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Chartered Professionals
in Human Resources

Keynote Speakers

Name Session Title Day/Time
Mike Walsh Designing Your Business for the 21st Century May 2 / 8:30am
Margaret Heffernan The One Firm Firm: How to Get the Best From Everyone May 2 / 3:30pm
Josh Bersin The Future of Work: Ways HR Should Adapt May 3 / 8:30am
Elizabeth Gilbert Creative Living Beyond Fear May 3 / 3:30pm

Super Sessions

Having trouble deciding which session to choose? Although all presentations are great, the Super Sessions are identified as the most highly anticipated breakout sessions being delivered by speakers ‘not to be missed’.

Name Session Title Day/Time
Rusty Lindquist Accelerating the Evolution of HR – Think Like a Business, Act Like a Business, Win Like a Business May 2 / 10:45am
Darren Jacklin Building Confidence and Employee Accountability within Your Organization May 2 / 1:45pm
Phil Pallen Is Your Baby Ugly? May 2 / 1:45pm
Lane Sherman Leading Without Power May 3 / 10:45am
Carmen Hudson, Andrew Glover, Yvonne Wu New Products, New Tools, New Methods and New Models for Recruiting May 3 / 10:45am
Stéphane Grenier New Paradigms: Mental Health in the Workplace May 3 / 14:15pm
Sean Fitzpatrick From Employee Engagement to Employee Experience May 3 / 14:15pm
 

 Session Details

Designing Your Business for the 21st Century
DATE: Tues. May 2
TIME: 8:30am
TRACK: Keynote
AUDIENCE LEVEL: All
DESCRIPTION: The companies that thrive in the near future will be the ones that not only embrace change but are the first to break the rules. If you could start with a clean sheet of paper, how would you design your company? Should your youngest staff member be making coffee or running your R&D team? Is Big Data something for your IT department to worry about, or a weapon to be wielded by your management team? Do you ban social networks or use them to collaborate more effectively?

Most companies are simply not designed to survive. They become successful on the basis of one big idea or breakthrough product. That early success then becomes a rigid code, and as customer habits and markets change, many fail to see that everything that made them successful is exactly what will destroy them later.

In this presentation you will learn:

  • What it takes to recruit, retain and motivate tomorrow’s employees
  • Lessons on disruptive innovation from fast growing, emerging markets
  • Hacking your corporate culture to transform employee engagement
  • Why the multicultural web of tomorrow will be different from the one we use today
  • Identifying the critical data pivots in your business, the real-time numbers no leader can afford to ignore
PRESENTER(S):
What does it take to lead a 21st century company? Can we re-imagine the way we do business? Mike Walsh prepares business leaders for what’s next. A leading authority on the intersection of emerging technologies, consumer behavior, and fast growth markets, Mike brings his unique insights into the growing influence of new markets on breakthrough innovation and business transformation. He expertly distills his insights into tailored keynotes that allow any audience to influence the future direction of their industry.

Mike is the author of Futuretainment and The Divergence, which charts the rise of online consumers in emerging markets. He is also the publisher of the Disruptive Future blog, and his articles have appeared in a wide range of international publications including Business Week, Forbes, and Wallpaper magazines.

Mike has run both successful start-up ventures as well as holding senior leadership positions in established media organizations. With a background in corporate law and management consulting, he began his career at XT3, a spin out from McKinsey and one of the first digital consulting firms created to help major companies embrace the web. He launched the technology publishing group internet.com, which went on to become the leading local technology news and events platform in Australia, and founded and ran Jupiter Research in the Asia Pacific, one of the first research agencies to track the early adoption of e-commerce and digital business models by online consumers. He then spent five years in senior strategy roles at News Corporation where he helped shape their digital strategy.

In demand for his fresh insights and practical future-focused strategies, Mike has advised the CEOs and senior management teams at multinational companies including: the BBC, MSN, Star TV, Televisa, Philips, and HSBC.

Mike is currently a board member and strategic investor in the North Alliance, Scandinavia’s leading digital marketing group.


Accelerating the Evolution of HR – Think Like a Business, Act Like a Business, Win Like a Business
DATE: Tues. May 2
TIME: 10:45am
TRACK: Business Management & Strategy
AUDIENCE LEVEL: Mid-Level
DESCRIPTION: The media has been calling for a major disruption in HR, demanding for it to become more strategic, to solve more imminent business problems and to step up its game or be replaced. Unfortunately, many HR professionals don’t know exactly what Strategic HR actually means, or how to get started. And most are so mired in the operational that even when they catch the vision, they’re unable to fuel their necessary transformation. But the future of HR is now, and we have to solve this strategic need now.

