The Lavin Agency Speakers Bureau

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

The Science of Belonging: How Do We Build Strong Organizational Cultures? (2:04)

The Art and Science (and Everything Else!) of Creativity: Five Perspectives from Lavin Speakers to Help You Unlock Innovation

In an age of rapid automation and innovation, creativity is the only thing that sets successful organizations apart from the rest. These speakers illuminate the many different facets of creativity—they explain why you should never sit down and try to be creative, why your most creative ideas come after you get stuck, and much more.

Producing the Science Movie in Hollywood (26:45)

Lessons from the New Science of Adolescence

The Decline of Trust in Science “Terrifies” former MIT President Susan Hockfield

The Science of Smart Hiring

Google X and the Science of Radical Creativity

Duke Initiative of Science & Society

How science is telling us all to revolt

Understanding the Neuroscience That Fuels Creative Thinking Can Make You More Innovative

Yes, Economics Is a Science

The Science of What Makes People Care

Uncovering a Tale of Rocket Science, Race and the ’60s

Stanford Social Neuroscience Laboratory

Why the U.S. Government Is Embracing Behavioral Science

The future of design, material science and new ways of making things

Best science books of 2021

Silicon Valley’s Crisis of Conscience

Does Starbucks Understand the Science of Racial Bias?

How Computers Turned Gerrymandering Into a Science

Defense Mechanisms: Neuroscience Meets Psychoanalysis

Science Fiction Has Ancient Roots in Africa. Why Shouldn’t It Also Have a Future There?

The Science of Staying Connected

Inaugural Marketing Science Institute Scholar

Thinking big thoughts about the boundaries of science

Must Science Conflict With Spirituality?

The Nastiest Feud in Science

The Science of Snobbery: How We’re Duped Into Thinking Fancy Things Are Better

DataKind’s do-good data-science projects arrive in 5 more cities

Making Science More Useful, and the Useful More Scientific (13:35)

Using Storytelling To Engage People With Science (2:27)

TED: Grit as the Surprising, and Inspiring, Science of Success (6:13)

Science and Creativity: Can Hip Hop Save Biotech? (17:02)

The Science of Smarter Spending – Buying Experiences

The Science of Smarter Spending – Investing in Others

SEARCHING: Our Quest for Meaning in the Age of Science

Making Science Fun for Kids: Jennifer Gardy’s Kids’ Book Wins International Literary Association Award

What goes in must come out—but how? The wacky and wonderful processes of your digestive system are illuminated in It Takes Guts, a new children’s book by science writer and presenter Dr. Jennifer Gardy. A deputy director on the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Malaria team, Jennifer reveals the secrets and quirks of the digestive system and […]

Cognitive Science of the Unconscious Mind

Why We Need to Create More Diversity in Science

The Neuroscience of Dehumanization: David Eagleman

Creative Leaps in Science and The Arts: David Eagleman

TED: Grit as the Surprising, and Inspiring, Science of Success

Glaciers, Gender, and Science: We Need More Stories of Ice. | M Jackson | TEDxMiddlebury

The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress

Teaching Kids to Love Science

Where Does Science Fit into Modern Society?

Neuroscience and the Legal System: David Eagleman

Understanding the Science of Sharing

Should Neuroscience Factor Into Courtroom Decisions?

Making Science More Useful, and the Useful More Scientific

The End of Bias: Lavin Welcomes Science Journalist Jessica Nordell

We see the detrimental effects of unconscious bias and discrimination everywhere: in our schools, our workplaces, our hospitals, and beyond. Yet change is possible, says acclaimed science journalist Jessica Nordell. In her debut book The End of Bias, Lavin’s newest speaker shows us the science-based approach for uprooting our deepest prejudices. Unconscious bias is the […]

The Science of Praise: Forbes Covers New Management Research by Lauren Eskreis-Winkler

Some bosses manage their employees through negative reinforcement, while others prefer positive reinforcement. But which managerial style is more effective? New research by Lauren Eskreis- Winkler reveals that encouraging management yields far better results than those that focus on failure.  Lauren Eskreis- Winkler and her team at the University of Chicago designed an experiment to […]

Big Problems, Tiny Solutions: MIT’s Susan Hockfield Joins Bill Nye on the Science Rules! Podcast

How will we address the needs of everyone on earth as the population continues to grow? Susan Hockfield—Neuroscientist, author, and former president of MIT—suggests we turn to biology for answers.  By the year 2050, there will be almost ten billion people on earth. Unsurprisingly, the population increase will put a significant stress on our resources: […]

New Speakers Heather Berlin and Nita Farahany Explore Neuroscience—and What It Means for Business.

How can business leaders better understand cognitive processes, thereby enhancing productivity, creativity, and performance? Introducing Lavin’s two newest neuroscience speakers, DR. HEATHER BERLIN and  NITA FARAHANY, whose science backgrounds—and unique takes on the brain—offer incredible new ways of thinking about workplace practices. Both of these exciting new speakers push the envelope as they talk about the brain, cognitive plasticity, and the […]

At the Intersection of Art and Science: 3 Speakers Show Us New Ways of Seeing the World

Art and science have long enjoyed a fruitful partnership (da Vinci, anyone?) and Lavin’s speakers are no exception to the rule. In light of the release of physicist and writer Alan Lightman’s latest novel, Searching for Stars on an Island in Maine, we rounded up three of our speakers whose work brings together science and the humanities […]

Building a Creative Company Isn’t Luck—It’s a Science. David Eagleman, the World’s Coolest Neuroscientist, Explains

As machines advance, human imagination will become a company’s most valuable resource. This, says DAVID EAGLEMAN—neuroscientist, bestselling author and host of PBS’ The Brain—is the dawn of The Creativity Economy. In his new book, The Runaway Species, he explains why the brain is hardwired to innovate, and how an understanding of this can help organizations thrive. 

Popularity Isn’t Luck. It’s a Science. Derek Thompson’s New Book Hit Makers Explains How Major Trends Take Off

Why do some songs, apps, games, films, or celebs blow up, while others flop? To Atlantic senior editor Derek Thompson, “going viral” is more than blind luck. In his new book Hit Makers, he reveals the hidden web of power, influence, business smarts—and even genius—that makes culture happen. In Hit Makers (coming Feb. 7), Thompson […]

Biotech Leader Nina Tandon in Inc. Magazine: “Science Is Storytelling”

Lavin keynote speaker Nina Tandon is featured in the October 2015 issue of Inc. magazine (appropriately, in the publication’s “Most Innovative Women” section). As CEO and co-founder of EpiBone—the world’s first company growing living human bones for skeletal reconstruction—Tandon has a unique entrepreneurial story behind forming, and funding, a company at the forefront of what she calls “biology as […]

The Science of Happiness, and Success: Introducing New Speaker Daniel Lerner

Demanding schedules, multiple jobs, and sky-high expectations for productivity mean many of us are sacrificing our happiness and well-being in order to succeed. Competition starts earlier than ever: high school and college students battle depression and anxiety as they strive to distinguish themselves and earn top marks. However, to positive psychology expert Daniel Lerner, ‘success […]

Changing the World With Science: Scott Barry Kaufman, Nina Tandon, Hugh Herr

“Scientists who ask the right questions at the right time can make history and change the world,” writes Business Insider. The publication has complied a new list of 50 groundbreaking scientists who are changing the way we see the world, from human happiness, evolutionary biology, neutrino physics, biotechnology, archeology, and more. Three exceptional Lavin science speakers […]

Science and the City: Charles Montgomery Builds a Better Way of Life

Urban experimentalist and Happy City author Charles Montgomery took abandoned spaces in New York City and reformed them into an living laboratory. In his inspiring TEDxVancouver talk (embedded above), Montgomery opens up about bringing together the right ingredients to build a social, and therefore happy, city. We learn how measures of life satisfaction can lead […]

Picks Of The Week: Two Great Talks From Lavin’s Science Speakers

One of the best parts of working at The Lavin Agency is watching inspirational keynote speeches by the world's most original movers and shakers. Every week, we'll focus on a few of the great talks that our speakers have given. And, we'll discuss the key takeaways that make our speakers great picks for speaker buyers […]

Lefties, Rejoice! Science Speaker Maria Konnikova On Creativity & Handedness

Last week, approximately 10 percent of the population celebrated Left-Handers’ Day. Maria Konnikova, a science speaker and psychologist, just published an article in The New Yorker that will give lefties even more reason to celebrate their uniqueness. Not only has new research shown that being a left-hander doesn't necessarily live up to the “sinister” stereotypes […]

Why Sharing Science Matters: David Eagleman

Bringing research results from the lab into public discourse can sometimes be costly and time consuming. As science speaker David Eagleman wrote in a recent report, the process can take away crucial time from busy researchers. But, as the recent recipient of the Society for Neuroscience Science Educator Award argues, sharing research breakthroughs is a crucial […]

David Eagleman: Can Neuroscience Change The Justice System?

Our prison system works as a one-size-fits-all institution. Science speaker David Eagleman believes that modern neuroscience research and better use of big data could change that. The sought-after neuroscientist recently addressed the subject in Smart Planet. He explained that physiologically driven behavior isn't always taken into account during sentencing, and, that there could be more effective […]

Natural Partners: John Maeda Advocates For Combining Arts & Science

“Artists and scientists tend to approach problems with a similar open-mindedness and inquisitiveness,” John Maeda tells Scientific American, “they both do not fear the unknown, preferring leaps to incremental steps. They make natural partners.” The RISD president and popular design speaker sees the collaboration between artists and scientists as crucial for our future. “There is […]

What’s In A Name? Science Speaker Adam Alter In The New Yorker

William Shakespeare's Juliet, from Romeo & Juliet, famously asked “What's in a name?” While she hypothesized that a “rose by any other name would still smell as sweet,” science speaker Adam Alter has documented numerous studies showing that different names actually can change how we perceive an event, an object, or a person. “Arbitrary linguistic traits […]

Constrained Creativity: Janna Levin On Experimenting In The Sciences

Not only is science speaker Janna Levin a well-known theoretical astrophysicist who studies the intricacies of black holes and the big bang, she is also a PEN Award-winning author. Her books—How The Universe Got Its Spots and A Madman Dreams of Turing Machines—bridge fiction and non-fiction, science and literature, and provide a complex but digestible […]

Personalized Medicine: Science Speaker Nina Tandon On Tissue Design at TED

Each individual's body is complexly unique. The problem with this, science speaker Nina Tandon says in a TED Talk, is that it can lead to major complications when you fall ill. Since our bodies are all different, and react differently and unpredictably to standard medical treatments, it can be difficult to treat health problems using […]

Science Speaker Adam Alter: Thinking About Thinking

In a new talk with Edge.org, science speaker and NYU Professor Adam Alter discussed the role that metacognition plays in our lives. He isn't studying what people are thinking, so much as what is it like to think. As he explains there are two layers to our thought process: the basic level where we process […]

Science Speaker Nina Tandon: The Future Of Tissue Engineering [VIDEO]

Imagine requiring a new heart and receiving a transplant organ, made of living tissue, that was grown by a scientist in a lab. Sounds like science fiction, right? Nina Tandon says the idea isn't as far fetched as we may think. As she explains in an exclusive interview with Lavin, scientists have been able to […]

Movie Science Isn’t Anything Like Real Science: Janna Levin on BBC

We all know that we are supposed to suspend our disbelief when we watch movies and television shows. As Janna Levin explains in a video segment on the BBC, this is especially true when it comes to the science shown in film and on TV. Levin was one of several prominent real-life scientists asked to […]

FORA.tv Calls David Eagleman’s Science Keynote One Of The Best Of The Year

2012 was a good year for David Eagleman, a renowned neuroscientist and internationally bestselling author. His keynote on the perception of time was listed as one of the top ten science speeches of the year by FORA.tv, and his book, Incognito (named as a “Book of the Year” by The Boston Globe) got a ringing […]

Science Speaker Janna Levin at The Moth: Is The Universe Infinite?

