The Lavin Agency Speakers Bureau

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

Generative AI Has Brought Your Most Ambitious “Moonshots” Within Reach. AI Pioneer and Lavin’s Radhika Dirks

If you’re still thinking of ChatGPT as a simple tool for productivity, you’re thinking too small, says Radhika Dirks. The power of generative AI has brought our wildest and most ambitious projects within reach—in half the time and at a fraction of the budget.

Radhika is one of the world’s foremost voices on the human implications of AI—what this technology means for us, and how we can turn it to our advantage. In powerfully hopeful talks, she illuminates the limitless possibilities of generative AI in every field, then breaks down the strategy and tactics that every business leader needs to gain an edge in the AI future.

Every moonshot needs stepping-stones, Radhika says—you don’t get to Mars in one leap. You have to try different paths and pick up expertise in different fields, which can be an expensive and time-consuming process. But with generative AI, which draws from diverse sources of information across the internet, you can achieve these stepping-stones almost for free.

“What used to take billions of dollars now takes thousands of dollars, or even hundreds,” Radhika says. “And most people don’t realize that. They’re still looking at what productivity tools they can use. But generative AI is so much bigger than that.”

Watch Radhika explain the “first big wave” of generative AI, and what this explosion of creativity means for leaders and innovators.

That “Flaw” Holding You Back? It’s the Key to Your Competitive Edge. “40 Under 40” Business Prof Laura Huang

You don’t need to change yourself in order to succeed, says Laura Huang. You can use everything about yourself (even the things you think are flaws!) to get a competitive advantage. A star business professor at Northeastern (previously at Harvard and Wharton), Laura has developed a unique four-step process to make your hard work work harder for you:

  1. Enrich: Providing value to others—and communicating that value to them too;
  2. Delight: Convincing others to take a step back and actually listen to you;
  3. Guide: Understanding and redirecting the perceptions that others have of you;
  4. Effort: Working hard—and putting that hard work into the right things.

In talks, she uses real-life examples from her own research to show you how you can flip negative perceptions and other obstacles on their head. For instance, she teaches you how to map your own “trajectory” instead of letting others assume your future potential, using examples like the non-native speaker who rose from receptionist to analyst at Goldman Sachs and the entrepreneur whose time spent in prison became the heart behind his business’s story.

“Guide the perceptions that others have of you. Make your own privilege,” Laura says. “That is ultimately how you get more out of your hard work.”

Fighting Bias is Your Organization’s Superpower: Jessica Nordell, Author of The End of Bias

Even the most well-intentioned teams and leaders have “unexamined bias,” says Jessica Nordell. It makes us treat others in unfair ways on the basis of gender, race, and more, and it keeps us from unlocking our full potential as an organization. “People behave in discriminatory ways all the time,” Jessica says. “But it’s important to remember that they want to do the right thing.” And when we recognize our bias, we can work on eliminating it—and propel ourselves and our companies to greater heights.

In her talks and workshops, Jessica draws on her decade of research for her book, showing you how to identify and fight bias in your workplace to increase productivity, teamwork, and performance. Among many other things, she discusses:

  • Multiple case studies, including a law firm that saw a 70% growth in revenue after reducing gender bias.
  • How working against bias creates an environment where employees are more engaged, happier, and have greater trust within their teams—directly improving client relationships.
  • Why leadership buy-in is essential for long-term positive change.

A well-respected speaker on diversity, organizational culture, and of course bias, Jessica speaks without blame or shame, focusing on the practical steps you can take today to reduce bias and find success. “If we want to have better employee engagement, less turnover, more dynamic and productive employees,” she says, “then we need to think about this seriously and take steps to combat it.”

