• business strategy

Strategy Speakers

The business challenges of today are daunting. And invigorating. Lavin’s strategy speakers are up for them. Drawing on real-world experience, each speaks on the best practices that improve much more than just the bottom line. 

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Strategy
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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.
David Cote

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 to build a strategy that can sustain long-term investment—even when pressures to deliver in the present are at their most intense.
Jay Van Bavel

Professor of Psychology and Neural Science at NYU

One of our amazing qualities as human beings is our ability to work together—yet that doesn’t mean it always comes easily to us. In fact, many organizations today prioritize competition over cooperation in an effort to increase their bottom line. Jay Van Bavel is an NYU Professor who studies everything from group identity and team performance, to cooperation and decision-making. His work reveals the lesser-known benefits of cooperation, and in talks, he shows us how to create a cooperative strategy that boosts performance and well-being.
David Wallace-Wells

Author of the Instant New York Times Bestseller The Uninhabitable Earth

The future is being transformed by climate change, faster and more dramatically than we realized. In his critically-hailed instant New York Times bestseller The Uninhabitable Planet, David Wallace-Wells tells the epic story of our time. He asks key questions—how will the map of global power shift as coastlines are redrawn?—and reminds us that everything is within our control, so long as we resist complacency.
 
Safi Bahcall

Award-Winning Biotech Entrepreneur | Author of Loonshots

Author of Loonshots, the book Daniel Kahneman calls “Not to be missed by anyone who wants to understand how ideas change the world,” Safi Bahcall shows how we can stoke innovation, create better leaders, and support “loonshots”: the imperfect but ingenious ideas that have the potential to change the world. 
Shoshana Zuboff

Sociologist | Author of The Age of Surveillance Capitalism

As we attempt to grasp the consequences of our digital era, Shoshana Zuboff’s The Age of Surveillance Capitalism “shines a searing light on how this latest revolution is transforming our economy, politics, society—and lives” (Financial Times). Zuboff outlines the consequences of putting a price on private data, and urges business leaders to pay attention, resist habituation, and come up with novel responses to this new era. 
Nita Farahany

Legal Scholar & Ethicist | Director of the Duke Initiative for Science & Society

Technologies like biometrics, cognitive enhancement, and surveillance are advancing like never before. When the World Economic Forum, the United States Court of Appeals, and the United States Congress need to know the risks, they ask Nita Farahany: a leading scholar on the ethical, legal, and social implications of emerging technologies.  
Laura Huang

Harvard Business School Professor | Author of EDGE (2020)

In the elusive pursuit of success, you need an edge, says Harvard professor Laura Huang, one of the top business school professors in America. Huang’s talks show how you can make your hard work “work harder for you” by comprehending the factors that have little to do with your talent and effort—and everything to do with making the most of them.  
 
Marc Weinstein

Consultant Featured in Netflix Documentary Fyre | Entrepreneur | Expert on Influencer Culture

Entrepreneur, venture capitalist, and start-up advisor Marc Weinstein is known as the voice of reason from Fyre, the Netflix documentary about the unparalleled disaster that was Fyre Festival. You can learn from mistakes before they’re made, engage ethically and meaningfully with the attention economy, and push back against the pressures of “toxic entrepreneurship.” 
Ajay Agrawal

Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning Expert | Founder of the Creative Destruction Lab | Co-Author of Prediction Machines

Artificial Intelligence researcher and economist Ajay Agrawal’s talks illuminate the incoming realities of AI: how machine prediction is on the verge of presenting us with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to change the way we do business, “drive” cars, run governments, and provide healthcare. 
 
Heather McGhee

Distinguished Senior Fellow & Former President of Demos | Expert in Racial Healing

What if, in the middle of your live TV appearance, someone called in and asked for advice in overcoming racial prejudice? For public policy expert and speaker Heather C. McGhee, the response was natural—she helped. From the personal to the corporate, McGhee’s talks kickstart a much-needed cultural effort towards putting systemic repair into action. 
András Tilcsik

Co-Author of Meltdown: Why Our Systems Fail and What We Can Do About It

Due to their incredible complexity, our modern systems—from healthcare to travel, finance to media—are primed for failure. In his fiercely anticipated book Meltdown, András Tilcsik offers a timely remedy. Not only a convincing diagnosis of why complexity creates failure in systems, it’s a practical guidebook to preventing the next disaster—before it strikes.
 