“Albert Einstein famously said, only two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity,” cosmologist, author, and science speaker Janna Levin says in a new talk on The Moth, “and then he added: and I'm not so sure about the universe.” As one of her biggest inspirations, Levin agrees with Einstein's theory. Well, in terms […]

Steven Pinker’s Book Shortlisted For Prestigious Science Books Prize

The Better Angels of Our Nature, Steven Pinker's New York Times Book Review Notable Book of the Year, has been shortlisted for another prestigious award: The Royal Society Winton Prize for Science Books. The book is one of six nominated for the award. When asked why they picked Pinker's book, the judges said that it, […]

Curiosity Is Essential For Innovation: Science Speaker Janna Levin [VIDEO]

When you think of the study of cosmology, generally notions of high-tech telescopes and complex lab equipment come to mind. Science speaker Janna Levin, however, likes to do things a little bit differently. “I really like to work in pen and paper in math,” she explains in an interview with the BBC. What is she […]

Art & Science Collide: David Eagleman & Jer Thorp At PopTech 2012

“Good science and good art are the same,” David Eagleman said in a recent interview. “Science and art are both creative processes where you make leaps and have some way of filtering them, [and] a good creative person, scientist, or artist generates lots of ideas and has the capacity to throw a lot of them out.” […]

Your Brain on Social Media: Neuroscience Speaker David Eagleman [VIDEO]

How much of an impact does social media have on our brains? According to neuroscience speaker David Eagleman,  interacting on social media can play a prominent factor in our decision-making processes and even alter the levels of oxytocin in our brains. “It turns out that if you spend time with a community of your friends […]

Violence is Vanishing, Science Speaker Steven Pinker Tells Bill Gates

“Violence, in many ways, has plunged over the course of history,” science speaker Steven Pinker tells Bill Gates in a recent interview. “Half a century without a great power war is unprecedented.” In a series of interviews with the former chief executive of Microsoft, Pinker discusses findings he presented in his groundbreaking book, The Better Angels […]

Guilty: Neuroscience Speaker David Eagleman Explores the Criminal Mind [VIDEO]

“At some point there will be a crime committed…and we will find that the perpetrator had a brain tumor,” neuroscience speaker David Eagleman tells CNN. “Then, society is going to have to deal with [the] very difficult question about [the] relationship between brain and behavior and [the] question of culpability.” As the founder and director […]

The Great Neuroscience Debate: David Eagleman Defends the Brain

In a recent article in The Guardian, Lavin speaker David Eagleman debated Raymond Tallis on the age-old question of whether our personalities, desires, and actions are governed by our unconscious mind, or whether the human condition is much more complicated. Eagleman's New York Times bestseller Incognito explores this question in accessible detail, pointing out that […]

David Eagleman: Can Neuroscience Help End the War On Drugs?

This week, neuroscientist David Eagleman spoke at a Google 'Debates' series addressing the war on drugs. Other luminaries on the bill included Vincente Fox, Julian Assange, Eliot Spitzer, Richard Branson, and Russell Brand. “The reason why we're losing the war on drugs,” Eagleman said, “is because we're attacking supply, and that's like a water balloon: […]

Meet David Eagleman, “the Malcolm Gladwell of Neuroscience”

We know neuroscience speaker David Eagleman has written a New York Times bestselling book about our brains, called Incognito. We know he's the man behind the exploratory Possibilianism movement, which carves a much-needed space between religion and atheism. We know he can hold his own on The Colbert Report. Now, thanks to a feature profile […]

In Defense of Popular Science: Neuroscientist David Eagleman

In a New Statesman interview, neuroscientist David Eagleman talks with incredible candor about a range of subjects relating to popular science—a phrase that he staunchly defends. “I am a believer in the mission of popular science,” said Eagleman, whose new book Incognito is a major—and accessible—work on the human brain, out this month of Alfred […]

David Eagleman: Why Our Legal System Needs Neuroscience

In an article in today’s Daily Telegraph, David Eagleman — acclaimed neuroscientist and author of Incognito: The Secret Lives of the Brain — tackled the issue of neuroscience and its role in the legal system. The central issue lies with the assumption that all people are “practical reasoners” (meaning they will act in their best […]

John Elder Robison Profiled on Science Channel’s Ingenious Minds

John Elder Robison, Lavin speaker and author of Look Me in the Eye, was recently profiled on an episode of Science Channel’s Ingenious Minds – a show that explores the lives of savants. Robison was born with Asperger’s syndrome (but wasn’t diagnosed until age forty), a type of autism that is characterized by an extreme […]

David Eagleman’s Sum: A Deceptively Slim Mash-Up of Science, Faith and Literary Fiction

“I’ve never encountered a book quite like the marvelously intelligent and imaginative Sum,” writes Laura Grace Weldon over at Wired’s Geek Dad blog. The sentiment is enormously kind — and spot on. Written by rambunctious neuroscientist David Eagleman over the course of seven years, Sum is a unique work of literary fiction that fuses philosophy […]

John Elder Robison to Appear on Discover Science’s Ingenious Minds

Author, mechanic, designer, photographer, speaker — these are just a few words that could describe John Elder Robison. The Look Me in the Eye author runs a multi-million dollar car specialty shop and a successful photography business. He’s designed guitars for KISS and toys for Milton Bradley. Oh, and by the way, he’s done all […]

NOVA Profiles Neuroscience Speaker David Eagleman

Neuroscience speaker David Eagleman — who released his latest book, Why the Net Matters, as an iPad-only app — will be featured on PBS’s venerable science show NOVA on February 2, 2011. An acclaimed neuroscientist, David has found inventive ways of studying brain functions, such as throwing test subjects (himself included) 100 feet into freefall. Set your TiVos now! From NOVA: How does the brain […]

John Maeda: Art + Science = Innovation

We stumbled upon some of John Maeda’s classic design work today, over at Fast Company. One of the world’s most famous designers, and ever prescient, John’s been preaching some form of “design thinking” for many years now. As a keynote speaker, and as President of the Rhode Island School of Design, he talks about a subject close to […]

Eight Speakers for Your World Mental Health Day Event: From Finding Purpose, to Leveraging Your Anxiety

October 10 is World Mental Health Day—and if you’re looking for last-minute speaker ideas for your event, we can help. Our speakers offer so many perspectives to explore: from succeeding at work, to finding purpose, to navigating (or maybe even leveraging) your anxiety.

Unlock the Power of “Deep Curiosity” for Greater Connections: Lavin Welcomes Scott Shigeoka, Author of Seek

Curiosity is a “muscle” that you can exercise to tap into greater fulfillment and wellbeing, healthier workplaces, and better teamwork. Lavin’s proud to welcome our new exclusive speaker Scott Shigeoka, author of the highly anticipated Seek, who offers tried-and-true strategies (like his pioneering DIVE model) for using the whole spectrum of curiosity—from shallow to deep—today.

A Top-Ten Apple Podcast: The Brain, Our Daily Lives and AI on David Eagleman’s Inner Cosmos

How does your brain affect the choices you make? How “intelligent” will Artificial Intelligence get? Inner Cosmos, the incredible podcast by Lavin speaker David Eagleman, dives into these questions, revealing how your brain steers your actions and perceptions. It is now among the Top 10 podcasts in the country, joining mainstays like The Daily by The New York Times.

Two New AI Talks from the TED Mainstage: Lavin speakers on Education, the Brain, and New Technologies. Watch Now!

At TED this year, Lavin speakers Nita Farahany and Sal Khan made waves and spurred endless conversation. Unsurprisingly, their talks centered on the fast-changing conversation around Artificial Intelligence. Both talks are now available to watch!

“Talent” Doesn’t Predict Performance. Grit Does. Psychologist Dr. Danny Southwick

If your business strategy revolves around hiring the most talented people, you’re doing it wrong, says psychologist and former NFL player Dr. Danny Southwick. You can motivate people to persevere and reach lofty goals simply by changing the language you use around their skills.

The Surprising Secret to High Performance? Talking to Yourself. Ethan Kross, Psychologist and Bestselling Author

If you want to develop resilience, innovation, and powerful leadership, you need to start by leading yourself. Lavin’s Ethan Kross is an expert on turning your inner voice into your greatest tool, and his work has caught fire in the corporate world. He’ll show you what he’s already shown C-suites across America: how to unleash your inner Ted Lasso.

How to Change

The Science of Getting from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be

AI That Can Read Your Thoughts? It’s Already Here. Nita Farahany on This Technology’s Enormous Potential—and Its Dangers

Devices that use Artificial Intelligence to track our brains are already being used worldwide, and this is just the beginning. In The Battle for Your Brain (out next week!), Nita Farahany says neurotechnology can vastly increase human potential, but first we need to ensure that our brains still belong to us alone.

Age Of Opportunity

Lessons from the New Science of Adolescence

The Discoveries

Great Breakthroughs in 20th-Century Science

The Transcendent Brain

Spirituality in the Age of Science

Alan Lightman

How can we merge the arts and sciences to better understand humanity?

Hit Makers

The Science of Popularity in an Age of Distraction

Beautiful Souls

The Courage and Conscience of Ordinary People in Extraordinary Times


Freediving, Renegade Science, and What the Ocean Tells Us about Ourselves


The New Science of a Lost Art

Enlightenment Now

The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress

The End of Bias

A Beginning: The Science and Practice of Overcoming Unconscious Bias

Your Fall ’23 Events: Our Top Diversity and Culture Speakers for Hispanic Heritage Month

Every year during Hispanic Heritage Month, from September 15th to October 15th, we celebrate the Hispanic and Latinx leaders and communities whose contributions have made this country what it is. This year, we want to help you bring one of our incredible speakers to your campus or organization.

