Would You Choose Cannes Lions Festival Or Haiti Tech Summit?

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“I’m a big believer that your life is basically a sum of all the choices you make. The better your choices, the better opportunity to lead a happy life.”

Karen Salmansohn

I’ve had the good fortune to attend the annual Cannes Lions many times and always leave more inspired about the advertising industry. The ad creative winners, the big industry holding company c-suites, top brass from advertising agencies, big company CMOs, executives from the media and ad tech worlds all coming together for a week of meetings and late night festivities. Folks vie for speaking spots and the best party invites. This year’s best global advertising campaigns will be celebrated, new business deals made and friends and competitors will connect in a way that’s hard to replicate.

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Forbes CMO Event in Cannes Featuring Mastercard CMO Raja Rajamannar

And of course there’s the setting. The French Riviera is spectacular – so is the food, wine (rose all day), beach clubs and did I mention the yachts? Forbes puts on a few events and offers their CMO Guide too. I’ll admit, I’m having some FOMO right now.

So, why go to the Haiti Tech Summit instead? Because the world is changing quickly and I’d like to think I’m changing too. Specifically by focusing on making a bigger impact. As the world’s first black independent republic, Haiti’s history and culture make it an ideal stage for a tech and economic turn-around. The summit gathers global industry leaders, entrepreneurs and creatives in a forum to exchange and tackle some of the world’s most pressing challenges in innovation and sustainability. This will be the third annual summit – produced by Forbes 30 Under 30 Alum Christine Souffrant Ntim.

Forbes8 chose to sponsor the Summit this year – as it aligns well with our goal to help entrepreneurs and global game changers access new and more opportunities. Technology has truly changed the business world. We’re living at a time when mobile phones – arguably the best, most personal tool ever invented – is readily accessible. These powerful devices are helping to teach, connect, inspire and build individuals and communities. Smart phones, and the information they access, are becoming the great enabler.

Forbes8 is helping individuals at scale with inspiration to launch and grow businesses and create impact. We will be assisting Haitian entrepreneurs with their ideas, presentations and needs – and supporting a much needed market with the goal of becoming an international tech hub by 2030.

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There’s a reason the Haiti Tech Summit is deemed the “Davos of the Caribbean”. It brings together thousands of entrepreneurs, investors, celebrities and creatives under one roof to address humanity’s greatest challenges via tech and entrepreneurship. Well known participants have included Jack Dorsey, Ben Horowitz, Tim Draper and many, many more. There will be more than 1,000 attendees and over a hundred speakers this year – not quite the scale of Cannes but pretty impressive all the same.

If you’re interested in supporting entrepreneurs, technology, developing countries and communities – become aware of these powerful gatherings. There are many ways to support (and the list of brand partners is impressive: SAP, Facebook, Google, Airbnb and Uber to name a few). But it starts with a general understanding of the need to act differently, make new choices that will lead to a happy life today and better things tomorrow.

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