2017 / 2018 Tribute
Imagine entering a space that is filled with thousands of social entrepreneurs who are passionate about transforming communities, industries and the world? That is the Archangel Summit. The energy in the room is palpable and when Giovanni Marsico walks onstage to speak, the entire room is waiting with baited breath to hear what he has to say. Giovanni is the mastermind behind the Archangel Summit and he is a man of few words, yet those that he does speak are carefully curated and golden! When he said: “Having the opportunity to believe in all of you is why I exist,” his words echoed in the hearts of each and everyone in the space. We felt known, understood and connected with him and each other.
As social entrepreneurs ourselves and as a company that trains and develops social entrepreneurs, we are so excited to have this Summit originate in Toronto and we have loved seeing it grow and expand over the last three years. The 2017 Archangel
Summit was held at the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts with over 3000 entrepreneurs in attendance. The 2018 Archangel Summit, held at the Metro Convention Centre yesterday estimates that over 5000 entrepreneurs were in attendance … eager to be inspired and empowered by yet another stellar line-up of speakers. We are so excited to see the growth and expansion of next year’s Archangel Summit! We predict that the Archangel Summit will be a global phenomenon in the very near future!
Last year, it was a bright and sunny September day in Toronto when we pulled up to the Sony Centre. The lobby was brimming with people all excited to be there, anticipating the great line-up of inspirational speakers. The excitement in the air was palpable and attendees were networking, talking and laughing. That’s where we met Katia Millar. She runs a large networking group for women called ‘Positive Fabulous Women’ and was excited to be experiencing the event with her son.
The theme for last year’s Summit was Moonshot, which is defined as an epic mission that we can all achieve together. Moonshot Pitch Contest Finalists had the opportunity to pitch their idea/product to the audience for a chance to win $50,000! There were five finalists and each one had a great business contributing to society and giving back, which made it tough for the audience to cast votes for just one winner.
Ilana Ben-Ari won the contest for her Empathy Toy. Now, a year later, Ilana is launching her latest creation The Failure Toy. When asked why she developed a toy to address failure she said studies show that “kids fail less when they know that failure is part of learning” and not just kids, but adults too. The failure toy challenges the notion that failure is something to be feared and hidden and instead allows the user to embrace it as something that can be practiced and then developed as a skill. Why not play with failure?
Giovanni has the ability to put together a line-up of speakers that are celebrities in the personal development field. Last year, the line-up included Jim Kwik, Lewis Howes, Dr. Shefali Tsabary, Daymond John, Nicole Arbour, Simon Sinek, Mark Keilburger, Dr. Stephanie Estima, Dr. Angela Lauria, Danielle Laporte, and Nicholas Kusmich. Each one imparted their wisdom and awakened a new level of consciousness that left us all present to who we are and what is possible for us, and the world, inside of transformation.
We were encouraged to live a life of purpose and impact the people around us. And, that to do so effectively requires authenticity, selflessness, hard work, perseverance, patience and a clear vision of your ‘why’. Many also shared the importance of having a coach to guide us through the process of building our businesses. Coaches are lifelines that hold us accountable for accomplishing our goals and dreams. The more our businesses grow, the more important is to have a coach that sees us as bigger than we see ourselves.
The line-up of speakers was equally impressive for this year’s Summit including Arlene Dickinson, Sally Hogshead, Brendon Burchard, JP Sears, Dandapani, Jim Kwik, JJ Virgin, Dr. Mark Hyman, Dave Asprey and Dr. Stephanie Estima.
As is his tradition in supporting entrepreneurs, this year’s contest presented an opportunity to become an Archangel Messenger … a chance for 5 finalists to share the stage with the keynote speakers and address the audience. The five finalist Archangel Messengers chosen were: Joana Galvao, Joze Piranian, Kristopher Simpson, Orlando Bowen, and Lindsey Padilla.
Here’s what a few had to say about the opportunity to take the stage:
Kris J Simpson: “After more than 20 years in business, I was called to become a speaker and I entered this contest to face my fear and overcome it. Winning never even crossed my mind! And now speaking to an audience of 5,000 fulfills my calling on the biggest scale!” His message to all the change agents and social entrepreneurs out there is: “Make some space, take back some time for yourself. Create some energy so that you can continue to focus on what matters most to you.”
