Few—if any—gatherings can be likened to that of Mindvalley’s biannual A-Fest. What began as an alternative education company founded by Vishen Lakhiani in 2003 has since flourished into a multicultural learning experience across various platforms such as Mindvalley U., the Quests app, their online Mindvalley Academy and A-Fest. In an attempt to re-imagine the learning and teaching process, Mindvalley’s mission is “to change education globally and provide innovative, holistic education for all levels.”
A-Fest is an exclusive off-shoot of Mindvalley’s ethos offering the same caliber of teachers (and attendees) in a condensed, four-day summit. Each A-Fest takes place in a different, exotic locale and features world-renowned speakers, innovators, educators, entrepreneurs, authors and all-around badasses who fit under the umbrella of a particular theme unique to each event.
The latest installment of A-Fest 2017 took place November 9-12 in Montego Bay, Jamaica and spoke to the theme of “Enhanced States of Consciousness.” The event showcased several keynote speakers such as best-selling author and co-founder of Flow Genome Project Steven Kotler; daredevil and meditation guru Wim “The Iceman” Hof; memory expert and CEO of Kwik Learning Jim Kwik and internationally acclaimed rock drummer Kenny Aronoff, among many others.
In addition to the mind-bending array of talks, each day concluded with a curated event that included performance artists and music ranging from local reggae bands to David Block of the Human Experience—a musician and producer popular within the transformational festival scene.
The organizers of A-Fest understand that connecting with other so-called “A-Festers” is equally as important as the knowledge they all came to absorb—and adding music, dancing, booze and ganja to these soirees accelerated the rate at which people connected. As many of the speakers also attended these events, the education continued beyond the stage giving attendees a chance to bond with the speakers in a more casual setting.
Sometimes images are the best way to convey the magic of an experience such as A-Fest. Festival and event photographer Miles Najera not only captured this inimitable magic, but tells a fantastical story through his vivid photographs.