Keynote: Leadership in Turbulent Times

Doris Kearns Goodwin
Monday, October 4

10:00 am–11:00 am

World-renowned presidential historian Doris Kearns Goodwin reflects on more than 150 years of U.S. history to put into context our most recent unprecedented presidency—a fast-paced, unpredictable, and at times impulsive administration. By sharing her deep understanding of the ambition, resolution, and resilience of some of our nation’s most revered presidents, Goodwin explains how past setbacks and triumphs shed light on the cultural, economic, and political transformations that define today’s turbulent times. With a goal of educating and entertaining audiences, Goodwin brings to life some of our most successful presidents to provide insight for today’s leaders, and to demonstrate that however fractured our modern political culture has become, our democracy is also resilient and has survived—even thrived—through more troubling times in the past. 

Doris Kearns Goodwin is a world-renowned presidential historian, public speaker, and Pulitzer Prize- winning, New York Times #1 best-selling author.

Her seventh book, Leadership in Turbulent Times, was published in September 2018 to critical acclaim and became an instant New York Times bestseller. A culmination of Goodwin’s five-decade career of studying the American presidents, focusing on Presidents Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin Roosevelt, and Lyndon Baines Johnson, the book provides an accessible and essential road map for aspiring and established leaders in every field, and for all of us in our everyday lives.

Goodwin’s career as a presidential historian and author was inspired when as a 24-year-old graduate student at Harvard she was selected to join the White House Fellows, one of America’s most prestigious programs for leadership and public service. Goodwin worked with Johnson in the White House and later assisted him in the writing of his memoirs.

Goodwin was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for No Ordinary Time: Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt: The Home Front in World War II. The Fitzgeralds and the Kennedys was adapted into an award-winning five-part television miniseries. Her memoir, Wait Till Next Year, is the heartwarming story of growing up loving her family and baseball. Her sixth book, The Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and the Golden Age of Journalism, won the Carnegie Medal and is being developed into a film. Goodwin’s Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln served as the basis for Steven Spielberg’s hit film Lincoln and was awarded the prestigious Lincoln Prize, the inaugural Book Prize for American History, and the Lincoln Leadership Prize.

Goodwin graduated magna cum laude from Colby College. She earned a doctorate degree in government from Harvard University, where she taught government, including a course on the American presidency. Among her many honors and awards, Goodwin was awarded the Charles Frankel Prize, the Sarah Josepha Hale Medal, the New England Book Award, as well as the Carl Sandburg Literary Award. Goodwin recently founded Pastimes Productions with Beth Laski to develop and produce film, television, and digital projects.

Goodwin lives in Boston, Massachusetts. She was the first woman to enter the Boston Red Sox locker room in 1979 and is a devoted fan of the World Series-winning team.



Plenary Session: The Evolution of Work

Thomas Frey
Tuesday, October 5
8:30 am–9:30 am

Business is becoming very fluid in how it operates, and the driving force behind this liquefaction is a digital network that connects buyers with sellers faster and more efficiently than ever in the past.

But the effect of our flowing digital business world does not stop with how transactions are performed. Instead, it has begun to morph and change virtually every aspect of how business is conducted, including the duration and permanency of work assignments, the employer-employee relationship, and the organizing principals around which work assignments and talent coalesce.

At the heart of the coming work revolution will be a new kind of business structure serving as an organizational magnet for work
projects and the free-agent talent needed to complete the work.

Google’s Top-Rated Futurist Speaker
IBM’s Most Award-Winning Engineer

Over the past decade, futurist Thomas Frey has built an enormous following around the world based on his ability to develop accurate visions of the future and describe the opportunities ahead. Having started 17 businesses himself and assisting on the development of hundreds more, the understanding he brings to his audiences is a rare blend of reality-based thinking coupled with a clear-headed visualization of the world ahead. Predicting the future has little value without understanding the driving forces behind the trends, subtle nuances that can be leveraged, and implications for both the people directly affected in the industry as well as others farther down the technological food chain.

