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Jay Acunzo is a globally touring keynote speaker, author of the book Break the Wheel, and a sought after podcast and docuseries host/producer. When he’s not traveling the world speaking or telling business innovation stories on a show, he’s running Marketing Showrunners, a media company for people who want to find their voice, make a difference, and change the culture of their industries for the better. Subscribers hail from organizations like Red Bull, Amazon Prime, the BBC, the New York Times, Mailchimp, Salesforce, thousands of small businesses.
Grammy Nominee & Creator of “Poetic Voice”
Sekou Andrews is the world’s leading Poetic Voice – a presenter / performer who is disrupting the speaking industry in unprecedented ways. A schoolteacher turned actor, musician, two-time national poetry slam champion, entrepreneur, and award-winning poetic voice, any given day may now find Sekou keynoting at a leadership conference, helping a Fortune 500 company with brand messaging, or even performing pieces for Barack Obama in Oprah’s backyard. Sekou is the creator of Poetic Voice, a new, cutting-edge speaking category that seamlessly fuses inspirational speaking with spoken word poetry to make messages more moving and memorable. His dynamic blend of strategic storytelling, business insight, spoken word, theater and comedy turns events into experiences, and transforms audiences of informed receivers into enrolled responders. Sekou does more than inspire us with his story; he inspires us with our story.
Journalist, Author & Co-Founder of “Go Like”
Mariana Atencio is a Peabody award–winning journalist, author and speaker, included in AdWeek’s “Young Influentials”, as well as the co-founder of “Go Like”, her multimedia production company. As a former anchor at Univision/Fusion and national correspondent at NBC News, she has traveled the world to report on some of the most volatile conflicts of our times, in both English and Spanish, for over a decade. Mariana’s TEDx Talk on authenticity, “What Makes You Special?”, is one of the top 10 most watched on Youtube and translated into 11 languages. Her first book, Perfectly You: Embracing the Power of Being Real, was an Amazon Best Seller for Latino Biographies and selected as an Audible Editor’s Pick and AppleBooks “Must Listen.” Her work has been honored with a Peabody, a Gracie, and an IRE award. She won Columbia University Journalism School’s “First Decade Award” and the National Association of Hispanic Journalists Presidential Award. She has keynoted at the United Nations ‘Girl Up’ Summit; the LinkedIn annual conference alongside speakers like Michelle Obama, as well as Spotify, Microsoft and Citi Private Bank’s Autumn Dialogues. Mariana earned her B.A. in Communications from the Universidad Católica Andrés Bello in Venezuela where she was part of the pro-democracy student movement. After the increasingly authoritarian regime shut down the biggest television station in her home country, she came to the United States on a scholarship to do her masters at Columbia University’s Journalism School. Mariana is a 2020 Henry Crown Fellow of the Aspen Institute and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network. You can find her on all social media @marianaatencio.
TV Host & National Geographic Explorer
Chris Bashinelli, also known as, “Bash”, was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. After a decade long acting career including an appearance on the HBO hit television show, The Sopranos, Bash decided to follow his real passion – using media to build bridges between cultures. In his early 20’s, he became one of the youngest Moderators at the United Nations and made a documentary about his journey to Tanzania. He now traverses the globe from Uganda to Haiti, as Host of Bridge the Gap, a television series featured on PBS and the National Geographic Channel, where he discovers what it’s like to walk in someone else’s shoes. Of Lebanese and Italian descent, Bash knows what it takes to live in a diverse world. He has harvested buffalo with Native Americans in Pine Ridge, lived with nomads in Mongolia, and Sumo Wrestled the heaviest Japanese human being in recorded history. He is a United Nations Moderator, an Eagle Scout, a National Geographic Explorer, and has interviewed some of Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People on the Planet. As an internationally-recognized speaker, Bash has shared the stage with everyone from Stevie Wonder, to United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, to his mentor, Dr. Jane Goodall. He lectures to thousands of people on a yearly basis, everywhere from Fortune 500 companies, to prisons, offering the simple message that when we change internally, our world actually changes around us.