Susan Pinker

Psychologist and Author of The Village Effect and The Sexual Paradox

Award-winning author and psychologist SUSAN PINKER is a keen observer of modern life. In her sharp and provocative writing, she examines the endless paradoxes of the human condition, and the way it affects our personal relationships, workplaces, and educational institutions. Pinker’s latest book, The Village Effect, makes a compelling argument for why digital networks will never replace genuine human contact—and why we need it to survive. And in talks, she applies her data-driven behavioral insights to help us transform our personal and professional lives.
 
Bassam Tariq

TED Fellow and Award-winning Director of The Ghosts of Sugar Land

Bassam Tariq is the director of the acclaimed film These Birds Walk. Through his work—as a filmmaker, blogger, and halal butcher shop owner—he shares intimate stories of Muslims from around the world. A captivating storyteller who recently received a standing ovation at TEDGlobal, Tariq talks about social entrepreneurship, overcoming stereotypes, and what it’s like to be a Muslim in America today.
 
Wayne Baker

Management Professor at the University of Michigan | Author of All You Have To Do Is Ask

The biggest barrier to success is our inability to ask for help when we need it. Wayne Baker, a Professor at the University of Michigan, believes that creating a culture of generosity and reciprocity at work leads to our biggest rewards: stronger employee satisfaction, engagement, productivity, and success. Drawing from the insights found in his employment software company—co-founded with Adam Grant—and his upcoming book All You Have To Do Is Ask, Baker teaches us how to strategically tap into our potential by using our greatest resource: each other.
Trend Hunter Team

The World’s #1 Trend Firm and Innovation Engine

With the Trend Hunter Team, you get a diversely talented group of speakers who will show you—individually or together—what the trends in tech, business, retail and more can do for you before they explode. These speakers are immersed in trends on a daily basis, advising the world’s most innovative people at Disney, Coca-Cola, even NASA, on their areas of opportunity, and crafting Trend Hunter’s world-class culture. 
 
Charles Fishman

Author of The Big Thirst and One Giant Leap

If we want to achieve near-impossible outcomes, under tremendous pressure, we can. That kind of innovation exists. The story of NASA’s moon landing—coming up on its 50th anniversary—shows us how. In his new book, One Giant Leap, #1 New York Times bestselling author Charles Fishman demonstrates why these lessons are more applicable today than ever.  
 
Anders Ericsson

Author of Peak: Secrets from the New Science of Expertise

The world’s foremost authority on peak performance—the expert other experts turn to—is Anders Ericsson. His concept of deliberate, purposeful practice, honed over decades of trailblazing research, offers a science-backed way to correct mistakes, overcome plateaus, adopt new skills, and achieve mastery in any field.
 
Amber Mac

Relentless Adaptation & Digital Innovation Speaker | Co-Host of The AI Effect

Amber Mac is a writer, podcaster, entrepreneur and digital maverick whose understanding of disruptive technologies helps companies anticipate lightning-quick changes as they come—from Artificial Intelligence, to social media, to Amazon-era retail. No matter how confident and established the company, everyone needs a blueprint—and Mac’s talks provide you with just that.  
Jonathan Fader

Performance Psychologist | Former Director of Mental Conditioning for the New York Giants | Author of Life as Sport

When NFL superstars, Major League Baseball players, firefighters, and success-driven workers of any stripe want to improve their performance, they turn to Dr. Jonathan Fader. Fader is an upbeat and reassuring authority who speaks on creating a habit-based, positive mindset for success.   
Heather Payne

Founder of Ladies Learning Code and HackerYou

Heather Payne is the founder of Ladies Learning Code, a national not-for-profit organization that runs popular workshops for women and girls, a traditionally underrepresented demographic in the programming world. Named one of Canada’s 100 Most Powerful Women by the Women’s Executive Network, she is revolutionizing our approach to technology, education, and entrepreneurship. 
 