The Best Outcome for Black Women Is the Best for Us All: Anna Gifty, Editor of The Black Agenda

Anna Gifty Opoku-Agyeman is the editor of the seminal The Black Agenda, the first book to feature Black experts highlighting injustices, and their solutions, in different policy areas (like climate, technology, healthcare, and more). It’s an essential guidebook for social justice that Kirkus called “an inclusive, edifying, often fiery assembly of voices articulating the way forward for Black America—and America in general.” She’s also the co-founder of the renowned Sadie Collective, where Black women in STEM can share resources, network, and advocate for broader visibility in the field.

A leading voice in social justice, she believes that crafting policies that center our most vulnerable is key to creating a more just society for everyone. In talks, Anna translates her studies and experiences into actionable strategies for the workplace and beyond.

“We have a chance still to uplift one another without leaving anyone behind,” says Anna. “But that requires that we break from the lockstep of inaction and enter a new dance floor, perhapsone characterized by progress, promise, and preparation for a future that includes all of us, regardless of where we come from, and where we decide to go.”

Turn Collaboration Into “Creative Chemistry”: Fmr. Nike Chief Marketing Officer Greg Hoffman

Two all-important questions are the key to breakthrough innovation and unlocking your company’s full potential, says Greg Hoffman: “What if? And why not?” During his three decades at Nike, Greg worked his way up from intern to Chief Marketing Officer, fostering a space that allowed for groundbreaking ideas to flourish. How? By encouraging imagination, treating creativity “as a team sport,” and recognizing that “innovation happens in the intersections.”

“Diversity is the oxygen that breathes life into the creative process, and curiosity is the rocket fuel,” says Greg. But to build diverse and curious dream teams, you need to create the right environment. You must embrace everyone’s creative capacity. Only when employees can freely share their ideas can you build a culture like Nike’sa culture that innovates.

In talks, Greg empowers you and your team to achieve your creative potential and dare to be remembered. “You need to connect what you sell with what the world needs,” Greg says. He offers real examples and practical lessons from his groundbreaking career, showing you how to develop your creative leadership and build teams that make a real impact.

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

Talent doesn’t predict world-class performance. But the mundane daily struggle of training, working on your weaknesses, finding a coach who can help you be the best you can become? That’s what enables people to unlock their potential.” Danny Southwick

Do you want the people you lead to become more resilient, more persistent, and better at taking risks? Then stop using the word “talent,” says Danny Southwick. He’s worked closely with fellow Lavin speaker Angela Duckworth, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Grit and the pioneer of the field, to understand what actually predicts high performance. In a recent paper with Angela, he proved that simply referring to someone’s ability as skill instead of talent helps them develop a growth mindset, achieve more, and work better on a team.Practice and perseverance allowed Danny to break state records in high school, and, after an adventurous college career, sign with the Oakland Raiders. His passion for high performance prompted him to earn an MBA and then a PhD at the University of Pennsylvania, investigating how we can adjust the way we talk about ability to get the most out of ourselves and our teams.In talks, Danny draws on his career as a star quarterback and as a psychologist to show you the best way to practice in order to increase your skills quickly (not all practice is equally effective!), how to instill a growth mindset in your whole organization, and how to ditch the vague buzzwords and avoid the “talent trap.”


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

Want to Make Your Brain More Creative? Try Being Bored

Letting your mind wander is how you start generating your best ideas, says neuroscientist Heather Berlin. As host of PBS Nova’s Your Brain—which broke the live viewership record for any Nova premiere on YouTube—Heather explains how you can change your environment to “hack” your brain, become more creative, and get the most out of yourself and your team.

Watch Heather explain why trying to force creativity never works.

“Don’t Chase Cool”

The most creative brands don’t pursue flashy ideas, says Greg Hoffman, but rather stay true to themselves and their vision. Greg draws from his almost 30 years at Nike, during which he rose through the ranks from intern to Chief Marketing Officer. He shows how to encourage creativity in your teams and help the daydreamers propel your organization to radical innovation.

Watch Greg explain why a Dream Team needs everyone’s ideas.

