HD NextGen Forum
Presented by Hospitality Design magazine, HD NextGen Forum is an invitation-only conference that blends education, inspiration, business, and networking for the next generation of hospitality design leaders. From inspirational keynotes to the influential leaders of the Owners’ Roundtable, our speakers lineup is sure to motivate and educate.
Regarded as the youngest bestselling business author in American history, Alex Banayan is known for his book The Third Door. It chronicles Banayan’s seven-year quest to uncover the definitive mindset of exponential growth and success.
Banayan’s unique story began during his freshman year of college when he “hacked” a game show and sold his prize to fund a personal quest to interview the world’s most innovative leaders. His journey led to meetings with Bill Gates, Lady Gaga, Larry King, Maya Angelou, Steve Wozniak, Jane Goodall, Jessica Alba, Quincy Jones, among many others.
Since the publication of The Third Door, Banayan has brought his message of possibility to millions of people in over 100 countries. Banayan sums up his mission with a simple phrase: “When you change what someone believes is possible, you change what becomes possible.”
Named to Forbes’ “30 Under 30” list and Business Insider’s “Most Powerful People Under 30”, Banayan is his generation’s leading expert in high performance and personal development, and has been featured in Fortune, CNBC, Businessweek, The Washington Post, MSNBC, Fox News, and NBC News. He has presented The Third Door™ framework to conferences and leadership teams around the world at companies including Apple, Google, Nike, IBM, Snapchat, Salesforce, Delta Airlines, Kaiser Permanente, and Mastercard.
Global growth strategist, innovator, and international business expert Jill Hellman specializes in helping organizations rethink, reimagine, and grow. In pursuit of innovation and new ideas, Hellman draws on her passion for connecting humans across diverse businesses and backgrounds, with a penchant for understanding the generational differences and points of view that make each person unique.
She has helmed strategy for a Middle East digital launch for a major retailer; executed strategic initiatives for a $19B retail giant in the U.S.; served as hospitality investment lead in Asia for a U.S.-based private equity firm; and worked in an external advisory role with McKinsey & Company’s global innovation head. As visiting faculty at the Cornell S.C. Johnson College of Business, Hellman teaches a course entitled “Key Drivers for Making Innovation Happen.”
Hellman’s work as speaker and strategist spans 25-plus countries across Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and the Americas for entities including Virgin, Microsoft, Carnival Corporation, Carnegie Mellon University Entrepreneurs’ Organization, Estée Lauder, the Nordic Innovation Centre, McKinsey & Company, and YPO. She holds an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.
Noelle Russell is global AI solutions lead at Accenture; founder and chief AI officer at AI Leadership Institute; and a leading AI innovator and practitioner.
With a knowledge of technology and its potential to transform business and society, Russell has dedicated her career to helping organizations uncover the possibilities that artificial intelligence (AI) present to their businesses, and guiding them through the intricacies of AI adoption. At Accenture, she advises companies across myriad industries on how to integrate emerging technologies—including AI, Web3, and the Cloud—into their operations and workplace strategies, and is responsible for developing enterprise-scale industry playbooks for generative AI and large language models (LLM). She helms global AI solution development for Cloud providers including Microsoft, Amazon, Google, and their ecosystem of partners.
Both technologist and entrepreneurial spirit, Russell has led innovative teams at Microsoft, IBM, AWS, NPR, and Amazon Alexa. She is among the world’s leading voices on data and AI literacy, infusing her tech deep dives with real-world examples and insights to help clients solve challenges through purposeful tech integration. She empowers groups to embrace technology, enhance decision making around technology, and learn more about multi-modal, multi-channel experiences, responsible and ethical AI, and inclusive innovation.
Russell has been honored with the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional Award for Artificial Intelligence, as well as VentureBeat Women in AI Responsibility and Ethics Award.
At HD NextGen Forum, HD annually presents the Wave of the Future awards—an honor reserved for designers, architects, owners, and brand executives who are young enough to be considered visionary, but tested enough to be considered accomplished. Here are the 2023 honorees.