Midway, UT (PressExposure) August 31, 2011 -- The author of "Pay It Forward, Catherine Ryan Hyde, will be among the featured speakers in an upcoming conference designed to empower individuals to make a difference in the lives of others. The First Annual Pay It Forward Experience Conference will be held Oct. 21 through 23 at the Zermatt Resort (784 W. Resort Dr.) in Midway, Utah.
The conference is open to the public. A variety of packages are available, some of which include lodging. In addition, the conference will be available as a webinar. Prices and registration materials may be found online at [http://zermattresort.com/events/pay-it-forward-event/]
Other keynote speakers at the conference include: Salt Lake City entrepreneur Charley Johnson, who was distributed over a million "Pay It Forward" bracelets in 62 countries; Hannah Taylor, who at age 8 (she's now 15) founded the Ladybug Foundation Inc., a registered Canadian charity dedicated to providing shelter, food and safety for homeless people; Adrianne Schmidt, founder of the Karma Experiment on Facebook which asks people to commit acts of kindness (the Karma Experiment has a million followers who have committed 2 million acts of kindness); and Bob Littell, founder of NetWeaving International and the website, http://netweaving.com, which have the goal of building a community of NetWeavers who share the give-first-in-order-to-receive philosophy.
Hyde's novel, "Pay It Forward," gained national attention when it was made into the 2000 movie of the same name. The film, which starred Kevin Spacey, Helen Hunt and Haley Joel Osment, follows the story of a boy (Osment) who tries to make the world a better place as the result of an assignment from his social studies teacher (Spacey). Hyde's latest novel, "Don't Let Me Go," is scheduled for release in the United Kingdom on Sept. 29.
The First Annual Pay It Forward Experience Conference is the brainchild of Johnson, who recently left his position as vice president of a family-owned business to pursue Pay It Forward on a full-time basis. He said, "The purpose of this conference is to bring together all the pay-it-forward minded people from all over the world, for the first time. This experience will provide the platform Pay it Forward needs to reach all corners of the earth. We want to show the world how simple yet powerful the concept of pay it forward is and to make sure all people know they can participate in this world-changing movement. Pay it forward brings back that one thing we all want back in our life--that human connection."
A few years ago, Johnson came up with the idea of manufacturing silicone bracelets with the phrase, Pay It Forward. Johnson distribute these bracelets at no cost on behalf of Hyde's Pay It Forward Foundation, a nonprofit organization with the mission to educate and inspire students to realize that they can change the world, and provide them with the opportunity to do so (Johnson is on the board of the Pay It Forward Foundation).
"The bracelet is just a simple reminder in a fast-paced world to help others, and it is also a starting point for many people to change their thoughts on the world," Johnson said. "If you want to see the full effect a simple Pay It Forward bracelet can have, go to lunch today and buy a meal for the person behind you. After the shock of the person goes away, remove your bracelet, hand it to him or her, and ask that person to pay it forward. Then, just walk away. You'll quickly see how addicted you become to taking care of others, and seeing the response you receive from a single act of kindness."