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The Lavin Agency Speakers Bureau

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

College

123 College
Speakers

Sir Salman Rushdie

One of the most celebrated writers of our time

What one writer can make in the solitude of one room is something no power can easily destroy.

Emily Esfahani Smith

Bestselling author of The Power of Meaning: Crafting a Life That Matters | Journalist

In times of great challenge, search for meaning, not happiness.

George Packer

Bestselling author of The Unwinding and Last Best Hope | The Atlantic staff writer

The passion for equality is the "hidden code" that will drive us toward a unified America.

Edward Burtynsky

World-renowned photographer | Winner of the TED Prize

Photographs are the reflecting pools of our time.

Derek Thompson

Host of Plain English | Bestselling author of Hit Makers and On Work | Staff writer at The Atlantic

The nature of work is evolving—now is the time to embrace it and equip yourself with the knowledge to thrive well into the future.

Laura Huang

Distinguished Professor at Northeastern University | Faculty Director of Women's Entrepreneurship Initiative | Author of Edge

Are you looking for an edge to help you succeed? Good news: You've already got one.

Britt Wray

Author of Generation Dread | Director of Stanford's CIRCLE Initiative (Community-minded Interventions for Resilience, Climate Leadership and Emotional wellbeing)

Wrestling through our climate change anxiety is the first step towards saving our planet—and ourselves.

Patti Smith

Punk rock legend in the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame | Author of Just Kids and Year of the Monkey | Winner of the National Book Award

The idea of redemption is always good news, even if it means sacrifice or some difficult times.

Kwame Anthony Appiah

Author of Cosmopolitanism | One of America's Leading Public Intellectuals | President of the American Academy of Arts & Letters

Honor and shame can be used to change the world for the better.

Gabby Rivera

Author of Juliet Takes a Breath and the Marvel comic series America

Living a revolutionary life starts with joy.

Sarah Kaplan

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

Diversity, equity, and inclusion are our greatest innovation challenges—risky, transformative, and ultimately worthwhile.

Danielle Wood

Director of MIT’s Space Enabled Research Lab | Assistant Prof. of Media Arts and Sciences

Space technology is imperative for sustainable development on Earth—and for the benefit of all.

Megan Phelps-Roper

Former Member of the Westboro Baptist Church | Author of Unfollow: A Memoir of Loving and Leaving the Westboro Baptist Church

We must extend empathy and compassion to the people who show us hostility and contempt.

Isabel Allende

Most Widely Read Spanish-Language Author Ever | Author of The House of the Spirits and The Wind Knows My Name | Winner of the Presidential Medal of Freedom

Write what should not be forgotten.

Nathan Pyle

#1 New York Times bestselling author of Strange Planet | Executive Producer of Strange Planet

The road to creativity is right beneath our feet—we just need to learn how to walk it.

Eric Klinenberg

Author of Palaces for the People and 2020 | Award-Winning Sociologist | Director of NYU's Institute for Public Knowledge

2020 revealed the soul of America—our democracy, identity, and values. We must grapple with what we learned to find a way forward.

Adam Alter

New York Times Bestselling Author of Drunk Tank Pink and Anatomy of a Breakthrough | NYU Marketing Professor

Many of the barriers you're facing are subjective. You can get unstuck—and unlock radical creativity, innovation, and teamwork.

Lori Gottlieb

Psychotherapist | New York Times bestselling author of Maybe You Should Talk to Someone

Revealing the truth of who we are is the glue that binds us together.

Stephen Marche

Author of the First AI-Generated Novella, Death of an Author | Writer on AI for The New Yorker, The Atlantic

ChatGPT is blurring the line between human and machine—which means uniquely human creativity is more important now than ever before.

Laurel Braitman

Bestselling Author Of Animal Madness and What Looks Like Bravery | Director Of Writing and Storytelling At The Stanford School of Medicine

Telling our own stories has the power to combat burnout and bring us together in community.