Using the famous Business Model Canvas as a lens, we’ll introduce an all-new approach to HR that will transform the way you approach HR, buy you credibility across the organization, and earn you a seat at the strategic table.

Using the framework of the business model canvas, you’ll come away with real techniques to help you determine who HR’s customers are, how to identify their unmet needs, how to build value propositions to meet those needs, and how to build value delivery channels so those solutions actually make a difference to your organization.

You’ll learn how to market your value to those customers, how to change the perception of HR through story, how to build partnerships, and measure and manage customer relationships. You’ll learn how to escape the operational handcuffs holding you back, and you’ll come away armed not only with a proven framework to reinvent your department, but also armed with the language of business, which will buy you credibility in the boardroom and with executives, that you can use to martial support for future initiatives.

PRESENTER(S):
Rusty Lindquist has spent 18 years leading product innovation and running product teams in industries including Learning & Development, Leadership Management, and education. In that time he helped invent and bring to market over 20 successful products.

He is currently Vice President of HCM Strategy and Intellectual Property at BambooHR. In this capacity, he takes the business and innovation processes and methodologies of his past, and applies them to HR in an effort to inspire and enable HR leaders today to know how to elevate their impact by thinking and acting more like a business.

Rusty is also a writer and keynote speaker, impassioned about setting people free to do great work. He speaks mostly on HR strategy, how to develop highly effective employees, and how to help people overcome the gravitational pull of their past so they can achieve more in life.

BambooHR is a leading HR Technology company whose innovations are designed to accelerate the evolution of HR in small to medium sized businesses, so HR can focus on the work their organizations are aching for.


Building Confidence and Employee Accountability within Your Organization
DATE: Tues. May 2
TIME: 1:45pm
TRACK: Organizational Effectiveness
AUDIENCE LEVEL: Mid-level
DESCRIPTION: As stated in the 2013 Gallop Poll, employee engagement is key to success in every business. 70% of North American workers are not engaged or actively disengaged from their workplaces. When employees are highly engaged, companies tend to experience reduced absenteeism, improved employee retention, increased profits, elevated customer satisfaction and even higher safety standards. Simply put – making work fun, fostering a safe environment that encourages an atmosphere of family and community will help maximize productivity. Due to recent global and economic events, companies and departments are having to work with less resources and expected to accomplish more results. Continuous advancement in technology in an ever changing world, is forcing companies in becoming more flexible and creative in training leaders, mentors, role models and motivators for a multigenerational workforce. Enabling a company to empower their employees, where the goal lies in creating a viral engagement and a common set of values that exists in both personal and professional life; is key to success. The key to sustaining success, is to build an organization where a very high percentage of group members are fully engaged, in other words: Evaluate the ROI – Return on the Individual. Darren Jacklin will provide the steps required in developing a foundation to help create a culture, that cascades throughout any organization.
PRESENTER(S):
For over 20 years, Darren Jacklin has traveled four continents and personally trained over one million people in over 45 countries mentoring entrepreneurs and business owners on specific and measurable strategies that they can consistently use to increase their income, transform their obstacles into cash flow and turn their passion into profits. His uncanny ability to increase wealth and success by uncovering hidden assets, overlooked opportunities and undervalued possibilities has captured the attention of Tiger 21, The Wall Street Journal, Yahoo Finance, NBC TV, CBS TV, Global TV international radio stations, magazines and newspapers, movie producers, best-selling authors, CEO’s and business experts worldwide. Darren is also a featured international celebrity in the hit movie The Treasure Map. Darren Jacklin currently sits on paid international boards of directors of public companies and advisory boards. Darren has personally trained over 150 Fortune 500 companies such as Microsoft, AT&T, Black & Decker, Barclays Bank, as well as high school, college, university students and professional athletes and has connected with people in more than 128 countries. Darren Jacklin is also the current Chief Executive Officer of AFS Superfoods Ltd.

