The Lavin Agency Speakers Bureau

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

The Disruptive Economics of Power and Prediction (21:46)

Why A Lack of Diversity Is Hurting Economics

Yes, Economics Is a Science

How John List Revolutionized Economics by Studying People in the Real World

The Simple Economics of Machine Intelligence

The Economics of Artificial Intelligence

The Breathless Rhetoric (and Prosaic Economics) of Virtual Reality

Uber and the Economics of Apologies

Global Ethics Forum: Connecting Ethics, the Environment, and Economics with Shalini Kantayya

“The First Book to Explain the Economics of Artificial Intelligence”: Advance Praise for Prediction Machines by Speaker Ajay Agrawal

“This may be the best book yet on what may be the best technology that has come along.” Lawrence H. Summers, former US treasury secretary on Ajay Agrawal’s highly anticipated book Prediction Machines—a crystal clear, realistic assessment of how AI will actually affect the economy. No hype, no speculation, just the tools and economic frameworks managers can use right […]

Tom Wujec Talks on Disruption, Robo-Economics, & Information Technology

Tom Wujec—Chief Disruptor at Autodesk, and world-renowned innovator—dropped by The Lavin office in Toronto to speak about his current research, work, and keynote topics. In particular, he spoke about new disruptive technologies and creation processes: everything from the 3D printing of luxury goods to large-scale mapping software for city planners to innovations in dental surgery. New […]

Institutions Spark Economic Growth: Edge Q&A with Economics Speaker Daron Acemoglu

“It's no mystery how you get economic growth,” bestselling author Daron Acemoglu says in a new, hour long interview at Edge.org. “You need to provide opportunities and incentives.” The problem, the noted economics speaker says, comes when trying to structure a political agenda dedicated to achieving those goals and having people abide by it—even if it […]

The Top 12 Women’s History Month Speakers for 2024: True Gender Equality, Learning From the Past, and More

Every March, Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day give us the chance to be inspired by the women of the past, and to let their stories light the way towards our shared future. Lavin is proud to represent the world’s top WHM speakers: from literary icon Margaret Atwood to civil rights legend Minnijean Brown-Trickey, and many more.

Black History Month is More Important Now Than Ever Before. The 12 Top BHM Speakers on The Past, Present, and Future

From a member of the Little Rock Nine to the award-winning author of one of the country’s most challenged books, these 12 top Black History Month speakers show us how to honor the legacy and history of Black communities across America.

Top 10 AI Speaker Douglas Rushkoff: Being Fully Human in the AI Future

Should we optimize humans for AI? Or can we optimize AI for humans? Douglas Rushkoff argues that we need to set the agenda on AI today to ensure that it doesn’t run away with us, but becomes a powerful tool for unleashing human potential.

The Best Outcome for Black Women Is the Best for Us All: Anna Gifty, Editor of The Black Agenda

“It’s really important that we don’t just state that discrimination exists,” says Anna Gifty. “We need to actually intervene in it.” As co-founder of the only nonprofit aimed at fixing the pathway problem for Black women in economics, Anna is an expert at identifying and remedying patterns of discrimination at work and beyond.

Technologies Like AI Will Reshape Society. Let’s Make Sure Everyone Prospers. MIT Economist Daron Acemoglu’s New Book

Congratulations to Lavin speaker Daron Acemoglu, one of the 10 most cited economists in the world, on the release of his new book Power and Progress: a hopeful look at the future of technology and democracy.

The Why Axis

Hidden Motives And The Undercovered Economics Of Everyday Life

Prediction Machines

The Simple Economics of Artificial Intelligence

Power and Prediction

The Disruptive Economics of Artificial Intelligence

Black History Month 2023: Celebrating Black Stories and Our Speakers’ Contributions to Racial Justice

For Black History Month this February, we’d like to celebrate a few of the many Lavin speakers whose work year-round shows us how to honor the legacy and history of Black communities across America. These leading voices empower us to fight for racial justice and equality, and learn more about the history of this country. ANGELA DAVIS “One […]


New Speakers The next wave of keynote speakers: tackling tomorrow’s challenges, today View All Speakers Featured Books Books by exclusive Lavin speakers that have us talking right now Testimonials What our clients are saying about our partnership with them Latest News The latest news and headlines from our world-changing keynote speakers View All News Trending […]


