Today, GRAMMY Award-winning, Academy Award-nominated Musician and Filmmaker, Entrepreneur and Philanthropist Pharrell Williams announced his multi-day forum, MIGHTY DREAM.
“Mighty Dream will foster the power of conversation, connection and forward thinking leaders to create an environment that will truly accelerate change. We live in a world where we so desperately need the tools to come together to forge strong relationships and inspire the next generation of leaders. I am so excited to host this incredibly special event and wholeheartedly believe that we can create some mighty change together.” - Pharrell Williams
Pharrell Follows Up from Elephant In The Room
Pharrell Williams hosted a forum in Norfolk in October 2021 called Elephant In The Room on the campus of Norfolk State University, Virginia’s largest Historically Black College and University (HBCU). It was a gathering where corporate leaders from the national and local stage engaged in a discussion about realizing the full potential of the two cities of Virginia Beach and Norfolk in his home state of Virginia. Audiences heard from notable speakers as they engaged in important dialogue with local thought leaders looking to make change. Pharrell asked local business leaders to prioritize profit over politics, and to not let race, gender, sexual identification or orientation get in the way of creating businesses and job opportunities for all.
After an evening of engaging dialogue and great food at Elephant In The Room, it was clear there was rationale to continue and expand the conversation. Pharrell and others involved emerged with a hypothesis: Financial-centric conversations, even critical conversations about race, equity and opportunity, would have greater impact if guards were down, the canned messaging was saved for other stages, a greater slice of the global business community contributed, more community and emerging business leaders were involved, and the gathering felt like a safe space to talk to share wins and losses that others could grow from. From this hypothesis, the annual forum MIGHTY DREAM was born.
Discuss What’s Missing
MIGHTY DREAM is an active, engaging conference experience. We're setting an agenda to ensure networking and value exchange at the highest levels. Corporate-level ticket purchases, participation and attendance is designed to fuel participation and attendance of students, emerging entrepreneurs, community members and our non-profit partners in the conversation.
This is a forum of those who are prioritizing doing what’s right in business and are bold enough to share their experiences to accelerate progress across the board. Attendees include executives from around the country and globe, with an emphasis on financial, corporate DEI leaders, C-suite executives, marketing professionals, notable subject matter experts and more. Business, civic and educational leaders from the 757 are encouraged to attend and many will be participating in conversations throughout the three days.
A special announcement highlighting participating corporations, executives, partners and others is forthcoming.
Tickets are available in a variety of packages from corporate-level to emerging entrepreneurs and students. Investment in corporate-level ticket purchases help enable attendance and participation of others. Tickets for individual moments - such as the Business Block Party and music events across the 3-days - will be made available for purchase. Many aspects of the conference are accessible for free to the community.
Food + Entertainment
Food will fuel many of the conversations and moments throughout the 3-day event and aspires to be a culinary experience worthy of the scope and importance of the forum – leaving attendees enamored with the diverse offering of the city and region. Meals large and small will be prepared by members of the culinary community and designed to uplift. For the expanding list of culinary partners, please see the forum website.
Each day will conclude with special music performances throughout the forum footprint and Norfolk venues. Music will pulse through the entire event with a DJ or other live music element placed adjacent to all conversations, keynotes, meals and other gatherings.
The food + entertainment offering continues to expand and special announcements will follow.
This year’s forum will take place from November 1-3, 2022 in downtown Norfolk, Virginia, utilizing a mix of indoor and outdoor spaces, theater venues, the Assembly Building at 400 Granby St. and streets and spaces in and around the Neon District. Norfolk and the region have a rich history in commerce, entrepreneurship, and entertainment making it the perfect backdrop for such an annual event that seeks to set the stage for what’s next.
Aside from the content programming curated by the Mighty Dream team, the forum has also partnered with Black Ambition, a non-profit that invests capital and resources in high-growth startups founded by Black and Latinx entrepreneurs; Black BRAND, the Black Chamber of Commerce for Virginia’s Hampton Roads and Dan River Regions; and YELLOW, a non-profit working to EVEN THE ODDS for all through education founded by Pharrell. Norfolk State University will contribute content and host Mighty Dream events during the forum. Additional programming partners to be announced.
MIGHTY DREAM (the forum) shares the name of and is an output of the creative advocacy agency MIGHTY DREAM co-led by Pharrell Williams. Both entities are aligned in their intent to create what’s missing in society, culture and policy.