Martin Ford

New York Times bestselling author of Rise of the Robots and Rule of the Robots

To adapt to machine learning, we'll need to come up with unprecedented solutions.

Anna Gifty Opoku-Agyeman

Editor of The Black Agenda | Harvard Researcher on Inequality, Education, and Work

When we both identify and disrupt patterns of discrimination, we create a better world for our most marginalized communities—and for everyone else.

Jelani Cobb

New Yorker Staff Writer | Columbia Journalism School Dean | Speaker on race, history, politics and culture in America

In the fight for racial justice, we must face the past to forge a better future.

Lauren Eskreis-Winkler

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

Few of us are born with unwavering grittiness. Thankfully, grit can be built in anyone, at any time.

Chuck Klosterman

Renowned Cultural Critic | New York Times Bestselling Author of 10 Books, Including Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs

The goal of being alive is to figure out what it means to be alive.

Minnijean Brown-Trickey

Civil Rights Legend who Helped Desegregate Public Schools | Member of the Little Rock Nine

When we challenge what we know to be morally wrong, we grow as a society.

Heather McGhee

Author of New York Times Bestseller The Sum of Us

Racism has a cost for everyone—so when we fight it together, we all win.

Angela Duckworth

Author of Grit, the #1 New York Times Bestseller | Pioneering Researcher on Grit, Perseverance, and the Science of Success

Grit, more than talent, IQ, looks, or wealth, is a powerful indicator of success.

Yascha Mounk

Author of The Identity Trap, The Great Experiment and The People vs. Democracy | Contributing Editor at The Atlantic | Professor at Johns Hopkins

If we want a truly equal democracy, we must reject the obsession with group identity—and acknowledge that what we have in common is greater than what divides us.

Jay Van Bavel

Professor of Psychology & Neural Science at NYU | Award-Winning Author of The Power of Us

We gain so much more from working together than apart.

Nita Farahany

Author of The Battle For Your Brain | Legal scholar & ethicist | Director of the Duke Initiative for Science & Society

Technology is converging with our bodies, even our minds. What are the dilemmas and opportunities?

Margaret Atwood

Two-time Booker Prize-Winning Author of over 50 Books, Including The Handmaid’s Tale and its Recordbreaking Sequel,The Testaments

Literature can show us our future—if we look.

Anthony Wilson-Smith

CEO of Historica Canada | Former Editor-in-Chief at MacLean's

To find out how to best move towards the future, we must look to the past.

Nathan Wolfe

Founder of Metabiota Risk Managment | Expert on COVID-19 and The Spread of Global Pandemics

The COVID-19 pandemic affects everyone. Here’s what you need to know, and what’s next.

Khalil Gibran Muhammad

Professor of History, Race, and Public Policy at Harvard Kennedy School | Author of The Condemnation of Blackness | Co-Host of Some of My Best Friends Are

Bringing people of color into our companies isn't enough. We must transform our cultures so they can bring their full selves and achieve their full potential.

Naomi Klein

Internationally Bestselling Author of Doppelganger, This Changes Everything, The Shock Doctrine, and No Logo

AI, misinformation, and polarization have made everything familiar feel slightly off. But we can still reclaim our democracy—and ourselves.

Paul Tough

New York Times bestselling author of The Inequality Machine

The power of higher education to change a student's life is strongly linked to their socioeconomic status.

David Eagleman

One of the world’s foremost neuroscientists | Host of PBS’s The Brain | Host of Inner Cosmos, one of America's top ten podcasts

The AI future doesn't have to be a war, but a collaboration. As AI enhances our brains, we can unlock new realms of creativity.

Bill Strickland

An Extraordinary Business and Community Leader

Give people the tools they need, treat them with respect, and they will perform miraculous deeds.

LaToya Ruby Frazier

Award-Winning Photographer | Member of the TIME100 | MacArthur Genius

Art is a weapon. Photos can change society—our view of ourselves and our communities.