THE LAVIN AGENCY is the world’s largest intellectual talent agency, representing leading thinkers for speaking engagements, personal appearances, consulting, and endorsements. Our Team “We have a remarkable team here, and one reason is that the staff is very diverse, politically and intellectually. I like people who want to contribute to the debate. At The Lavin […]

Lavin Speakers at SXSW 2022

The legendary South By Southwest conference—an essential collection of film fests, conferences, sessions, and networking opportunities that spotlight creativity globally—is back for 2022, and Lavin’s speakers are showing up in a big way. Here’s a who’s who of the groundbreaking Lavin talent you’ll find on the SXSW stage: Jessica Nordell’s brilliant career as a science […]

Anna Gifty Opoku-Agyeman Unites Bold and Brave Voices to Uplift Black America

Anna Gifty Opoku-Agyeman is the editor of The Black Agenda: the first ever book to bring together dozens of Black writers, scholars, and leaders to solve today’s most pressing social issues, from economics to education to climate change. The Black Agenda “will challenge what you think is possible” (Ibram X. Kendi, New York Times bestselling […]

Anna Unites Bold and Brave Voices to Uplift Black America

Anna Gifty Opoku-Agyeman is behind The Black Agenda: the first ever book to bring together dozens of Black writers, scholars, and leaders to solve today’s most pressing social issues, from economics to education to climate change. The Black Agenda “will challenge what you think is possible” (Ibram X. Kendi, New York Times bestselling author). America needs help. […]

The Lavin Agency Welcomes John List, Chief Economist at Lyft

The ideas that change the world are those that reach the largest number of people, says John List: a leading economist at The University of Chicago, and the Chief Economist at ride-share giant Lyft. But how can we make sure our best ideas reach our desired audiences? Thankfully, there are vital attributes that all “scalable” […]

Out Now—Heather McGhee’s The Sum of Us “is a book we all need.”

“The Sum of Us is a must read for everyone who wants to understand how we got here, but more importantly, where we can go from here—and how we get there, together,” says Alicia Garza, author of The Purpose of Power and co-founder of Black Lives Matter. In talks based on her highly anticipated book, […]

Centering the Black Experience: Introducing Anna Gifty Opoku-Agyeman

If we want to achieve an inclusive economy that works for all, we must begin by giving Black women a seat at the table, says Anna Gifty Opoku-Agyeman. An activist and emerging researcher, she specializes in data-driven solutions that address the future of work and its implications for Black people in both corporate and academic […]

Acclaimed Artist and Activist Molly Crabapple Provides Powerful Visuals for Project on Prison Life

The Zo is a groundbreaking new video project exploring the twisted realities of prison life, illustrated by superstar artist Molly Crabapple and narrated by The Wire’s Emmy-Award winning actor Michael K. Williams. Based on the essay by Yale student Patrick Doolittle and the archive of prison writings compiled in an open-source database invented by Professor […]

Prediction Machines: Ajay Agrawal Shows Business Leaders How to Leverage AI in Forbes

The revolutionary author of Prediction Machines Ajay Agrawal sat down with Forbes to discuss how AI functions, where it is best applied, and why we should embrace, rather than fear the technology.  As a researcher. entrepreneur, and bestselling author, Ajay Agrawal focuses on the economics of machine intelligence. He encourages leaders and CEOs looking to […]

Futurist Douglas Rushkoff and Sociologist Shoshana Zuboff Both Receive Nominations for Prestigious Business Book Award

Lavin speakers  Douglas Rushkoff and Shoshana Zuboff have both been nominated for the 13th annual Porchlight Business Book Awards. The awards recognize the best business books published this year, and look beyond traditional business titles to important works that businesses should be considering.  Douglas Rushkoff’s title, Team Human, explores how the internet has divided us […]

Curious About the Future of Retail? Two of Lavin’s Retail Experts Will Answer Your Questions.