Social Psychologist, Award-Winning Harvard Lecturer, and Bestselling Author
Social psychologist, bestselling author, and award-winning Harvard lecturer Dr. Amy Cuddy is an expert on the behavioral science of power, presence, and prejudice. Cuddy earned her PhD from Princeton University in 2005, was a professor at Harvard Business School from 2008-2017, at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management from 2006-2008, and Rutgers University from 2005-2006. She is a on the Harvard Business School Executive Education Faculty. Cuddy’s first book Presence: Bringing Your Boldest Self to Your Biggest Challenges (Little, Brown, & Co., 2015), is a New York Times, Washington Post, USA Today, Wall Street Journal, Publisher’s Weekly, and Globe & Mail bestseller and has been published in 35 languages. As described in the New York Times Sunday Book Review, “Presence feels at once concrete and inspiring, simple but ambitious--above all, truly powerful.” Amazon selected Presence as the ‘Best Book of December 2015’. Cuddy’s 2012 TED Talk, “Your Body Language May Shape Who You Are,” named by The Guardian as ‘One of 20 Online Talks that Could Change Your Life’, has been viewed more than 57 million times and is the second-most-viewed TED talk. Focusing on the power of prejudice and stereotyping, nonverbal behavior, the delicate balance of trustworthiness and strength, and the ways in which people can affect their own thoughts, feelings, performance, and psychological and physical well-being, she studies, writes, and speaks about how we can become more present, influential, compassionate, and satisfied in our professional and personal lives. She is currently writing two books: When They Trust You, They Hear You: How to Talk to Any Audience (HMH, 2021) is a fresh guide to effective speaking, whether it’s to 1000 people or to 1 person, based on her award-winning Harvard classes, her own experiences as an international speaker, and on her years of research on impression formation; and Bullies, Bystanders, and Bravehearts (HMH, 2022), which delves into the psychological causes and consequences of bullying among adults, a pervasive and often devastating problem, and the steps that we all must take to move toward social bravery in our daily lives and broader culture. Cuddy has been named by the BBC as one of their 100 Women of 2017, a Game Changer by Time, one of 50 Women Who Are Changing the World by Business Insider, one of the World’s Top 50 Management Thinkers by Thinkers50, one of the Top 50 Leadership Innovators Changing How We Lead by Inc., one of the top 5 HR Thinkers by HR Magazine, one of Twitter’s 100 Science Stars by Science, one of 10 Ten Bostonians Who are Upending the Way We Live, Lead, and Learn by Boston Magazine, a Rising Star by the Association for Psychological Science, an Early Career Award recipient by the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues, winner of a Harvard Excellence in Teaching Award, and a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum. Cuddy’s highly cited research on stereotyping and prejudice, nonverbal behavior, and presence and performance under stress has been published in top academic journals, including the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), Science, and Psychological Science, and featured in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Economist, Guardian, Wired, Fast Company, Inc., Globe and Mail, NPR, BBC, and many more. She has been a guest on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert, The Today Show, Good Morning America, CBS This Morning, CBS Sunday Morning, BBC World News, Morning Joe, 60 Minutes with Charlie Rose, CNN with Anderson Cooper, among others. Cuddy has written for the New York Times, Boston Globe, Harvard Business Review, and CNN. Cuddy is Co-Founder of the Citizen Confidence Project, an initiative of World Economic Forum’s Young Global Leaders, seeking to develop new measures of societal success that speak to an understanding of humans as active participants, not passive consumers.
Bestselling Author of “Indistractable” & “Hooked”
Founder of Perfect Fitness & Former Navy SEAL Commander
Alden grew up on a small farm, in a small town in central Massachusetts. His first dream was to graduate from the United States Naval Academy and attended Navy SEAL training. He became a nationally-recognized rower—as a gold medalist in the Olympic Festival, then as Captain of the freshman and varsity teams at the US Naval Academy. Then he served with distinction as a Navy SEAL platoon commander no less than three times. And after his time as a Navy SEAL, Alden became an entrepreneur, leading his first company to $90 million in sales in just three years, becoming an Inc. 500 CEO. How did he do it all? Through persistence. That’s right, Alden learned that if he could become fully committed to driving change each and every day, he would achieve significantly better outcomes. Alden was particularly persistent about learning from his failures. He has codified his most successful leadership practices in a framework called C.A.R.E.—detailed in his latest book, Unstoppable Teams: Connect, and you’ll build trust. Achieve more, and you’ll create direction. Respect others, and you’ll build an environment of continuous contributions. Empower others, and you’ll create ownership within your team. To no one’s surprise, Alden’s motto is, “To lead is to serve—and to serve is to care.” He believes success is available to everyone, not just a chosen few. And he believes that your potential is much greater than you know.
Leadership and Happiness Expert & Bestselling Author
Human Explorer, Business and Science Journalist, and Bestselling Author
Acclaimed journalist and entrepreneur Shane Snow has helped expose gun traffickers and gender discrimination, eaten only ice cream for weeks in the name of science, and been variously captured and escorted by armed guards as he's explored and photographed abandoned buildings and tunnels around the world. His company, Contently, has helped over 100,000 freelance writers and photographers market themselves and put food on the table, and Snow is today one of the world’s most sought-after speakers on innovation, teamwork, and human behavior. Snow currently serves as Founder at Large at Contently, which works with Fortune 500 brands and creative people around the world, and he is a board member of The Hatch Institute, a nonprofit for investigative journalism in the public interest. Snow’s writing has appeared in Wired Magazine, The New Yorker, GQ, Fast Company, Advertising Age, The Washington Post, Time, and many others. He's the bestselling author of Smartcuts and The Storytelling Edge, and recently, his most important book yet: Dream Teams, a journey through science and history that reveals the counterintuitive science that explains what separates groups that simply manage to get by from those that get better together—and how we might change our companies, communities, and the world through it. Snow has been named a "Digital Maverick" by Details Magazine, called a "Wunderkind" in the New York Times, and honored as a Fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts. Originally from Idaho, he studied journalism at Columbia University and lives in New York City.
Bestselling Author & Founder of Science of People
Vanessa Van Edwards is the national bestselling author of Captivate: The Science of Succeeding With People, which has been translated into 16 languages. As founder of Science of People, Vanessa researches human behavior, communication and the science of relationships. Her innovative work has been featured on CNN, NPR, Fast Company and Entrepreneur Magazine. Her YouTube videos and viral TEDx London Talk have been seen by over 30 million people. Vanessa is renowned for teaching science-backed people skills to audiences around the world including SxSW and MIT, and at companies including Google, Dove, Microsoft, Facebook, Miller-Coors and American Express.