2017 Miami, Florida

X-CULTURE GLOBAL SYMPOSIUM 2017 MIAMI

The X-Culture Global Symposium that took place in Miami in 2017 was the WeEvolveGlobal inaugural event that originated thanks to the idea of creating a very student-centric program: Students (Ambassadors and Coaches)  would have been the face of the infrastructure and students’ attendance would have been the focus of this program. 

We wanted to make the event packed with workshops, training, business competitions, meetings with entrepreneurs, field trips, behind-the-scenes company tours, as well as ample sightseeing and networking opportunities.

Out of almost 40,000 X-Culture alumni, we invited about a thousand of the most interesting students. Those with the highest performance ratings, original work, who provided interesting inputs and had something special about them. About 500 expressed their interest to attend the event. From this group, we invited the Top 150.

So 150 students from 43 countries, plus 20 professors took part in the X-Culture Global Symposium 2017 Miami.

The attendees were hosted by Johnson & Wales University. We are extremely thankful for the space that the university allowed us to use and the support that they provided us even if people had to work in a way they weren’t accustomed to.  It was a huge learning curve for everyone that could be summarized in the words of Schumpeter: “We must destroy our old way of thinking in order to create the new.”  And with change, there comes challenges – always.

The students lived on the beautiful JWU campus, where the event took place. So most of the event venues were within walking distance.

The other hosts and partners were Hard Rock International/Seminole Gaming, American Airlines, UPS and UNCG. We organized meetings with top managers and behind-the-scenes tours of Port of Miami, Miami International Airport, Hard Rock Casino and Hotel.

This was also the first time that we involved local Ambassadors and Coaches into preparing and running the event. The Ambassadors were all JWU students who helped a lot with managing the local affairs, while the Coaches came from the X-Culture Coaching Program and provided advice and training related to the challenge.

Students who attended the event had to work on the Hard Rock International challenge.

We placed the students in teams about a month before the event. the students worked closely in their smaller teams well before meeting in person in Miami. Moreover, each team had Coaches and local Ambassadors available to them. So, the students arrived reasonably prepared: With a good part of the Hard Rock International challenge completed, knowing the people, knowing where to go and what to do.

We organized a series of webinars not only with the host company top management, but also a series of training workshops on writing, presenting, teamwork, career development, social media and more.

We also scheduled seminars, meetings with top managers, community leaders, academics, elevator pitches, job interviews, field trips and networking events such as the Welcome Reception, the Pool Party, the Hard Rock Reception and the Gala Dinner.

Moreover, we created a Facebook Group which turned out quite active. Students were coordinating their pre- and post-conference sightseeing activities, arrivals and ride-sharing, and just meeting one another.

We were so awed by the transformation that we witnessed as students evolved to become more culturally intelligent.  We were impressed by the friendships they built. But most of all, we saw them transforming to become the best versions of themselves and help build our world for the greater good and achieve “world peace”.

The most memorable parts of the X-Culture Global Symposium 2017 Miami

  • The Welcome Reception: Meeting each other in person for the first time and listening to a moving Welcome Speech by the JWU President.
  • All kinds of presentations and workshops by top managers, entrepreneurs, academics, city officials and more.
  • The Hard Rock International Competition: The company was represented by almost their entire Top Management Team. The students first had ample opportunities to meet, ask questions and learn from; then they had to present their work to a sizable group Directors and VPs for Hospitality, Hotels, HR, Food and Beverages and other top managers of Seminole Gaming and Hard Rock International.
  • A behind-the-scenes tour of the Miami International Airport and meeting with the airport management, one of the world’s biggest airports. The most memorable moment: During the tour the VP Marketing said about 80,000 people work at the airport and a student from Grenada replied that it was almost as many as the population of his country.
  • A presentation by the top management of American Airlines. Especially fascinating was a look at their underbelly cargo operations.
  • A behind-the-scenes VIP tour of the Port of Miami, the world’s largest cruise port and one of the largest cargo ports. They let us into places that were so secure and sensitive that we had to go through a security clearance weeks in advance and we were escorted by several security vehicles at all times.
  • A scavenger hunt and cocktail reception at the Hard Rock Casino! On top of that, we got a very-behind-the-scenes tour guided by their #1 Man Jimbo Osciola himself. We got to see their suites for very special clients (those who play with $1,000,000 and more), private gaming room, employee cafeteria and other places that are off-limit to regular guests (and some so special that they can’t be bought and are reserved only to the super rich and special guests).
  • Elevator Pitch competition: We literally put the “investors” in the elevators and they were riding up and down for half a day as the students pitched their business ideas on the way from the first floor to the top or back.
  • Resume Competition: A great way to learn how to write a job-getting resume.
  • Job Interview Competition: Again, a great way to learn and rehears job-interview skills.
  • A pool party for the students.
  • A salsa class and party.
  • Receptions at Sole at the Ocean and The Pier.
  • The Gala Dinner and Awards Ceremony: It was magic and enchanting. The only problem with these events is that not everyone gets to be a winner. Our students are extremely competitive, so some were sad a bit when their teams didn’t make it to the top. But the great food, music and company made it fun for all.

Events like this greatly contribute to the WeEvolveGlobal and X-Culture’s mission of bringing cultures together.

We thank Hard Rock International/Seminole gaming, all the hosts and partners, the panellists, Faculty members and of course all the students who attended this inaugural event.

WeEvolveGlobal would like the world to recognize that X-Culture is one of the most effective student-centric organizations that teach cultural empathy through international studies. We would like businesses to see how amazing the students are and create job opportunities for all our students all over the world.