Best Selling Author
Simon Sinek is an unshakable optimist. He believes in a bright future and our ability to build it together.
Described as a visionary thinker with a rare intellect, Simon teaches leaders and organizations how to inspire people. With the bold goal to help build a world in which the vast majority of people go home every day feeling fulfilled by their work, Simon is leading a movement to inspire people to do the things that inspire them. A trained ethnographer, he has written two books: the global bestseller Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action, and Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don’t, a New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller.
Simon is fascinated by the leaders and companies that make the greatest impact in their organizations and in the world—those with the capacity to inspire. He has discovered some remarkable patterns about how those leaders think, act, and communicate, as well as the environments in which people operate at their natural best.
Devoted to sharing his thinking in order to help other leaders and organizations inspire action, Simon is best known for popularizing the concept of Why? and for the TED talk he gave on the subject, which became the third-most-watched video of all time on TED.com.
Simon’s unconventional and innovative views on business and leadership have attracted international attention and have earned him invitations to meet with an array of leaders and organizations, including 3M, Costco, Deckers, Ernst & Young, HSM, jetBlue, KPMG, Pfizer, NBC/Universal, the military, government agencies, and entrepreneurs. Simon has also had the honor of sharing his ideas at the United Nations, the U.S. Congress, and with the senior leadership of the U.S. Air Force, U.S. Marine Corps, and U.S. Army.
Simon shares his optimism with all who will listen. He speaks around the globe and has commented for local and national press, including the New York Times, Inc. magazine, NPR, and BusinessWeek. He is also active on Twitter and writes his own blog, simonsinek.com.
Simon is an adjunct staff member of the RAND Corporation, one of the most highly regarded think tanks in the world. He is also active in the arts and not-for-profit world, working with charity: water, an organization devoted to helping bring clean water to the more than 700 million people around the world who don’t yet have it. He also serves on the board of the Tami Stronach Dance Company. He lives in New York City.
Monday: 8:00 a.m. - 9:30 a.m.
Research Professor, University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work
Dr. Brené Brown is a research professor at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work. She has spent the past 13 years studying vulnerability, courage, worthiness, and shame.
Brené is the author of three number 1 New York Times bestsellers: Rising Strong, Daring Greatly, and The Gifts of Imperfection.
She is also the founder and CEO for The Daring Way and COURAGEworks—an online learning community that offers e-courses, workshops, and interviews for individuals and organizations ready for braver living, loving, and leading.
Brené’s 2010 TEDx Houston talk, The Power of Vulnerability, is one of the top five most viewed TED talks in the world, with more than 25 million viewers.
Brené lives in Houston with her husband, Steve, and their two children, Ellen and Charlie.
Tuesday: 8:00 a.m. - 9:30 a.m.
CEO, Trend Hunter
Jeremy Gutsche has spoken to 150,000 people at more than 200 events, making him one of Canada's most sought-after speakers. With an MBA and CFA, as well as a bestselling book and an influential website, he is a creative globe-roamer with a broad appeal. TrendHunter.com is the largest, most influential, most updated collection of cutting-edge ideas available anywhere. As its founder, Jeremy relentlessly tracks and finds The Next Big Thing—that valuable but elusive commodity—for a global audience that generates millions of views a month.
With phenomenal speed, Jeremy has grown Trend Hunter into a trusted showcase for what's next in marketing, design, technology, and other categories. (It attracts roughly 15 times more page views than its competitors.) The site's been featured or cited in more than 40,000 articles, and Jeremy has appeared everywhere from Entertainment Tonight to the BBC. He's also sought out by leading companies to speak on cool-hunting, innovation, marketing strategies, and The Next Big Thing and its relevance to their business.
Jeremy is the winner of The Cisco Innovation Excellence Award and the BDC's Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award. In bold, interactive keynotes, he delivers a blend of viral new trends, strategic frameworks, and a contagious enthusiasm for innovation. Jeremy possesses a unique perspective on innovation in the business context, and draws on his background in both corporate strategy and web 2.0 to provide you with inspiration and tools to generate ideas, stimulate creativity, and unlock potential. At 28, as one of Capital One's youngest business directors, he led his team to grow a billion-dollar portfolio of market-leading products. And as a management consultant for the Monitor Group, Jeremy advised Fortune 50 clients on top-level strategy. His book Exploiting Chaos has won an Axiom Business Book Award, was named an Inc. Best Book for Business Owners, and was a number 1 bestseller on the 800 CEO Read list.
Jeremy holds an MBA from Queen's, is a CFA, studied innovation at Stanford's Graduate School of Business, and was named the 2010 Graduate of the Last Decade by the University of Calgary.
Wednesday: 3:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Better and Faster: The Proven Path to Unstoppable Ideas
In his keynote session, Jeremy Gutsche will show you a proven path to unstoppable ideas. He'll teach you to look for the patterns of opportunity right in front of you using tactics he's developed by studying tens of thousands of ideas and frameworks he's tested while helping to solve some of the world's toughest innovation problems with his more than 300 clients, ranging from Coca-Cola to Sony to Wells Fargo. How do we overcome psychological traps that block our success? Based on his book Better and Faster: The Proven Path to Unstoppable Ideas, Gutsche connects human evolution with our ability to adapt to rapid change, showing you why smart people miss great ideas and what to do about it. His highly engaging, humorous, and educational lessons are drawn from the untold tales of reclusive billionaires, and ordinary people who achieved the unthinkable by simply seeing the opportunities that others overlooked. He'll teach you to see patterns and clues that will lead you to be a better investor, innovator, creator, and adaptor.