My Highlights from this year's Collision 2021

May 5

If you have been following me for a few years, you would’ve seen that I’ve been attending the Collision Tech conference every year – and I love it. Back when it used to be in New Orleans, when it moved to Toronto, as well as the virtual ones during the pandemic. It is by far, one of my favorite tech conferences I’ve ever and have been attending. The reason being, the amount you can learn in 3 days, the quality of speakers – and best of all, the variety of topics discussed. Everything from all things tech and AI, to politics, health and wellness to beauty, fashion and music – all the way up to the cannabis and sex toy industries.

Due to the fact that I was on a completely different timezone here in Dubai, I made sure to make some of my favorite speaker’s talks, and decided to share some of the highlights below.

-NATALIA VODIANOVA, supermodel and tech investor spoke about the tech companies she’s invested in (around 20 start ups). During her talk at Collision, she specifically spoke about Loona, her latest investment – an app for immersive stories to make you sleep.

-SHAKA KING, Director and co-writer of Judas and the Black Messiah – a phenomenal movie I watched a couple of months ago (which got 6 Oscar nominations) spoke about doing the whole project during the pandemic, and it’s difficulties. Shaka spoke about the pressure to get it as close to the truth, but also catered to Hollywood. Speaking alongside Archie Davis of RCA Records, they spoke about compiling the movie soundtrack, and how Shaka sent a whole Wetransfer of music that he wanted for the film right after the first meeting with the producers. Coming for a music brand, I loved how the music was put together from the very beginning.

-PARIS HILTON spoke about the creator economy, how she’s been spending her time, how she has never not traveled in her entire life, and how the pandemic really taught her how to optimize her time.

-SOPHIA AMORUSO, who had Nasty Gal, started a new business called Business Class – a program to teach founders how to start, and grow businesses. When asked what tips she would give someone starting a business, her one thing was ‘have a plan, a financial plan. Think of scaling’.

As a person that invests in different businesses, she spoke about how she invests in ‘businesses that she believes in.’ and to always have a nest egg and safety net.

-NICOLE KIDMAN spoke at the conference on Sera Labs, a CBD beauty brand she’s now involved in – a brand she loved so much before joining, that she wanted to be a part of the company. She spoke about being initially skeptical about being a part of a CBD brand – because she doesn’t take it to get ‘high’ but loved the benefits it gives, and all it’s anti-inflammatory properties. The products itself are strong base products with 9 active ingredients, with CBD then added over. The founder, Nancy Duitch mentioned how CBD doesn’t get absorbed quickly, so she created a product that allows it to go into the deeper levels of the skin vs clogging pores

-CINDY CRAWFORD talked about how she became a celebrity before influencers and social media. She loves how social media allows her to be her own publicist, and helps people build their brand. ‘Social Media gave me an opportunity to show myself’. As she grew her following, it became more curated without giving too much of her life. She came from a time where you would take 100 pictures and just post one ‘There was more freedom before, but it was all one dimension’. Even as a celebrity, she mentions that social media is work – ‘When you post matters, and who your audience are’.

She ended the talk with some takeaways:

-No matter what, you can’t make everyone happy so you have to make yourself happy, Its all an inside job

-Approach everything as a student, as you can then learn all the time

-The pandemic allowed us to spend more time with family, and with ourselves. This should show us where we wasted our time, what we were doing with our time – and what we took for granted. She was afraid about slowing down before the pandemic, and realized she’s fine and how we can get a lot of work on zoom, there’s no need for all those business trips.

Thank you Collision, see you in Toronto next year!

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