Bringing on the Future: A Look At The Next Generation Summit


Anis Vijay Modi
Staff Writer

We could all agree that college is a life-shaping experience. Every day holds an opportunity to learn something new, whether through social events, work, or the normal class setting. There is no doubt that soaking in these experiences changes each of us as people, just moments before we find ourselves in the real world. Yet the mental spark that is agitated by all of these learning opportunities is sometimes left unsatisfied. Have you ever had the feeling that your dreams are bigger than the classroom environment? That your interests go far beyond the confines of this campus?

Kiyan Rajabi, the founder and director of Next Generation Summit, said of his motivation to start the conference, “I was bored learning so much yet applying so little and decided to build a setting where thinkers can collaborate and discuss significant issues or trends with others regardless of their academic backgrounds.”

That is why Rajabi, with a group of other students, decided to host a conference to bring academic minds together.

The first ever summit will be taking place May 4 to 5 here at UCSB’s Corwin Pavilion. It is a two-day event that aims to bring together motivated students in order to show them that they are not alone in the pursuit of something that is bigger for the future. The variety of schools represented at this conference features top-tier institutes from all over the United States, such as University of California, Los Angeles; the Brooks Institute; and, of course, our very own University of California, Santa Barbara.

The conference seems to model itself after the famous TED talks, which have been gaining popularity all around the country.

“The theme selected for this year’s event is ‘Innovation From All Angles,’” Rajabi said. “The selected topics of discussion for this year’s event include breakthroughs in: technology, health, science, business, and more.”

Rajabi and his fellow organizers hope that, through discussion and participation in NGS, “our generation can alleviate many of the burdens we face if we more frequently solved our problems through cross-disciplinary collaboration.”

Some of the keynote speakers, who expand on the newest trends in their respective fields, include Dr. John La Puma, Lex Sisney, and Jacques Habra. La Puma is a graduate of the College of Creative Studies here at UCSB. Later in his life, he combined his professional skills of culinary arts and medicine to co-found ChefMD, a company that promotes the idea of ‘food as medicine.’ Lex Sisney has spearheaded multiple million-dollar companies and now serves as organizational consultant.

These speakers, together with the other professionals taking part in the event, all come from very different background. What holds them together is their will to share their secrets for lifelong success and inspire students to leave their mark on the world through constant interaction and the power of shared ideas.

“We believe that our education and experiences vary, so collective ideation and discussion is the best way to derive solutions and mutually beneficial outcomes. After the event, we will continue interacting with the network we are building by continued activities with all NGS alumni,” Rajabi said.

Tickets will be $35 for students with a valid college ID and $75 for general admission.