The retail industry has undergone a massive, unprecedented transformation in the last few years, and it shows no signs of slowing down. Retail Reinventionist Joe Jackman and Retail Futurist Doug Stephens join forces to answer your most burning questions about the industry and where it’s headed.   Joe Jackman is a master of retail reinvention. […]

The Pain of Losing Local Business: David Sax Investigates Why Saying Goodbye Hurts for the New York Times

In his New York Times opinion piece, bestselling author David Sax explores the indelible mark that brick-and-mortar businesses continue to leave on consumers—even in the digital age—and why it hurts so much when they close their doors.  “Why do we shed tears over businesses that shut their doors, when we know that the nature of […]

Lavin Speakers Nominated for Thinkers50: The World’s Most Prestigious Ranking of Management Thinkers

Thinkers50, the premier ranking of global business leaders, announced the nominees for their 2019 Distinguished Achievement Awards. Dubbed the “Oscars” of Management Thinking by the Financial Times, this year’s shortlist features no less than six Lavin Speakers, whose ideas are being recognized for their potential to change the world.   Ajay Agrawal—Digital Thinking Award In […]

Lavin Speaker Daron Acemoglu Awarded MIT’s Highest Faculty Honor

Economist Daron Acemoglu has produced influential research in government, innovation, labor, and globalization. Thanks to his groundbreaking contributions to the field, this year Acemoglu has been named Institute Professor, the highest faculty honor awarded by MIT.   Daron Acemoglu has spent over 25 years at MIT grappling with large and complex economic questions. Over the […]

Top 10 Business Keynote Speakers

Great companies start with great leaders. Leaders who recognize incredible talent, even when it’s hard to see; leaders who can spot, manage, and prevent risk; leaders who build successful teams, adapt to change and create cultures of innovation. These business keynote speakers blend personal, compelling leadership stories with years of immersive research, interviews and anecdotes […]

Get to Know Lavin’s MacArthur “Geniuses”!

This year Titus Kaphar and Vijay Gupta join a whopping SIX other Lavin Speakers in receiving MacArthur “Genius” Grants—a prestigious honor awarded to those who are forging truly significant progress towards “building a more just, verdant and peaceful world.” Get to know Lavin’s “geniuses”: Titus Kaphar’s sculptures, paintings, and installations create new and striking ways […]

Analog Expert David Sax Unlocks the Mysteries of Consumer Behavior in His Latest for Vox

“Why do we buy the things we buy?” Asks David Sax, author of The Revenge of Analog and expert on consumer behavior. This week in Vox he provides the answer: “as someone who has been looking at consumer trends and the forces that shape them over much of the past decade, when you step back […]

“America is Not a Democracy,” says Harvard professor Yascha Mounk in His Upcoming Book. But It’s Not Too Late to Change.

Democracy is in decline in the West, especially among young people. They don’t trust their politicians and they don’t see themselves reflected in policy. Harvard professor Yascha Mounk’s new book The People vs. Democracy (recently excerpted in The Atlantic) explores this alarming phenomenon—and according to a glowing Kirkus review, proposes “provocative…optimistic…reasonable remedies,” to combat it. As a speaker, Mounk’s plain, […]

Spring Reads: Retail, Labels, Lies and more

While spring flowers can’t be counted on, spring books stay true to their release dates. Several of our new and veteran speakers have titles hitting the shelves this month, so we’ve highlighted a few that make for good reading, April rain or shine: 1. Maureen Chiquet’s Beyond the Label:   Here, former Chanel CEO Maureen Chiquet charts her unlikely path from […]

Ajay Agrawal’s Creative Destruction Lab: Driving the Potential of Artificial Intelligence

Rotman’s Creative Destruction Lab is “paving the way for a more vibrant Canadian economy,” touts The Globe and Mail’s recent front page. In the associated “Report on Business” cover story, CLD founder and CEO Ajay Agrawal unpacks the profoundly successful concept behind this revolutionary lab. Since its inception in 2012, U of T’s Creative Destruction Lab (CDL) has invented itself […]

Nothing Just ‘Goes Viral’: Watch the New Trailers for Derek Thompson’s Hit Makers

There’s a hidden history to every smash success—a web of economics, psychology, and desire that holds our attention. In these new videos, Atlantic senior editor Derek Thompson reveals fascinating insights from his new, groundbreaking study of how culture gets made, Hit Makers. How Did the Creator of the Vacuum and Refrigerator Help Design the 20th […]

