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Britt Hysen claimed the “millennial” beat back in 2009 as a journalist well before the term ever became hot. At a time where the U.S. economy was in a downturn with high levels of unemployment, Britt found herself surrounded by a community of young people and artists that were thriving and making a living off their passions. Britt found that inspirational and knew others would too. So she started telling those stories to offer hope to others that may not have felt the same way.

Today, Britt is the Editor in Chief of Millennial, and is a much sought after industry speaker. We caught up with her in advance of this year’s Global E-commerce Summit in Barcelona to find out about her expectations for the event and gain a sneak peak of what she brings to the table as this year’s host.
What are your expectations for Global E-commerce Summit 2016?
I’m expecting an address on the state of the industry. Where e-commerce is right now, where it’s going. What businesses are making the biggest impact right now, and how that really affects the global economy.

How has digital (the internet) played a role in shaping your career?
The barrier of entry has been extremely low. I think that’s true for a lot of cloud based companies. Rather than having to develop a website from scratch, I was able to jump on a platform like WordPress for a minimum fee to get started. Then it’s really more about creativity (in developing a relevant product), determination, and the ability to execute a vision that comes into play from that point on.

What insight or perspective do you bring as this year’s host of Global E-commerce summit?
After hundreds of interviews with millennials under my belt, I have a pretty firm grasp of the demographic. My first-hand insight helps brands build strategy to become more relevant and thereby attract the millennial demographic.

But it’s important to realize that being a millennial isn’t just about age. It has more to do with lifestyle qualities and priorities. Those are things we define as globally connected, experiential, entrepreneurial, socially conscious, eco-friendly, etc. They are qualities that are the over arching positive essence to someone’s wellbeing. A lot of people, regardless of age, can relate to certain qualities.

What do you enjoy the most about what you do?
I truly enjoy being able to facilitate some of the voices out there. With Millennial, we’ve claimed a platform that is all about the positive side —the global influencers, cultural trends, and social impact of the demographic. I really like the stories about the individuals. I love telling the stories of the people influencing behavior, developing those trends, and making those changes. I want to understand and share the journey of how they get to where they are.

Are you tracking any compelling millennial driven stories in the e-commerce space?
I’m a big online shopper, so I’m really excited to see what businesses are out there that I’m not yet aware of that may be providing new destinations for consumers. What new types of services are being developed? How are people finding ways to be successful. So we’re doing a story now about Thrive Market. They started about a year ago and have now become THE U.S. on-line destination for organic packaged goods. One of the really interesting things about their story was how the three founders — all under 40 — secured the capital to get their business off the ground. They were initially unsuccessful in raising funds through VC firms, so they decided to go out and get the buy-in of 100 influencers in the wellness space. These are influencers with a “capital I” — the yogis, the meditation specialists, and the inspirational speakers like Deepak Chopra, Jillian Michaels, Tony Robbins and many more. With buy-in from these influencers they were able to raise $US8M. More importantly, they were able to cultivate a network reach of over 100 million people for their business. With that, they launched their platform and have since come to a point where they receive over a 1,000 orders an hour, and they closed a US$30M Series A round last year.

That to me is like WOW! How did you do that? And how can we share that story with others?

Britt is obviously passionate about what she does. She lives the lifestyle and has a real awareness of empirical millennial qualities and successes she’s driven to share.

Hear them in person. Experience the energy and insight she has to share.

Join Britt Hysen this year in Barcelona for Global E-commerce Summit 2016, 29 May – 1 June.