Is Your Baby Ugly?
DATE: Tues. May 2
TIME: 1:45pm
TRACK: Talent Management
AUDIENCE LEVEL: Mid-level
DESCRIPTION: You have complete control over the first impression you give. Make sure it’s a good one. Tell your story on your terms through an online brand that recreates the in-person experience. Based on years of working with people and projects around the world in almost every industry, this talk breaks down branding and promoting yourself online into actionable tips that will help you bring your best brand to life. Is Your Baby Ugly? Probably, so quick! Let’s fix it together.
PRESENTER(S):
As an LA-based brand strategist, Phil Pallen shapes and launches brands for celebrities, businesses, and entrepreneurs. You’ve seen his clients on Shark Tank, Dancing with the Stars, American Idol, The X Factor, Project Runway, MasterChef Jr. and more. He is often featured by media outlets like Access Hollywood, Toronto Star and The Daily Mail, and travels the globe to share his wisdom at conferences. His book Shut Up and Tweet contains game-changing strategies to become a Twitter rockstar.

The One Firm Firm: How to Get the Best From Everyone
DATE: Tues. May 2
TIME: 3:30pm
TRACK: Keynote
AUDIENCE LEVEL: All
Sponsored by:

   

DESCRIPTION: After years of streamlining and hunkering down to weather the crises, what companies now most need to do is pull their people together. Collaboration and innovation are vital skills in global business—but where do they come from? How do leading companies get the alignment, trust and energy they need to get their people to work well together? What are the impediments to, and habits of, creative collaborative teams?

Working across cultures, time zones and technology is logistically difficult but it’s usually the human factors that make it hard for companies to achieve their aims. Everyone talks about collaboration but few know how to do it, what it feels like or what organizational structures enable—or disable—it. What they all know is that if they can’t figure out how to do it will, others will.

In this presentation you will learn:

  • The meaning and characteristics of collective intelligence
  • The business case for collaboration
  • Incentives that make people pull together
  • What gets in the way of teamwork
  • How great leadership teams function
PRESENTER(S):
CEO and business thinker Margaret Heffernan challenges the most common business practices that make us feel comfortable – but leave us in the dark.

The biggest threats and dangers we face are the ones we don’t see—not because they’re secret, hidden or invisible but because we aren’t prepared to face them. That’s how good, smart people running companies find themselves blindsided by market changes, technological disruption, cultural problems or criminal behavior. In her groundbreaking work, Heffernan examines the social, psychological, neurological and organizational reasons why it is so hard to know what is going on in your company, your industry and your world. And she explores why some people seem to be able to see better than others and what makes some organizations perspicacious.

As a former CEO herself and the author of Willful Blindness: Why We Ignore the Obvious at Our Peril, she knows that crises are rarely provoked by the proverbial bad apple. What’s more likely is that people and structures conspire to hide from leaders what they most need to know. And she explores the processes that can make your organization smart, resilient and successful. In her latest book, A Bigger Prize: How to Stop Competing and Start Winning through Creative Collaboration (April 2014), Heffernan explores ways of living and working that foster creativity, spark innovation, reinforce our social fabric, and feel so much better than winning.


The Future of Work: Ways HR Should Adapt
DATE: Wed. May 3
TIME: 8:30am
TRACK: Keynote
AUDIENCE LEVEL: All
Sponsored by:
DESCRIPTION: The world of work is rapidly changing as we deal with new technologies, AI, generational changes, and a more interconnected organization. What are HR’s mandates in this new world? And how can HR add value in organization design, driving new models of leadership, driving engagement, and improving organizational culture? In this research-based presentation, Josh Bersin of Bersin by Deloitte, Deloitte Consulting LLP, will explain the mandates for HR in the coming year.
PRESENTER(S):
Josh Bersin founded Bersin in 2001 to provide research and advisory services focused on corporate learning. He is responsible for Bersin by Deloitte, Deloitte Consulting LLP’s long term strategy and market eminence. Josh is a frequent speaker at industry events and has been quoted on talent management topics in key media, including Harvard Business Review, The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, on BBC Radio, CBS Radio and National Public Radio. He is a popular blogger for Forbes.com and has been a columnist since 2007 for Chief Learning Officer magazine. Josh spent 25 years in product development, product management, marketing and sales of e-learning and other enterprise technologies at companies including DigitalThink (now Convergys), Arista Knowledge Systems, Sybase, and IBM. Josh’s education includes a B.S. in Engineering from Cornell University, an M.S. in Engineering from Stanford University, and an MBA from the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley.

