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New Speakers 


At Lavin, we are serious about which keynote speakers we put up on our site. That said, we are always adding select new voices. This next wave of business speakers is tackling tomorrow’s challenges, starting today.


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Dr. Kristin Neff

Author of Self-Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself | Co-founder of the Center for Mindful Self-Compassion

Dr. Kristin Neff is a pioneer in the field of inner strength training and self-compassion—the first to empirically study the concepts and create a simple, actionable guide proven to increase motivation, boost resiliance, and improve mental health. Our society teaches us that self-compassion is the enemy of productivity, when in fact, the opposite is true—and in the midst of a global pandemic, when near catastrophic burnout is threatening the happiness, success, and productivity of us all, we need self-compassion more than ever.
Dr. Lisa D. Cook

Michigan State University Professor of Economics and International Relations

Dr. Lisa D. Cook has studied all the different ways that the innovation economy—schools, companies and organizations specializing in STEM—has created policies, procedures, and systems which undermine innovation initiatives and cost the US economy a staggering $1 trillion per year. How do we get more ideas out of the economy? Dr. Cook says you start by asking a different set of questions.
Anna Gifty Opoku-Agyeman

Co-Founder of The Sadie Collective | Researcher and Speaker on Diversity and the Future of Work

Economists have been answering questions that shape our world for centuries. Unfortunately, Black women have historically been excluded from the profession, absent among the decision-makers who bear incredible power over the world’s economy. Working hard to address the diversity problem in the field is Anna Gifty Opoku-Agyeman: the co-founder of the only non-profit organization tackling the pipeline and pathway problem for Black women in economics, finance, and policy. In her eye-opening talks, she reveals how empowering Black women is an essential step in creating economic agency for everyone.  
Alexandra Samuel

Tech writer and data journalist | Author of Remote Inc.

In the realm of business, COVID-19 has meant a dramatic shift in the way we work—from the time-honored tradition of the office, into the “new normal” of working from home. Alexandra Samuel is a technology strategist, data journalist, and author who has spent much of her twenty-five year career as a remote worker. In her upcoming book, Remote Inc., she uses her wealth of personal experience to help us find a new approach to working in the modern age. Her must-listen talks show us how to thrive outside the office, using the entrepreneurial mindset and habits of remote professionals.  
Danny Southwick

UPenn Psychology PHD | GRIT Expert | NFL Draft Pick | MBA

Danny Southwick isn’t your typical psychologist: he’s an MBA, a former NFL draft pick, and, having studied under Angela Duckworth, an expert on the role of grit in driving successful organizations—more than creating a culture of committed and authentic resilience, organizations need to be aware of the way they talk about grit, how they define success, and specifically, how they use the word talent. These semantic adjustments says Southwick, are the difference between winning and losing the 21st century. 
James Nestor

New York Times bestselling author of Breath

Even before the pandemic hit, rates of workplace stress were on the rise. Add to that anxiety about finances, job security, and health, and you’re left with millions of people feeling burned out. Reminders to “breathe” during a time of such uncertainty run the risk of sounding banal. But according to science journalist James Nestor, it’s actually the key to transforming our lives—more than diet, sleep, or exercise. In his instant New York Times bestseller Breath as well as his talks, Nestor shows us how even slight adjustments to our breathing can profoundly improve our well-being.
Ethan Kross

Leading Expert on the Conscious Mind | Author of Chatter

Tell a stranger that you talk to yourself, and you’re likely to be written off as eccentric—but the truth is, we all have a voice in our head. When we talk to ourselves, we hope to tap into our inner coach, but unfortunately, we often find our inner critic instead. Ethan Kross, an award-winning psychologist and the author of Chatter, is a leading expert on controlling the conscious mind. In his talks, he helps us harness the hidden power of our inner voice and use it to live healthier, more satisfying, and more productive lives.
Kathleen Belew

Historian and Author of Bring the War Home

 The white power movement in America wants a revolution. Its soldiers are not lone wolves, but highly organized cadres motivated by a coherent and deeply troubling worldview made up of white supremacy, virulent anticommunism, and apocalyptic faith. Historian and author of Bring the War Home, Kathleen Belew gives us the history of this movement, which consolidated decades ago and is resurging once more. Her talks reveal how, with sustained attention to the white supremacist violence of our past, we can avoid future attacks to our democracy.
Michael Heller

Professor of Real Estate Law at Columbia | Co-author of Mine!

Who gets what and why? Renowned law professor Michael Heller answers this question in his upcoming book Mine! co-authored with James Salzman. Heller reveals that, remarkably, there are just six simple stories everyone uses to claim everything. The exact same stories toddlers use when they struggle over a toy shovel in the playground also shape our fights over digital privacy, wealth inequality, and climate change. In his fascinating talks, Heller opens our eyes to how the hidden rules of ownership really work—and he shares how we can leverage them to our advantage. 
James Salzman

Distinguished Professor of Environmental Law | Co-author of Mine!

 We may think we understand the rules of ownership—things like “first come first served,” or “possession is nine-tenths of the law.” But much of what we assume we know is wrong. Savvy businesses and governments know this, and they use our lack of knowledge to their advantage. In his new book Mine!, acclaimed law professor James Salzman explores the hidden rules that govern who gets what—shining a new light on contemporary battles over digital privacy, climate change, and even wealth inequality.
Fred Dust

Author of Making Conversation and Former Global Managing Partner at IDEO

As a former Global Managing Partner at the acclaimed international design firm IDEO, Fred Dust is one of the world’s most original thinkers, specializing in unlocking and empowering the creative potential of any organization. Using the methodology in his hotly anticipated new book Making Conversation, he leads the charge to rebuild human connection in a climate of widespread polarization, cynicism, and disruption. Supplying the road map to optimize our conversations to be the most productive and solutions-oriented they can be, Dust shows us how to stop talking past each other, and start talking to each other. 
Lori Gottlieb

Psychotherapist | Bestselling Author of Maybe You Should Talk to Someone

Lori Gottlieb is a natural storyteller—and no wonder. She’s helped craft stories for film and TV as a Hollywood executive, delved deeply into her subjects’ stories as a journalist, and helped people change their stories in her clinical work as a psychotherapist. In her New York Times bestseller Maybe You Should Talk to Someone, she writes candidly about her experience as both a licensed professional and regular human being. Deeply relatable, disarmingly funny, and startling profound, Gottlieb lifts the curtain on the mystery of our own lives, the stories we tell ourselves to live, and the power we have to change the narrative.
Alex Kantrowitz

Reporter and Founder of Big Technology | Author of Always Day One

How do the tech titans—Facebook, Amazon, Google, and Microsoft—stay on top? Alex Kantrowitz, one of the world’s most prolific tech reporters, has made it his mission to find out. In his debut book Always Day One, he explores the the precedent-setting culture and leadership practices these companies have built to spark invention and move beyond the status quo. In his talks, Kantrowitz reveals how you, too, can use the tech titan playbook to invent and reinvent in a rapidly-changing economy.
Sarah Kaplan

Director, Institute for Gender and the Economy at Rotman School of Management | Author of The 360° Corporation

Today’s businesses have to answer to more than just shareholder demands. Stakeholder pressures have companies pulled in many different directions, from employees who want meaningful work; to consumers who want sustainable products; to activists monitoring companies’ social and environmental footprint. In talks, as well as her book The 360° Corporation, Rotman professor Sarah Kaplan shows us how the trade-offs we make to fulfill these pressures—along with shareholder demands—can be an opportunity for innovation, organizational resilience, and business transformation.