Distinguished: Steven Pinker & Blake Mycoskie At The UB Speaker Series
The series hosts one speaker per year that is a leader in public service and social change. This year, Mycoskie, founder of TOMS, will fill that role. He is the originator of the One for One movement, where for every item sold, his company donates one pair of shoes or one pair of eyeglasses to a child in need. His accomplishments earned him a spot on Fortune Magazine’s “40 Under 40” and he also received the Secretary of State’s 2009 Award of Corporate Excellence (ACE). Since then, he has written a book, Start Something That Matters, where he shares his personal success story and inspires others to incorporate the power of giving into their own business models. He tackles similar themes in his keynotes, using TOMS as a case study to support the importance of giving in a corporate world.
Pinker also addresses social issues, using his profound research to explain the nuances of human thought and action. One of the world's leading cognitive scientists, Pinker's work on violence and society, which he explores in his book The Better Angels of Our Nature, shifts perceptions about the way our world has progressed over time. He also authored The Blank Slate and How The Mind Works—both bestsellers, and both finalists for the Pulitzer Prize—and has written groundbreaking articles for The New York Times and Nature. As a speaker, he has a knack for making scientific theory applicable to the masses. He mixes psychology and history together to present a complexly intriguing understanding of both the world—and the people—around us.