Keep Your Ideas Fluid for as Long as Possible

During her 20 fast-paced years as Cirque du Soleil’s Artistic Director, Caitlan Maggs helped countless massive and diverse productions produce their best work. Your ideas may be good, she says, but don’t freeze them too early—because they could be great. With fascinating anecdotes, she explains how you can develop a framework of creativity in any organization

Watch Caitlan speak about the Cirque’s creative collaboration.

Your Most Creative Ideas Come After You Get Stuck

Running into creative roadblocks can be discouraging. But Adam Alter says the ideas that come easily aren’t as good as we think—we get our best ideas after we meet (and overcome) obstacles. And there are ways to speed up that process. Adam’s new book, Anatomy of a Breakthrough, is a practical guide for individuals and teams on unleashing your full creative potential.

Watch Adam discuss Pixar’s “Black Sheep” strategy for building diverse, creative teams.

The Secret to Creativity? It’s About Discipline

Eddie Huang has never hesitated to break the mold. He’s a celebrity chef who changed the NYC food scene forever, the bestselling author of the memoir-turned-sitcom Fresh Off the Boat, and the writer and director of multiple feature films. But the secret to this explosive creativity isn’t simply defying the rules, he says. It’s about having the discipline to create your own rules and stay true to yourself.

Watch Eddie explain the only valid reason to do creative work.

Finding Purpose in a World on Fire: Lavin’s Climate Speakers on Winning the Fight for the Future of Our Planet

The Future of Our Planet Is Still Under Our Control—For Now

The climate crisis isn’t on the horizon anymore. It’s already transforming everything from where we live to what we eat, faster than we could have anticipated. “This is a story of a scale that we only used to understand in mythology,” says David Wallace-Wells. David is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Uninhabitable Earth and an NYT columnist whose newsletter explores the many facets of climate and the future, from billowing wildfire smoke to the rising bipartisan support for clean energy. The climate crisis has already changed our world forever, he says, but we can still salvage our future—if we act now.

Read David’s article on the rising bipartisan support for clean energy for The New York Times: “I don’t want to be naïve. But the partisan landscape may be finally changing, indeed somewhat significantly.”

Watch an exclusive Lavin video of David on the three things we get wrong about the climate crisis: “Everything we know about human civilization, human culture, has been built and developed in a climate system that we have now left behind.”



Your Climate Anxiety Is the Key to Real Change

Worries about the climate have never been more widespread, but Britt Wray has good news: your “eco-distress” is actually the key to finding purpose and fighting for the planet. This dynamic speaker and author of Generation Dread was just named Director of Stanford’s Special Initiative for Climate Change and Mental Health, and has spoken alongside the likes of Yuval Noah Harari, Al Gore, and Jane Goodall. She shows us how embracing our anxiety and wrestling through our messy emotions—”rolling up your sleeves, getting clear-eyed, being convicted and courageous”—is how we create the conditions to have real hope.

Read this TIME article where Britt is interviewed about the mental and physical effects of heatwaves: “We have a mental health crisis within the climate crisis that we need to get ahead of before too many of these events add up.”

Watch an exclusive Lavin interview with Britt: “It’s possible to develop more flexible ways of relating to the crisis that aren’t about splitting it off into doom vs. naively optimistic. That gray zone is where the most strength can be mined from”

What Does ChatGPT Mean for Democracy and the Future of Creativity? Kate Crawford and Stephen Marche Explain

ChatGPT Isn’t Magic. We Can—and Must—Understand It

ChatGPT is “an exponential disruption,” says Kate Crawford. As a leading researcher and the author of Atlas of AI—which Nature called “meticulously researched and superbly written”—Kate has been on the cutting edge of AI for two decades. Her incisive and timely perspective has made her a go-to voice across the media. She says that generative AI is going to mark a fundamental shift in the way we see the world: it will revolutionize how we view not only tech, but everything from media to democracy. But it’s not magic. We have to understand how it works today if we want to tap into its massive potential and build the future we want.

