Forward with Ford 2011

When I accepted an invitation to attend Forward with Ford, Ford Motor Company’s first futuring and trends conference, I only knew a couple of things for sure. They were that I’d get to see Naomi and Vicky again, that I’d get to meet Christy for the first time in person, and that I’d get to hit Ford’s test track for a second time. What it ended up being was so much more. From incredible speakers like Malcolm Gladwell, Ed Begley, Jr., and Tim Westergren, to several jam packed sessions filled with information, conversations with the speakers, and hands-on experiences with Ford vehicles. I can’t possibly share everything in one post so I’d like to simply begin with our first evening. It was pretty incredible.

We were treated to an evening of cocktails, dinner, and wonderful conversation. Ford’s President and CEO Alan Mulally offered a few words to welcome us to Dearborn before bringing opening keynote speaker Malcolm Gladwell to the stage. Confession time. I had no idea who Malcolm Gladwell was before that evening. Instead of gasping and throwing rotten tomatoes at your computer screen, give me credit for blurting that out to the whole entire world. I mean, that makes me brave, right? I think I may have heard of one or two of his books, but I truly had no idea just how big of a deal that he was. He talked about baseball and history with humor, while clearly conveying a powerful message. That message that should be displayed on billboards across every city? Don’t let anyone else dictate your worth, realize your value and that you have something beneficial to offer. This is so important for us as bloggers because so often we don’t feel like we deserve more than what we are offered. We often feel like we should just be grateful if a brand reaches out to us to promote their product for nothing more than a gift card in return. If that works for you, then fine, but the point is that we are the ones who decide what we’re worth, nobody else.

Thank you, Malcolm Gladwell, for that reminder.
with Malcolm Gladwell at Forward with Ford


Disclosure: While Ford covered all of my expenses for this trip, I wasn’t asked to write this post. All opinions are my own.



  1. Ford Focus live chat with Chad D’Arcy « cathy herard says:

    […] of the coolest things I did this summer was attend Forward with Ford in Dearborn Michigan. I got to see some of my favorite online friends, got my photo taken with Ed […]

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