The Lavin Agency Speakers Bureau

A speakers bureau that represents the best original thinkers,
writers, and doers for speaking engagements.

Creativity Is a Skill You Can Learn: Lavin Welcomes Caitlan Maggs, Former Cirque du Soleil Artistic Director

As the former Artistic Director of Cirque du Soleil, the largest contemporary circus in the world, Caitlan worked on almost every groundbreaking show from 2000 to 2020. Out of over 4000 employees from over 50 countries, she’s one of only a handful of experts who have contributed to the Cirque’s creative process at such a high level and on so many shows. She led all the artistic coaches and coaching, working with her team to choreograph the acrobatic acts for all the shows, and taught creativity to world-class Olympians to transform them from athletes into artists.

Her two decades at the Cirque have taught her what it takes to develop creativity and foster collaboration in intense, high-pressure environments. Creativity not only helps us innovate better, Caitlan says, it also helps us to boost resilience and stay open to changing circumstances. “In today’s world of constant change, creativity has never been more important,” she says.

In her talks, Caitlan demonstrates the power of creativity and shows you practical ways to develop it in yourself and your teams. Drawing on her unique experience, she shows you how to balance the freedom and structure you need to be creative; how to maximize the creative potential of teams of all sizes; and how to leverage creativity to develop cutting-edge ideas.

How to Get Unstuck: Adam Alter’s New Book Is a Roadmap to Creativity and Success

Everyone feels stuck, whether you’re wrestling through a difficult project or trying to mend a friendship. “People believe that stuckness is inevitable,” says Adam Alter. “And it is—but it turns out to be surmountable.” A New York Times bestselling author and TED mainstage speaker, Adam has spent the past two decades learning how to overcome the forces that keep us stuck, escape our inertia, unleash our full creative potential, and reach our long-term goals.

Adam’s highly anticipated new book Anatomy of a Breakthrough is already winning critical raves and media attention. “I loved it,” says Malcolm Gladwell. In the book, the NYU marketing professor weaves together scientific studies and practical strategies to show how we can flourish in the face of friction. Along the way, he draws lessons from the soccer player who sacrifices the first few minutes of a game in order to win the rest, the “black sheep” method that Pixar uses to boost the innovation of an entire team, the “real-life Dr. House” whose checklists bring him 75% of the way to a breakthrough, and much more.

“Getting stuck and searching for breakthroughs feels messy and unpredictable,” Adam tells Lavin. “But just like building a house or putting together a jigsaw puzzle, there’s a series of steps that together enable you to manufacture breakthroughs and to shrink periods of friction. Anatomy of a Breakthrough is that roadmap.”

Read about Adam’s book in The New York Times: “A wonderful concept. Anatomy of a Breakthrough tackles the internal factors that keep you mired in the mud [and] provides a primer on changing ingrained habits.”

Listen to Adam on Harvard Business Review‘s IdeaCast: “Small bursts of action, even if they’re not themselves directly productive, are great unsticking mechanisms. Just the act of acting itself is one of the best unstickers.”

And watch an exclusive Lavin interview with Adam where he explains how ChatGPT can serve as an “agent of chaos” and help you unlock your best ideas:

What Does ChatGPT Mean for Democracy and the Future of Creativity? Kate Crawford and Stephen Marche Explain

ChatGPT Isn’t Magic. We Can—and Must—Understand It

ChatGPT is “an exponential disruption,” says Kate Crawford. As a leading researcher and the author of Atlas of AI—which Nature called “meticulously researched and superbly written”—Kate has been on the cutting edge of AI for two decades. Her incisive and timely perspective has made her a go-to voice across the media. She says that generative AI is going to mark a fundamental shift in the way we see the world: it will revolutionize how we view not only tech, but everything from media to democracy. But it’s not magic. We have to understand how it works today if we want to tap into its massive potential and build the future we want.

Listen to Kate on Why Is This Happening? The Chris Hayes Podcast: “We get so impressed by the ‘magic’ of the system that we don’t look at what it takes to make these things work: data at scale, an enormous amount of natural resources, and a lot of labor.”

Listen to Kate on Pivot, with Kara Swisher and Scott Galloway: “We need a rapid increase in literacy, and it’s not just going to be about focusing narrowly on the tech. It’s going to be about looking at what this does to the public sphere, to the media, to democracy.”


The First Generative AI Novel—and the Future of Creativity

If you ask ChatGPT to write a novel, are you the creator or the consumer? Stephen Marche says you’re both. He was profiled in The New York Times last month for “writing” the first ever fully-AI-generated novella, Death of an Author, by extensively prompting three different generative AI programs. Stephen is a novelist with a PhD in Shakespeare who’s been following and writing about AI for years in outlets like The New Yorker and The Atlantic. He has a unique understanding of how the line between human and machine is blurring, and why the arts, the humanities, and human creativity are more important now than ever before.

Read about Stephen in The New York Times: “I am the creator of this work, 100 percent. But, on the other hand, I didn’t create the words.”

Watch an exclusive Lavin interview with Stephen: “The Big Blur is coming: where the line between human and machine, and the line between creating and consuming, will blur. We’re going to start to figure out where human beings are actually required.”

Five Ways to Use ChatGPT (Effectively!) Today—Plus, the Speaker Who Can Help Your Company Become “AI First”

Becoming an “AI-First” Company

Just like the internet brought businesses into the Digital First and then Mobile First models, rapid advances in AI are quickly bringing us into an “AI First” era. Lavin’s newest speaker Justin Reilly is the CEO of Wavelo and former Head of Product at Verizon, where he led a multi-billion-dollar digital transformation with machine learning at its core. When you build AI into the heart of what you do, Justin says, you’ll be able to trust your systems more, scale faster and better, and give your customers what they actually want.