Douglas Rushkoff

One of the World's 10 Most Influential Intellectuals (MIT) | Bestselling Author of Team Human, Throwing Rocks at the Google Bus, Present Shock, and Survival of the Richest

We can be fully human in a world of technology.

Candy Chang

Urban space artist behind the "Before I Die" walls

With powerful public art, we can engage communities in real conversations.

James Fallows

National Correspondent for The Atlantic | National Book Award Winner | Co-Author of Our Towns: A 100,000-Mile Journey into the Heart of America

To fight false narratives and hyperbole, we must meet people where they live. Literally.

Ellen Ochoa

The first Latina in space | Former NASA Director

When we all come together as a team to learn and innovate—we can aim for the stars.

David Rohde

Senior Executive Editor for National Security, NBC News | Former Executive Editor, NewYorker.com | Two-Time Pulitzer Prize Winner

Our political dynamic—toxic, dispiriting, polarized—is increasingly dangerous. But it can be reversed.

Margot Lee Shetterly

Author of Hidden Figures: The #1 New York Times Bestseller and #1 Hit Film

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

Nina Tandon

CEO and Co-Founder of EpiBone | TED Senior Fellow

How to revolutionize an industry, one cell at a time.

Richard Heinzl

Founder of Doctors Without Borders, Canada

We live in a borderless world. Follow what you love—there is a world waiting for you out there.

James Robinson

Famed Economist and Political Scientist | Co-author of Why Nations Fail

A nation's prosperity relies on its institutions: the more inclusive, the better.

Shalini Kantayya

Award-winning filmmaker | Director of TikTok, Boom. and Coded Bias | TED Fellow

A digital world comes with digital dangers—here’s how to protect ourselves and our rights.

Danny Southwick

Grit Expert | Former NFL player | MBA and Psychology PhD | BYU Professor

How do we motivate employees to achieve their goals? We replace talent with grit.

Matt Taibbi

New York Times bestselling author of Hate, Inc., Insane Clown President and The Divide | Rolling Stone Writer

We can counter the spread of misinformation in a post-truth era—if we’re smart about it.

Titus Kaphar

Award-Winning Painter and Sculptor | Writer and Director of Exhibiting Forgiveness | MacArthur "Genius" Fellow | Author of Redaction

Art has the power to reframe our history—revealing the past we've lost and the future we're working towards.

Bryant Terry

Award-winning author of Black Food | James Beard Leadership Award Winner | Founder of 4 Color Books

We need to open a transparent dialogue about food insecurity, structural racism, and poverty.

Mira Nair

Director of Queen of Katwe, Salaam Bombay!, The Namesake, and The Reluctant Fundamentalist

Every film is a political act; it’s how you see the world.

Tom Wujec

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

An era of continuous disruption is changing, forever, how we design, manufacture, and consume.

Waneek Horn-Miller

Olympian, Activist, and Speaker on Indigenous Health and Reconciliation

Your struggle is your motivation in disguise.

David Yeager

Expert in the psychology of persistence | Assistant professor of developmental psychology at University of Texas, Austin

We can foster the motivation needed to be lifelong learners, at school, at work, and in life.

Angela Davis

Legendary human rights activist

We have to talk about liberating minds as well as liberating society.

Eman Mohammed

Award-winning photojournalist | TED Senior Fellow

We need to bring the other’s side into focus to recognize our shared humanity.

Deborah Fallows

Co-author of Our Towns: A 100,000-Mile Journey Into the Heart of America

Firsthand stories of America’s strength, ingenuity and grassroots growth.

Jessica Jackley

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

The connection between two individuals is a powerful agent for social change.

James Nestor

New York Times bestselling author of Breath

The key to leading happier, healthier lives? Better breathing.

Anthony Jack

Author of The Privileged Poor | Boston University Associate Professor and Newbury Center Faculty Director

Poverty and equality shape not just how students get to college, but how they make it through.