A Sneak Peek at the First Half of 2023: Major Releases from Lavin Speakers

Happy new year from your Lavin family! Our speakers have some incredible new releases and projects lined up for 2023. You’ll be hearing about them everywhere in the culture and in the news, but for now, here’s a sneak peek at what you can expect in the next six months from the brilliant speakers we […]

The Top 5 Corporate Culture Speakers of 2022

More than anything else, culture is what makes organizations great. A good workplace culture empowers people at every level to learn from their mistakes, collaborate with people who are different from them, and bring their authentic selves to work. Lavin’s TOP CORPORATE CULTURE SPEAKERS—from psychologists to the C-suite—have hands-on experience in creating resilient, healthy organizations. They’ll give you […]


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 […]

Anxiety Is Actually Good for You: Lavin Welcomes Psychology Researcher and Author Tracy Dennis-Tiwary

Drawing on her original psychology and neuroscience research, Tracy makes the case for embracing this secret superpower. She’s the bestselling author of Future Tense: Why Anxiety is Good for You (Even Though It Feels Bad). In it, she argues that anxiety is our brains’ response to uncertainty: it arises when there’s potential for bad, but […]

Lavin Speakers at the Emmys: Shalini Kantayya and Sean B. Carroll’s Documentaries Nominated for Emmy Awards

Our congratulations to Lavin speakers Shalini Kantayya and Sean B. Carroll on their recent Emmy nominations! Shalini’s Coded Bias reveals how machine-learning algorithms, intended to avoid prejudice, carry the biases of the humans that program them. Sean’s documentary, My Garden of a Thousand Bees, features a wildlife filmmaker setting out to film the 60+ species of bees in his urban garden. The Emmy […]

Just 30 Minutes Can Transform The Way We React to Stress: David Yeager’s New Scientific Study in Nature

Sweaty palms, racing thoughts—when we face down stressful situations, our minds and bodies conspire to throw us off. And with anxiety levels spiking during the pandemic, we face down stressful situations every day. But psychologist and researcher David Yeager is proving that it only takes 30 minutes to transform the way we react to stress: turning it from a threat […]


I want to book a speaker … What is The Lavin Agency? For over 30 years, The Lavin Agency speakers bureau has helped a diverse range of clients find the perfect speakers for conferences, keynotes, workshops, and more. We represent authors, scientists, business leaders, humanitarians, politicians, economists, and other remarkable people making the world a […]

Finding Purpose Amidst Our Climate Anxiety (and Our Other Anxieties!): Stanford Fellow Britt Wray’s New Book

How do we stay sane and find purpose in the climate crisis? Dynamic TED Speaker and New Yorker-acclaimed science writer Britt Wray has the answer. Her revolutionary scientific research, outlined in her brilliant new book Generation Dread, reveals that wrestling through our climate emotions helps us find purpose and fight for the future of our planet.  Britt shows us […]

For Happiness and Answers to Life, Follow the Numbers: Data Scientist Seth Stephens-Davidowitz’s New Book

How do we find happiness? We tend to follow our gut, which often leads us astray, but Seth Stephens-Davidowitz—New York Times bestselling author and former Google data scientist—says we can use data to choose more wisely and get happier.  When we make big personal decisions, we consult friends, Google it, or just do what feels […]

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 […]

Sean B. Carroll

The science that surrounds us is the story of our world. When we understand it, we can better understand ourselves.

Nicholas Thompson

Technology and science continue to make the world a better place—we can’t lose sight of that core truth.

Jennifer Gardy

It’s important to instill a love of science—while showing what it is and what it isn’t—in people.

Jordan Ellenberg

Math is the science of not being wrong. It touches everything we do.

Katy Milkman

The world has changed overnight. Learn the science-based blueprint for how to change with it.

Steven Pinker

The world is getting better, not worse. The Enlightenment ideals of reason and science are a major reason why.

Margot Lee Shetterly

A greater diversity of voices in science, in the STEM fields, is key to the future of American innovation.

Lavin Speakers on Amazon’s Best Books of 2021

​​Congratulations to the host of Lavin speakers who have triumphed in Amazon’s best books of 2021 lists.   Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Andrea Elliott’s Invisible Child is the top pick for Best Non-Fiction Book of the year. This is a riveting, unforgettable story of a girl whose indomitable spirit is tested by homelessness, poverty, and racism […]

Books to Read This Fall

Fall is upon us, so we here at Lavin wanted to bring you a selection of our favorite reads to grace your bookshelves this season. From riveting non-fiction that will change the way you see the world, to practical guidebooks for finding success in an unpredictable climate, there’s something here for everyone. Sukhinder Singh Cassidy’s […]

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” […]

Cognitive Scientist Steven Pinker Makes the Case for Rationality in His New Book

It seems like rationality today is in short supply. On one end of the spectrum, scientists are achieving medical break-throughs—like developing the COVID vaccine—in record time. Yet on the other end, lies misinformation, fake news, and conspiracy theories bordering on hysteria. How can this be? And what can we do about it? Steven Pinker explores […]

Jay Van Bavel Offers a Revolutionary Understanding of Identity in The Power of Us

In his new book The Power of Us, Jay Van Bavel explores the dynamics of our social identities: What causes people to develop social identities? What happens when they define themselves by the groups they belong to? And under what conditions does the human tendency to divide the world into “us” versus “them” become toxic […]

Kristin Neff: Fierce Self-Compassion Can Change Your Life, and the World

Long before self-compassion had become common parlance, DR. KRISTIN NEFF was leading pioneering research in the field. Countless studies have been published since her first groundbreaking book Self-Compassion, and today, she reshapes our understanding once more with her new release: Fierce Self-Compassion: How Women Can Harness Kindness to Speak Up, Claim Their Power, and Thrive.  […]

How to Change by Katy Milkman Is Set to Be One of the Most Revolutionary Reads of 2021

The Lavin Agency is giving you the opportunity to incite actionable change with behavioral scientist and Wharton professor Katy Milkman. You’ll receive FREE copies of her eagerly anticipated book How to Change, as well as special speaker pricing, when you book her for your next event.  If you’ve ever tried to change something in your […]

The Life-Changing Power of Breath: Introducing New Speaker James Nestor

The way we breathe has changed dramatically over the course of human evolution—and not for the better. Fortunately, acclaimed science journalist James Nestor has undertaken the task of restoring our most vital function, starting with his instant New York Times bestseller Breath.  It’s rare that we can say that a book is for everyone, but […]

Mastering Your Self-Talk: Introducing Award-Winning Psychologist Ethan Kross

The most important conversation we have each day is the one we have with ourselves. In his debut book Chatter, acclaimed psychologist Ethan Kross explores how to make our inner voice work in our favor—helping us boost our productivity, make wiser decisions, and generally lead more satisfying lives.  When it’s at its best, our inner […]

Lavin’s Holiday Gift Guide: A Book for Everyone on Your List

Is there any better way to spend the holidays than curled up with a good book? As this year comes to a close, we’ve rounded up the reads that have inspired, motivated, challenged, and moved us. So, whether you’re shopping for a history buff or a poetry lover, or even a gift for yourself, there’s […]

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 […]

The Awesome Power of Chance: Introducing New Speaker Sean B. Carroll

The Lavin Agency is proud to announce its new speaker and one of the most masterful science storytellers of our time, Sean B. Carroll. An internationally recognized Evolutionary Biologist and award-winning writer, film producer, and educator, he is a thriller raconteur and renowned scientist.    Carroll’s pioneering scientific research centers on the genes that control […]

Your Brain is Plastic: A Live Q&A With Neuroscientist David Eagleman

On August 26th, world-renowned neuroscientist David Eagleman will join The Lavin Agency for a stimulating Q&A session discussing his latest book Livewired: The Inside Story of the Ever-Changing Brain.   How can a child function with only one half of his brain? What does drug withdrawal have to do with a broken heart? And can […]

What’s the Future? Join us for Our First Virtual Event and Find Out!

Join Naomi Klein, Angela Duckworth, Wajahat Ali, and many more of the world’s top thinkers at What’s the Future @ Lavin Live—a free virtual event diving into the enormous challenges we’re all facing as a result of COVID-19.  The longer we stay under lockdown, the less likely we are to return to a world that […]

Political Polarization During a Pandemic Will Be Deadly: Jay Van Bavel for The Washington Post

Jay Van Bavel is a professor of Psychology and Neural Science at New York University. He speaks frequently about political polarization and ‘the partisan brain,’ exploring why so many people are willing to put party over policy, and oftentimes, even over truth. In his latest for The Washington Post, Van Bavel explains why polarization becomes […]

Lavin’s Top Women & Leadership Speakers Are Breaking Barriers—and Inspiring Others to Do the Same

In honor of International Women’s Day, we’re shining the spotlight on our Top Women & Leadership Speakers. These women are all powerhouses in their fields—from business and law to STEM and sports. They’re reshaping the worlds they work in, and as speakers, their stories and expertise empower other women to do the same.      […]

Navigating Our AI Future: Lavin’s Top 10 Artificial Intelligence Speakers

Once the stuff of dystopian nightmares, artificial intelligence has become an essential part of our daily lives. Today, AI recommends our products, routes our taxis, predicts our Internet searches. Tomorrow? It will be a tool as fundamental as electricity. Lavin’s Top 10 artificial intelligence speakers help us navigate the changes to come. Radhika Dirks: There […]

Lavin’s Top Pandemic Speakers Explore the Spread of Diseases like the Coronavirus

In just a couple of months the Coronavirus that emerged from the Chinese city of Wuhan has spread around the world, sparking a race to find treatments and vaccines against it. Zeroing in on how this deadly virus is spreading and what everyone can do to take preventative measures are The Lavin Agency’s Top Pandemic Speakers—letting […]

AI Pioneer Radhika Dirks Discusses Technology’s Disconnect from Humanity in New TEDx Talk

 Scientific study was born out of a desire to answer big, philosophical questions on the meaning of life. When scientists and technologists forget this nascent connection, says Radhika Dirks, they run the risk of creating without considering the ethical implications of their work. In her TEDx talk, Dirks reminds us why relating technology back to […]

Do Politics Make Us Irrational? NYU’s Jay Van Bavel Illustrates the Effects of Partisanship for TED-Ed

Can someone’s political identity influence their ability to process information? It appears so. In the cognitive phenomenon known as partisanship, identification with a social group becomes so important, it can override reality.  Psychology professor Jay Van Bavel shares strategies to combat this problem in a new TED-Ed video. Imagine you’re watching your favorite sports team […]

To be, or Not to Be Authentic?: Harvard’s Laura Huang and Francesca Gino Explore Authenticity and Performance

When it comes to making a first impression, whether it be a job interview, a networking event, or a pitch, many people tend to cater to the other person’s interests, rather than behave according to their own. But does this approach help or harm our chances of getting what we want? Harvard professors and fellow […]

MIT’s Susan Hockfield Joins Effort to Reduce Bias in Biotech Funding Reports The Washington Post

Though there has been a significant improvement for women in the sciences over the past few decades, men continue to dominate leadership positions, especially in the biotech sphere. Lavin Speaker and former President of MIT Susan Hockfield teamed up with entrepreneur Sangeeta Bhatia and biologist Nancy Hopkins to push for change.  Susan Hockfield, Sangeeta Bhatia, […]

Stanford Psychologist Jamil Zaki Explores the Intersection of Empathy and Tech, on NPR

There are millions of people who want to interact with others in a more productive way online—but how can we empower them to do so? Jamil Zaki, author of The War for Kindness talks to NPR’s Here  & Now about technology and empathy, and how to intertwine them, to make a better, and more human, […]

NYU’s Jay Van Bavel Explores How Tribalism is Increasing Hypocracy in Politics

Hypocrisy in politics is not, by any means, a new concept. But it does seem to be escalating—especially in an Internet age, where every tweet and video clip can be captured and circulated indefinitely. As the 2020 election approaches, NYU’s Associate Professor of Psychology Jay Van Bavel explores how we got here. “It is pragmatic […]

Lavin’s Top Happiness & Wellness Speakers Inspire Personal Growth and Positive Change

Everyone wants to be happy and healthy—but it doesn’t come easy. The pressure of performing well at work and having a fulfilling personal life can often be hard to manage—and that’s where Lavin’s Top Happiness & Wellness Speakers come in. Experts in how to actively enhance our inner lives and outer selves, they inspire audiences […]