Jonathan Brill

Global Futurist at HP | Innovation Expert

Everyone knows that technology is ushering in a new industrial era. Jonathan Brill doesn’t just see the future coming down the pike—he invents it. The Global Futurist at tech giant HP, Brill advises leadership on the company’s 10-year portfolio of opportunities and threats. His talks cut through the noise to identify what’s worth the investment—and how your business can prepare for tomorrow, today. 
Robb Willer

Prof. of Social Psychology & Organizational Behavior at Stanford | Director of the Polarization and Social Change Lab

Our current political climate hasn’t been this polarized since the Civil War, says social psychologist and speaker Robb Willer. An antidote to this hyper-polarization is Willer’s technique of “moral r...

Sarah Lewis

Author of The Rise | Guest-Editor of Aperture’s “Vision & Justice” Issue | Associate Professor At Harvard

When we view race and justice through the lens of culture, we can enlarge our notion of citizenship, of who belongs and who counts. Sarah Lewis, an intellectual star and powerful speaker, has sparked a national conversation with “Vision & Justice”—the landmark issue of Aperture dedicated to photography of the black experience.   
Doug Stephens

Retail and Consumer Futurist | Internationally Acclaimed Author and Founder of Retail Prophet

Doug Stephens is one of the most influential retail futurists on the planet. His talks are required listening for any company that orbits the retail world. In fully customized and thoroughly researched keynotes, Stephens shows you how to stay ahead of the changing mega-trends in demographics, economics, and technology that are resetting your industry—and, what it takes to be truly innovative. 
 
Darby Allen

Former Fort McMurray Fire Chief | Crisis Leadership Speaker

During the catastrophic Alberta wildfires, fire chief Darby Allen shot to global acclaim for guiding the 88,000 residents of Fort McMurray to safety with no loss of life—the largest evacuation in Canadian history. Now, he offers guidance on how to be a stoic, quick-thinking leader in tough situations. 
Welby Altidor

Former Executive Creative Director at Cirque du Soleil | Author | Group CCO, Cityneon

As Executive Creative Director for Cirque du Soleil, Welby Altidor was responsible for groundbreaking live events at one of the world’s most creative companies. His leadership there taught him that creativity isn’t reserved to a happy few, but the result of intentional practice: it can be found within us all. 
Markus Giesler

Consumer Sociologist | One of The 40 Best Business Professors Under 40

“Your view of life changes the moment you start looking left and right” says consumer sociologist and rebel marketing speaker Markus Giesler. What he means is that our innovations—products, services, experiences—shouldn’t be created in a vacuum.
 
Adam Bryant

Decade-Long Author of The Corner Office Column in The New York Times | Managing Director, Merryck & Co.

What happens if you interview over 500 of the world’s top CEOs, and instead of asking them about share prices or bottom lines, you ask them about how they lead, motivate, and hire employees? You get A...

David Kwong

Illusionist | New York Times Crossword Writer | Consultant (Now You See Me)

David Kwong is no ordinary magician. He’s a New York Times crossword writer, TED speaker, Harvard grad, and consultant on blockbusters like Now You See Me and The Imitation Game. In his incredibly entertaining talks full of humour, puzzles, and other surprises, he leaves audiences thinking about what they just saw—and, more important, just thinking in general. 
Lauren Eskreis-Winkler

Researcher at The University of Pennsylvania’s Character Lab | Speaker on Grit

Lauren Eskreis-Winkler is among a select group of people who can speak authoritatively on grit: steadfast resilience that predicts success better than talent. Her customizable and interactive talks draw on unique, hands-on research to teach you how to practice (and benefit from) grit on every level.
 
Sarah Prevette

Innovation Speaker, Founder of Future Design School

“Fall in love with the problem you’re solving—not the solution,” says entrepreneur Sarah Prevette. Prevette teaches creativity, innovation, and design thinking to some of the country’s biggest business leaders. Her new project, Future Design School, is transforming education by fostering entrepreneurship in a classroom setting. 
 
Katherine Milkman

Expert in Behavioral Economics | Professor, The Wharton School at UPenn

An expert in big data and behavioral economics, Katherine Milkman studies the ways we deviate from optimal choices—and how human decision-making can be improved. In her engaging talks, she offers accessible insights into how we can encourage good choices: in ourselves, our customers, and our employees. 
Yancey Strickler

Co-founder & Former CEO of Kickstarter | Author of This Could Be Our Future (Oct. 29)

Our current society is trapped by three assumptions, says writer and Kickstarter co-founder Yancey Strickler: that the point of life is to maximize self-interest and wealth; that we’re individuals trapped in an adversarial world; and that this is natural. Strickler urges us to discard these three  assumptions that limit our ability to imagine and innovate a new future. His electric keynotes show us how we got here and—more importantly—how we can turn this ship around. 
 
Randall Lane

Chief Content Officer of Forbes Magazine

Randall Lane is the chief content officer of Forbes Magazine, where he has helped it reach its highest-ever U.S. readership (6.7 million) with new emphases on young innovators and disruptors. These are people reimagining the rules for business and rethinking the potential for entrepreneurs to solve the world’s most intractable problems, whether through their business missions or philanthropy.   
 
Jeremy Gutsche

CEO of Trend Hunter | New York Times Bestselling Author of Better and Faster

Jeremy Gutsche is “an intellectual can of Red Bull” (Association Week), a New York Times bestseller and a management consultant to brands, billionaires, and CEOs. He’s also the founder of Trendhunter.com: the world’s #1 trend-spotting site. With contagious enthusiasm, he shows us how to use methodical innovation to generate ideas and kickstart creativity in times of rapid change.  
Maria Konnikova

Contributing Writer for The New Yorker | New York Times Bestselling Author

When the world richest CEOs and most powerful government leaders met at the World Economic Forum in Davos to decide the fate of the world, they asked one person to speak on the critical skill of decision-making. Maria Konnikova is one of the word’s leading thinkers—and practitioners—of critical decision-making.  
Manjit Minhas

Founder of the 10th Largest Brewery in the World, Co-Star of CBC’s Dragons’ Den

A formidable speaker, Manjit Minhas is an entrepreneur and judge on Dragons’ Den who shares business lessons with equal parts force and finesse. Minhas runs a $187 million brewery that she and her brother built from scratch. Her unprecedented success demolished stereotypes, surprised her competitors, and cleared a path for entrepreneurs of every age and gender.  
Bonnie Brooks

CEO of Chico's FAS | Former CEO of Hudson’s Bay Company

“Leadership is about finding ways to get things done,” says Bonnie Brooks, the first female President and CEO of Hudson’s Bay Company, who, with sweeping, institutional changes, brought North America’s oldest company back from the brink of failure. Brooks’ impactful talks instruct on anticipating customers’ needs and desires—never following them. 
David Robertson

Senior Lecturer at MIT Sloan | Author of The Power of Little Ideas and of Brick by Brick

We tend to imagine innovation as slow, incremental change or else industry-shifting disruption. Yet for most companies, neither works. Innovation speaker and MIT Sloan professor David Robertson outlines a third way of innovation—actual working strategies for world-class companies that build on his groundbreaking study of Lego’s near-collapse and rise, Brick by Brick.    
Jessica Jackley

Co-Founder of Kiva, the microlending site, and Author of Clay Water Brick

You can do good and do well at the same time. Just ask Jessica Jackley, founder of KIVA, the world’s most successful microlending site. Jackley champions diverse skill sets, finding meaning in your work, and dreaming big. On stage, Jackley delivers an upbeat and enduring message: you can synthesize your disparate skills, as she did, to create a meaningful life and career. 
 
Chris Clearfield

Co-Author of Meltdown: Why Our Systems Fail and What We Can Do About It

We’re at a breaking point—today’s systems are so complex that major crises are not only imminent, but more common than ever. And that goes for every industry, regardless of size or scope. Enter Chris Clearfield. In the National Business Book Award-winning Meltdown, he offers a groundbreaking investigation into how complexity causes failure in systems—and how we can prevent them. 
András Tilcsik

Co-Author of Meltdown: Why Our Systems Fail and What We Can Do About It

Due to their incredible complexity, our modern systems—from healthcare to travel, finance to media—are primed for failure. And things are only getting worse. In his National Business Book Award-winning Meltdown, András Tilcsik offers a timely remedy. Not only a convincing diagnosis of why complexity creates failure in systems, it’s a practical guidebook to preventing the next disaster—before it strikes.
Arlene Dickinson

Business Speaker, CEO of Venture Communications, Star of Dragons' Den

“The purpose of marketing is to deliver business results,” says Arlene Dickinson, renowned CBC “dragon” and one of Canada’s most successful communications entrepreneurs. Whether explaining how to leverage marketing in tough economic times or speaking on her personal story of success, Dickinson’s experience and expertise always shine through.   
Joe Jackman

Founder and CEO of Jackman Reinvents

Traditional retail is under siege—and if your company can’t adapt, you disappear. That’s why iconic brands are turning to Joe Jackman. This retail veteran works with major companies to reinvent success from the inside out. From design to culture, customer experience to market share, Jackman helps brands rediscover value and bounce back—and shape billions in sales.
 
