• business strategy

Strategy Speakers

The business challenges of today are daunting — and invigorating. And Lavin’s strategy speakers are up for them. Drawing on real-world experience, they speak on the best practices that improve much more than just the bottom line.

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Alexandra Samuel

Tech writer and data journalist | Author of Remote Inc.

COVID-19 has meant a dramatic shift in the way we work—from the time-honored tradition of the office, into the “new normal” of working from home, and the shift to a hybrid workplace. As a technology strategist, data journalist, and author, Alexandra Samuel has spent much of her twenty-five-year career as a remote worker. Her new book Remote Inc., as well as her accompanying talks, show us how to thrive outside the office using the entrepreneurial mindset and habits of remote professionals.
Sarah Kaplan

Director, Institute for Gender and the Economy at Rotman School of Management | Author of The 360° Corporation

Today’s businesses have to answer to more than just shareholder demands. Stakeholder pressures have companies pulled in many different directions, from employees who want meaningful work; to consumers who want sustainable products; to activists monitoring companies’ social and environmental footprint. In talks, as well as her book The 360° Corporation, Rotman professor Sarah Kaplan shows us how the trade-offs we make to fulfill these pressures—along with shareholder demands—can be an opportunity for innovation, organizational resilience, and business transformation.
David Cote

Leadership Keynote Speaker | Former Chairman & CEO of Honeywell | Author of Winning Now, Winning Later

When it comes to manufacturing, David Cote stands in a league of his own. The most successful leader of a Fortune 100 industrial conglomerate of his era, Cote joined Honeywell after a 25-year-career at GE. Under his leadership, Honeywell’s market capitalization climbed about an astonishing 100 billion dollars. Rather than fixating on either long-term strategies or quarterly results, Cote empowered his organization to pursue both simultaneously. In talks, he shows how to build a strategy that can sustain long-term investment—even when pressures to deliver in the present are at their most intense.
Jay Van Bavel

Professor of Psychology and Neural Science at NYU

One of our amazing qualities as human beings is our ability to work together—yet that doesn’t mean it always comes easily to us. In fact, many organizations today prioritize competition over cooperation in an effort to increase their bottom line. Jay Van Bavel is an NYU Professor who studies everything from group identity and team performance, to cooperation and decision-making. His work reveals the lesser-known benefits of cooperation, and in talks, he shows us how to create a cooperative strategy that boosts performance and well-being.
David Wallace-Wells

Author of the Instant New York Times Bestseller The Uninhabitable Earth

The future is being transformed by climate change, faster and more dramatically than we realized. In his critically-hailed instant New York Times bestseller The Uninhabitable Planet, David Wallace-Wells tells the epic story of our time. He asks key questions—how will the map of global power shift as coastlines are redrawn?—and reminds us that everything is within our control, so long as we resist complacency.
 
Ellen Bennett

Founder and CEO of Hedley & Bennett | Author of Dream First, Details Later

At 25 years old Ellen Bennett was a cook at a 2-Michelin-Star restaurant in Los Angeles; yet she was still tying on the same $5 apron found in every diner and pub along Hollywood Boulevard. So she took her modest $300 savings and turned it into the largest gourmet apron manufacturer in the world. Now the founder and CEO at Hedley & Bennett—a brand beloved by the likes of Martha Stewart and Momofuku’s David Chang—this culinary entrepreneur explains how you, too, can jumpstart your own idea with charisma and heart. 
 
Safi Bahcall

Award-Winning Biotech Entrepreneur | Author of Loonshots

Author of Loonshots, the book Daniel Kahneman calls “Not to be missed by anyone who wants to understand how ideas change the world,” Safi Bahcall shows how we can stoke innovation, create better leaders, and support “loonshots”: the imperfect but ingenious ideas that have the potential to change the world. 
Mark Johnson

Co-Founder of Innosight | Author of Lead from the Future and Reinvent Your Business Model

How can you reinvent your business in the face of disruption—and come out stronger, more resilient, and more profitable than before? Just ask Mark Johnson, award-winning business author and co-founder of the innovation consultancy Innosight. There, he helps leaders and organizations develop the visionary ideas that lead to breakthrough change, and execute them with startling efficiency. As practical as it is creative, Johnson’s work not only stimulates new growth, but manages company-wide cultures of transformation. 
Shoshana Zuboff

Author of The Age of Surveillance Capitalism | Harvard Business School Professor Emerita | Activist and Scholar

As we attempt to grasp the consequences of our digital era, Shoshana Zuboff’s The Age of Surveillance Capitalism “shines a searing light on how this latest revolution is transforming our economy, politics, society—and lives” (Financial Times). Zuboff outlines the consequences of putting a price on private data, and urges business leaders to pay attention, resist habituation, and come up with novel responses to this new era. 
Nita Farahany

Legal Scholar & Ethicist | Director of the Duke Initiative for Science & Society

At the intersection of neuroscience and artificial intelligence lies a wealth of opportunity for business, labour, and society at large. Yet along with progress comes a host of ethical dilemmas. As a leading scholar and neuro-ethicist who has advised the United States Congress, Nita Farahany considers what our neurological information is worth, and the  implications of making it available to corporations, workplaces, and government.
Laura Huang

Harvard Business School Professor | Author of Edge

In the elusive pursuit of success, you need an edge, says Harvard professor Laura Huang, one of the top business school professors in America. Huang’s talks show how you can make your hard work “work harder for you” by comprehending the factors that have little to do with your talent and effort—and everything to do with making the most of them.  
 
Ajay Agrawal

Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning Expert | Founder of the Creative Destruction Lab | Co-Author of Prediction Machines

Artificial Intelligence researcher and economist Ajay Agrawal’s talks illuminate the incoming realities of AI: how machine prediction is on the verge of presenting us with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to change the way we do business, “drive” cars, run governments, and provide healthcare. 
 
Heather McGhee

Author of New York Times Bestseller The Sum of Us

What if, in the middle of your live TV appearance, someone called in and asked for advice in overcoming racial prejudice? For public policy expert and speaker Heather C. McGhee, the response was natural—she helped. From the personal to the corporate, McGhee’s talks kickstart a much-needed cultural effort towards putting systemic repair into action. 
András Tilcsik

Co-Author of Meltdown: Why Our Systems Fail and What We Can Do About It

Due to their incredible complexity, our modern systems—from healthcare to travel, finance to media—are primed for failure. In his fiercely anticipated book Meltdown, András Tilcsik offers a timely remedy. Not only a convincing diagnosis of why complexity creates failure in systems, it’s a practical guidebook to preventing the next disaster—before it strikes.
 
Susan Pinker

Psychologist and Author of The Village Effect and The Sexual Paradox

Award-winning author and psychologist SUSAN PINKER is a keen observer of modern life. In her sharp and provocative writing, she examines the endless paradoxes of the human condition, and the way it affects our personal relationships, workplaces, and educational institutions. Pinker’s latest book, The Village Effect, makes a compelling argument for why digital networks will never replace genuine human contact—and why we need it to survive. And in talks, she applies her data-driven behavioral insights to help us transform our personal and professional lives.
 
Trend Hunter Team

The World’s #1 Trend Firm and Innovation Engine

With the Trend Hunter Team, you get a diversely talented group of speakers who will show you—individually or together—what the trends in tech, business, retail and more can do for you before they explode. These speakers are immersed in trends on a daily basis, advising the world’s most innovative people at Disney, Coca-Cola, even NASA, on their areas of opportunity, and crafting Trend Hunter’s world-class culture. 
 
Charles Fishman

Author of The Big Thirst and One Giant Leap

The moon landing didn’t just inspire a nation—it proved that, with the right leadership, we can solve complex problems and innovate quickly and under pressure. In his New York Times bestseller One Giant Leap, Charles Fishman explains how NASA rose to the impossible challenge set before them—inventing both space travel and modern project management. In talks, Fishman applies the revolutionary lessons of Apollo 11 to today’s urgent problems in business, education, and public life.
 
Amber Mac

Digital Innovation Speaker | Co-Host of Marketing Disrupted and The AI Effect

Amber Mac is a writer, podcaster, entrepreneur and digital maverick whose understanding of disruptive technologies helps companies anticipate lightning-quick changes as they come—from Artificial Intelligence, to social media, to Amazon-era retail. No matter how confident and established the company, everyone needs a blueprint—and Mac’s talks provide you with just that.  
Jonathan Fader

Performance Psychologist | Former Director of Mental Conditioning for the New York Giants | Author of Life as Sport

When C-Suite executives, celebrity athletes, and emergency first responders want to improve their performance in high-stakes situations, they turn to Dr. Jonathan Fader. A performance psychologist to the nation’s top business leaders, and the former Director of Mental Conditioning for the New York Football Giants and the New York Mets, Fader applies proven psychological techniques from high-pressure, high-reward scenarios to everyday work and life situations.
Jonathan Brill

Global Futurist at HP | Innovation Expert

Everyone knows that technology is ushering in a new industrial era. Jonathan Brill doesn’t just see the future coming down the pike—he invents it. The Global Futurist at tech giant HP, Brill advises leadership on the company’s 10-year portfolio of opportunities and threats. His talks cut through the noise to identify what’s worth the investment—and how your business can prepare for tomorrow, today. 
Robb Willer

Prof. of Social Psychology & Organizational Behavior at Stanford | Director of the Polarization and Social Change Lab

Our current political climate hasn’t been this polarized since the Civil War, says social psychologist and speaker Robb Willer. An antidote to this hyper-polarization is Willer’s technique of “moral reframing,” which teaches opposing groups to advocate for their beliefs through the lens of their opponent’s. Willer’s brilliant, timely talks provide both the wisdom and tools needed to challenge polarization at a time when we need it more than ever. 
Sarah Lewis

Guest-Editor of Aperture’s “Vision & Justice” Issue | Author of The Rise | Associate Professor At Harvard

When we view race and justice through the lens of culture, we can enlarge our notion of citizenship, of who belongs and who counts. Sarah Lewis, an intellectual star and powerful speaker, has sparked a national conversation with “Vision & Justice”—the landmark issue of Aperture dedicated to photography of the black experience.   
Doug Stephens

Retail and Consumer Futurist | Internationally Acclaimed Author and Founder of Retail Prophet

Doug Stephens is one of the most influential retail futurists on the planet. His talks are required listening for any company that orbits the retail world. In fully customized and thoroughly researched keynotes, Stephens shows you how to stay ahead of the changing mega-trends in demographics, economics, and technology that are resetting your industry—and, what it takes to be truly innovative. 
 
Welby Altidor

Former Executive Creative Director at Cirque du Soleil | Group CCO, Cityneon

As Executive Creative Director for Cirque du Soleil, Welby Altidor was responsible for groundbreaking live events at one of the world’s most creative companies. His leadership there taught him that creativity isn’t reserved to a happy few, but the result of intentional practice: it can be found within us all. 
Markus Giesler

Consumer Sociologist | One of The 40 Best Business Professors Under 40

“Your view of life changes the moment you start looking left and right” says consumer sociologist and rebel marketing speaker Markus Giesler. What he means is that our innovations—products, services, experiences—shouldn’t be created in a vacuum.
 
Adam Bryant

Decade-Long Author of The Corner Office Column in The New York Times | Managing Director, Merryck & Co.

The challenges of leadership are uniquely and enormously difficult—the isolation and responsibility; the second guessing and criticism, particularly now as the speed of disruption quickens. But Adam Bryant, a veteran New York Times editor and columnist who is now a managing director at the executive mentoring firm Merryck & Co., is uniquely qualified to help us navigate leadership’s toughest challenges. Having interviewed more than 600 CEOs, Bryant’s new book The CEO Test offers razor-sharp distillations on leadership from the world’s best innovators.  
Lauren Eskreis-Winkler

Assistant Professor at the Kellogg School of Management | Speaker on Grit

Lauren Eskreis-Winkler is among a select group of people who can speak authoritatively on grit: steadfast resilience that predicts success better than talent. Her customizable and interactive talks draw on unique, hands-on research to teach you how to practice (and benefit from) grit on every level.
 
