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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 college speakers is tackling tomorrow’s challenges, starting today.

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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.  

Marc Weinstein

Entrepreneur | Start-up Advisor | Expert on Influencer Culture

One of the benefits of everything going up in smoke? You might just learn how to avoid creating that kind of fire—or Fyre Festival—again. 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. A Wharton graduate and former investment banker, Weinstein mines both successes and crises to produce a powerful message of mindful entrepreneurship. 
 
Danielle Wood

Director of MIT’s Space Enabled Research Lab | Assistant Prof. of Media Arts and Sciences

Director of MIT’s cutting-edge Space Enabled Research Lab, Danielle Wood uses tools that typically orbit us to advance social good on our home planet. In talks, Wood takes audiences behind-the-scenes of her projects—like pairing African teens with space technology and empowering them to improve their water sources. Innovative and truly entrepreneurial, Wood shows us how to harness the most complex, cosmic technologies to address the here and now.
 
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. Politics, technology, cities, business, even our sense of history, human rights, and justice—all will be changed by this massive force. But how? To what degree? In his critically-hailed instant New York Times bestseller The Uninhabitable Planet, David Wallace-Wells tells the epic story of our time.
Anthony Jack

Assistant Prof. of Ed. at Harvard University | Author of The Privileged Poor

A student from a low-income background attends an elite university on scholarship, and finds herself burdened by that status. This is the paradox of the privileged poor student, says sociologist, professor and author of The Privilaged Poor Anthony Jack. In the ongoing dialogue about race, inclusion, and social justice, Jack’s talks provide a firm foundation for that conversation. 
Jamil Zaki

Director of the Stanford Social Neuroscience Lab | Author of The War for Kindness (June 2019)

Most people think empathy is a trait—you have it or you don’t. But empathy is a skill that anyone can get better at, says Jamil Zaki, a Stanford psychologist and one of America’s pre-eminent speakers on empathy. At a time when the world is empirically less empathetic—when tribalism, social isolation, and other factors drive us apart—this is insight worth acting on.
 
Angie Thomas

Author of the Black Lives Matter-Inspired YA Novel The Hate U Give, an Instant #1 New York Times Bestseller

Angie Thomas’ On the Come Up is #1 on The New York Times bestseller list. The #2 spot? Her debut novel, The Hate U Give. Thomas’ keynotes resonate with the same authenticity, insight, and hope that make her writing so powerful, and give context and background to the culture, politics, and movement that inspired it. 
 
Heather Berlin

Cognitive Neuroscientist | Host of Startalk All-Stars with Neil DeGrasse Tyson

A cognitive neuroscientist and host of StarTalk All-Stars with Neil DeGrasse Tyson, Dr. Heather Berlin shows that by understanding the inner workings of our brains—what they’re good (and bad) at—we can discover solutions to some of our most common professional, creative, and social challenges, making us more productive, innovative, and in-control. 
 
Titus Kaphar

Award-Winning Painter and Sculptor

With more urgency than a headline, Titus Kaphar’s artworks capture the spirit of social justice and change in America today (exemplified in his TIME cover portrait of the Ferguson protests). Named a 2018 MacArthur Fellow for “highlighting the lack of representation of people of color in the canon of Western art with works that deconstruct the literal and visual structure of the artwork,” Kaphar’s art and talks expose racism, inequality, and a criminal justice system that is anything but just.