Mercedes-Benz EQ and Summit LA18

To help Mercedes-Benz create meaningful awareness for EQ, their electric vehicle brand, we developed a multi-tiered partnership with Summit centered around the LA18 flagship event

At the annual Summit conference in downtown Los Angeles, 3,000+ innovators and entrepreneurs gathered in November for three days of talks, discussions, wellness activities and entertainment. The partnership between Mercedes-Benz EQ and Summit, facilitated by the COOL HUNTING Studio team, included the launch of a fellowship program, a site-specific art installation, a visit to a biodynamic ranch and a dinner with members of the Summit community—focused on different aspects of mobility.

CH has covered Mercedes-Benz cars for more than eight years and over time we’ve had the opportunity to develop relationships with many people throughout the US, global and regional organizations. We write about innovation and creativity across categories—from cars to travel to art to technology and more. Because of our exposure to things happening around the world in these varied but connected communities the team at EQ, who were in the process of developing its community strategy, asked us to collaborate with them.

One of the ideas that developed was participating in communities like that of Summit. Though based in the US, Summit attracts a global community of entrepreneurs and innovators. They produce events all year round in several locations, but the largest is the Summit LA. We felt that EQ was a natural partner for Summit, and helping to launch the new Fellowship program, offering Fellows the opportunity to attend Summit with costs supported by partners.

In 2017 we encouraged several members of the EQ team to attend and experience the LA conference, which combines a range of wellness and fitness activities, all types of talks and performances, considered food options and a lot of evening entertainment. This allowed the natural conversation about ways to partner together develop from an informed point of view, ultimately arriving at ways to foster community engagement.

GERONIMO’s Mirrored Forest

One of those ways was through art, and specifically an experiential work. We felt it was important, from a community point of view, to work with a LA-based artist, and comissioned “The Mirrored Forest,” a series of inflated, recycled nylon sculptures by artist GERONIMO, which welcomed the Summit community as they entered the LA18 campus through the EQ Lounge. The artist asks, “When our chosen fantasy becomes our personal reality and we begin editing our vision, where does truth exist? ‘The Mirrored Forest’ is an exaggerated and indulgent prop for me to explore truth.”

An intimate evening for food and conversation

Another element of the program included an intimate dinner created by plant-based LA chef Jasmine Shimoda. Plant-based eating and reducing carbon emissions are a natural fit for the EQ brand, and our dinner, hosted by Philipp Skogstad, the CEO of Mercedes-Benz Research and Development North America, allowed community members interested in mobility and plant-based eating to speak with the Fellows and learn a little about the types of issues the Mercedes-Benz research and development team are thinking about.

Meet the 2018 Mercedes-Benz EQ Summit Fellows

Launched at LA18, the Summit Fellowships offered 44 people the opportunity to attend and join the Summit community. As a Summit Fellowship launch partner Mercedes-Benz EQ sponsored 10 of the Fellows, all of whom are working on the future of mobility. The group includes an architect, engineers, a data scientist, entrepreneurs and a city employee with work focused in the UK, India, Africa and the US. More than one hundred people applied for the Fellowship from all over the world. Watch their stories here: