The Lavin Agency Speakers Bureau

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

Futurist Douglas Rushkoff Announces New Four-Part Docuseries, Exponential

The author, philosopher and futurist Douglas Rushkoff just announced his latest project: a four-part docuseries called Exponential, where he will lead viewers on a journey from the beginning of the digital age through to its manifestation today—and what it could look like tomorrow.

The series, ordered by European culture broadcaster Arte, will focus on the transformation of the digital economy. Host Rushkoff will share how big business is changing the digital world and how we interact with it—and each other. Starting with the inception of the internet, he’ll explore how our increased connectivity has impacted consumerism, and what we can do to get back on course to a more human-centric future.


Of the project, Rushkoff says, “For the past 25 years, I’ve watched as the tremendous potential of the digital age was surrendered to the mindless pursuit of exponential growth. Everyone–and I mean everyone from cab drivers to parents to journalists to teenagers–is ready to see the story of how this unfolded, who is responsible, and what we can still do about it.”


Rushkoff is the author of fifteen bestselling books, including Throwing Rocks at the Google Bus, Program Or Be Programmed, and Team Human. He is also the host of popular podcast Team Human, and was named one of the world’s 10 most influential thinkers by MIT.


Exponential will be produced and represented for international distribution by LA’s Submarine, and France’s Pumpernickel Films.


To book speaker Douglas Rushkoff, contact his exclusive speakers bureau, The Lavin Agency. 

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: food, water, and energy, to name a few. Susan Hockfield, author of The Age of Living Machines, spoke to celebrated science personality Bill Nye about the new challenges humanity will face. “If everything goes well, […] not only will there be more people, but the people are going to be wealthier, they’re going to be healthier, and they’re going to want an energy-intensive lifestyle,” she explains, meaning that our energy demands will double, and we’ll likely need to produce twice as much food as we do now—but on less land.


The only way to keep up is to use this new toolbox of biology parts to engineer and build new technologies. For example, when addressing the energy crisis, Hockfield explains that it’s not just about producing renewable energy, but coming up with better storage for it. “We let nature’s genius build better batteries,” she says, giving the example of the abalone sea snail that builds its shell out of component parts from nature. “Abalone build the technology they need without contaminating our world. Why can’t we?”


Listen to the full podcast, here.


To book speaker Susan Hockfield for your next event, contact The Lavin Agency today, her exclusive speakers bureau.


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 trialmaking 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 cells and 3D printing to “grow” skeletal implantsthereby replacing the need for synthetic materials like metal and plastic, which fail over time. 


“Right now, when an implant fails, we just go back and repeat the surgery. But when we take a personalized approach, we can actually circumvent these limitations,” Tandon explains. The decrease in the need for secondary surgeries will gradually lift some of the stress on our healthcare system, proving that personalized methods don’t have to be more expensive. 


EpiBone’s technology also eliminates the need to “harvest” bone from other areas of a patient’s body, thereby reducing pain, surgical time, and the length of recovery. Instead, after scanning the bone defect, stem cells are taken from a patient’s fat cells and placed in an incubator that mimics the natural environment of the body (using animal bone and cartilage). The result is functional bone and cartilage that emerges ready for implantation, and provides a precision fit. 


In its first human clinical trial approved by the FDA, EpiBone plans to enroll six patients to demonstrate the safety and effectiveness of its technology. “We are proud of the work that has been put into this IND, and are grateful to our entire team,” Tandon said. “Our goal is to help as many patients as we can to regain optimal form and function, in the most seamless, long-term, and natural way possible.”


Curious to learn more about advancements in Science? Check out our dedicated Science Keynote page.  

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

Hidden FiguresMargot 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, including winning the space race. In talks, she celebrates these unsung heroes and highlights issues of race, gender, science and innovation against the backdrop of WWII and the Civil Rights era.  

Hidden Figures: The Female Mathematicians of NACA and NASA


To book Margot Lee Shetterly, or another STEM speaker, contact The Lavin Agency.   

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 in creative, disruptive, and surprisingly beautiful ways. 

Alan Lightman – Theoretical Physics and Fiction 


The Guardian says that Lightman’s new novel “is full of insight into some of the mysteries of the physical world, as well as the physics of mystery.” As a speaker, too, Lightman bridges the gap between the worlds of art, the humanities, and science, and is an internationally recognized thinker on the meaning of science for understanding ourselves. He speaks elegantly about creative and scientific processes; the role of intuition and imagination; the meeting of science and faith; and the wonder and fragility of human nature.


David KongTranslating Microbes into Music


At the MIT Media Lab, David Kong is a passionate, brilliant exponent of biotechnology: the next major scientific innovation to transform life as we know it. Kong also works to ‘culture hack’ biotech’s limited public perception, and connect the discipline with diverse cultural languages—like hip-hop. His ‘Biota Beats’ project uses a microbial record player to translate microbes from the human body into music (he’s even sampled DJ Jazzy Jeff’s unique makeup). 


SB7.0 Day 4 - David Kong


Margot Lee Shetterly –  STEM on the Screen


Hidden Figures—a #1 New York Times bestseller and inspiration for a #1 movie—is the true story of the black women mathematicians at NASA who helped fuel some of America’s greatest achievements in space. In talks, Shetterly celebrates these unsung heroes, teasing out issues of race, gender, science, and innovation against the backdrop of WWII and the Civil Rights Era. 


To book speakers Alan Lightman, David Kong, or Margot Lee Shetterly for your next event, contact one of The Lavin Agency’s knowledgeable agents today.