Connecting to Today’s Consumers: Lavin’s Top Ten Marketing Speakers

The last decade has seen a complete transformation in the way we do business. Lavin’s Top 10 Marketing Speakers expertly navigate us through the changing tides, and help leaders and organizations win the hearts of tomorrow’s consumer.   Sarah Kaplan Corporate social responsibility has morphed from a nice-to-have into an absolute must-have. In her talks, […]

Four Lavin Speakers Featured on Prospect Magazine’s Best Books of 2019 Lists

Shoshana Zuboff, Jared Diamond, David Wallace-Wells, and Naomi Klein are undoubtedly some of the most interesting thinkers of our time—and Prospect recently named their newest books to their prestigious Best of 2019 series. Shoshana Zuboff’s groundbreaking The Age of Surveillance Capitalism—called “an epoch-defining international bestseller” by Guardian—is also one of Prospect’s picks for the Best […]

Flikshop Founder and CEO Marcus Bullock Collaborates with Apple

Marcus Bullock is the creator of Flikshop, an ingeniously simple app that allows family members to connect with prisoners via short messages and photos. His entrepreneurial enterprise has proven so successful that he’s collaborating with Apple, as part of their Code with Apple series. At the age of 15, Marcus Bullock was sentenced to eight […]

Empathy Expert Jamil Zaki Shares Techniques for Nurturing Kindness in Washington Post Profile

In these divided times, it can often seem like empathy is difficult, if not downright impossible to find. But for Jamil Zaki, the Director of the Stanford Social Neuroscience Lab, we have a unique opportunity these days to strengthen our ability to relate to and care for one another—maybe even more than at any other […]

Building the Next Generation of Tech Champions: Ajay Agrawal’s Creative Destruction Lab Expands to Paris

Founded by Professor Ajay Agrawal at the Rotman School, the Creative Destruction Lab has supported over 1,500 founders from over 30 countries—generating more than 4 billion dollars in equity value. Now, in its partnership with International business school HEC Paris, the CDL is poised to “play a vital role in building the next generation of […]

Margaret Atwood Receives Order of the Companions of Honor from Queen Elizabeth

Fresh off her Booker Prize win, prolific Canadian author Margaret Atwood received another honor recently—and an incredible career first: it was presented to her by none other than Queen Elizabeth. As of late October 2019, Atwood is now one of the select few people granted the Companion of Honor award—given for achievements in the arts, […]

Margaret Atwood Wins the Prestigious Booker Prize for the Second Time

With her newest release, The Testaments, breaking sales records around the globe—and at a record speed—literary legend Margaret Atwood is also taking home the Booker Prize for the sequel to 1985’s The Handmaid’s Tale, today. Nineteen years ago, Atwood accepted the same award for her book The Blind Assassin; and today’s win makes her only […]

How Does Giving Advice Benefit the Giver? Angela Duckworth and Lauren Eskreis-Winkler Explain

When it comes to advice, it might be better to give than to receive. Lauren Eskreis-Winkler and her doctoral adviser Angela Duckworth ran a large-scale experiment measuring the surprising motivational effects of advice-giving.   If you know your colleague is struggling to complete a project at work, chances are you might offer them some tips […]

Angela Duckworth Honored as One of Eight Distinguished Daughters of Pennsylvania

Governor Tom Wolf and First Lady Frances Wolf honored eight women as this year’s Distinguished Daughters of Pennsylvania, each recognized for their “extraordinary service and contributions to the Commonwealth.” Among them was the New York Times bestselling author of Grit Angela Duckworth.  Distinguished Daughters of Pennsylvania began in 1948 as a way to honor the […]

The Top Climate Change Speakers Taking Action in the Fight for Our Future

A year ago, Greta Thunberg was an unknown Swedish teenager striking from school once a week to protest climate inaction. Today, she’s a global icon and climate activist that’s inspired a nation. Alongside Greta, these top Climate Change speakers are united in the fight to save our planet, and they show us—beyond activism—what we must […]

Edward Burtynsky Premieres New Documentary ANTHROPOCENE: The Human Epoch

Four years in the making, ANTHROPOCENE: The Human Epoch is a feature documentary from the award-winning team of Edward Burtynsky, Jennifer Baichwal, and Nicholas de Pencier. It’s a masterful meditation on humanity’s massive reshaping of the planet, and debuts in over 100 theaters in the US alone, to coincide with the UN Climate Action Summit. […]

What is Your Technology Doing to You? Adam Alter Explores on Future Minds

Adam Alter—NYU Marketing Professor and New York Times bestselling author—joins Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience Joel Pearson for an engaging conversation on how addictive technology influences our lives.  Why are so many people addicted to technology? Adam Alter has been investigating the question for years, most notably in his latest book Irresistible. It’s a topic that […]

What We Gain From Working Together: Introducing New Lavin Speaker Jay Van Bavel

Jay Van Bavel is interested in the science of cooperation. A Professor of Psychology and Neural Science at New York University, Van Bavel has dedicated his career to understanding the factors that bind us together. In talks, he reveals how we can harness cooperation and build organizations that are more efficient, successful, and happier. Humans […]

Caring About Tomorrow: Psychologist Jamil Zaki Explains the Barriers to Changing Behavior

Climate change is a phenomenon that 70 percent of Americans believe is happening, and one they understand to be harmful to future generations. Reversing its effects is possible if we drastically change our consumption habits and behavior—so why haven’t we done so? Stanford psychologist Jamil Zaki reveals the science behind our inaction for The Washington […]

When Should We Use Our Grit? Psychologist and Bestselling Author Angela Duckworth Explains.

Renowned psychologist Angela Duckworth joins Reshma Saujani, the founder of Girls Who Code, for an enlightening conversation about grit, bravery, and challenging yourself outside of your comfort zone.  How do you get better at things you’re not comfortable doing? Host Reshma Saujani is uncomfortable using her hands to fix things, whether it be putting together […]

How Does Instagram Affect Our Shopping Habits? Psychology Professor Adam Alter Explores for The Cut

Once a lifestyle app featuring beautifully curated images, Instagram has become the newest, easiest shopping destination. In a new article on The Cut, psychologist and bestselling author Adam Alter explains why we’re so addicted, and how we can manage our symptoms in a digital world of access and convenience.  Part of the addictive, shopping-fuelled influence […]

Learn from the Best: Daniel Lerner Joins Outlier, an Online Education Platform from the MasterClass Creators

MasterClass brought us online classes taught by some of the world’s greatest minds. Now, Outlier brings us University-level courses from some of the world’s best educators. Daniel Lerner, a mastermind of positive psychology, joins the platform that’s changing the future of higher education.  The Intro to Psychology course offered by Outlier, the offshoot of MasterClass, […]

Shoshana Zuboff and Safi Bahcall Longlisted for the Financial Times and McKinsey Business Book of the Year Award

Sixteen titles are competing for this year’s Financial Times and McKinsey Book of the Year Award. Among them are Lavin speakers Shohana Zuboff and Safi Bahcall, for their groundbreaking books The Age of Surveillance Capitalism and Loonshots, respectively.  In 2015, Lavin speaker Martin Ford’s book The Rise of the Robots became the first tech title […]

Reforming Education: Top Ten Teaching and Learning Speakers

From boosting economic growth, to living healthier and happier lives, the benefits of education are rich and plenty. Lavin’s Top Ten Teaching and Learning Speakers address how we can reform our public institutions, deepen our knowledge, increase productivity, and ultimately, achieve more success.   With a New York Times bestselling book and Viral TED talk […]

What Did JFK’s Assassination Mean for the Moon Landing? Charles Fishman Investigates for Fast Company

The moon landing wouldn’t have happened without President John F. Kennedy, he who boldly promised the nation that we would reach the moon before the Soviets. But would we have gotten there by 1969—as promised—if he hadn’t been assassinated? In his latest article for Fast Company, Charles Fishman reveals surprising evidence that suggests JFK was […]

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 […]

Grit Speaker Lauren Eskreis-Winkler Investigates the Motivational Benefits of Advice-Giving

Common wisdom would suggest that offering advice to those who are struggling is helpful to them. But findings from the University of Pennsylvania suggest the opposite is true. In fact, it is the actually person dispensing the advice who is benefiting most. Lauren Eskreis-Winkler reveals the surprising insights from her new study. Wharton post-doctoral researcher […]

Jamil Zaki Awarded PECASE: the Highest Honor Bestowed by the US Government to Scientists

Established in 1996, the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) acknowledges outstanding contributions in STEM education and community service. This year, Associate Professor of Psychology at Stanford University Jamil Zaki received the prestigious award. Much of Jamil Zaki’s research focuses on how we can build and strengthen our connections to one another […]

From NPR to Fast Company, Lavin Speakers Dominate the Summer Must-Reads Lists

A good book can be the perfect companion for balmy summer days. This year, Lavin speakers dominated the summer 2019 must-read lists, featuring in round-ups from INC, Financial Times, and the New York Post. From Safi Bahcall to Chuck Klosterman, check out these recommended reads from some of the literary world’s best and brightest.   […]

Learning to Care: Lavin Speaker Jamil Zaki Challenges Us to Exercise Kindness

Can human beings teach themselves to become kinder? According to science, all signs point to yes. Stanford psychologist and author of The War For Kindness Jamil Zaki has designed a week-long kindness challenge to push people outside of their comfort zones—and into connection with each other. Humans are the world-class champions of empathy, superior to […]

Will AI Facilitate a Universal Basic Income?: A Conversation with Martin Ford and Kai-Fu Lee

As the future draws nearer, experts are weighing in on the impact Artificial Intelligence will have on the workforce. What jobs will automation make redundant? Will it eliminate more positions than it generates? And is the answer to the problem a government-subsidized salary? Lavin Speaker Martin Ford makes the case for a Universal Basic Income […]

The Rise and Fall of Civilizations: Sam Harris Sits down with Jared Diamond for Making Sense Podcast

Public intellectual and international best-selling author Sam Harris is well-versed on issues ranging from moral philosophy and religion, to neuroscience and human reasoning. In the latest episode of his wildly popular Making Sense podcast he interviews inimitable historian Jared Diamond on his new book Upheaval, and the rise and fall of civilizations. In Upheaval—the third […]

NASA celebrates the 50th Anniversary of the Lunar Landing—along with Special Guest Charles Fishman

NASA has teamed up with the National Symphony Orchestra (NSO) for a one-night-only musical and visual tribute to Apollo 11. Joining the festivities is journalist, Lavin speaker, and bestselling author of One Giant Leap: The Impossible Mission that Flew Us to the Moon Charles Fishman. Apollo 11: A Fiftieth Anniversary—One Small Step, One Giant Leap, […]

“Economist in a League of His Own”: Lavin Speaker Daron Acemoglu Wins the 2019 Global Economy Prize

The Global Economy Prize has been awarded by the Kiel Institute for the World Economy and its partners since 2005, honoring those who have pioneered “creative and path-breaking” globalization initiatives in politics, business, and science. This year, it recognizes the outstanding contribution of economist Daron Acemoglu.  “Daron Acemoglu is an economist in a league of […]

Lavin Speaker John Maeda Appointed Chief Experience Officer at Leading Digital Transformation Company

A leader in the world of design, technology, education, and computer science, John Maeda is one of Silicon Valley’s most revered names. Now, he’s spearheading design at Publicis Sapient—a digital consultancy firm—to guide legacy companies through the peaks and valleys of the digital revolution. As the Global Head of Computational Design at Automattic—the parent company […]

Cleaning Earth’s Orbit: Lavin Speaker Danielle Wood Appointed Head of Space Sustainability Initiative

Much like the environment on Earth, conditions in space are worsening. Today, 20,000 pieces of debris are threatening the safety of our planet’s orbit. MIT Space Lab Director and Lavin Speaker Danielle Wood is leading the charge on a new Space Sustainability Rating developed to solve the problem. There is a startling amount of debris […]

“Hidden Figures Way”: NASA Unveils Street Named After Margot Lee Shetterly’s Bestselling Book

In 2016 Margot Lee Shetterly released Hidden Figures, a book about the three African-American women whose influential work helped America win the Space Race. The bestselling book was adapted into an Oscar-nominated film, and now NASA is using the name to honor the legacy of these unsung heroes. In Hidden Figures Margot Lee Shetterly tells […]

Can We Unite Society Through Empathy? Jamil Zaki Explores for The Economist.