Katy Milkman

Wharton Professor | Choiceology Podcast Host | Author of How to Change

An expert in big data and behavioral economics, Katherine Milkman studies the ways we deviate from optimal choices—and how human decision-making can be improved. In her engaging talks, she offers accessible insights into how we can encourage good choices: in ourselves, our customers, and our employees. 
Yancey Strickler

Co-founder & Former CEO of Kickstarter | Author of This Could Be Our Future (Oct. 29)

Our current society is trapped by three assumptions, says writer and Kickstarter co-founder Yancey Strickler: that the point of life is to maximize self-interest and wealth; that we’re individuals trapped in an adversarial world; and that this is natural. Strickler urges us to discard these three  assumptions that limit our ability to imagine and innovate a new future. His electric keynotes show us how we got here and—more importantly—how we can turn this ship around. 
 
Randall Lane

Chief Content Officer of Forbes Magazine

Randall Lane is the chief content officer of Forbes Magazine, where he has helped it reach its highest-ever U.S. readership (6.7 million) with new emphases on young innovators and disruptors. These are people reimagining the rules for business and rethinking the potential for entrepreneurs to solve the world’s most intractable problems, whether through their business missions or philanthropy.   
 
Jeremy Gutsche

CEO of Trend Hunter | New York Times Bestselling Author of Create the Future

Jeremy Gutsche is “an intellectual can of Red Bull” (Association Week), a New York Times bestseller and a management consultant to brands, billionaires, and CEOs. He’s also the founder of Trendhunter.com: the world’s #1 trend-spotting site. With contagious enthusiasm, he shows us how to use methodical innovation to generate ideas and kickstart creativity in times of rapid change.  
Maria Konnikova

Contributing Writer for The New Yorker | New York Times Bestselling Author

When the world richest CEOs and most powerful government leaders met at the World Economic Forum in Davos to decide the fate of the world, they asked one person to speak on the critical skill of decision-making. Maria Konnikova is one of the word’s leading thinkers—and practitioners—of critical decision-making.  
Manjit Minhas

Founder of the 10th Largest Brewery in the World, Co-Star of CBC’s Dragons’ Den

A formidable speaker, Manjit Minhas is an entrepreneur and judge on Dragons’ Den who shares business lessons with equal parts force and finesse. Minhas runs a $187 million brewery that she and her brother built from scratch. Her unprecedented success demolished stereotypes, surprised her competitors, and cleared a path for entrepreneurs of every age and gender.  
Bonnie Brooks

CEO of Chico's FAS | Former CEO of Hudson’s Bay Company

“Leadership is about finding ways to get things done,” says Bonnie Brooks, the first female President and CEO of Hudson’s Bay Company, who, with sweeping, institutional changes, brought North America’s oldest company back from the brink of failure. Brooks’ impactful talks instruct on anticipating customers’ needs and desires—never following them. 
David Robertson

Senior Lecturer at MIT Sloan | Author of The Power of Little Ideas and of Brick by Brick

We tend to imagine innovation as slow, incremental change or else industry-shifting disruption. Yet for most companies, neither works. Innovation speaker and MIT Sloan professor David Robertson outlines a third way of innovation—actual working strategies for world-class companies that build on his groundbreaking study of Lego’s near-collapse and rise, Brick by Brick.    
Jessica Jackley

Co-Founder of Kiva, the microlending site, and Author of Clay Water Brick

You can do good and do well at the same time. Just ask Jessica Jackley, founder of KIVA, the world’s most successful microlending site. Jackley champions diverse skill sets, finding meaning in your work, and dreaming big. On stage, Jackley delivers an upbeat and enduring message: you can synthesize your disparate skills, as she did, to create a meaningful life and career. 
 
