Ultimate Guide to the Velocity Summit

Written by

Davin Wilfrid

Published on

September 27, 2019

Velocity Is More Than Fast

The difference between speed and velocity is everything. Speed is just a measure of rate — how fast something is moving. Velocity is a measure of how fast something is moving in a given direction. For business leaders, velocity means getting from strategy to execution as fast as possible. 

Catalant’s Velocity Summit brings together forward-thinking business leaders from multiple industries to discuss how to get mission-critical work done faster. Join us to hear how some of the world’s leading companies are accelerating growth, creating new sources of value, and driving efficiency to impact their business outcomes.

About the Velocity Summit

When: October 2nd – 4th , 2019
Where: Convene, 201 Washington St., Boston, MA, 02111
Accommodations: We have arranged a group rate for the nights of October 2nd and 3rd  at The Godfrey Hotel.

Fantastic conference surfacing some of the latest thinking and experimentation around the future of work.”

Caroline Missen | Shell | Catalant

Caroline Missen
Business Advisor to Downstream Director

Who Should Attend The Velocity Summit?

Velocity Summit attendees include Directors, VPs, C-level executives and more from a wide variety of industries, including financial services, healthcare, manufacturing, technology, and pharmaceuticals. Registered attendees for the 2019 Summit represent a variety of internal functions, including corporate strategy, HR, finance, operations, supply chain, internal consulting, and transformation. 

What our attendees have in common is that they understand that the nature of work is fundamentally changing and that organizations need to find new ways to grow and innovate.

Featured Speakers

Larry Kleinman, Chief Human Resources Officer, Highmark Health

Larry Kleinman is CHRO of Highmark Health, a $19 billion healthcare organization based in Pittsburgh. He’s also the leader behind a high-impact transformation effort aimed at reinventing the way Highmark Health works across business units and with consultants and other vendors. Check out our Q&A with Larry to learn more about his role, his initiative, and what he’ll be sharing at the Velocity Summit.

Highlights From Last Year’s Summit


October 2nd

Welcome Reception: A Night at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

This event is limited to 50 guests.  If you would like to join us at the welcome reception, please confirm your attendance with Katherine Adams (kadams@gocatalant.com).

5:30 PM

Catalant Provided Transportation Departs the Godfrey Hotel

If you would like to take our provided transportation, please confirm with Katherine Adams (kadams@gocatalant.com)

6:00 PM

Cocktail Reception and First-Hand Account of the 1990 Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum Heist

In 1990, the single largest unsolved art theft in the world took place at The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. Join us for a private, after-hours tour followed by a first-hand account of the heist from the museum’s Chief of Security, Anthony Amore, who was tied up during the theft.

7:00 PM

Dinner and Keynote Address

Bill McNichols, Former SVP of Starbucks and Founder & Managing Partner of Goldfinch Partners will kick off the Velocity Summit this year. Bill led Starbuck’s global business development, M&A and investment activities on an end-to-end basis. Bill will share how Starbucks was able to get from strategy to execution on over 40 transactions, including over $11 billion in M&A and investment activities.

9:00 PM

Welcome Event Concludes and Provided Transportation Departs for the Godfrey Hotel

If you would like to take our provided transportation, please confirm with Katherine Adams (kadams@gocatalant.com)

October 3rd (Main Day)

Transforming with Velocity

8:30 AM

Registration and Breakfast

9:00 AM

Keynote: What is Driving Transformation Across Enterprises?

Rapid technological advancements, shifting consumer expectations, and evolving definitions of relationships between employers and employees is compelling organizations of all sizes, across all industries, across geographies to reimagine what their strategies should be and how they’re going to execute them.

The data suggest that grappling with these issues is more pressing than ever. The pace of change is only quickening, titans of yesteryear are unceremoniously falling to the wayside, and faster, more nimble upstarts are creating value while larger, better-heeled competitors are figuring out that they’re even competing.

The fuel that drives companies’ ability to achieve its business outcomes largely resides in people, who may be inside or outside of a given company. What people are needed to execute strategy — and the capabilities needed to achieve goals — isn’t an HR question; it’s a business question.

9:30 AM

Fireside Chat: How are Forward-Looking Enterprises and Startups Creating New Sources of Value?

The pressures on organizations thirty years ago largely called for continuous and sustaining innovation, but the world has changed and the solutions optimized to innovate this way, in most cases, don’t quite cut it anymore. Incremental iterations on the old way of doing things aren’t keeping pace with what consumers want and how they want to get what they want.

Some leaders aren’t standing by while the ship goes down. They’re taking proactive measures to disrupt themselves before they get disrupted. Attendees will hear different examples of how Bose is innovating at the enterprise.

10:00 AM

Networking Break

10:30 AM

Panel: Leveraging Data to Accelerate Efficient Growth

The era of the Internet of Things (IoT) has provided better instrumentation of all sorts of activities and is generating more data than ever before. Making sense of these data is also easier, enabled by stronger computers, smarter algorithms, and people who are focused on the questions that the data can answer.

Companies that make better use of the universe of data available to them will be able to make more intelligent decisions on where to place bets, how to optimize execution, and how fast they can grow — with minimal waste.

11:00 AM

Keynote: Creating and Scaling a $1B Transformation

It’s rare for an enterprise-wide transformation would be run by the CHRO, but that’s exactly what’s happening at Highmark Health, the second-largest integrated delivery and financing system in America. Larry Kleinman is leading the charge of a multi-million-dollar effort to transform how a 43,000 person healthcare enterprise is delivering value to its customers and making smarter strategic decisions about how they wield resources against their most important work.

