By Peter Baines OAM
Each year it gets bigger and better. Each year the audience grows and the line up of speakers who are happy to donate their valuable time goes to the next level.
Like a lot of great things, the Future of Leadership started with a concept from Darren Hill who needed to raise some money for the charity Hands Across the Water. He wanted to ride 800kms over eight days with us in Thailand and for the privilege he needed to raise $10,000. So what does a creative genius like Darren do to raise his money, he held an event and invited his buddies along to speak and listen.
It was a modest affair back in 2013 and to be honest, upon reflection we were lucky to make it to year number two.
But we learnt and we’ve grown.
2018, will be the sixth year for Future of Leadership and in the early days we had to beg speakers to be part of it, now, without a word of a lie I get at least one email a week from speakers from across the globe wanting to be part of the series. I’m not making this up, seriously I have emails every week from speakers from the US, UAE, South East Asia and of course plenty from Australia wanting to be part of the event.
Why would the speakers want to be part of something where if they are selected they have to carve out three days in their speaking diary, for no fee, travel to each of the locations, at their own expense and speak for 25minutes? They do it because something special happens at Future of Leadership. Sure the speakers get booked by the audience for their events as a result, but the feeling in the room is like no other. I travel the world speaking at events and call me biased, but Future of Leadership is something I would seriously pay to attend if I didn’t have the privilege of attending in my role with the Hands Group.
If you want to learn more about Future of Leadership, where we are going, the dates, how you get tickets then head to our website.
It has been a really interesting journey to watch the event grow and transform into what it is today. A couple of years ago we couldn’t give sponsorship away, now we have some fantastic sponsors who are supporting the event, not because they know their money supports the great work of the Hands Group and the kids we support in Thailand, but they want their brand aligned to the event because of the quality of the event and the audience we now attract.
We invite our past attendees to comment on the event and the quote I absolutely love out of the so many ringing endorsements is the one who said “It’s just like a TED event but with learning outcomes”. That nailed it for me. Not only do we have audience members coming back year on year, but we also have some of the best speakers on the circuit returning due to popular demand but also a mix of new names.
We’re honoured to have Lisa McInnes-Smith back for the second year in a row. After last year I caught up with Lisa and her husband Colin and we were discussing Future of Leadership for 2018 and she made a comment about coming back to which I responded “would you consider returning next year?” to which she replied “Well I am part of the family now so of course I will be back”. We have the super intelligent Dan Gregory, the remarkably engaging Darren Hill and a raft of others. Personally I love the opportunity to sit and soak up the content offered up. This year I can’t wait to hear what Julie Masters has to say and Mark Mathews who is a big wave surfer with Red Bull, well when he is speaking you will find me in the front row for that one.
On the back of the success we have expanded Future of Leadership to beyond the east coast of Australia. For the first time we are heading to Auckland, and in October we will debut in Bangkok. Bangkok will be a really interesting experience as we have speakers from Australia, Thailand and the US already confirmed and there is a strong appetite for the event amongst the business community.
Whether you are considering coming along by yourself, bringing some work mates or you see this as an opportunity to inject some wisdom and inspiration into your team, check out the details on the website and secure your tickets early. Two months out we have already sold over 1000 tickets and we have more confirmed sales for Sydney than we had attend last year.
Seriously it is going to be an epic day and I am already excited, come and join me.