Forbes Under 30 Summit Highlights Millennial Success Stories

By Robert Moran
The Philadelphia Inquirer.

On the heels of a momentous papal visit steeped in tradition, Philadelphia is switching gears for an influx of millennial disrupters and game-changers attending the second annual Forbes Under 30 Summit.

If you are over 30, you might not recognize some of the featured names, such as 17-year-old Shawn Mendes or 21-year-old Cameron Dallas, two performers who turned social-media popularity on Vine, the video-sharing site, into skyrocketing careers.

From Sunday until Wednesday, the summit will more broadly encompass the worlds of tech, science, sports, food, and entertainment. It springs from the annual Forbes list of young stars across many industries.

The exclusive conference, which has more than 2,000 registered attendees and is sold out, does offer some public events.

On Tuesday morning, soccer superstar Alex Morgan and U.S. teammates Julie Johnston and Shannon Boxx will lead an “Under 30 Rocky Run” along the Ben Franklin Parkway and up the Art Museum steps.

That evening, A$AP Rocky will headline the “Under 30 Music Festival” at the Festival Pier venue on the Delaware River. Free tickets are available at

Monica Lewinsky, who made a widely noted appearance at last year’s summit, is set to return to promote her campaign against cyberbullying.

Missing from this year’s summit is an appearance by a global figure like Malala Yousafzai, the teenage human-rights activist who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014. She spoke at a special session for teenage girls last year.

However, Malala Fund cofounder Shiza Shahid will participate in a panel discussion Monday about bridging the gender gap for female fund-raisers.

Other notables who will participate include Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss talking about the future of Bitcoin, the crypto-currency.

In another panel, Kelly Osbourne will interview Michelle Phan, who turned a YouTube channel on makeup into a company with an $800 million valuation.

Barbara Bush, the daughter of former President George W. Bush, will discuss how she leveraged her fame to cofound Global Health Corps, a nonprofit that sends young professionals on yearlong fellowships to serve poor communities in Africa and the United States.

For fun on Monday night, there will be a “bar crawl and selfie scavenger hunt,” with prizes for people who take the most-shared selfies with famous special guests at specific bars.

On Tuesday, there will be a $1 million competition for active social entrepreneurs to pitch promising ideas to address global challenges.

Forbes magazine editor Randall Lane, who brought the summit to Philadelphia, said it was his hope to make Philadelphia the “long-term home” for the summit.

“Philadelphia has been a great partner so far,” Lane said. “After November, we look forward to sitting down with the new administration and the local business community to talk about making that happen.”

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