How can empathy counteract political discord and alienation? According to Jamil Zaki, the answer is building it into our  institutions and interactions. The Economist’s Open Future Initiative spoke with Zaki on how we can begin to heal our fractured society, starting with his new book The War for Kindness. Empathy is the “psychological super-glue” that connects […]

How Do We Build Empathy in a Fractured World? Learn From Jamil Zaki’s The War for Kindness—Out Today.

As a child stuck in the middle of his parent’s contentious divorce, Stanford psychologist Jamil Zaki had his first lesson in empathy. “That two people’s experiences could differ so drastically, yet both be true and deep is maybe the most important lesson I’ve ever learned,” he writes in his new book The War for Kindness, which […]

Nina Tandon’s Revolutionary Bone Reconstruction Company Approved for FDA Trial

Nina Tandon’s company EpiBone has received FDA clearance to begin its first clinical trial—making it one step closer to providing patients with precision-fit skeletal implants grown from their own cells. Nina Tandon believes we are close to unlocking the regenerative capabilities of our own bodies. As the founder and CEO of EpiBone, Tandon uses stem […]

Nations in Crisis, a Biotech Revolution, and America’s Global Status: 3 Books—Out Today—Changing the Way We Navigate the World

Three eagerly-anticipated books drop today from Pulitzer Prize-winner Jared Diamond, MIT President Emerita Susan Hockfield, and National Book Award-winner George Packer. Here’s what’s being said about these brilliant new releases, and the speakers who wrote them. Jared Diamond | Upheaval: Turning Points for Nations in Crisis    In his international bestsellers Guns, Germs and Steel and Collapse, […]

Nicholas Thompson’s WIRED Cover Story on What Happened When Zuckerburg Set Out to “Fix” Facebook

WIRED Editor-in-Chief Nicholas Thompson is the go-to authority on the world’s most important story—how science and tech are changing our lives. His most recent cover story details the scandals, backstabbing, resignations, reboots, record profits and time bombs that characterized Facebook’s 2018—“it’s ultimately a story about the biggest shifts ever to take place inside the world’s biggest […]

How Do You Manage Change? By Booking the Best Innovation Speakers

The world is changing—fast. You want the best innovation speaker to help you navigate your future. The Lavin Agency represents the best innovation speakers—great minds on the front lines of their industry, working to make the world a smarter place.     Jeremy Gutsche is “an intellectual can of Red Bull” (Association Week), a New York Times bestselling author and one of our most booked […]

Twelve Lavin Speakers are Appearing at SXSW—Where the Boldest Minds With the Biggest Ideas Meet and Reach for the Future

South by Southwest (SXSW) is a conference that has dedicated itself to helping creative people achieve their goals. Since 1987, the festival has attracted the brightest stars on the forefront of their fields to give talks and have candid conversations about the future and their industry. This year twelve Lavin speakers were invited to speak.   […]

These Speakers—Behavioral Scientists, Grit Experts, and Psychologists—Help Audiences Stick to Their Goals

It’s a month into 2019, do you know where your New Year’s resolutions are? These speakers—behavioral scientists, grit experts, and psychologists—help audiences define and stick to their goals, both at work and at home.   Angela Duckworth is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Grit—her landmark work on the importance of passion, perseverance and […]

In Her Latest for The Atlantic, Emily Esfahani Smith Shows That Our Flaws Are More Attractive Than We Think They Are

“Often there’s a mismatch between how people perceive their vulnerabilities and how others interpret them. We tend to think showing vulnerability makes us seem weak, inadequate, and flawed—a mess. But when others see our vulnerability, they might perceive something quite different, something alluring.” Researchers call this “the beautiful mess effect” and Emily Esfahani Smith, standing-o […]

Top 10 Innovation Keynote Speakers

The world is changing—fast. Innovation and creativity are becoming the most valuable assets a company can hire for, encourage and cultivate. But how does innovation actually happen? What does it really look like in action? These innovation keynote speakers are professors, entrepreneurs, scientists; they’re working on the front lines of innovation, helping you to better […]

Martin Ford’s New Book Reveals the Truth About AI, From the People Building It

Are we close to human-level machine intelligence? How will it impact on the job market, the economy, and society? What should we be concerned about, capitalizing on, and planning for? Martin Ford, New York Times bestselling author of Rise of the Robots and one of the world’s leading AI speakers conducted in-depth, wide-ranging interviews with […]

Steven Pinker’s Enlightenment Now is One of the New York Times’ Most Notable Books of 2018

In a follow-up interview with bestselling author and Harvard professor Steven Pinker, he explains (among other things) what gave him the idea for Enlightenment Now—a book about why and how the world is getting better. “It was an epiphany from seeing graphs of human improvement that changed my view of the overall course of history: that […]

Reducing Prejudice Requires Meaningful Conversation—but the Results Speak for Themselves, Says Dave Fleischer

Prejudice divides us, and to Lavin speaker Dave Fleischer, Director of the Los Angeles LGBT Center’s Leadership LAB, dismantling it is nothing less than a science. “Deep canvassing”—a method refined by Fleischer and his team—means knocking on doors to engage people in fact-based, personal conversations about subjects like gay marriage and transgender rights. The effect is tangible: real, data-verified change […]

It’s Easy to Empathize with One Person. Stanford’s Jamil Zaki Helps Us Scale Up.

“For decades, social scientists have documented a troubling quirk in human empathy: People tend to care more about the suffering of individuals, and less about the pain of many people.” In the wake of what seems like an increase in natural disasters around the world, empathy expert Jamil Zaki explores humanity’s tendency to feel less […]

In His New Book, Celebrated Philosopher Kwame Anthony Appiah Disarms Identity

The question of who you think you are is inextricably linked to what you think you are. That is, what gender, religion, race, nationality, class, culture. In Kwame Anthony Appiah’s latest book, The Lies That Bind, the celebrated philosopher and bestselling author explores, disarms, and repositions the collective, contradictory identities that are responsible not only […]

Empathy is a Skill. New Speaker Jamil Zaki Can Teach You How to Practice It.

Jamil Zaki is Director of the Stanford Social Neuroscience Lab, which aims to unpack, understand, and ultimately teach empathy: “empathetic practice becomes empathetic habits becomes empathetic people,” says Zaki in his acclaimed TED Talk. It’s a skill, he explains. We just have to start seeing it that way. Empathy isn’t a static figure. It moves […]

Nat Geo is Developing a TV Series based on Margot Lee Shetterly’s Hidden Figures

Hidden Figures—Margot Lee Shetterly’s runaway New York Times bestseller and the inspiration for the Academy Award nominated film—is being developed by the original producers into a series for Nat Geo, National Geographic’s cable channel. Shetterly’s book recounts the true story of the black women mathematicians at NASA who helped achieve some of America’s greatest achievements in space, […]

Fashion, Beer, and Lab-Grown Bones: Three Women Doing Business on Their Own Terms

Looking to learn from some of the top women in business today? Beyond leaning in, these dynamic, innovative leaders offer brilliant business strategies on growing and sustaining organizations using their own unique skill sets—whether that’s in luxury fashion (Maureen Chiquet), beer production (Manjit Minhas), or the lab (Nina Tandon). Maureen Chiquet – Empathy is a Necessity, Not a Luxury   Courageous conversations are […]

In His Brand New TED Talk, Steven Pinker Argues that the World is Getting Better. But, We Must Adjust Our Perception to See It.

“You can always fool yourself into seeing a decline if you compare bleeding headlines of the present with rose-tinted images of the past,” says speaker Steven Pinker in his just-released (and standing o-garnering) TED Talk. But, he goes on to ask, what does the trajectory of the world look like when we measure well-being over time using […]

Rebels Lead More Successful Lives. Francesca Gino’s New Book Rebel Talent (Out Now!) Will Help You Find the Rebel in You.

Francesca Gino has spent the last decade studying rebels and rule-breakers in organizations around the world, from high-end fashion boutiques in Italy to thriving fast food chains. The result is her new book Rebel Talent, a groundbreaking analysis of those who routinely defy the status quo, embrace the unfamiliar, and end up happier and more […]

“An intellectually exhilarating book.” Raves Pour In For Steven Pinker’s Enlightenment Now, His Masterpiece on Human Progress

Compelling speaker, bestselling author, and Harvard psychology professor Steven Pinker has already received the ultimate book review from Bill Gates: “It’s my new favorite book of all time.” Now, a week after the publication of Enlightenment Now—a masterfully argued and timely defense of reason, science and humanism in the face of tribalism, authoritarianism, and demonization—a fresh […]

Ignore the Headlines, Says Harvard Professor Steven Pinker. Out Today, His New Book Explains Why The World is Doing Better Than You Think.

Newspaper headlines are an endless stream of violence, destruction, and looming threats. But Harvard professor and leading cognitive psychologist Steven Pinker says that we’re actually living longer, healthier, and happier lives than ever before. In his much-anticipated book Enlightenment Now (already named one of The Guardian’s best of 2018 and declared by Bill Gates to be […]

“A Meeting of the Minds”: Steven Pinker and Bill Gates Discuss Human Progress and How the World is Getting Better

In advance of speaker Steven Pinker’s new book, Enlightenment Now, the Harvard professor sat down with Microsoft visionary and philanthropist Bill Gates to discuss the Enlightenment values of reason and science —which Pinker believes are still key to human progress —and why “we have no right to expect perfection.” Last year, Bill Gates called speaker Steven Pinker’s The Better Angels of Our […]

Productive Ease, Meaningful Work, Peaceful Communities: Three Speakers Offer Plans for Happiness at Work and Beyond

Consider the possibility of handling the everyday challenges of work, school, city dwelling, and creative pursuits with nothing more than your own mind. Speakers Daniel Lerner, Emily Esfahani Smith, and Charles Montgomery lay out straightforward actions towards living well, avoiding burnout, and maintaining your performance at work. Happiness is just one part of it.    Daniel Lerner: Balancing Passion with Everything Else     Sometimes it seems […]

Biotech. Beats. Big Ideas. Introducing MIT’s David Kong, the STEM Expert Who Wants to Bring Everyone Into the Lab.

