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Anand Giridharadas

In an age of division, we can still come together in solidarity.

Internationally bestselling author of Winners Take All and The Persuaders | Former New York Times foreign correspondent | MSNBC political analyst

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We’re Wrong About How People Choose Their Politics (3:25)

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Why We Need to Reclaim Patriotism (3:41)

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Politics Is More Emotion Than Reason. Here’s How We Win (4:05)

Lavin Exclusive Speaker

Anand Giridharadas is a truth-teller and defender of democracy who gives audiences hope and shows what we can achieve together. Although it feels harder than ever to build a movement and come together for a common goal, Anand says all is not lost. We can find solidarity by reaching out to those who think differently from us, while still holding fast to what we believe. Anand is the internationally bestselling author of multiple books, including the New York Times bestseller The Persuaders. He shows how we can find connection, build stronger teams, and make change at every level, and leaves audiences with a powerful sense of hope.

“Incredibly hopeful. Every now and then, I come across something that makes me think in a completely new way, and this was one of those times.”— Brené Brown, New York Times bestselling author of Daring Greatly, on The Persuaders

Anand Giridharadas is the internationally bestselling author of multiple books, and one of our foremost voices on democracy, overcoming division, and how humans make and resist and grapple with change. In his work—as an author, a journalist, and a regular political analyst for MSNBC—he points us toward real, meaningful change, wider human solidarity, and hope. Whether you’re wrestling with how to improve your society or build a more cohesive team, Anand’s message has never been more crucial.

His newest book, The Persuaders, is a New York Times bestseller that explores how people and movements are changing minds by practicing a new art of persuasion for an age of extremes and refusing to write off those who don’t agree. The lessons Anand took from that research are useful not only in political debates but also in the contexts of our workplaces, campuses, and communities. He shows us how to stand bravely for what you believe in while staying open to other viewpoints; how to distinguish those you can and need to win over from those you can’t and don’t; how to draw out and make use of the complexity of those who disagree with you; how to persuade by trying to displace rather than replace others’ ideas; how to use language more effectively to win others over; how variously to grab attention, provoke, assuage, attract, and pick fights in service of your goal. He draws on the work of activists, organizers, scientists, and others to offer us a new “persuaders playbook”: proven strategies for coming together and making change. The New York Times writes, “While the world seems to counsel despair, The Persuaders is animated by a sense of possibility.”

His previous book Winners Take All, a New York Times and global bestseller, is an award-winning investigation into how the global super-elite uses the appearance of “changing the world” to maintain the status quo that serves them and obscure their role in causing the problems they claim to be solving. Anand demonstrates how structural change is American life, and has inspired audiences around the world with his clarion call for real change and democracy in more than name only. Winners Take All was named one of the best books of the year by The New York Times, NPR, and Financial Times and won 1-800-CEO-READ’s Business Book of the Year Award.

Anand is also the author of the books The True American, which anticipated the rise of white rage, and India Calling, as well as a former longtime foreign correspondent and columnist for The New York Times. He has also written for The New YorkerThe Atlantic, and TIME, and is the publisher of the newsletter The Ink. He has received the Radcliffe Fellowship, the New York Public Library’s Helen Bernstein Award, and Harvard University’s Outstanding Lifetime Achievement Award for Humanism in Culture, among others. Anand has given the opening keynote at the Obama Foundation Summit and spoken around the world, including at the New Yorker Festival, the Sydney Opera House, and twice on the TED Mainstage.

Speech Topics

Social Justice
The Case for HopeWe Can Still Build the Future We Want
In an age of overlapping crises, many of us are losing hope. But Anand Giridharadas argues that we can and should be hopeful right now. We don’t have to accept our current polarization and stagnation and democratic erosion. We can focus on what brings us together, and prevail in our fight for a better world.
Drawing on his New York Times bestseller The Persuaders, Anand reveals lessons from the remarkable work of on-the-ground organizers and activists, educators, cognitive scientists, and others: people and teams making a tangible difference in their communities—maybe even in yours. He offers us a new “persuaders playbook”: proven strategies for coming together across divides and creating change in the world despite obstacles.
This is a crucial discussion for anyone who wants to transcend our divides, be able to talk to each other again, and fight for democracy and freedom. Anand’s engaging anecdotes and practical advice will help you better understand how we got to this point, and how we can still reclaim the future we want. Audiences will come away energized and hopeful for the work ahead.
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The New Art of PersuasionChanging Minds Without Changing Your Values (or Theirs!)
It is easy to win others over if you stand for nothing. And this persuasion by dilution is what we so often see in our politics and our organizations. Bestselling author Anand Giridharadas was interested in a different kind of persuasion in reporting his book The Persuaders: Is it possible, he wondered, to change others’ minds, bring teams and communities together across difference, and deliver real change—without compromising your own values?
In this talk, Anand sheds light on “the new art of persuasion” in an age of division and anger. It’s about standing firmly and bravely for your values, while improving the ways in which we reach out to others and pull them in.
Anand draws on the reporting he did for his New York Times bestseller The Persuaders, sharing stories of individuals and small groups of people who, despite their relative lack of power, managed to find the right leverage points and strategies to change entire systems, organizations, and conversations. He reveals tried-and-true techniques used by the world’s most prominent change-makers, and shows us how to use them in our everyday lives. Whether you’re looking to become a better leader, build stronger teams that come together in spite of differences, or eliminate bias and conflict at work, Anand will show you how to make change on a personal, organizational, and societal level.
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Politics & Society
An Evening with Anand Giridharadas
As a journalist, writer, television personality, and public thinker who has reported from around the world and written four books (including two New York Times bestsellers), Anand Giridharadas brings to audiences a wide-ranging view of a world in tumult—and what we can do to reclaim our communities and build the future we want. In his compelling “evening with” talks, typically delivered in the format of a fireside chat with an interviewer, Anand can cover topics like democracy, current events, the art of persuasion, plutocracy and philanthropy, the promise of diversity, and how we can make real change. The topics can be tailored to your needs.
Anand can also bring an interactive component to your event, engaging in discussion with a moderator or even acting as facilitator in a town hall for your audience. Asking incisive questions, calling participants onstage for dialogue, and interjecting with his own unique and humorous perspective, Anand helps audiences to workshop ways to come together across difference and inspires a newfound understanding of the variety and power within groups.
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Featured Books

Winners Take All
The Elite Charade of Changing the World
The True American
Murder and Mercy in Texas
India Calling
An Intimate Portrait of a Nation's Remaking

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