11:30 AM

The Catalant Journey to Disrupt Itself

The way we work is changing. Companies need to be more agile in order to adapt to changing customer preferences, innovate, and grow. Pat will share how Catalant has innovated to meet new demands from the market and customers and why he believes every company should be doing the same thing.

12:00 PM

Networking Lunch

Catalant Platform Demos Available Upon Request

12:45 PM

Round Table Discussions

Burning questions you’d like to surface to your peers? Need input on mission critical work you’ve been tasked with? This is your opportunity to learn and share directly with your peers in breakout sessions built around Summit attendees’ most pressing issues. Choose to join one of three sessions led by Summit speakers:

  • Session One: Preparing for Rapid Innovation: Gradually and Then Suddenly
  • Session Two: Getting from Strategy to Execution Faster: The U.S. Bank Story
  • Session Three: Organizing for Innovation at the Enterprise

1:30 PM

Campbell Soup Company Goes Agile, From Soup to Snacks

Consumers have long demanded five simple things in the food they buy and consume: it has to be safe, nutritious, delicious, accessible and affordable. The modern day food system has been built around 150 years of advances in science to provide an ever higher degree of delivery against these benefits. In the past decade, however, consumers have fundamentally shifted their purchasing criteria around their perception of “safe”, leading to more scrutiny regarding what is in their food and how it is grown and processed. Consumers are demanding simpler food designs with fewer, more recognizable ingredients. This rebuilding of the design approach combined with a heightened competitive environment requires a shift in speed and accuracy as it relates to design work. Agile Development helps isolate the unique challenge in each recipe and get to real food solutions in less than half the time

2:00 PM

Creating New Sources of Value & Enabling Rapid Innovation at Anheuser-Busch InBev

Anheuser-Busch InBev is the largest brewer in the world and one of the top performing CPG companies globally. And with good reason. They operate like no other company. They move fast, give people “missions” instead of jobs, and use technology to better understand the skills and expertise they need to get mission critical work done. Juan Carlos Fuenmayor, Global Director of Venture Strategy and Finance will share how AB InBev successfully enables rapid innovation and continually creates new sources of revenue.

2:30 PM

Networking Break

3:00 PM

Panel: Mapping Resources Management to Business Outcomes (to Avoid Flying Blind)

Getting the necessary visibility and insight into capabilities needed to execute work, who across the organization has those capabilities, and the impact of those resources on the business outcomes work is driving toward is a far-off dream to most executives.

For many employees and their employers, when companies organize and allocate resources— especially human ones — it often feels arbitrary or, even worse, biased.

But technology is enabling organizations and their leaders to attain unprecedented visibility, surface (in some cases) unexpected insights, and make more informed decisions that are premised on how specific resources contribute or fail to contribute to their business goals.

Participants will hear varying points of view on how technology is enabling them to make smarter resource decisions.

4:00 PM

Keynote: Catalant's Vision for the Future

At Catalant, we’re fortunate to get a view into some of the most important work taking place at some of the world’s leading enterprises. We’re able to learn from those organizations where they want to be in the future, and where we, as a strategic partner,  need to go in order to get them there. Hear from Jorge Pena, former Director of Business Transformation at Qualtrics and Catalant’s VP of Business Transformation on the most important insights we’ve learned from working with strategic executives at 30% of the Fortune 500 and how that’s shaped where we are headed. 

4:30 PM

Cocktail Reception

5:30 PM

Social Networking Activities (Advance Sign-up Required)

After digesting a day of content and conversation, take advantage of the opportunity to network with your peers! You’ll have the option to choose between simulated golf at Lynx Fitness, or a private cooking class at Boston Public Market. Transportation will be provided from the Summit to evening activities. The evening activities will conclude around 8PM. 

*Advanced sign up is required, since space is limited, but the activities are free of charge.

October 4th

Boston Innovation Tour

8:30 AM

Networking Breakfast

Join us for breakfast at Catalant’s HQ in Seaport – Boston’s Waterfront Innovation District

9:00 AM

Panel: Lessons from the Front Lines of Disruption

Learn from some of Boston’s fastest growing companies on how they’re able to disrupt entire industries, and themselves.

9:45 AM


Following the panel, transportation to the Innovation & Design Building will be provided by Catalant.

10:00 AM

Boston Innovation Tour

Coined the Silicon Valley of the East, Boston is home to a growing hub of cutting-edge organizations. The Innovation & Design Building houses some of Boston’s most disruptive companies. Originally an Army waterside storehouse, the IDB has been converted into corporate work space inspired by an entrepreneurial spirit and intended to lend itself to rapid innovation and hypergrowth. You’ll get the rare opportunity to hear, see and feel the environment in which companies at the forefront of innovation and disruption operate.

12:00 PM

Networking Lunch

Wrap up the Innovation Tour with lunch from Flour Bakery + Cafe, the brainchild of 2016 James Beard Award Winner, Joanne Chang.

12:30 PM

2019 Velocity Summit Concludes


All-Access Pass

Claim Your Seat at the Table

Learn more about the Velocity Summit and how to get involved.


Davin Wilfrid

Davin is the Director of Content Marketing for Catalant. In his spare time, he builds terrible-sounding instruments.

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