Steven Pinker

One of the world's top public intellectuals | Author of Rationality: What It Is, Why It Seems Scarce, Why it Matters and Enlightenment Now | Harvard Professor

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

Wajahat Ali

Author of Go Back to Where You Came From | Daily Beast Columnist | TED Speaker

When we share our stories, we create an inclusive world—and build a multicultural coalition of the willing.

Jared Diamond

Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Guns, Germs, and Steel, Collapse, and Upheaval

Nations and individuals share the same techniques to survive a crisis—and thrive beyond it.

Katy Milkman

Wharton Professor | Choiceology Podcast Host | Bestselling Author of How to Change | One of the Thinkers50

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

Ethan Kross

Award-Winning Expert on Self-Leadership, Mental Health, and The Conscious Mind | Bestselling Author of Chatter | Faculty lead at the Eisenberg Family Depression Center

Leading others starts with leading yourself. You can turn your inner voice from your worst critic into your best coach.

Spike Lee

Oscar-Winning Director of BlacKkKlansman, Do the Right Thing, and When the Levees Broke

Film plays a central role in illuminating modern issues of race and representation.

Salman Khan

Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Khan Academy

AI won't destroy education. It'll save it.

Jeff Chang

Social Historian, Cultural Critic & Community Organizer | Author of We Gon’ Be Alright and Can't Stop Won't Stop

Real solidarity and racial justice begins when we bring community into everything we do.

Teju Cole

Professor of Creative Writing at Harvard | Author of Open City and Tremor | Former Photography Critic for NYT Magazine

This is a time for protest and activism, but it is also a time for subtlety, ambiguity and complexity.

Jessica Nordell

Author of The End of Bias | Award-winning science and culture journalist

Bias has a real cost for your organization. Fighting it is your greatest superpower.

Bill McKibben

New York Times bestselling author of The Flag, The Cross, and the Station Wagon, Falter, and The End of Nature | Founder of 350.org and Third Act

The one thing that needs to be bigger than climate change is our movement to stop it.

Rick Mercer

Host of The Rick Mercer Report for 15 years | Bestselling Author of Talking to Canadians and Rick Mercer Final Report | Winner of the Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour

Canada is a nation worth loving—and ranting about.

Nikole Hannah-Jones

Pulitzer Prize-Winning Creator of The 1619 Project | Executive Producer of the Emmy Award-Winning 1619 Project Hulu Docuseries | MacArthur Genius

Black history is American history.

Heather Berlin

Cognitive neuroscientist | Host of PBS Nova's Your Brain

You are your brain, but you can also shape it—and become more creative, more productive, and the best version of yourself.

Reza Aslan

#1 New York Times bestselling author of Zealot and An American Martyr in Persia | Distinguished Professor, UC Riverside

To protect our democracy, we must stand in solidarity with all people, everywhere.

Dan Lerner

Positive psychologist | Instructor of NYU’S “The Science of Happiness”

The overlooked key to achieving your unique potential? Passion.

Kristin Neff

Author of Self-Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself | Co-founder of the Center for Mindful Self-Compassion

Self-compassion makes you strong.

Radhika Dirks

Global AI Advisor | CEO & Co-Founder of XLabs and Ribo | One of Forbes’ 30 Women in AI to Watch | Artificial Intelligence Pioneer

Generative AI is changing the tech infrastructure of the world. Your biggest dreams—your most ambitious moonshots—are closer than ever before.

Negin Farsad

Social justice comedian | Director of The Muslims Are Coming! | Author of How to Make White People Laugh

We can dispel Islamophobia—and other forms of hatred—through jokes.

Lera Boroditsky

Cognitive Scientist | Expert in the Fields of Language and Cognition

How do humans get so smart? Language: it shapes our minds and the world around us.

John Kaag

Professor of Philosophy, University of Massachusetts, Lowell | Award-Winning Author of Sick Souls, Healthy Minds and American Bloods

It takes conscious, consistent, and creative effort to make a life worth living.

