Fast Company Innovation Festival

In this age of unprecedented challenge and change, businesses and innovators are looking for new pathways to a better future. And so, at this moment, and in the brand’s 25th year, Fast Company will, as it always has, shine a bright light during its first-ever virtual Innovation Festival on business as a force for positive change around the globe. Across the agenda of the 2020 Festival, Fast Company will spotlight the companies, leaders, and strategies making INNOVATION FOR GOOD their purpose, practice, and mission.

In early October, Fast Company will leverage the Innovation Festival’s proven track record, power to convene, access to the smartest minds, and the unparalleled energy that surrounds it, to produce this extraordinary annual event—for the first time—as a virtual Festival. A custom-built digital Festival platform will deliver and expand upon the exchange of ideas, strategies, insights and lessons that have made the Festival’s first five years such a vibrant, high impact and valued experience for attendees, participants, and marketing partners alike.


The sound and the fury: How bad audio affects our emotional well-being in a WFH world

We’ve all been there: You’re in the middle of an important Zoom meeting when the speaker’s voice becomes an indecipherable tinny mumble. In a recent survey, 95% responded that their concentration and efficiency suffered due to deficient sound—with 35% reporting frustration or annoyance, leading to diminished confidence or embarrassment.

As working from home becomes a more permanent reality for many, we can’t afford to be distracted—or worse—by subpar audio. And the same holds true when we’re back in the office. In this timely and thought-provoking panel, Fast Company and EPOS will discuss the ramifications of bad audio—both on our emotional and physical well-being and your business’s bottom line—and what can be done to address it.

You’ll learn:

  • What makes audio quality “good” vs. “bad”
  • The essential link between sounds, health and productivity
  • Simple fixes that can help your team thrive and ensure business success


Joel Beckerman - Founder & Composer, Man Made Music -

He is an award-winning composer, producer, and arranger as well as the founder of Man Made Music, a company specializing in sonic branding, and the author of "The Sonic Boom: How Sound Transforms the Way We Think, Feel, and Buy". Joel has created original scores for more than fifty television programs and has developed signature sonic branding identities for global giants such as IMAX, Disney, AT&T, and Southwest Airlines. He has also worked with John Legend,, Moby, OK Go, Morgan Freeman, and the composer John Williams. Joel’s thought leadership in innovation through music and sound has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Fast Company, Billboard, Hollywood Reporter, Spin, and more.

Jesper Kock, Vice President of Research and Development at EPOS -

As Vice President of R&D and part of the senior management team, Jesper is responsible for ensuring technological synergies are leveraged through strategic partnerships and new market and technology trends are addressed accordingly. He is also responsible for keeping the R&D organisation lean and efficient while growing new segments and headcounts. He has been Vice President of R&D for more than six years, and within four years succeeding in doubling the capacity of the division and transforming the focus of R&D from hardware to software. His 22 years in the audio industry make Jesper one of the leading experts in R&D in the sector.

Erica Walker - Founder of Community Noise Lab at the BUSPH (Boston University School of Public Health) -

Erica Walker is the founder of Noise and the City whose mission is to document and describe the community soundscape and examine its impact on human health—both physically and mentally. She is also a postdoctoral researcher at Boston University School of Public Health in the Department of Environmental Health.


Abigail Bassett is a senior journalist, writer, strategic video & content manager, producer, conference and television host, and World Car Juror with more than 15 years of diverse experience in journalism, editorial management, content creation, and video production and television. A winner of numerous awards, including two Emmys, Abigail has worked for and with Fortune 500 media outlets and companies, as well as start-ups to raise brand awareness, and build audiences through compelling storytelling and partnerships.