Chris Clearfield

Co-Author of Meltdown: Why Our Systems Fail and What We Can Do About It

We’re at a breaking point—today’s systems are so complex that major crises are not only imminent, but more common than ever. And that goes for every industry, regardless of size or scope. Enter Chris Clearfield. In the National Business Book Award-winning Meltdown, he offers a groundbreaking investigation into how complexity causes failure in systems—and how we can prevent them. 
András Tilcsik

Co-Author of Meltdown: Why Our Systems Fail and What We Can Do About It

Due to their incredible complexity, our modern systems—from healthcare to travel, finance to media—are primed for failure. And things are only getting worse. In his National Business Book Award-winning Meltdown, András Tilcsik offers a timely remedy. Not only a convincing diagnosis of why complexity creates failure in systems, it’s a practical guidebook to preventing the next disaster—before it strikes.
Joe Jackman

Founder and CEO of Jackman Reinvents

Traditional retail is under siege—and if your company can’t adapt, you disappear. That’s why iconic brands are turning to Joe Jackman. This retail veteran works with major companies to reinvent success from the inside out. From design to culture, customer experience to market share, Jackman helps brands rediscover value and bounce back—and shape billions in sales.
 
Maureen Chiquet

Former Global CEO of Chanel | Former President of Banana Republic

As Global CEO of Chanel—and, earlier, as President of Banana Republic—Maureen Chiquet steered global brands through a decade of disruption, and she did so with traditionally ‘feminine’ skills of empathy and communication. Now, she speaks on the value of having women in top leadership positions—and what we can all learn from injecting more compassion and collaboration into the workplace.
 
Michael Katchen

Founder and CEO of Wealthsimple

If Toronto is the Silicon Valley of the North – a thriving international hub of technological innovation–then Michael Katchen is one of its leading figures. Katchen is the founder and CEO of Wealthsimple, whose easy-to-use service has redefined investing for a young generation, and whose massive success has disrupted the financial services industry.
 
Joe Mimran

Founder, Joe Fresh | Co-Founder and Chairman of Gibralter & Company

Joe Mimran is known for his unique ability to create visionary brands from scratch. The retail magnate helped grow Joe Fresh, Club Monaco, and Alfred Sung—some of the industry’s most recognizable bran...

Erin Meyer

INSEAD Professor | Author of The Culture Map and No Rules Rules

How can a company achieve worldwide success in more than 190 countries? Just ask Erin Meyer, a leading expert on the globalization of the workforce. In her new book No Rules Rules, she teams up with N...

Tom Wujec

World Renowned Expert on Innovation | Former Chief Disruptor at Autodesk | Author of The Future of Making

Veteran innovator and technology pioneer Tom Wujec has spent three decades studying how teams create radical breakthroughs. Along the way, the former Chief Disruptor at Autodesk designed cutting-edge ...

Misha Glouberman

Negotiations Expert | Co-Author of The Chairs Are Where the People Go

Misha Glouberman is an expert on the subtle arts of negotiation and communication. He takes the principles of good negotiation and better listening, and applies them to a broad set of circumstances to help people solve problems together, reach mutually beneficial agreements, and communicate more effectively—in all walks of life. 
 
Yvonne Camus

A Motivational Speaker on Grit and Performance

How can an average businesswoman and mom outperform US Navy Seals? Here’s how: through grit, determination, and resilience. Yvonne Camus is one of the world’s most trusted speakers on teamwork and perseverance. On stage, she’s shown hundreds of organizations how ordinary people can achieve extraordinary things. Deeply relatable, Camus interweaves her personal experiences into revelatory talks. 
Francesca Gino

Author of Sidetracked and Rebel Talent | Behavioral Scientist | Harvard Business School Professor

Small, simple, and seemingly irrelevant factors often have profound consequences on our behavior and ability to stick to our decisions. In her talks, Francesca Gino explains exactly why our decisions get derailed and what we can do to stick to the plan—at work, in our personal lives, and as organizations.