ICYMI #HGF23 Review: “Making the Case for Optimism”

Last week, thousands of delegates from across the country and around the world convened in Atlanta, GA and virtually to “Make the Case for Optimism” at the 2023 HOPE Global Forums held at the historic Hyatt Regency Hotel.

For three days, thought leaders, CEOs, community advocates, banking professionals, and titans across industries lent their voice to a transformative conversation that will carry us into 2024 with excitement and momentum.

Day 1

Day 1 of the Forum featured dynamic conversations with esteemed speakers like the Hon. Michael HsuU.S. Comptroller of the CurrencyNextdoor CEO Sarah Friar; media host Angela YeeiHeart Digital Media CEO Conal Byrne, and others. 

In conversation with Chairman Bryant, Hsu and Friar both discussed the present-day realities of our economic landscape, including cryptocurrencies, and the power of community and its many facts, respectively. Angela Yee and Byrne both moderated panels where culture and community intersect through conversations surrounding the influence of art and music on social movements as well as navigating the new digital media age we live in where news is shared almost instantaneously with tremendous impact.

We also heard from a panel of Black entrepreneurs in different sectors and stages of their careers and business journeys including CD Moody of the Atlanta-based C.D. Moody Construction. Moderated by LinkedIn’s David Banerjee, the panel explored the realities of being a minority entrepreneur and their journey toward success.

Click here to watch Day 1

Day 2

Day 2 featured another impressive lineup, with each speaker prepared to make their case for why the future is bright and we should remain hopeful for a better tomorrow. Featured guests included Truist CEO Bill RogersDelta Air Lines CEO Ed BastianUPS CEO Carol ToméAres Management Executive Chairman Tony Ressler, SBA Administrator Hon. Isabel GuzmanOpenAI CEO Sam Altman, and Chairman TD Jakes, CEO of TDJ Enterprises, and others.

In his first public appearance since his recent highly publicized transitions in and out of OpenAI, the company he founded in 2015, Altman doubled-down on his commitment to further developing his groundbreaking technology with morality and ethics for all in mind. To that end, he announced that Chairman Bryant, along with other civic and community leaders, would be part of a newly formed AI Ethics Council.

Click here to watch Day 2

Day 3

Day 3, the final day of the Forum, was just as impactful as the first two! Notable names like Airbnb Founder Brian CheskyU.S. HUD Sec. Marcia FudgeShopify Founder Tobi LütkeNFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, Milken Institute Chairman Michael Milken took to the main stage to share their unique insights and vantage points to inspire and inform the meeting’s attendees.

Resilience, community, and overcoming stood out as themes that resonated with the speakers and audience. Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla shared a touching story of his family’s resiliency through the Holocaust and how sharing their story empowered him to do great things for others.

He recounted, ” Typically survivors don’t discuss the horrors they’ve lived through. It’s something they’d never forget, but my mother talked. She is a survivor and was saved to have our family,’ it was my family who saved me.”

Click here to watch Day 3

Outside of the main ballroom, delegates enjoyed interactive breakout sessions where they listened to influencers and change makers discuss practical tools to help advance financial equity and inclusion in their own communities. Session topics included “Entrepreneurship and the Future of Work”, “Making the Case for Community Investment”,  “Cracking the Affordable Housing Code”, and more.

Musical guests included two-time Grammy Award winning artist Timothy Bloom and guitarist Buddy Red.

Announcements and Commitments

Operation HOPE’s mission is powered by its partners, members, and supporters. We are proud to have three major commitments announced during the 2023 HOPE Global Forums and Annual Meeting:

– Operation HOPE announced the results of the HOPE Insider, HOPE’s most comprehensive nationwide client survey to date, revealing that despite significant concerns about the state of the economy, Operation HOPE clients have a high level of optimism about their personal financial well-being going into 2024.

– OpenAI announced the launch of a new AI Ethics Council including Chairman John Hope Bryant, former Atlanta Mayor Ambassador Andrew Young, civil rights activist and King Center CEO Bernice A. King and the presidents of Spelman College and Clark Atlanta University.

– U.S. Census Bureau announced a partnership with Operation HOPE to support with proprietary data reporting. 

– Dow Jones, a global news and business intelligence provider, has announced a new content offering dedicated to delivering financial literacy information, tools and resources. Through this initiative, Dow Jones will leverage its portfolio of premium publications to provide access to essential information that will help empower and educate people about managing their finances.  

– Delta Air Lines released a white paper detailing the impact that its financial wellness program, made possible through a partnership with HOPE and Delta, on its employees and their financial health.

– McDonalds and Paramount join Financial LIteracy for All (FL4A).


A special thank you to all our financial and in-kind sponsors. Without your partnership and support #HGF23 would not be possible.

Stay Connected

We’ll be celebrating, recapping, and remembering the 2023 HOPE Global Forums for the weeks and days to come as we head into an exciting 2024! We want to capture every moment and more importantly, we want to hear from you.

Do you have any memorable moments, pictures, videos, or testimonials you’d like to share? If so, please submit pictures, videos, and write ups to, with the subject “HGF MOMENT” for a chance to be featured on our social platforms.

Although this year’s Forum may be concluded our work is never done. You can help continue the work of empowering communities with financial dignity all-year long through your gifts of financial support and membership with the newly launched 1865 Project. 

Contributions to the 1865 Project will fuel innovative programs and technologies that connect us to some of the hardest-to-reach populations in our nation, and help us extend our reach for financial literacy.

If you’d like to donate to Operation HOPE’s 1865 Project, click here or use the button below.

Thank you for helping us make the case for optimism! We’ll see you next year!

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