Before launching the DaVinci Institute, Tom spent 15 years at IBM as an engineer and designer where he received over 270 awards, more than any other IBM engineer. He is also a past member of the Triple Nine Society (High I.Q. society over 99.9 percentile).

As part of the celebrity speaking circuit, Thomas continually pushes the envelope of understanding, creating fascinating images of the world to come. His keynote talks on futurist topics have captivated people ranging from high level government officials to executives in Fortune 500 companies, including NASA, Disney, IBM, Federal Reserve Bank, TED, AT&T, Hewlett-Packard, Visa, Frito-Lay, Toshiba, Dow Chemical, KPMG, Siemens, Rockwell, Wired Magazine, Caterpillar, PepsiCo, Deloitte & Touche, Hunter Douglas, Amgen, Capital One, National Association of Federal Credit Unions, Korean Broadcast System, Bell Canada, American Chemical Society, Times of India, Leaders in Dubai, and many more.

Thomas has been featured in thousands of articles for both national and international publications, including The New York Times, Huffington Post, Times of India, USA Today, US News and World Report, Popular Science, The Futurist Magazine, Forbes, Fast Company, World Economic Forum, Times of Israel, Mashable, Bangkok Post, National Geographic, ColoradoBiz Magazine, Rocky Mountain News, and many more. He currently writes a weekly “Future Trend Report” newsletter and a weekly column for the Futurist Speaker blog.



Plenary Session: Resilience in the Face of Uncertainty

Ben Nemtin
Wednesday, October 6
8:30 am–9:30 am

The world is changing faster than we ever imagined. Leaders and teams have to dig deep within themselves to break through and find opportunity in uncertain times. Before becoming a #1 NYT best-selling author, playing basketball at the White House, having beers with Prince Harry, or living out his other dreams, Ben Nemtin suffered from crippling depression.

After committing to a series of positive life changes, Nemtin had a shift in perspective that changed his outlook on life and opened himself up to endless possibility. From there he committed to following his buried dreams and helping others through acts of service. The rest is history and Nemtin’s life changing message has opened up audiences around the world to cultures of service, gratitude, and endless potential.

What You Will Learn from This Session:

  • Recognize that all aspects of your life impact your work performance.
  • 8 practices that increase wellbeing during times of stress, anxiety, and burnout (Resilience Toolkit).
  • Proof that small acts of service can create a large-scale impact in your organization and community.
  • Transform your perspective to optimize performance.

Ben Nemtin is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of What Do You Want to Do Before You Die? and a star of the MTV show “The Buried Life.” As the co-founder of The Buried Life movement, Ben’s message of radical possibility has been featured on The Today Show, The Oprah Winfrey Show, CNN, FOX, and NBC News. Oprah called Ben and The Buried Life “truly inspiring.” An acclaimed speaker, Ben has keynoted business conferences and Fortune 100 leadership teams around the world, garnering standing ovations from AIG, Anthem, Amazon, FedEx, Harvard, Microsoft, Verizon, and more. In 2019, Ben was named in the World’s Top 30 Organizational Culture Professionals by Global Gurus.

It all stems from a battle Ben had with depression over a decade ago. In an attempt to feel more alive, he created the world’s greatest bucket list with his three best friends. They borrowed a rickety old RV and crisscrossed North America, achieving the unthinkable. And most importantly, every time they accomplished a dream, they helped a complete stranger cross something off their bucket list. From playing basketball with President Obama to having a beer with Prince Harry, from reuniting a father and son after 17 years to surprising a young girl with a much-needed bionic arm—Ben’s bucket list quest has inspired millions to realize their true potential.