How do we advance scientific progress? We need to be more inclusive, says new Lavin speaker David Kong, Director of MIT Media Lab’s new Community Biotechnology Initiative. We must bring art together with technology. More importantly, we need to invite different minds into the lab and classroom, changing the shape of our institutions. That’s how […]

Three Female Leaders Whose Talks Will Inspire the Next Generation

Women don’t run the world (yet). But these women in leadership speakers—Maureen Chiquet, Jessica Jackley and Margot Lee Shetterly—are some of the strongest in their field, offering dynamic insights into how they’ve leaned in and leveraged their unique skillsets to make it in predominantly male worlds.   As Global CEO of Chanel and President of Banana […]

What Can Black Holes Tell Us About Humanity? Janna Levin’s NOVA Episode Investigates

What’s more powerful, mysterious, and let’s be honest—existentially daunting—than a black hole? Tonight, the venerable PBS science show NOVA releases “Black Hole Apocalypse,” hosted by astrophysicist, author, and TED speaker Janna Levin. The two-hour special takes viewers on a journey to the frontiers of black hole science and (thankfully) back again.   Speaker, Yale professor, astrophysicist and […]

A.I. Expert Martin Ford Explains What Investors, Managers, (and Everyone Else) Need to Know About the Robotics Revolution

Martin Ford is one of the world’s leading A.I. speakers. He’s the bestselling author of Rise of the Robots and his TED talk has been viewed over a million times. Ford’s latest keynote breaks down some of the key tech underlying this revolution for non-tech audiences, and explains exactly what it means for everyone’s future.   Historically AI […]

Fighting Fake Stories with Real Ones: Lavin Signs David Rohde, Pulitzer Prize–Winner and News Director of NewYorker.com

David Rohde has covered wars in Afghanistan, Iraq and Bosnia. But tracking the polarization and propaganda of Trump’s presidency for NewYorker.com has been one of the toughest challenges of his career. On stage, he explains why “original, ethical, fact-based reporting” is more vital than ever. David Rohde: Online News Director, NewYorker.com Rohde works at the crossroads of contemporary politics. […]

The Best Speakers. The Best Writers. Lavin Exclusives Lead The Best American Writing of 2017

2017 is winding down, which means “best of” lists are burning up the Internet. But what about something you can read when the snow knocks out your Wi-Fi? The annual Best American series are a cultural barometer representing the upper echelon of writing. This year, six of our speakers are in them—a literal bounty of excellent writing.  The Best American Series  >   […]

Radical Creativity Lives Here: Derek Thompson’s Atlantic Cover Story Offers A Rare Look Inside Google “X”

“X” is Google’s highly secretive moonshot factory, where designers, psychologists, scientists and technologists try to come up with radical solutions to the world’s biggest problems, detached (in theory) “from the vagaries of the free market.” Atlantic senior editor Derek Thompson received a rare invitation to visit the factory, and it became this month’s cover story.   “X is perhaps the only […]

Seek a Life of Meaning, Not Happiness, Says Emily Esfahani Smith in Her New TED Talk

Our “single-minded obsession with happiness” is leading us astray, says speaker Emily Esfahani Smith in her just-released hit TED2017 keynote. Smith lays out the four pillars of wisdom that are not about banishing unhappiness, but rather, finding meaning within an emotional spectrum. “I used to think the whole purpose of life was pursuing happiness,” says Emily Esfahani Smith in […]

Watch These Videos on Getting—and Staying—Motivated from These 5 Uplifting Speakers

Momentum is easy to keep up when the coast is clear and the slope inclined in your favor. But what about when good fortune flags and fatigue sets in? As the summer holidays yield to first days of school and fiscal planning, we’ve put together a sampler of speakers who each approach the question of […]

The Lavin Weekly: American Violence, Problem Prosecutors, A Talk With Teju Cole, Women in STEM, and How to Live Longer

The Lavin Weekly is a round-up of our favourite speaker stories of the week. Sometimes our Lavin Speakers are the writers, sometimes they’re the subjects, but always they’re making the world a smarter place.  This week Rich Benjamin weighs in on Charlottesville; Emily Bazelon exposes a disturbing ethical apathy in American prosecutors; Teju Cole talks about […]

Success or Confidence: What Comes First? Lavin Talks to Dr. Jonathan Fader, Head of Mental Conditioning for the New York Giants

In his role as the Director of Mental Conditioning for the New York Giants, Dr. Jonathan Fader teaches already high-performing individuals to transcend their inhibitions. When not with the Giants, he helps other specialized workers—including New York Fire Department first responders—perform better within the everyday, often life-and-death pressures of their jobs. In this first part […]

Kwame Anthony Appiah: “Sometimes in Thinking About the World, the Truth Isn’t What You Need”

In his newly released book, As If: Idealization and Ideals, Kwame Anthony Appiah makes a compelling argument for the importance of “useful fictions” when it comes to understanding nature, society, and ourselves.   These useful fictions are not to be confused with “alternative facts,” says Appiah, currently a professor of philosophy and law at NYU, though his […]

“Data isn’t passive”: Artist Jer Thorp Uses Raw Data to Tell Human Stories

With the Office of Creative Research, data artist Jer Thorp and his team sought to “physically bring data into public space.” One of their final projects was We Were Strangers Once Too, a massive data sculpture that highlighted New York City’s rich history of immigration, installed just as President Trump’s original travel ban was announced. Now with […]

The Four Pillars of Wellbeing: New Speaker Emily Esfahani Smith on the Search for Meaning in a Happiness-Driven World

When Emily Esfahani Smith was in college, she began to see a curious pattern. Our “single-minded obsession with happiness” is leading people astray. As featured in her hit TED2017 keynote and new book, The Power of Meaning, Smith provides readers with four pillars of wisdom that are not about banishing unhappiness, but finding meaning within a varied emotional spectrum. […]

VIDEO: How Does Flirting Make a Happier City? Urban Design Consultant Charles Montgomery Explains

“Every city’s doing a little bit right,” said author and urban design consultant Charles Montgomery during his recent Lavin HQ visit. “And a lot wrong, unfortunately,” he adds with a smile. He’s worked on enough cities to know.  “It is necessary to consider human relationships in everything we build.” — Charles Montgomery Charles Montgomery speaks from the […]

“Leave your phone at home for a day” Suggests Daniel Lerner, Author of U Thrive: How to Succeed in College (and Life)

The advice that happiness expert and NYU professor Daniel Lerner offers in his just-released book U Thrive isn’t strictly for those embarking on their college years. “It’s for 30-year-olds, 40-year-olds, and 50-year-olds,” he told us in a recent visit to Lavin’s Toronto office.   “We just put it into context,” explains Lerner with a smile. In these two exclusive […]

Lavin Weekly: Young Adult Fiction, Workplace Dynamics, Grit, Prison, and the President

Last week our speakers covered a lot of topical ground. For the New Yorker, Eyal Press wrote about injustice in a Florida prison; Angela Duckworth discussed grit in Marie Claire; in Big Think, Esther Perel discussed navigating office life; The New York Times name-checked Angie Thomas (yet again!), and Matt Taibbi mapped the president’s path of fury in Rolling Stone. 1.) Author and journalist […]

Daniel Lerner: Can Success and Happiness Coexist?

Sometimes the measure of success comes down to how much mustard is on your lapel. Motivational speaker Daniel Lerner knows all too well, and has the dry-cleaning bills to prove it. The trick is in finding harmony between your passions, and knowing what you can’t live without. For Brightworks’ 7th Annual Innovation Day, Lavin speaker Daniel Lerner […]

What Makes New Technology So Addictive? Read Adam Alter’s New Book, Irresistible

Addiction is nothing new. But today, it’s all about tech: Facebook, Twitter, Netflix, Instagram, and the latest app keep us tied to our screens. So what makes these platforms so enticing? In Irresistible, Adam Alter breaks down the latest in behavioral addiction—and shows us how to kick the habit. Consider the amount of time we […]

Margot Lee Shetterly’s Hidden Figures Is a #1 NYT Bestseller and the #1 Film in America

Huge congratulations to Margot Lee Shetterly—her book, Hidden Figures, is a #1 New York Times bestseller, and its movie adaptation was #1 at this weekend’s box office! It’s an epic Civil-Rights history, but also a story of innovation, technology, and women breaking through in STEM fields. Hidden Figures follows Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan, and Mary Jackson, […]

What Does ISIS Really Want? Ask Our Newest Speaker, The Atlantic’s Graeme Wood

Graeme Wood’s Atlantic cover story “What ISIS Really Wants” was the most-read article on the Internet—the entire Internet—in 2015. In it, he delves deep into a group few of us truly understand. And in his keynotes, he asks—and answers—vital questions. What does ISIS actually want? Who are they? And how do they convince ordinary western citizens […]

“We need new heroes”—Time Features Margot Lee Shetterly’s Hidden Figures, the Untold Story of NASA’s Black Female Mathematicians

Margot Lee Shetterly’s Hidden Figures, the incredible true story of the black women mathematicians who helped America win the space race, is the subject of a lengthy feature in the latest issue of Time. The book is an instant bestseller, the film a star-studded affair out this Christmas, and the story—one of science, innovation, race, […]

What Do We Look for in Teammates, Candidates, and Leaders? Chia-Jung Tsay Reveals Our Non-Conscious Biases

Are the decisions we make truly grounded in logic, or is there some other factor at work? New speaker Chia-Jung Tsay studies the non-conscious beliefs that guide our everyday actions—in short, judgment biases. Why, for example, do recruiters prefer those with natural talent to those who grind it out with hard work? And why are […]

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 […]

New Videos: Daniel Lerner Helps You Find Your Passion

Positive psychology expert Daniel Lerner teaches NYU’s most popular elective, “The Science of Happiness”—a whirlwind of emboldening stories and actionable takeaways for improving mental health, well-being, and performance in all aspects of life. To Lerner, when we’re “harmoniously passionate” about something—when we do it because we love it, not because it’ll bring us fame or […]

Margot Lee Shetterly and NASA’s Black Women ‘Human Computers’ in NYT

Alan Shepard, John Glenn, and Neil Armstrong are the heroes of the Space Race, but soon a less-heralded, equally deserving set of names will join them: Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan, and Mary Jackson. Yes, all three are women. They’re also African-American—and the subjects of Margot Lee Shetterly’s upcoming book, Hidden Figures. And this week, both […]

“Calling it a memoir trivializes my reporting”: Suki Kim in The New Republic

Suki Kim’s Without You, There Is No Us is not a memoir. It’s a work of investigative journalism. And in an op-ed for The New Republic, Kim tells us exactly how far she had to go to defend this statement—to silence sexist notions that reduced her to her gender and cast aspersions on her expertise.  In […]

One Giant Leap: Introducing New Speaker Margot Lee Shetterly

Margot Lee Shetterly’s forthcoming book Hidden Figures goes behind the scenes of the Space Race to reveal some of its unheralded—but instrumental—contributors. It’s the true story of NASA’s female African-American mathematicians who helped achieve some of America’s proudest moments in space. And while the book is set to launch this fall, it’s also being adapted into a major […]