Listen to Kate on Why Is This Happening? The Chris Hayes Podcast: “We get so impressed by the ‘magic’ of the system that we don’t look at what it takes to make these things work: data at scale, an enormous amount of natural resources, and a lot of labor.”

Listen to Kate on Pivot, with Kara Swisher and Scott Galloway: “We need a rapid increase in literacy, and it’s not just going to be about focusing narrowly on the tech. It’s going to be about looking at what this does to the public sphere, to the media, to democracy.”


The First Generative AI Novel—and the Future of Creativity

If you ask ChatGPT to write a novel, are you the creator or the consumer? Stephen Marche says you’re both. He was profiled in The New York Times last month for “writing” the first ever fully-AI-generated novella, Death of an Author, by extensively prompting three different generative AI programs. Stephen is a novelist with a PhD in Shakespeare who’s been following and writing about AI for years in outlets like The New Yorker and The Atlantic. He has a unique understanding of how the line between human and machine is blurring, and why the arts, the humanities, and human creativity are more important now than ever before.

Read about Stephen in The New York Times: “I am the creator of this work, 100 percent. But, on the other hand, I didn’t create the words.”

Watch an exclusive Lavin interview with Stephen: “The Big Blur is coming: where the line between human and machine, and the line between creating and consuming, will blur. We’re going to start to figure out where human beings are actually required.”

Five Ways to Use ChatGPT (Effectively!) Today—Plus, the Speaker Who Can Help Your Company Become “AI First”

Becoming an “AI-First” Company

Just like the internet brought businesses into the Digital First and then Mobile First models, rapid advances in AI are quickly bringing us into an “AI First” era. Lavin’s newest speaker Justin Reilly is the CEO of Wavelo and former Head of Product at Verizon, where he led a multi-billion-dollar digital transformation with machine learning at its core. When you build AI into the heart of what you do, Justin says, you’ll be able to trust your systems more, scale faster and better, and give your customers what they actually want.


The Five Steps to Using ChatGPT Effectively at Work

You can transform your organization into a more efficient, creative, and innovative version of itself through the power of generative AI—and it only takes five steps. But the trick is: you have to do all fiveRadhika Dirks is a visionary AI expert, one of Forbes’s 30 Women in AI to Watch and CEO of the world’s first AI moonshot factory. Her Five Step Method to introducing generative AI into your organization (any organization) will give you a peek into this rapidly developing world, and help you build an organization that thrives today and well into the future.

How Can Retailers Win the AI Revolution? With “Beautifully Human” Creativity. Lavin’s Doug Stephens, Retail Futurist

Generative AI will be no less game-changing for society in general—and retailers in particular—than the internet itself, says Doug Stephens. As the founder of the global consultancy Retail Prophet and the bestselling author of The Retail Revival and Resurrecting Retail, Doug has unparalleled insight into how AI is going to transform every industry, including yours. More than that, he proves that in an age of AI, investing in “deliciously irrational, beautifully human, and insanely inventive creativity” will give us the edge we need for success.

“Companies today sit on the frontier of a technology revolution that will make them the beneficiaries of billions of dollars in savings in their workforce costs,” Doug tells us. “Some of those companies will be predictably nearsighted and push those savings directly to their bottom line or their shareholders’ pockets. Smart companies, however, will invest in creative and dynamic human beings who bring innovative thinking, empathy and creative energy to the brand and its customer experience. Because the world is going to need a lot fewer lawyers, consultants, engineers and accountants and a lot more dreamers, makers and born risk-takers.”

Doug also sat down with Lavin recently to give us a preview of his new talk on the forgotten backbone of our economy: the global supply chain system that affects every company, whether retail or otherwise. Our current supply chain system hasn’t changed in decades—and Doug argues that today is the perfect time to reimagine what’s possible and unlock a new, unprecedented competitive advantage.

Watch our exclusive full-length interview with Doug, in which he explains how we can rebuild our supply chains to create a sustainable and successful future. (37 min)