Maureen Chiquet

Former Global CEO of Chanel | Former President of Banana Republic

As Global CEO of Chanel—and, earlier, as President of Banana Republic—Maureen Chiquet steered global brands through a decade of disruption, and she did so with traditionally ‘feminine’ skills of empathy and communication. Now, she speaks on the value of having women in top leadership positions—and what we can all learn from injecting more compassion and collaboration into the workplace.
 
Michael Katchen

Founder and CEO of Wealthsimple

If Toronto is the Silicon Valley of the North – a thriving international hub of technological innovation–then Michael Katchen is one of its leading figures. Katchen is the founder and CEO of Wealthsimple, whose easy-to-use service has redefined investing for a young generation, and whose massive success has disrupted the financial services industry.
 
Anthony Tjan

Author of Good People and Heart, Smarts, Guts, and Luck | CEO and Managing Partner, The Cue Ball Group

We’ve all heard that a company is only as good as its people. But what does that really mean? Tony TJAN is serial entrepreneur, progressive venture investor, and the New York Times bestselling author ...

Joe Mimran

Founder, Joe Fresh | Co-Founder and Chairman of Gibralter & Company

Joe Mimran is known for his unique ability to create visionary brands from scratch. The retail magnate helped grow Joe Fresh, Club Monaco, and Alfred Sung—some of the industry’s most recognizable bran...

Erin Meyer

Author of The Culture Map: Breaking Through the Invisible Boundaries of Global Business

With business organizations spread across the planet, and most of our communication taking place virtually, how do we effectively navigate cross-cultural complexity? Ranked one of the top 30 HR influe...

Tom Wujec

World Renowned Expert on Innovation | Former Chief Disruptor at Autodesk | Author of The Future of Making

Veteran innovator Tom Wujec has spent three decades studying how teams and organizations achieve radical breakthroughs. Along the way, Wujec—Autodesk’s former Chief Disruptor—has designed cutting-edge...

Misha Glouberman

Negotiations Expert | Co-Author of The Chairs Are Where the People Go

Misha Glouberman is an expert on the subtle arts of negotiation and communication. He takes the principles of good negotiation and better listening, and applies them to a broad set of circumstances to help people solve problems together, reach mutually beneficial agreements, and communicate more effectively—in all walks of life. 
 
Kavita Shukla

Founder & CEO of The FRESHGLOW Co.

Kavita Shukla is the groundbreaking social entrepreneur behind FreshPaper, a biodegradable paper that creates a brilliant solution to the global issue of food waste. Shukla’s ingenuity makes her an inspiration for young entrepreneurs, women in business, and social innovators alike.     
Yvonne Camus

A Motivational Speaker on Grit and Performance | COO of SPINCO

How can an average businesswoman and mom outperform US Navy Seals? Here’s how: through grit, determination, and resilience. Yvonne Camus is one of the world’s most trusted speakers on teamwork and perseverance. On stage, she’s shown hundreds of organizations how ordinary people can achieve extraordinary things. Deeply relatable, Camus interweaves her personal experiences into revelatory talks. 
Francesca Gino

Author of Sidetracked and Rebel Talent | Behavioral Scientist | Harvard Business School Professor

Small, simple, and seemingly irrelevant factors often have profound consequences on our behavior and ability to stick to our decisions. In her talks, Francesca Gino explains exactly why our decisions get derailed and what we can do to stick to the plan—at work, in our personal lives, and as organizations.  
Aaron M. Glazer & Zoe Fraade-Blanar

Authors of Superfandom: How Our Obsessions Are Changing What We Buy and Who We Are

Welcome to the “fandom-based economy”—where today’s most passionate fans drive, engage with, and create communities around top brands. Co-authors of  Superfandom, Zoe Fraade-Blanar and Aaron M. Glazer show us how to discover, and react to, the people who care the most about our products.