Will.i.am Goes Back to His Roots During WORLDZ Titan Award Speech
Brands like 20th Century Fox, VICE and Reddit all came together early Monday morning for a two-day summit to learn from and network with peers across different facets of the business world.
The Loews Hotel in Hollywood became a playground for young and established business hopefuls and executives from all over the world at the WORLDZ Chapter 2: Losing Sight of the Shore conference, which hosted brands from Facebook to iHeartMedia.
More than 150 speakers, ranging from Caitlyn Jenner to Shaun White and keynote Will.i.am, took over the two-day cultural marketing summit.
"I went to an all-white school and grew up in a Mexican neighborhood, but the whole thing was to dream your way out," said Will.i.am, who was given the Titan award during his address for his work founding i.am+. "I'm not going to pay attention to my nightmares, and ignore my dreams. Everyone was like, 'Oh, I'm going to keep it real,' and I was like, 'I'm going to keep it imaginative.'"
The Hollywood Reporter and Billboard's president, John Amato, also made an appearance at the event’s opening "Meet the Masters" series, where he spoke one-on-one with WORLDZ attendees about the two media brands' missions and goals for the future, as well as to give advice to other business professionals.
"The future of what media is and how all this stuff is converging, it's like all these companies in the world — literally, Apple, Amazon and Google — all have serious music initiatives," Amato said. "Those same companies all have serious entertainment initiatives and being the head of the biggest music and entertainment media brands in the world, I think, just makes everything so much more interesting."
Neon posters guided more than 1,600 WORLDZ attendees, representing 40 different countries, around every corner with faces of the "masters" of the organization, such as Claire Wineland of the Claire's Place Foundation, Sebastian Terry of 100things.com.au, CEO of Vaynermedia Gary Vaynerchuk, and the co-founder and president of Red Interactive Agency, Donny Makower, who all also spoke at the conference's opening keynote.
While opening the conference at the keynote address, Roman Tsunder, CEO of PTTOW! and a WORLDZ co-founder, discussed why he created the conference for business officials of all levels in the first place.
"It's our greater intention to help make your journey," Tsunder said in an address to the audience. "The reason we call it WORLDZ is because we want to take you and your world, and collaborate with you and your world to create the most inspiring outcomes."