The Five Steps to Using ChatGPT Effectively at Work

You can transform your organization into a more efficient, creative, and innovative version of itself through the power of generative AI—and it only takes five steps. But the trick is: you have to do all fiveRadhika Dirks is a visionary AI expert, one of Forbes’s 30 Women in AI to Watch and CEO of the world’s first AI moonshot factory. Her Five Step Method to introducing generative AI into your organization (any organization) will give you a peek into this rapidly developing world, and help you build an organization that thrives today and well into the future.

How Can Retailers Win the AI Revolution? With “Beautifully Human” Creativity. Lavin’s Doug Stephens, Retail Futurist

Generative AI will be no less game-changing for society in general—and retailers in particular—than the internet itself, says Doug Stephens. As the founder of the global consultancy Retail Prophet and the bestselling author of The Retail Revival and Resurrecting Retail, Doug has unparalleled insight into how AI is going to transform every industry, including yours. More than that, he proves that in an age of AI, investing in “deliciously irrational, beautifully human, and insanely inventive creativity” will give us the edge we need for success.

“Companies today sit on the frontier of a technology revolution that will make them the beneficiaries of billions of dollars in savings in their workforce costs,” Doug tells us. “Some of those companies will be predictably nearsighted and push those savings directly to their bottom line or their shareholders’ pockets. Smart companies, however, will invest in creative and dynamic human beings who bring innovative thinking, empathy and creative energy to the brand and its customer experience. Because the world is going to need a lot fewer lawyers, consultants, engineers and accountants and a lot more dreamers, makers and born risk-takers.”

Doug also sat down with Lavin recently to give us a preview of his new talk on the forgotten backbone of our economy: the global supply chain system that affects every company, whether retail or otherwise. Our current supply chain system hasn’t changed in decades—and Doug argues that today is the perfect time to reimagine what’s possible and unlock a new, unprecedented competitive advantage.

Watch our exclusive full-length interview with Doug, in which he explains how we can rebuild our supply chains to create a sustainable and successful future. (37 min)

The Secret to Breaking Rules and Finding Creativity? It’s All About Discipline. Lavin Welcomes Eddie Huang

Eddie Huang has never hesitated to step outside the mainstream. He first broke onto the cultural scene with his Taiwanese restaurant Baohaus, which he opened to tell an underrepresented story through food. He went on to write Fresh Off the Boat, the bestselling memoir which The New York Times called “a book about fitting in by not fitting in at all,” which was then adapted into the hit sitcom of the same name that featured the first all-Asian American cast on network TV in two decades. He hosted Huang’s World for Vice, and has written and directed multiple feature films.

But the secret to this incredible creativity and daring isn’t simply defying the rules that don’t work for you. “If you don’t like the rules of the world—cool! Be an iconoclast,” Eddie tells us. “But you have to create your own rules. That is your responsibility.”

In his smart and hilarious talks, Eddie shows how you can build the discipline and self-leadership to succeed wherever you are. The insights he offers from his dynamic and wide-ranging career are invaluable no matter who you are—whether you’re a leader looking to increase the creativity of your organization, an educator hoping to inspire and motivate students, or a student interested in pursuing your dreams and forging your own path. Eddie will show you how to find success and tap into high performance and creativity, all while embracing your differences and staying true to yourself.

Watch a Lavin-exclusive interview with Eddie about diversity, the Asian American community, and what the next steps are for achieving real equity and justice in America:

What Leaders and Parents Need to Know About Young People Today: Lavin Welcomes Dr. Laurence Steinberg

Larry Steinberg—one of my favorite thinkers and writers—offers clear, cogent answers to all the questions you’re wrestling with right now. —Angela Duckworth, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Grit

What it means to be a young adult today is radically different than it was only a generation ago. Many parents of children in their 20s and 30s—and leaders with Millennial or Gen Z employees—are wondering how to guide the next generation in a world that’s so different from when they were younger.

Dr. Laurence Steinberg knows how. He’s one of the world’s leading developmental psychologists and author of the forthcoming You and Your Adult Child. It’s an “empowering, invaluable guide” (NYT bestselling author Jessica Lahey) that benefits everyone in every domain of life—because developing good parent-child relationships at home will make you more fulfilled, purposeful, and productive at work.

In his book and his talks, Laurence covers topics like whether you should subsidize your child’s income, when and how to give advice, how to tell if your child or employee is floundering or flourishing, and much more. For example, he explains why you can’t compare your child’s progress to your own progress at that age—it takes 5 years longer for young people today to enter into the different stages of adulthood. His talks are crucial for people on both sides of the generation gap, as well as anyone looking to build stronger cross-generational relationships and teams.

Watch an exclusive Lavin interview where Laurence explains why young people today are graduating, moving out, and getting married later than any previous generation:

Ordinary People Make Extraordinary Change: Lavin Welcomes James Kirchick, Bestselling Author of Secret City

There has never been a book like Secret City. Lauded as the most important work of gay history in decades, it surveys the broad sweep of 20th century American politics through a gay lens. The Washington Examiner said that “It is, in many ways, one of the most human works of history written this decade so far. Secret City has raised the bar for the genre.”

James expertly brings the era and the characters to life with vivid anecdotes and meticulous research, introducing us to ordinary people who fought for acceptance out of the public eye. He shows us how to stand up for our right to express ourselves freely, and how to use freedom of expression as “the greatest tool oppressed minorities have to secure their equal place in society.”

James is an award-winning journalist and essayist, whose work has been published in The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Wall Street Journal, among others. He is a columnist for Tablet Magazine and a contributing writer for Air Mail.

Watch James discuss the historical contributions of LGBTQ+ Americans on Good Morning America: