L-R Kurt Braget, Mitchell Englander, Kristoff Newsom, Eric Gradman, Thom Pulliam, Mike Hexter

Producing events is one of the many exciting parts of my role as Community Director at Toolbox LA. One of my core values is innovation; I truly believe that all people and companies should be innovating on a daily basis. A progressive mindset with forward-thinking ideals creates the lens in how I formulate ideas for events, hence the topic “The Future of Work” for one of the first of many events.

When you search the hashtag #thefutureofwork on Twitter, the results that return are quite fascinating. Various people from around the globe are sparking conversations with a plethora of opinions, perspectives, and cold hard facts on how the workplace is evolving.

My intention for creating a panel discussion on the future of work was to inspire our community to see the future in a positive light and to reflect on how their projects are contributing and keeping up. I decided to bring in speakers with expertise in hardware, blockchain, coworking, and innovation as the starting point. Once the idea was born, now it was time to execute.

The first step was to create a mission statement that described the event. Then, a visual component that would embody the essence of what I was aspiring to create. I am by no means a graphic designer, but my propensity for aesthetically pleasing media was enough to find resources and means to create a flyer. I searched for an abstract concept, “connection”, on a license-free, stock image website and downloaded a graphic that represented the concept visually. Then I used the platform Canva to create the flyer and made sure it conveyed the spirit of innovation, progress, and technology. Once that was assembled I started reaching out to secure speakers. I knew this aspect would be key to a successful event.

Fortunately, I was able to source excellent speakers to present and participate in a panel discussion. I am truly grateful to the following people for their contribution to making this a success:

  • Eric Gradman, CTO of Two Bit Circus

  • Mike Hexter, Founder of HexLab MakerSpace

  • Evelin Weber, founder of Narra Life

  • Thom Pulliam, Creative Strategist for clients such as Google, Amazon and MetLife
  • Kristoffer Newsom, Research and Development, Alexandria.io 

  • Kurt Braget, Co-Founder of White Rabbit ICOs

  • Mitchell Englander, Los Angeles City Councilmember

There were many moving parts to the event and overall it was a favorable outcome. The opening hour of networking was a bit lighter than I expected and that is an area to improve upon. However, from what I’ve heard from other event organizers, the networking part can often be sparse unless there’s some compelling feature such as an open bar or gourmet food. We provided free tacos but looking back, I realize I did not publicize enough. Something to consider for next time.

The panel discussion was superb; it was a hot debate with differing opinions, something you definitely want to happen. When the speakers all have the same opinions and simply agree with one another, it’s not as exciting to watch. They were respectful, thoughtful, and spoke from experience. I couldn’t have asked for anything better. Considering this was my first time moderating a panel, I have to say it was a top-notch experience and set the bar high for our next event.

Thank you to all who attended and participated. We are continuing the conversation on Twitter with #thefutureofwork and will be hosting a series of events around the topic here at Toolbox LA. Stay up to date with what’s happening by checking our event list on the website and following our Facebook Events Feed.

Blog Post By:

Raychel Espiritu

@raychelespiritu