Annette Gordon-Reed

Pulitzer Prize-winning author of On Juneteenth | Harvard Law professor | MacArthur Genius

The legacy of Juneteenth, the holiday which marks the end of slavery, continues to influence us and our fight for racial justice today.

John Maeda

Microsoft VP of Design and Artificial Intelligence | Author of How to Speak Machine

Information is expanding—if we want to use it correctly, we need to represent it visually.

Ashton Applewhite

Anti-Ageism Activist | Author of This Chair Rocks: A Manifesto Against Ageism

Ageism is prejudice against our future selves. What if we were free of it?

Vijay Gupta

Founder of Street Symphony | Co-Founder of the Skid Row Arts Alliance | MacArthur Genius

Music speaks to people—touches people—in ways words alone cannot.

Susan Pinker

Psychologist and Author of The Village Effect and The Sexual Paradox

Even in our digital world, human connection is the key to learning, happiness, resilience, and longevity.

Jer Thorp

Author of Living in Data | Former Library of Congress Innovator in Residence | Former NYT Data Artist-in-Residence

The future of data is about to be written—and it’s up to us to imagine a more just data democracy.

David Wallace-Wells

Bestselling author of The Uninhabitable Earth | New York Times columnist

The most important driver of climate change is human action. We have our hands on those levers.

Kate Crawford

Professor | Author of Atlas of AI | Leading scholar of AI and society

We’re at a critical crossroads in the spread of AI. We can use it to oppress and exploit, or we can chart a course towards a more just and sustainable future.

Cas Holman

Award-Winning Toy Designer of the World-Renowned Rigamajig | Founder and Principal Designer at Toy Company Heroes Will Rise

Play encourages curiosity, collaboration, and creativity—for kids and adults alike.

Cassie Holmes

Expert on Time and Happiness | Author of Happier Hour | UCLA Professor

When we treat our time as a precious resource, we gain purpose, motivation, and happier lives.

George M. Johnson

New York Times Bestselling Author Of All Boys Aren’t Blue and We Are Not Broken | Emmy Nominee | LGBTQIA+ Activist

Stories of queer identity and Black joy have the power to educate us on diversity, inspire social justice activism, and build community.

Martin E.P. Seligman

Father of Positive Psychology | Director of the Penn Positive Psychology Center | Bestselling Author

Psychology isn’t just for pathologizing—we can all use it to live happier, healthier lives.

Tracy Dennis-Tiwary

Bestselling author of Future Tense | Clinical psychologist and researcher | Digital health technology entrepreneur

Anxiety may feel bad, but it’s actually good for us—and for our productivity, creativity, and wellbeing.

Alan Lightman

THEORETICAL PHYSICIST AND NOVELIST | INTERNATIONALLY BESTSELLING AUTHOR OF EINSTEIN'S DREAMS

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

Hua Hsu

Pulitzer Prize-Winning author of Stay True | New Yorker staff writer | CBS Sunday Morning contributor

Telling our own stories enlarges the circumference of our imaginations.

Anand Giridharadas

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

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

Michael Norton

Harvard Business School Professor | Author of The Ritual Effect | Co-Author of Happy Money

Rituals can help us transform our unconscious habits into conscious productivity, unlocking greater meaning at work and at home.

Abdul El-Sayed

County Public Health Director | Author of Healing Politics and Medicare for All | Host of America Dissected

A great leader needs to find their unifying story—one that explains who they are to three key stakeholders: themselves, their team, and their future allies.

Charles Booker

Author of From the Hood to the Holler | Founder of Hood to the Holler | Kentucky State Director of Faith Based & Community Initiatives

Building coalitions starts with seeing the humanity in others. Our issues aren’t really partisan—we can lift our voices together.

Clint Smith

#1 New York Times Bestselling Author of How the Word Is Passed and Above Ground | Atlantic Staff Writer

The legacy of slavery still shapes our cities, roads, and stories today. Understanding our history will help us make sense of our world—and fight for a better one.