World-Renowned Economist Daron Acemoglu on Saving Jobs from A.I., Bridging the Partisan Divide, & Restoring Faith in Democracy

To leading economist Daron Acemoglu, our economic and political institutions need a dramatic overhaul. Automation maximizes profit but cuts middle-class jobs. Faith in Washington and Wall St. has crumbled. And politics is more partisan than ever. How can we hit the reset button on U.S. democracy? Acemoglu is one of the top 20 most cited economists […]

Happier Cities Just Make Sense: Charles Montgomery Talks to The Guardian

As populations continue to urbanize, the debate rages as to how to best streamline our cities for productivity. But another question—one stemming from an emerging field—is now beginning to take hold: How can we be happier in cities? Urban experimentalist Charles Montgomery is the author of the aptly named Happy City, in which he tackles […]

Clinton, Trump Winning Same States for Different Reasons: Derek Thompson in The Atlantic

In this morning’s Atlantic, senior editor Derek Thompson reveals a curious trend in the presidential primaries: where Hillary Clinton is winning, so is Donald Trump. Despite heavy losses west of the Mississippi, both candidates have won a stretch of 15 contiguous states—from Louisiana along the Gulf and up the Atlantic to Massachusetts. And in nine […]

For U.S. Poor, Geography Determines Longevity: Raj Chetty’s Health Inequality Study

Geography and life expectancy are linked—at least for America’s poorest people. A major new study released by The Health Inequality Project—led by Lavin speaker Raj Chetty, who acted as Corresponding Author and Principal Investigator—shows that where poor people live has a profound impact on how long they live. And while clearly distressing, the study also […]

AskASpeaker #10: Twitter Q&A with Douglas Rushkoff

On Thursday, March 10, we were joined by media theorist, documentarian, and world-renowned public intellectual Douglas Rushkoff for our 10th #AskASpeaker Q&A on Twitter. Rushkoff’s the author of numerous groundbreaking books, including Present Shock, Program or Be Programmed, and Life Inc., but if you haven’t read him, you’ve probably quoted him: he’s coined such concepts as “viral media,” […]

Escaping Poverty? It’s All About Place: A Bracing New Study Co-Authored by Raj Chetty

A much-talked-about new study on poverty in America, co-authored by Lavin speaker Raj Chetty, reveals how hard it is for poor children in certain cities and towns (like Balitmore City) to climb the income ladder over the course of their lives. Place, it turns out, plays a major role in future earning potential. The New […]

First Look: How Not to Be Wrong, by Jordan Ellenberg, is a Freakonomics for Math

How early should you get to the airport? Why do tall parents have shorter children? What’s the best way to get rich playing the lottery? In How Not to Be Wrong: The Power of Mathematical Thinking, mathematician and writer Jordan Ellenberg shows us how math affects us every day. In the same way that Freakonomics […]

Is Positive Thinking a Myth? Adam Alter, in The New Yorker

In a recent piece for The New Yorker, Adam Alter asked an intriguing question: does positive thinking really make our dreams come true? After all, the idea has been “a mainstay among greeting-card companies, motivational speakers, and school teachers for decades,” he says. Alter is the author of Drunk Tank Pink and an Associate Professor […]

Trends, Hunted: Innovation Speaker Jeremy Gutsche Reveals 2014’s Top Trends

Innovation speaker Jeremy Gutsche has released his forecast for 2014's top trends. As the founder of Trendhunter.com, the largest trend hunting website in the world, Gutsche is plugged in to the latest in consumer behavior—and he channels that insight into his popular keynotes on marketing and innovation. Check out the video embedded above to preview […]

First Look: Matt Taibbi’s New Book, The Divide

Matt Taibbi, an economics speaker and the author of Griftopia—one of the most entertainingly quotable, scathing, and illuminating histories of the current economic crisis—is publishing a new book this spring. The Divide: American Injustice in the Age of the Wealth Gap is slated to land March 11, 2014 from Random House imprint Spiegel & Grau. […]

