Breakout, a national event series intended for top entrepreneurs, community leaders and changemakers, is heading to Atlanta for their major event of 2017. Held June 1-4, Breakout ATL will bring 300 leaders from across the country, as well as quite a few from right here in Atlanta, together to “inspire collaboration and empower the spirit of hustle.”
According to Michael Farber, co-founder of Breakout, the goal of hosting the TED Talks-Meets-the-Streets “unconference” in different cities is to allow attendees to be integrated into the city. In Atlanta, they will learn about the city’s thriving business climate, technology and innovation spaces, and entrepreneurial ecosystem.
Farber and co-founder Graham Cohen said Atlanta was originally not on the list of cities to explore for the next Breakout location (which has previously been hosted in Detroit, Baltimore, downtown Los Angeles, and Portland), but once the team put boots on the ground and began exploring the city, they were overwhelmed by all it had to offer.
“A key part of Breakout is changing common perceptions or mischaracterizations. We knew major things were brewing in the A, but before we came on our first scouting trip, we were predominantly familiar with the Fortune 100 culture and the legacy of civil rights,” says Farber.
“Of course, upon diving deeper into the city, we discovered an incredible bench of talent from music and entertainment, to a thriving tech and social entrepreneur center,” says Graham.
In addition to sessions designed for Breakout attendees, Farber and Cohen are also planning major interactive experiences open to the public (all of them free). These include a session on June 1 of The Big Quiet, a group meditation and mindfulness program founded by serial entrepreneur and Breakout community member Jesse Israel.
Farber and Graham have rented out the iconic Egyptian Room at The Fox Theater for up to 500 city residents. It’s all part of their goal to connect the local community with the bigger picture of Breakout.
The team has brought on several local partners and sponsors including the Metro Atlanta Chamber’s ChooseATL initiative, Delta Airlines, GE Energy and MailChimp. Farber says the response from city stakeholders has been overwhelming.
“The goal of the weekend is to build connections between our new local ATL family with our friends from across the country while amplifying the work of inspiring local city stewards,” says Farber. “We recognize each time we go into a new community how important it is to really spend the time and make sure the local community is not just included, but has a key say in the look and feel of what we put together.”