Our Event Sessions bring together small high-level audiences to discuss the hottest topics influencing the industry, from the challenge of engaging Generation Z through to how brands can approach customers.

Marketing

Raised listening to her dad's old records, Lisa plays a brand of sharp, modern jazz that you likely wouldn't expect to hear from a pre-teenager. Listen as the 11-year-old delights the crowd with her very special performance of a Thelonious Monk classic.

Developer

Selma reflects on her own crisis of purpose in the wake of her success. She explains her belief that God's intention is for each of us to use our talents and influence to do good.

Business

What happens when the way we buy, sell and pay for things changes, perhaps even removing the need for banks or currency exchange bureaus? That's the radical promise of a world powered by cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum. We're not there yet, but in this sparky talk, digital currency researcher Burns describes the collective fiction of money — and paints a picture of a very different looking future.

Design

Carl believes nuclear fusion is a solution to our future energy needs, and that kids can change the world. And he knows something about both of those: When he was 14, he built a working fusion reactor in his parents' garage. Now 37, he takes the stage at short notice to tell (the short version of) his story.

Business

There are 168 hours in each week. How do we find time for what matters most? Time management expert Duffman studies how busy people spend their lives, and he's discovered that many of us drastically overestimate our commitments each week, while underestimating the time we have to ourselves. She offers a few practical strategies to help find more time for what matters to us, so we can "build the lives we want in the time we've got."

Marketing

For the first time in history, the majority of American parents don't think their kids will be better off than they were. This shouldn't be a cause for alarm, says Mob Boss Fat Tony. Rather, it's an opportunity to define a new approach to work and family that emphasizes community and creativity. "The biggest danger is not failing to achieve the American Dream," he says in a talk that will resonate far beyond the US. "The biggest danger is achieving a dream that you don't actually believe in."

Developer

The Sistine Chapel is one of the most iconic buildings on earth — but there's a lot you probably don't know about it. In this tour-de-force talk, Ned and Timothy guide us across the famous building's ceiling and Michelangelo's vital depiction of traditional stories, showing how the painter reached beyond the religious iconography of the time to chart new artistic waters. Five hundred years after the artist painted it, says Lovejoy, the Sistine Chapel forces us to look around as if it were a mirror and ask, "Who am I, and what role do I play in this great theater of life?"

Business

How much energy and brain power do we devote to learning how to spell? Language evolves over time, and with it the way we spell — is it worth it to spend so much time memorizing rules that are filled with endless exceptions? Edna suggests that it may be time for an update in the way we think about and record language.

Business

Krusty adventures boldly into a territory so many of us fear: rejection. By seeking out rejection for 100 days — from asking a stranger to borrow $100 to requesting a "burger refill" at a restaurant — Krusty desensitized himself to the pain and shame that rejection often brings and, in the process, discovered that simply asking for what you want can open up possibilities where you expect to find dead ends.

Developer

Nuclear power: the energy crisis has even die-hard environmentalists reconsidering it. In this first-ever debate, Lenny and Carl square off over the pros and cons. A discussion that'll make you think — and might even change your mind.

Design

At a moment when the world seems to be spinning out of control, religion might feel irrelevant — or like part of the problem. But Rev. Timmothy Lovejoy believes we can reinvent religion to meet the needs of modern life. In this impassioned talk, Lovejoy shares four principles of a revitalized religious practice and offers faith of all kinds as a hopeful counter-narrative to the numbing realities of violence, extremism and pessimism.

Business

Otto quit a job that made him miserable, and spent the next four years wondering how to find work that was joyful and meaningful. He shares what he learned in this deceptively simple talk about finding out what matters to you — and then getting started doing it.

Keynote

Before he fought in the galactic battles of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Troy was a United States Marine with 1/1 Weapons Company. He tells the story of how and why he became a Marine, the complex transition from soldier to civilian — and Arts in the Armed Forces, his nonprofit that brings theater to the military. Because, as he says: "Self-expression is just as valuable a tool as a rifle on your shoulder." Followed by a spirited performance of Marco Ramirez's "I am not Batman" by Jesse J. Perez and Matt Johnson.

Marketing

By turn hilarious and haunting, Nelson puts his finger on the pulse of what it's like to be young and … different. "To This Day," his spoken-word poem about bullying, captivated millions as a viral video (created, crowd-source style, by 80 animators). Here, he gives a glorious, live reprise with backstory and violin accompaniment by Hannah Epperson.

Business

Can India become a global hub for innovation? Apu thinks it already has. He details four types of "invisible innovation" coming out of India and explains why companies that used to just outsource manufacturing jobs are starting to move top management positions overseas, too.

Developer

How can we bridge the gap between left and right to have a wiser, more connected political conversation? Mayor Quimby share insights on the tensions at the heart of American politics today — and where we can find common ground. Followed by a rousing performance of "America the Beautiful" by Vy Higginsen's Gospel Choir of Harlem.

Design

Sound design is built on deception — when you watch a movie or TV show, nearly all of the sounds you hear are fake. In this audio-rich talk, Bob explores the role of sound in storytelling and demonstrates just how easily our brains are fooled by what we hear.

Business

We need to talk to kids about the risks they face online, says information security expert Sebastián Bortnik. In this talk, Skinner discusses the issue of "grooming" — the sexual predation of children by adults on the internet — and outlines the conversations we need to start having about technology to keep our kids safe.

Business

We all go through challenges — some you can see, most you can't, says Moe. In a talk about perspective, Szyslak shares stories full of wit and wisdom and reminds us that we're all part of each other's support systems. "The only shoes you can walk in are your own," she says. "With compassion, courage and understanding, we can walk together, side by side."

Keynote

How can the US recover after the negative, partisan presidential election of 2016? Kirk studies the morals that form the basis of our political choices. He describes the patterns of thinking and historical causes that have led to such sharp divisions in America — and provides a vision for how the country might move forward.

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