Pure Policy Doesn’t Exist: James Robinson & Daron Acemoglu In The NYT

<div class="apos-content"><div data-type="richText" class="apos-rich-text-item apos-item "> <div class="apos-rich-text" data-rich-text>"<a href="../../blog-cant-ignore-politics-economics-speaker-daron-acemoglu-james-robinson.html" target="_blank">Economics Versus Politics: Pitfalls of Policy Advice</a>," a new study from economics speakers <a href="../../speaker-daron-acemoglu.html" target="_blank">Daron Acemoglu </a>and <a href="../../speaker-james-robinson.html" target="_blank">James Robinson</a>, has just gotten a nod of approval from <em><a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/24/us/24iht-letter24.html?_r=1&" target="_blank">The New York Times</a>. </em>"What our paper is targeted at is, there is […]

Corruption: Matt Taibbi On Covering The “Sopranos” Of Wall Street

Matt Taibbi, a prominent politics and economics speaker, was recently a featured guest on the popular BS Report with Bill Simmons podcast. In an in-depth interview, Taibbi touched on the politics associated with the Boston bombings, the financial considerations when drafting players for sports teams, and the issues of corruption on Wall Street. A seasoned […]

Big Banks: Are We In The Midst Of A Price-Fix Scandal? Matt Taibbi Weighs In

In a searing new article in Rolling Stone Magazine, economics speaker and Griftopia author Matt Taibbi presents a startling revelation: “The world is a rigged game.” He explains that “we found this out in recent months, when a series of related corruption stories spilled out of the financial sector, suggesting the world's largest banks may […]

Drunk Tank Pink: Adam Alter Sees The Color As An “Emblem” For His Book

Science speaker Adam Alter says Drunk Tank Pink (the name of his new book) is the same hue as “the worst antibiotic you had to take as a kid.” This “bright pinkish, sickening color,” seems to have powerfully positive impacts on those exposed to it. In fact, it has been shown that this particular color […]

Economists Can’t Ignore Politics: Daron Acemoglu & James Robinson

“The standard approach to policy-making and advice in economics implicitly or explicitly ignores politics and political economy, and maintains that if possible, any market failure should be rapidly removed,” Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson write in a new essay. “This conclusion may be incorrect; because it ignores politics, this approach is oblivious to the impact […]

Daron Acemoglu & James Robinson’s Why Nations Fail: A “Must Read”

“To say that Why Nations Fail [written by Lavin economics speakers Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson] is an ambitious book would be like saying the Indian Ocean has some water in it,” The Business Standard writes. “And to say that the book has received worldwide attention would be like saying that Warren Buffett is an above-average […]

Drunk Tank Pink by Adam Alter Will “Change The Way You Look At Our World”

How does the name you give a child affect what other people think about them? What do weather patterns have to do with our thoughts, feelings, and actions? Science speaker Adam Alter has the answers—and they're all contained in his fascinating new book Drunk Tank Pink: And Other Unexpected Forces That Shape How We Think, […]

Democratic Participation Drives Economic Growth: Daron Acemoglu

“The question 'why are some countries poor and others not?' is one of the most important questions in social science,” economics speaker Daron Acemoglu argues, “yet, our understanding is still imperfect, to say the least.” Acemoglu, co-author of Why Nations Fail (with fellow Lavin speaker James Robinson) recently spoke at the Canadian Institute for Advanced […]

Shalini Kantayya: A Water Crisis Is Looming—And It’s Happening Everywhere

“Water is becoming the commodity of the 21st century.” Shalini Kantayya says in a new interview. “In fact, the former president of the World Bank said: if the wars were fought of the last century over oil, the wars of this century will be fought over water.” That is the message she conveys in her […]

The Lavin Agency Presents Dr. Jared Diamond at The New School

The World Until Yesterday: What Can We Learn from Traditional Societies?, the first book from Jared Diamond in more than five years, is due out on December 31. In a joint venture between The Lavin Agency and The New School, the Pulitzer-Prize winning author will unpack the powerful themes explored in his new book in […]

Charles Montgomery: Cities as Engines of Happiness

Recently Lavin staffers had the opportunity to have a chat with our new urban experimentalist speaker Charles Montgomery. His forthcoming book, Happy City, gathers unconventional wisdom from a medley of global cities which have decided to make their citizens' happiness a priority. With examples as diverse as Bogota, Columbia and Vancouver, Canada, Montgomery explains that […]

Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson: Two of Foreign Policy‘s Top 100 Global Thinkers

Foreign Policy has just released their list of 2012's Top 100 Global Thinkers—and four of our speakers have made the list! Salman Rushdie, Jonathan Haidt, and Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson have landed in this year's group. Acemoglu and Robinson's selection is due to their monumental co-authored Why Nations Fail—the bestselling economics book that has created […]

Adam Alter: Small Environmental Cues Can Change How We Behave

The Lavin Agency is pleased to welcome our new exclusive speaker, Adam Alter. At NYU’s Psychology Department and Stern School of Business, Alter researches how external influences—such as the weather, geography, colors and location—have a deep impact on our consciousness. His forthcoming book, Drunk Tank Pink, focuses on the intersection between the psychology of judgement […]

Why Nations Fail: “A Grand, Provocative History In The Style Of Jared Diamond”

Fresh off the heels of a Goodread's Choice Award nomination, Why Nations Fail by James Robinson and economics speaker Daron Acemoglu just received a glowing review in the Huffington Post. “This is a great read,” the reviewer writes, “it is provocative and fun…go and get it.” Further, the reviewer compares Acemoglu and Robinson's book to the […]

Rolling Stone’s Matt Taibbi: Is Wall Street Basically Organized Crime?

Rolling Stone’s Matt Taibbi recently appeared on the Max Keiser Report to talk about why he considers his work—covering Wall Street—to be akin to writing “an organized crime story.” Since 2008, Taibbi has covered the big banks and their role in our troubled economic times, publishing influential pieces on the Bank of America, and, perhaps […]

Why Nations Fail Is One of the Most Highly-Praised Books of 2012

Harvard's James Robinson and MIT's Daron Acemoglu are set to release Why Nations Fail—a gargantuan book in the tradition of Jared Diamond's Guns, Germs, and Steel that explores why some nations are rich while others are poor. They boldly argue that strong institutions, and not geography, lead to thriving societies. The positive reviews are already […]

Margaret Atwood’s History of Debt, Payback, Now a Documentary

Margaret Atwood’s prescient non-fiction book Payback—a history of debt that was release in 2008 at the dawn of our current financial crisis—is now a documentary. It will make its world premier at The Sundance Film Festival in January. The book, which was the #8 Best Book of the Decade, according to the Times of London, […]

Daron Acemoglu: Increasing Wage Gaps and Lobbying are Dangerous

Daron Acemoglu, one of the world's foremost authorities on economics, feels uneasy about what's going on in Italy. “If Italy starts wobbling, it could be really bad news for the world economy,” he said recently to hundreds attending the 26th annual Henry George Lecture at the University of Scranton. The renowned MIT economist offered a […]

Daron Acemoglu: One of the World’s Most Cited Economists Offers Solutions

One of the world’s most cited economists, Daron Acemoglu has made tremendous strides in answering the big economic questions that have obsessed us for generations. In a far-ranging interview with The Region, he provides a roadmap of fascinating recommendations for today's deeply troubled global economy. Why Nations Fail, Acemoglu’s forthcoming book, co-authored with James Robinson, […]

Daron Acemoglu Named One of Five Economists Who Can Save Our Jobs

President Barack Obama faces an unprecedented financial crisis, with each new day bringing fresh challenges and, often, harrowing economic news. To make matters worse, his top economic adviser, Austan Goolsbee, has just left his post. Luckily, National Journal has compiled a list of five top economic minds that should replace him—and could, more broadly, inject […]

Think Groupon, Not Facebook: Daron Acemoglu on the Role of Social Networks in The Middle East Uprisings

While many people are quick to dub the protests sweeping the Middle East as “The Facebook Revolutions,” Daron Acemoglu thinks that Groupon might serve as a better analogy. In a recent New York Times article, Acemoglu argues that the real power of social networking tools is their ability to overcome the problem of collective action, […]

Daron Acemoglu is the 88th Most Influential Thinker on the Planet

MIT economist Daron Acemoglu has been named to Foreign Policy’s list of 100 Global Thinkers, for “showing that freedom is about more than markets.” In their write-up, the FP editors stop just short of saying he will one day win a Nobel — a not unlikely outcome given that he’s already won the John Bates Clark […]