Joze Piranian: “Being an Archangel Messenger is another milestone on this crazy journey I am on. The mere fact that I have gone from avoiding speaking at all costs to speaking in front of thousands feels incredibly surreal! And if I can leave the reader with anything, it’s whatever your fear is, expose yourself to that discomfort, breathe it in, and walk through the fire. Trust me – life is infinitely sweeter on the other side”
Orlando Bowen: “Being selected as an Archangel Summit Messenger bestows upon us the gift of sharing the stage with legends who are deeply committed to making the world better and committed to working to stay at the top of their game. I am humbled, honoured and ALL IN. And for the readers, know that there is so much power in surrounding yourself with people who see possibilities in you that you may not see for yourself at the moment. Be proactive in seeking those types of individuals out and connecting with them.”
In speaking with attendees at last year’s event, the speaker who most resonated with the audience was Dr. Shefali Tsabary. She is a clinical psychologist, parenting expert and the bestselling author of The Conscious Parent. She powerfully imparted her wisdom with a sense of warmth, grace and humour. She informed us that we are all caught in a series of unconscious, inherited generational patterns. And, we are doomed to repeat those patterns with our children unless we become aware of them and begin to dismantle them. In fact, real growth and development comes when we can deconstruct and dismantle our inherited and cultural patterns and in turn, we can discover who we truly are.
Jonah Brotman, one of the attendees had this to say:
“I loved Dr. Shefali. She was excellent. The way she deconstructed patterns, rhythms and structures was great and her use of humour lightened the mood and allowed us to accept things in a deep way.”
An amazing resource at the Summit was the large team of volunteers. Each one had to submit a video application to be chosen to be a part of the event.We interviewed a repeat volunteer, Rafeena Bacchus and this is her inspiring story:
“I’m a lawyer. I have experience in the corporate world and I was an insurance defense litigator for a very long time. I knew I wanted to make a change in my life. I wanted to do something with more purpose, more meaning, that was more humanitarian, and I just didn’t know what that was. So, I left my job in January and I was kind of floundering. I wasn’t sure where I was going or what direction I was heading into. I got this email through a group (Centre for Social Innovation) that I was involved in asking for people to volunteer for this event so I decided to volunteer. It sounded like an innovative event, the callout was humble, and I thought okay why not, I’m going to give this a shot! I mean it’s called Arch Angels so right away the name grabbed me. I came to the event and it probably was the best day of my year. It took me to another level. I was so inspired after that, I turned down a partnership with an insurance litigation firm without another offer on the table and this experience gave me the courage to do that, just relating to the speakers and everything they had to say, inspired me.”
Rafeena went on to say that since that time, she has transformed her life and is now the program manager for a new social justice human rights program, the first of its kind in Ontario. It is a collaboration between doctors and lawyers on how to best treat low income clients with mental health issues.
Rafeena is just one of the many volunteers who gave their time so that the proceeds of the Summit can go back into the community. Founder Giovanni Marsico announced that a $50,000 donation would be made to WE Day from the profits of the Summit!
Natasha Sarin said this about why she attended: “I love everything that Giovanni has brought to the table in terms of realizing the social impact that global entrepreneurs can make. It’s not just profitability from a financial stand point but what the true luxury is … to add profit to other people’s lives and make a difference”.
She then shared these words of wisdom “Health is the ultimate luxury. Failure is not a negative thing. Failure can propel you and propel society into something so much more. When you think you’re down and you’re failing, there is a hidden message there. Like Damon says, you are 20% succeeding and 80% waiting to succeed.”
The day wasn’t simply a day of inspiration and learning, it was also ridiculously entertaining! The artist, Akon, performed a set of all of his classic hits and he had the crowd up on their feet, rushing the stage and then, when invited, up on to the stage to dance and celebrate with him! It was a definite highlight of the experience!
At the end of the day, we left knowing that we were in the right place, filled with gratitude and pride knowing that we would be featuring such an influential event that is supporting people around the world who are making a difference.
We know that this year’s Archangel Summit has been just as inspiring and life changing for those in attendance, especially for the 5 winners of the Archangel Messenger contest.
As Giovanni said: “What appears to be a one-day transformational experience, is truly a lifetime of new friendships, partnerships, and community”
Put this event on your bucket list. You will not be disappointed!