Plenary Session: “The End of Insurance As We Know It”

Rob Galbraith
Monday, October 4
8:30 am–9:30 am

We live in a world of accelerating change. The advent of an alphabet soup of technologies such as IoT, AI, DLT, NLP, and RPA have been enabled over the past few years. The miniaturization of chips, mobile devices, and cloud computing are driving a host of new, powerful, yet intuitive applications, such as GPS, which has virtually replaced the need for paper maps. While risk remains ever-present in our world, the tradition-bound world of insurance is not immune from these solutions that people are accustomed to interacting with in other parts of their daily lives.

There are many long-standing and well-known problems in the insurance industry that have yet to be adequately solved—until now. The rise of new technologies and focused innovation in the insurance industry has led to the insurtech era. Founders from Silicon Valley and elsewhere, fueled by an era of cheap capital, are diligently working to solve the "fatal flaws" of insurance.

While the industry press is buzzing with headlines announcing new startups, higher valuations, and strategic partnerships, the reality is more complex. Find out how breakthrough technologies and societal shifts will impact the future of state compensation funds from well-known industry leader Rob Galbraith, author of the bestselling book The End of Insurance As We Know It.

Rob Galbraith has been called “the patron saint of insurtech,” “a global insurtech thought leader,” “a wonderful motivation,” “an inspiration,” “a mentor to many in the insurance industry,” “the most interesting man in insurance,” “the prophet,” and “the WD40 of insurance” for his versatile skills and ability to solve all manners of problems.

Rob is the author of the international bestselling book The End of Insurance As We Know It, which has been a runaway success since its release in 2019 and has been translated into Farsi. Rob is a popular keynote speaker who has shared his unique insights at numerous events around the globe on the topics of innovation, insurtech, and the future of insurance.

Rob has over 25 years of experience in the financial services industry in a variety of innovation and leadership positions. He is a recognized thought leader on P&C insurance, who is a frequent media contributor and well-known industry influencer. Rob holds a Master of Science in insurance management from Boston University and a Bachelor of Arts in economics from Michigan State University.



Luncheon Session: How to Build Your Customer-Driven Growth Engine

Jeanne Bliss
Tuesday, October 5
Noon–1:15 pm

Adapted from Jeanne’s book, Chief Customer Officer 2.0: How to Build Your Customer-Driven Growth Engine. Just how do you go about building a customer-centric company? How do you earn the right to growth by improving customers’ lives? In this keynote or workshop, Jeanne Bliss demystifies how you can successfully lead a customer experience transformation. Built around her five-competency framework that has launched and advanced the customer experience transformation in businesses around the world, Jeanne will navigate us on how to embed these competencies to get into action quickly with a united leadership team. And will show how embedding them will shift your business intent to earning the right to growth by improving customers’ lives. She will also share some of the over 40 interviews conducted with CCO’s around the world and how they are bringing these competencies to their organizations.

As the customer leadership executive for five large U.S. market leaders, Jeanne Bliss fought valiantly to get the customer on the strategic agenda, redirecting priorities and creating transformational changes to the brands' customer experience.

At Lands' End, Inc., she reported to the company's founder as leader for the Lands' End customer experience. She was senior vice president of franchise services for Coldwell Banker Corporation. Jeanne served Allstate Corporation as vice president of customer loyalty & retention. She was Microsoft Corporation's general manager of worldwide customer & partner loyalty. At Mazda Motor of America, she initiated the brand's retention effort.

After 25 years as the customer experience executive in five major US corporations, Jeanne founded CustomerBliss to create clarity and an actionable path for driving profitability through customer focus. Jeanne helps companies transform their thinking by bringing the silo-based operations together to understand the customer perspective. She helps gain consensus on the desired customer experience and required hand-offs for optimum performance. And she coaches leaders to unite their culture by overcoming the issues creating a chasm between themselves and their customers.

Her first two best-selling books were Chief Customer Officer: Getting Past Lip Service to Passionate Action and I Love You More than My Dog: Five Decisions that Drive Extreme Customer Loyalty in Good Times and Bad.