Future Shock: Chuck Klosterman’s But What If We’re Wrong? Out Now

Speaker and cultural critic Chuck Klosterman’s latest book, But What If We’re Wrong?, is now available. But What If We’re Wrong? is Klosterman’s ninth full-length effort, and has been hailed as “a series of intriguing thought experiments” by Publishers Weekly and a “clever, speculative book [that] challenges our beliefs with jocularity and perspicacity” by Kirkus. […]

New Videos: Adam Alter Breaks Down Consumer Choices

Adam Alter is fascinated by the decisions we make. Why do we buy certain products and ignore others? How do environmental cues—everything from the weather to colours to geography—shape our moods and interactions? In his New York Times bestseller Drunk Tank Pink, and in thought-provoking keynotes, Alter shares his insights on the science of human […]

Paul Tough’s Helping Children Succeed Now Available Online

Education speaker Paul Tough’s new book Helping Children Succeed is now available in its entirety online—gorgeously rendered with helpful graphics, charts, and embedded videos. If you’ve read Tough’s NYT bestseller How Children Succeed, Helping makes the perfect companion: a much-needed (and practical) exploration of how to overcome childhood adversity, both within the classroom and beyond. […]

Passion and Perseverance: Angela Duckworth’s Grit Hits Stores Today

One of the most talked-about new books in education is Angela Duckworth’s Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance, and it’s available for purchase today. The book is the culmination of years of research on the titular concept—an elusive blend of purpose and persistence that Duckworth believes may be paramount in determining high-level achievement. Since […]

The Winning Mindset: Introducing New Speaker Dr. Jonathan Fader

Increasingly, top-end companies and pro sports organizations employ behind-the-scenes performance experts who sharpen their teams’ mental skills for the task at hand. And among these specialists, Dr. Jonathan Fader is a first-ballot All-Star. As the performance psychologist for the New York Mets, he helps players overcome their mental hurdles and attain peak performance. And in […]

Lavin Weekly #34: Levin, Ford, Kantayya, & Pinker

1. What Does the Cosmos Say? Janna Levin’s Black Hole Blues Profiled in The NYT Yesterday’s New York Times had some high praise for Janna Levin’s new book, Black Hole Blues, saying that it “dismantles the eureka convention of science, exposing the invisible, incremental processes that produce the final spark we call genius.” Black Hole Blues goes behind […]

#AskASpeaker #11: Twitter Q&A with Janna Levin

On Thursday, March 31, we spoke with cosmologist, author, and TED Speaker Janna Levin as part of our ongoing #AskASpeaker series: live Q&As on Twitter with our social media-savvy speakers. Levin’s currently promoting her recently-published third book, Black Hole Blues and Other Songs from Outer Space (Knopf): “a fascinating, firsthand history of the scientific pursuit to […]

First Look: Angela Duckworth’s New Book, Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance

What really drives success? Is it our families, our cultures, our upbringings? Our socio-economic status? Raw IQ, EQ, our genetics, even genius? According to renowned psychologist and education speaker Angela Duckworth, real achievement often comes down to “grit”: a special mixture of enthusiasm and determination that, as a concept, is redefining more than just education. In […]

Why ‘Grit’ Shouldn’t Be Graded: Angela Duckworth’s March NYT Op-Ed

Last week, psychology professor and education speaker Angela Duckworth wrote an op-ed in The New York Times addressing a problematic trend in education accountability systems—and one she worries that she may have contributed to, however inadvertently. Educators are now seeing the value in teaching emotional and social skills in school—a shift that acknowledges Duckworth’s groundbreaking research into the […]

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,” […]

#AskASpeaker #9: Twitter Q&A with Maria Konnikova

The past Friday morning we had the pleasure of chatting with Maria Konnikova—the special guest of our ninth #AskASpeaker Q&A on Twitter. She’s the author of those oh-so-sharable New Yorker articles on human behavior, science, and psychology (her latest, for example, is on how people can learn to become resilient). But you’ve also probably heard of her […]

First Look: Janna Levin’s New Book, Black Hole Blues

Hot on the heels of the astounding discovery of gravitational waves comes Janna Levin’s newest book, Black Hole Blues and Other Songs from Outer Space. Available on March 29, Black Hole Blues is the authoritative story of the scientific campaign to record the soundtrack of our universe, told in gripping prose by one of the world’s […]

The Music of the Cosmos: Janna Levin and Songs from Outer Space

After decades of searching, scientists have finally detected gravitational waves from black holes—a discovery that confirms another aspect of Einstein’s theory of relativity, and marks a moment in science comparable to the discovery of the Higgs particle or the DNA sequence. For Lavin keynote speaker Janna Levin, this revelation also heralds the release of her […]

First Look: John Elder Robison’s New Book, Switched On

John Elder Robison—bestselling author, neurodiversity scholar, and leading voice on autism—has a new book hitting stores on March 22. Switched On: A Memoir of Brain Change and Emotional Awakening tells the astonishing story of how Robinson underwent TMS, or Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation: Harvard’s cutting-edge brain therapy that can “unlock” emotional intelligence in people on the autism spectrum. The […]

First Look: Chuck Klosterman’s New Book, But What If We’re Wrong?

Exciting news! The New York Times bestselling author Chuck Klosterman has a new book on the way—and it’s slated for publication in June. But What If We’re Wrong?: Thinking About the Present As If It Were the Past—and its topsy-turvy cover design—were unveiled yesterday by Vulture. This sharp-looking new release is being described as a study of which […]

BrainCheck: David Eagleman’s New App Tests Cognitive Health in Under 5 Minutes

How well is your brain working? Just ask David Eagleman. A new iPad app developed by the visionary neuroscientist and TED speaker can assess your brain function in less than five minutes, and has the potential to revolutionize the way we measure brain health in athletes, at work, in our aging population, and much more. […]

First Look: Maria Konnikova’s New Book, The Confidence Game

Ever wonder why we so easily fall for scams, cons, and schemes? Why do we find exploiters and conmen so persuasive? To bestselling author Maria Konnikova, those too-good-to-be-true, once-in-a-lifetime offers are a perfect match for our brain chemistry. In fact, we’re wired to believe in the most duplicitous deals, and no one’s immune. In her new […]

Watch More Compelling Scenes from The Brain with David Eagleman

Our calendars are marked: the new six-part series The Brain with David Eagleman debuts on PBS on Wednesday, October 14th (just 20 days away). But while you wait, you can check out seven exclusive clips on the PBS website, each revealing another fascinating aspect of the series (the video below shows David Eagleman working through […]

Envy as Powerful Motivator: Maria Konnikova in The New Yorker

In her recent New Yorker column, psychologist Maria Konnikova asks the pointed question: “Can Envy Be Good for You?” Her answer? Yes, it can. “The right kind of envy can serve an important personal and social function,” she writes. “It spurs competition and improvement.” She’s not suggesting that we foster ruthless competitiveness. She also admits that […]

Surprising Truths About Human Behavior: Eric Klinenberg Talks to Fast Company

Renowned NYU sociologist Eric Klinenberg recently spoke with Fast Company about Modern Romance—his #3 New York Times bestseller and hilarious collaboration with Aziz Ansari. The book studies human behavior in the age of online dating, touching on the new and varied ways people communicate in today’s digital world. For Klinenberg, it was a way to […]

The Comedian & the Sociologist: Aziz Ansari & Eric Klinenberg tackle Modern Romance

Stand-up powerhouse and Parks and Recreation star Aziz Ansari releases his first book today, Modern Romance—a hilarious, thought-provoking look at dating. To write it, Ansari star teamed up with NYU sociology professor (and Lavin speaker) Eric Klinenberg. Together, the comedian and the sociologist designed a massive research project spanning hundreds of interviews across continents, from […]

The Brain with David Eagleman: A New TV Series Reveals the “Ultimate Story of Us”

“This is the story of how your life shapes your brain, and how your brain shapes your life,” begins the just-released trailer for David Eagleman's new PBS series, The Brain with David Eagleman. On the show, Eagleman will explore the human brain in an epic series that reveals the ultimate story of us, why we […]

Going Undercover in North Korea: Introducing New Speaker Suki Kim

Suki Kim—the first writer to go undercover in North Korea—is the newest addition to Lavin’s roster of keynote speakers. Kim's recent NYT bestseller Without You There Is No Us: My Time with the Sons of North Korea’s Elite is a harrowing and incisive account of her time there in 2011, during the last days of […]

First Look: Modern Romance, a New Book by Eric Klinenberg and Aziz Ansari

Sociologist and speaker Eric Klinenberg is releasing a new book this June. Modern Romance: An Investigation is a collaboration with comedian Aziz Ansari that explores the pleasures and perils of modern love: from texting to Tinder to the delicate use of the pizza emoji (check out the video above for a short clip of Ansari's […]

The Search for Meaning: Adam Alter on Why and When We Reflect on Our Lives

Late last year, New York Times bestselling author of Drunk Tank Pink Adam Alter published a fascinating new study in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences with Hal Hershfield. They revealed that age is more than just a number: as we approach a new decade in chronological age, we search for meaning. Here's the study's […]

Big Data Vs. “Cool Gurus”: Jeremy Gutsche on Market Research for the Digital Age

As the founder of Trendhunter.com, speaker Jeremy Gutsche relentlessly tracks and finds The Next Big Thing—that valuable but elusive commodity—for a global audience that generates millions of views a month. But how can businesses jump on board? In a major article, Profit Magazine features Gutsche and his work with big data at Trendhunter. “Trend Hunter, […]

First Look: Steven Pinker’s The Sense of Style Looks at Why Good Writing Matters

Cognitive scientist and bestselling author Steven Pinker returns with a new book this fall, The Sense of Style: The Thinking Person’s Guide to Writing in the 21st Century (September 30, 2014). It's already been hailed as “one of the best [books on writing] to come along in many years” (Kirkus Reviews). In a CBC News […]

First Look: Livewired, A New Book by Neuroscientist David Eagleman

David Eagleman is one of a kind—a neuroscientist, Guggenheim Fellow, and bestselling author who connects the science of the brain to literature, advertising, social media, and our justice system. His forthcoming book, Livewired: How the Brain Rewrites its Own Circuitry (Spring 2015), is a fascinating presentation of his new theory about the brain's capacity to […]

Driving Progress: Lavin Speakers Chosen for GOOD 100

The GOOD 100 is a compendium of people, ideas, and programs changing our planet for the better. We're so pleased to see Lavin speakers Negin Farsad and Cesar Harada on this year's list, alongside Randi Zuckerberg, Barbara Bush, environmental activist Ma Jun, and Moscow journalist Dmitry Aleshkovsky. Negin Farsad is one of the few Iranian-American […]

Charles Montgomery: An Engaged City is a Happy City [VIDEO]

For those who ignore their surroundings, for those who think cities are simply infrastructural boxes storing people and jobs, Charles Montgomery’s new video (embedded above) will come as a shot in the arm. The urban experimentalist and Happy City author presents the city as a force for good—a force for happiness. How effective a city […]

How to Grow a Bone Without a Body: Nina Tandon’s New TED Video

TED Senior Fellow and science speaker Nina Tandon is the co-founder of EpiBone, the world’s first company growing living human bones for skeletal reconstruction. In a new TED video (embedded above), Tandon and her co-founder Sarindr Bhumiratana describe the work they're doing and the incredible impact it could have on human health. “If you need […]

Pick Of The Week: Happy City Author & Speaker Charles Montgomery

“We've come to a moment in time where we know how to build cities,” says cities speaker Charles Montgomery, “we've got that down—we can cram people into cities. And yet, we haven't figured out how to live well in cities.” He wants to change that. In this edition of “Picks of the Week,” we're taking […]

Cover Story: (Robert) Vijay Gupta, “The Most Interesting Man in the [Philharmonic]

According to the Los Angeles Downtown News, (Robert) Vijay Gupta is “The Most Interesting Man in the [Philharmonic Orchestra].” And we'll be the first to agree! Not only is he the youngest player in the Los Angeles Philharmonic, but the virtuoso violinist has also become a world renowned advocate for the redemptive and regenerative power of […]

The Hidden Power Of Names: A Live At Google Keynote From Adam Alter

“You'll laugh, you'll gasp, you'll shake your head in disbelief as [Adam Alter] shows you that we are all, to some degree, balls in a giant pinball machine.” That's what fellow Lavin speaker Jonathan Haidt said of Alter's Drunk Tank Pink. In the New York Times bestseller, the science speaker shows us that many of […]

Why Does Time Seem To Slow Down In Dangerous Situations? David Eagleman

Have you ever wondered why time seems to pass by at a snail's pace sometimes? So did science speaker David Eagleman. That's why he dove into the idea—literally—by testing out why we perceive time as moving slower than usual while in a life-threatening situation. As he recalls in his newest Big Think segment (embedded above), […]

Google Talks: George Packer On The Unwinding Of America’s Social Contract

“We are both more free and less equal than a generation ago,” new speaker George Packer tells the audience at a Google Talk. “We are more inclusive and more stratified.” This shift in American life, the erosion of the “social contract,” is what Packer deems “The Unwinding.” It's also the title of his New York […]

Are We Lazy In The Summer? Maria Konnikova, The New Yorker

It's summertime: The sun is shining, the weather is beautiful, and you're sitting at your desk—wishing you were anywhere else. Maria Konnikova, author of Mastermind, says you aren't the only one whose brain metaphorically wilts in warm weather. In fact, the science speaker points to new research that shows most of us experience decreased productivity […]

Anatomy Of A Dissenter: Eyal Press On Why People “Break Rank”

“Generally speaking with whistleblowers, they are not doing what comes naturally to them,” Eyal Press tells Uprising Radio. “They are doing exactly what, in a sense, violates everything that they grew up believing or thinking.” Press is the author of Beautiful Souls: The Courage and Conscience of Ordinary People. In the book, he chronicles the […]

Mastermind In The Making: Maria Konnikova On What Inspired Her New Book

As a young child, science speaker Maria Konnikova was a big fan of Sherlock Holmes. As she recounts in this podcast, her father would read her Sir Arthur Conan Doyle books every Sunday night while she was growing up. But it wasn't until she was much older—and working on a piece on mindfulness—that she realized […]

Time Perception & Keeping Secrets: David Eagleman In Big Think

Science speaker David Eagleman has unlocked fascinating new explanations about the way our brains work. A highly sought after voice on neuroscience, Eagleman is a bestselling author and the founder/director of the Initiative on Neuroscience and Law. Here are a few of his latest Big Think articles that tap into the puzzling processes that happen […]

A “Comfortable Fiction”: Adam Alter On Free Will Vs. Determined Action

The idea that we make decisions based on completely rational thinking is what Adam Alter calls “comfortable fiction.” We tell ourselves that we are in control of the actions we take. We do this so we feel that our choices matter. But in fact, the science speaker and Drunk Tank Pink author says cues in […]

Job Interviews Don’t Always Determine The Best Hires: Maria Konnikova

Nor sure why that last job interview didn't quite pan out the way you expected? Maria Konnikova, author of Mastermind, says it may not have been all your fault. The format of the interview itself, and the hiring bias it creates, could be more to blame for poor hiring choices than we realize. In her […]

Don’t Play It Safe: Big Data Speaker Jer Thorp On Starting Your Career

Jer Thorp didn't get to where he is today by playing it safe. The big data speaker and National Geographic Emerging Explorer carved his own path and took chances along the way. “It all started out of an act of rebellion,” Thorp says in National Geographic of how he started his career visualizing data. He […]

Brain Vs Mind: David Eagleman On The True Driver Of Our Behavior

With the onset of President Obama's BRAIN Initiative, neuroscience has been pushed to the forefront of public discourse. David Eagleman, a renowned neuroscientist and science speaker, has argued that we've barely scratched the surface of what we know about our brains. What's more, we are still trying to uncover the way our physical brains and […]

From “Bourgeois” To Benevolence: Jake Porway Uses Big Data To Do Good

Big data has big potential. But Jake Porway, data scientist and new Lavin speaker, thinks there's been too great a focus on the “bourgeois” applications of data science. “The things that people would do with it seemed so frivolous—they would build apps to help them park their car or find a local bar,” Porway tells Wired. […]

Seek Questions, Not Answers: A Big Data Keynote by Jer Thorp

We all have big hopes for what big data can do for us. But before we can put these metrics to good use, we must humanize and understand the context of it all. That's what Jer Thorp, a prominent speaker on big data, does with his data visualizations. At a symposium held at Caltech, the […]

We Can’t Keep Microbes Out: Jessica Green On The New Era Of Design

You can't see it, but there's a diverse ecosystem of microbes sharing your office with you. In fact, as science speaker Jessica Green says in a Smart Planet article, “in the place where we spend 90 percent of our lives—indoors—there’s as great a diversity as you would see in a tropical rainforest.” These microbial ecosystems are […]

Personal Risk: Maria Konnikova On Thinking Logically—Not Emotionally

Angelina Jolie recently made headlines when she announced that she'd elected to have a preventative double mastectomy. In a provocative new Salon article, science speaker Maria Konnikova uses Jolie's case as the springboard for a discussion on evaluating personal risk. While the Mastermind author says there's much to applaud both in Jolie's decision to have […]

Nathan Wolfe: Pandemics On The Rise—Virus-Eradicating Tech Close Behind

A deadly new virus, by the name of the Middle East Respiratory Symptom coronavirus (MERS), has emerged as a growing global threat. If there's anyone you want on your side to assess these kind of threats, it's science speaker and virus hunter Nathan Wolfe. In a recent edition of The National Geographic, Wolfe was asked […]

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 […]

Think Pink: Adam Alter Talks Psychology of Design on CBS

What would prompt someone to paint their walls an obnoxious and unpopular bubble-gum pink? As science speaker Adam Alter explains in an interview with CBS Sunday Morning, a certain shade of vibrant pink (commonly referred to as Drunk Tank Pink) tends to have a calming effect on the people exposed to it. This was discovered […]

Design-Inspired Health Care: John Maeda at TEDMED 2013 [VIDEO]

“Becoming a leader isn't about going up the mountain—it's about jumping off the mountain and asking the question, will you survive?” says John Maeda in his keynote at this year's TEDMED conference. Actually, as he later clarifies, leadership is not only asking if you'll survive jumping off the mountain—but whether you'll thrive doing so. This […]

Mind Break: Maria Konnikova On Unlocking Creative Potential

While memories of being read Sherlock Holmes as a child always seemed to pop up throughout her life, science speaker Maria Konnikova says it wasn't until fairly recently that she re-read the books in their entirety. And when she did, she recalls being “absolutely flabbergasted at how many psychological concepts I recognized in Conan Doyle's […]

Adam Alter: Why Don’t We Know What Cues Are Driving Our Behavior?

In his new book, Drunk Tank Pink, science speaker Adam Alter has uncovered some fascinating findings about how cues in our environment impact our behavior. Since scientists are now able to pinpoint these cues, Malcolm Gladwell asks Alter why we can't identify them as they happen to us. Why aren't we able to tell that […]

Being The “Other”: Director Mira Nair On Cultural Identity

“Living in America, in the 10 years since 9/11, it has been very disturbing to see how little we know of the other side,” says film director Mira Nair in an interview with the BBC News. In her new film, The Reluctant Fundamentalist, the diversity speaker shines a light on that “other side”, and addresses […]

Stocks & Sexual Attraction: Adam Alter & Malcolm Gladwell On Environmental Cues

“I think the effects of nature on behavior, our cognition, how we feel and think and react to all sorts of stresses, I think those effects are phenomenal, profound, and very powerful,” science speaker Adam Alter told Malcolm Gladwell recently. The two authors, gathered to celebrate Alter's New York Times bestseller Drunk Tank Pink, spoke […]

Uncertainty Scares Us: Maria Konnikova On Overcoming our Need For Closure

“The human mind is incredibly averse to uncertainty and ambiguity,” science speaker Maria Konnikova explains in an intriguing new post in The New Yorker. “From an early age, we respond to uncertainty or lack of clarity by spontaneously generating plausible explanations.” We have developed a “Need For Closure,” says Konnikova. Because of our desire to […]

Janna Levin: Are There Some Theories We Will Never Understand?

In a talk Janna Levin gave for TVO's Big Ideas Series (embedded above), the science speaker says an idea presented in her book, A Madman Dreams of Turing Machines, still haunts her today and influences the work she does as a mathematical physicist. The book is a cross between science and fiction that chronicles the […]

Sustainability vs Destruction: Jared Diamond’s Keynote On Climate Change

“The metaphor that I think of for the state of the world at the moment is that we are engaged in a horse race,” science speaker Jared Diamond says in an Earth Day keynote, “a race between the horse of destruction and the horse of sustainability.” This horse-race-as-climate-change metaphor, he explains, is not a normal […]

The Economist Praises Director Mira Nair’s “Potent” Storytelling

Mira Nair's “inquisitive nature and social conscience combined with a healthy appetite for storytelling has proved to be a potent mixture on screen,” The Economist writes. Her newest film, The Reluctant Fundamentalist, is “both compelling and unsettling to watch,” the article continues. Coinciding with the recent American release of the film, Mair was interviewed by […]

Prospect‘s World Thinkers List Includes Four Of Lavin’s Exclusive Speakers!

Prospect Magazine has released its list of World Thinkers 2013—naming four of Lavin's exclusive speakers to the ranks! Rounding out the top 3 was science speaker Steven Pinker for the ideas presented in his latest book, The Better Angels of Our Nature. Also honored on the list was Jared Diamond, James Robinson, and Daron Acemoglu. […]

Why We Do What We Do: Malcolm Gladwell Interviews Adam Alter

In Drunk Tank Pink, science speaker Adam Alter lists example after example of unexpected cues in our environment that shape and influence our behavior. He explains that everything from the color of your shirt to the first initial of your name can profoundly influence how you—and others you come into contact with—behave. If these effects […]

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 […]

Inception: David Eagleman Critiques The Film’s Perception Of Time & Dreams

Inception, the nearly one billion dollar-grossing blockbuster film from director Christopher Nolan, explores the way our brains perceive time in relation to dreams. While it may not have gotten the facts exactly spot-on, neuroscience speaker David Eagleman still found it to be compelling fodder for further discussion. As the renowned neuroscientist tells Metro, he wanted […]

Sharpen Your Financial Literacy: Salman Khan Teaches Better Money Habits

Education speaker Salman Khan has helped millions of people brush up on their learning with his revolutionary online school The Khan Academy. While he is perhaps best known for his YouTube videos that teach users science and math, he actually got his start in finance. A former hedge fund analyst, Khan told CBS News (embedded […]