Adam Harris

Author of The State Must Provide: The Definitive History of Racial Inequality in American Higher Education | Staff Writer at The Atlantic

Higher education could be a powerful force for equity and democracy—but it must face up to its history of racial injustice first.

Rachel L. Swarns

Author of The 272: The Families who Were Enslaved and Sold to Build the American Catholic Church | Associate Professor at New York University | Former New York Times Johannesburg Bureau Chief

Slavery fueled the growth of our churches, schools, and institutions. We must face that history if we want to understand—and someday transcend—our racial divide.

Katie Drummond

WIRED Global Editorial Director

Breakneck developments in AI have brought us to a new inflection point in technology and society. You can lead your organization through this change.

Mary C. Murphy

Author of Cultures of Growth | Indiana University Professor | Founder and CEO, Equity Accelerator

A growth mindset isn’t just for individuals. You can develop it in your whole organization, and unlock radical collaboration and innovation.

Denise Hamilton

Author of Indivisible: How to Forge Our Differences into a Stronger Future | Founder and CEO of WatchHerWork

To lead in today’s changing world, your teams can’t just be inclusive—they need to be indivisible.

Sarah Elizabeth Lewis

Founder of Vision & Justice | Harvard Associate Professor | Author of The Rise and The Unseen Truth

Images help us see each other more clearly in our search for equity and justice.

Tessa West

Author of Jerks at Work and Job Therapy | NYU Professor of Psychology

We all face uncomfortable situations at work. By learning how to navigate them, leaders can boost their teams' productivity, creativity, and innovation.

Sergiu P. Pasca

New York Times Visionary in Medicine and Science | Founding Director of Stanford Brain Organogenesis | Knight of the Order of Merit

We can now grow a piece of human "brain" in a petri dish. Here's what that means for disease, ethics, and our brains' full potential.

Camille Stewart Gloster

First Deputy National Cyber Director for Technology and Ecosystem Security | Former White House AI Council Member | Former Google Global Head of Product Security Strategy

People are at the heart of all our technology. Recognizing this can help us meet customer needs, find new opportunities, and thrive in the age of AI.

Carrie Sun

Author, Private Equity

By rethinking our organizational culture, we can find not only success, but meaning at work.

Max Bennett

Author, A Brief History of Intelligence | AI Entrepreneur and Founder of Bluecore | Forbes 30 Under 30 Honoree

To understand the future of artificial intelligence, we must first understand the history of human intelligence.

Andrew Marantz

New Yorker Writer | Author of Antisocial

Social media is what we make it—here’s how we can use it to create a kinder, more imaginative world.

Emily Bazelon

New York Times bestselling author of Charged | New York Times Magazine staff writer | Political Gabfest co-host

Justice in America is at a crossroads. We have the opportunity to forge a better, fairer future.

Jonathan Metzl

Director of the Center for Medicine, Health, and Society at Vanderbilt University | Award-winning author of Dying of Whiteness and What We've Become

What happens to the soul of a nation—and the meanings of safety and community—when we normalize mass shootings?

Soraya Chemaly

Author of Rage Becomes Her and The Resilience Myth | Award-Winning Journalist | Co-Founder and Director of the Women’s Media Center Speech Project

Resilience is a group effort. Leaning into our emotions and community can help us build strength at work and at home.

Robb Willer

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

Trying to get someone to see your side? Start by connecting it to their underlying moral values.

Graeme Wood

National Correspondent for The Atlantic | Author of The Way of the Strangers

What does ISIS want? What’s it going to do next? And how do we stop it?

Katy Hessel

Instant New York Times Bestselling Author of The Story of Art Without Men | 2021 Forbes 30 under 30 Europe | Guardian Columnist | Art Historian and Curator

The story of art has always excluded women. But we can write a new, more equitable story for the future of art, and beyond.