24 hours well spent in the Capital.

So far so great! It’s been a week since I’ve left New Zealand and embarked on this global journey. I started in LA a week ago and have since found myself in New York and now the capital, Washington DC. Literally 24 hours ago, I landed in DC and was welcomed by a heatwave; 35 degrees Celsius (that’s almost 100 degrees Fahrenheit!) which happened to be the hottest day of the year here. Why was I in DC? Well, to visit the headquarters of Discovery, of course. But not just any visit, a visit to attend Discovery’s annual John Hendricks Innovation Awards.

The awards began at 1am local time, crazy I know, but it was formulated to match each country around the world. Reason being is that Discovery is a global brand with branches all over the show. It was 1am local time, but back on your side of the globe (AUS/NZ) it was only 1pm.

And so it began, I got my two hours sleep in and headed to Discovery Communications International World Headquarters to meet with the team at mission control! 

Of course, the team were welcoming as always and explained that we were to be travelling digitally to a new country at the top of every hour. I got an insight into how the company started back in 1985, in a garage by a man named John Hendricks. It was his dream to establish a cable channel dedicated to educating and providing entertainment towards the curious nature of people. And he accomplished it. This awards night was about celebrating innovation and creativity, and I was about to host it.

Globally, there are roughly 7000 employees at Discovery and each year the Innovation Awards are created to recognise fresh ideas within the company. I had the privilege of going live from mission control to host the Awards, which were being broadcasted across the global network. Naturally, I’m not too fond of public speaking, so this was entirely out of my comfort zone, especially since there was no second or third take. As the show progressed though, I found myself thoroughly enjoying the process and we all began to have heaps of fun! There was a coffee count to keep track of how caffeinated we all were throughout the night, followed by a push up contest for every coffee we drank. It was heaps of fun and super inspiring to have pushed past a previous fear.

The team in Sydney who had thought up the initial idea behind the Discovery Intern Search was nominated for their innovative thinking, as this project was a first for Discovery. I buzzed out when I saw my work up on the screen! It was being showed around the world and the Discovery Intern initiative was recognised for its innovative endeavours. We wrapped up the first half of the show as I passed on the mic to the next host and explored DC’s monuments before shooting back across to NYC. The capital lived up to its hype around impressive landmarks. What a way to spend 24 hours!

Here’s a clip of me kicking off the awards announcements:

Ben Mikha