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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. 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. (forthcoming)

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.  
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.
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.
Stephanie Mehta

Editor-in-Chief of Fast Company | Former Deputy Editor at Vanity Fair

What makes the world’s most creative people—and companies—tick? The most qualified person to answer the question is Stephanie Mehta. As Editor-in-Chief of Fast Company—the influential magazine championing creativity, innovation, and thriving workplace cultures for a new generation of business— Mehta is the rare editor who talks to pure creatives and corporate leaders in equal measure. She draws on her decades in business journalism to show us how to inject imaginative thinking, entrepreneurial zeal, and unbridled innovation into everything we do.  
Michael Heller

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

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! (Forthcoming)

 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.
Sean B. Carroll

Evolutionary Biologist and Author

Sean B. Carroll is one of the most masterful science storytellers of our time. An internationally recognized Evolutionary Biologist and award-winning writer, film producer, and educator, he is a thrilling speaker and renowned scientist. Author of the hotly-anticipated new book A Series of Fortunate Events: Chance and the Making of the Planet, Life and You, Carroll explores the awe-inspiring science behind the power of chance in our lives and the world.
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.
David Cote

Leadership Keynote Speaker | Former Chairman & CEO of Honeywell | Author of Winning Now, Winning Later

When it comes to manufacturing, David Cote stands in a league of his own. The most successful leader of a Fortune 100 industrial conglomerate of his era, Cote joined Honeywell after a 25-year-career at GE. Under his leadership, Honeywell’s market capitalization climbed about an astonishing 100 billion dollars. Rather than fixating on either long-term strategies or quarterly results, Cote empowered his organization to pursue both simultaneously. In talks, he shows how leaders can sustain long-term investment, even when pressures to deliver in the present are at their most intense. 
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.
Shivani Siroya

Founder and CEO of Tala

As the Founder and CEO of microfinance company Tala, Shivani Siroya delivers credit to customers with little to no formal borrowing history—helping them start and expand small businesses. The company has disbursed more than one billion dollars to customers in East Africa, Southeast Asia, and Latin America, leading Forbes to name it one of the Top 50 FinTech companies in the world. Believing that financial visibility is crucial to living to our full potential, Siroya shows us why radical trust will be the currency of the future—and how we can leverage it to create a financial system that works for everyone.