2 -min. read

What if we told you an ex-convict could teach you about discipline…?

Rather than talking about travel trends (*yawn*), the Ministry of Ideas draws inspiration from outside of the travel industry – occasionally finding it in the most unlikely of places (like a jail cell, in the case of Shared Ideas speaker and Founder of ConBody Coss Marte) – in a bid to inspire the future of contemporary travel. Set at the beautiful, Brickell-based EAST Miami, Ministry of Ideas 2017 kicked off on Sunday with a line-up of over 3o speakers across four stages, representing everything from fashion brands, to communications experts, to tech start-ups; it’s safe to say that the first day of LE’s fifth edition was as diverse as it was fascinating.

To kick off the collaboration, MCs Mike and Max hosted a casual game of ping-pong keepy-uppys – this is an un-conference, after all. Beyond Luxury Media Founder and CEO Serge Dive then took to the stage to welcome the collective, before handing over to Event Director (and “man behind the man” ) Cj Holden to thank them for five years of fun and bid his farewell as he hangs up his pink shades to move back homewards to Australia. (He followed by floating off into the near-distance on an inflatable unicorn, but that’s another story.)

Next up, Mike and Max handed over to our Big Ideas speakers, who had the challenge of presenting an idea they believe will change the future of travel in under four minutes, with 15 slides timed to automatically move on after 15 seconds (harder than it sounds, believe us!). We heard from Eric Shapard, founder of social travel agent TAKE OFF; Fathom CEO, Pavia Rosati; co-founder and creator of Locke Hotels, Eric Jafari; Harsha Chanrai, founder and CEO of SAIRA Hospitality; and Janine Yorio, founder and CEO of StayAwhile – check out this post to read more about their Big Ideas.

With the tone set, the collective was free to create their own agenda for the next two-and-a-half hours, choosing from talks, conversations and panels on topics as varied as virtual reality, artificial intelligence and wearable tech; content, partnerships and influencer strategy; offline communities and the power of face-time; and how an ex-drug dealer turned his life around by starting a prison-style fitness bootcamp (we told you it was diverse). They lounged on grass at the poolside main stage with mocktails, got cosy amongst cushions on the 38th and 39th floor with epic panoramic views across the city, and enjoyed beatboxing and voguing performances during the interludes – not your usual conference, then. Keep an eye on THE SHIFT to hear our 1o top trends emerging from the day coming very soon.

Just after 6pm, we called it a wrap and swapped thinking caps for nightcaps, mocktails for cocktails, as we transitioned seamlessly (and in a way only our collective knows how) from business to party mode for the official LE Opening Party. We brought the ideas: now it’s over to you to create the trends of tomorrow, collective.


Katie Palmer
Katie Palmer is Editorial and Content Manager at This is Beyond Ltd.

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