its investment in the future business leaders of America.

The agency is launching CAA Convene, a new revenue-generating business focused on executives under 40. An inaugural 150-member cohort, dubbed Ojai Fellows, will meet at the Ojai Valley Inn for a two-day flagship event that kicks off June 26.

"You have these incredible spaces where people gather — whether it's Sun Valley, Aspen, Google Camp, etc. — but those gatherings are really for people who are at the pinnacle of their careers," CAA chief innovation officer Michelle Kydd Lee tells The Hollywood Reporter. "We're providing the same caliber of speakers and opportunity at a younger stage in their professions, when they're more open in their development to a lot of learning."

The Fellows were each nominated as potential future C-suite occupants by their companies, which include IBM, Bose, LiveNation, CBS, Google, the NBA, TOMS, Lyft, JP Morgan Chase, Peloton, Shondaland, EBG, the Walt Disney Company, General Mills, TPG, Wieden & Kennedy, the PGA Tour, Bad Robot, WarnerMedia, Airbnb, Adidas, Mattel, Nike and Discovery.

CAA Convene's first lineup of speakers includes Brian Grazer, Arianna Huffington, Los Angeles Clippers head coach Doc Rivers, MIT Media Lab computer scientist Joy Buolamwini (founder of the Algorithmic Justice League), MIT Space Exploration Initiative founder Ariel Ekblaw, best-selling author and entrepreneur Seth Godin, TOMS founder Blake Mycoskie, MIT Media Lab's Digital Currency Initiative director Neha Nerula, SKDKnickerbocker crisis communications expert Hilary Rosen, FIGS co-founder and co-CEO Trina Spear, The Dalai Lama Center for Ethics and Transformative Values president and CEO Tenzin Priyadarshi and General Mills' Natural and Organic Operating Unit president Carla Vernon.

Immediately preceding CAA Convene at the Ojai Valley Inn will be CAA Amplify, the ideas summit focusing on people of color that the agency launched in 2017. The Ojai Fellows at CAA Convene will "look like the country that we live in," says Kydd Lee, in terms of gender, race and sexual orientation. For example, the cohort is completely gender-balanced.

Following the two days in June, CAA has yearlong programming planned for the Ojai Fellows, in the hope that they will form a community that will continue to work together as they ascend in their respective careers. The next event will take place this fall at the MIT Media Lab in Cambridge, Massachusetts. 

"It's meant to supercharge a network," Kydd Lee says. "Their connections will be maintained through unique experiences cultivated for them. We all need to be connected to one another far more meaningfully, and the way you do that is by gathering face-to-face interactions."