Leading Without Power
DATE: Wed. May 3
TIME: 10:45am
TRACK: Leadership & Personal Development
AUDIENCE LEVEL: Mid-level
DESCRIPTION: You have just been given responsibility for a big task working with a group of people that don’t report to you. Congratulations! You are now presented with one of leadership’s biggest challenges. Influencing without authority. Without the tools of leverage that accompany a position of authority you have to find other ways to influence people. Learning the techniques for achieving influence without using power will grow your leadership practice and expand your toolset with practical techniques that can be applied in almost any situation. This interactive session will explore the options and strategies for leading when you don’t have positional authority and will deliver some useful tolls that can be used in almost any situation. Whether you are part of a self-directed team, project managing professionals, seeking to find a way to move away from the coercive effects of leading through positional power, or looking for new tools to support collaboration, this workshop will have something for you. As an attendee, you will explore your orientation to power, the sources of influence in groups, the tools of influence and how to apply them, and strategies for collaborating with peers, superiors, and reports.
PRESENTER(S):
Lane Sherman is an organizational consultant specializing in leadership and workplace collaboration. His passion for helping people and organizations transform has been at the center of his work since 2001. With a breadth of experience in both the public and private sector he has a perspective that provides opportunities for transformative outcomes and that can shift people and their work. Lane has worked with leaders of all levels and has the lived experience of being a leader in the private sector, healthcare, and education. Lane’s book The Keys to Collaboration: How to build a great team or fix the one you’ve got (Amazon, 2015) captures lessons learned from work with over 5,000 teams. He has an MA in Leadership (2005), is a coach and trainer with over 15 years of experience working to support leaders and organizations.

New Products, New Tools, New Methods and New Models for Recruiting
DATE: Wed. May 3
TIME: 10:45am
TRACK: Talent Management
AUDIENCE LEVEL: Mid-level
DESCRIPTION: In this session, participants will hear from a renowned expert in global tech recruiting in addition to two top corporate recruiters from the Vancouver area who will share information about what’s new, what works, and how to source hard to find talent. While this session will focus on tech recruiting, it will also highlight general recruit strategies. No matter what industry a participant is working in, they will come away with new insights into how to win the war on talent. Carmen Hudson of Recruiting ToolBox will illustrate how in the past four years, the recruiting industry has carved out a segment for tech recruiters. She will illustrate the many new tools and products that have been designed specifically for this market but will also highlight some of the same for the non-tech market. Participants will explore some of the new tools, products and approaches that are today. Carmen will also review how new technology, candidate behavior and specialized needs are changing how recruiters attract, find and hire hard to find talent. Following Carmen’s presentation, we will hear from two top in-house recruiters in the Vancouver marketplace as they share their strategy, what works and what doesn’t. Carmen will facilitate this session, asking pertinent questions of the other panel members and soliciting questions from the audience.
PRESENTER(S):
Carmen Hudson, Principal Consultant, Recruiting Toolbox, and co-founder of the first ever conference focused on tech recruiting, Talent42. Carmen draws from over 15 years of recruiting experience, with a strong focus on helping organizations attract, source and recruit top talent. Carmen’s expertise is in helping clients build the right sourcing and recruiting strategies, and implementing them in the real world of limited budgets, competing priorities, and highly competitive recruiting environments. She consults and trains companies to help them leverage high ROI solutions for big sourcing, social media, and technology implementation initiatives. She is a self-described “recruiting geek” who has spent years learning, creating, and sharing best practices around sourcing and talent acquisition. Her corporate experience includes Yahoo!, where she was Senior Manager, Talent Acquisition. At Yahoo!, she led the Strategic Sourcing team, revitalizing the employee referral program and Yahoo’s employer brand. The team was awarded a coveted Yahoo! Superstar Award, an ERE Excellence award and various recruiting and advertising industry awards. Prior to joining Yahoo!, she was manager, Global Strategic Sourcing for Starbucks Coffee Corporation, where she developed sourcing strategies and recommended resources and tactics to support U.S. retail management hiring. She has also held senior talent acquisition roles at Microsoft, Amazon.com and Capital One. Carmen is a regular contributor to recruiting industry publications, including ERE Exchange and Recruiting Trends. She is a frequent speaker at recruiting events, including ERE, SourceCon, the Social Recruiting Summit, LinkedIn Talent Connect and the Seattle Staffing Management Association.
Andrew Glover has 12 years of in-house recruiting experience, predominantly focused on the video game sector, but recently has diversified into the core tech space to support some of Microsoft’s consumer enterprise products being developed in Vancouver. He’s had the opportunity to build multiple game development teams from the ground up at various sized companies, as well as supported mature development teams across the US and Canada. He believes in a data-driven approach to Sourcing & Recruiting and is motivated to provide a measured, repeatable process which delights both candidates and hiring partners/clients. Andrew got his start in Recruiting at Electronic Arts Canada, doing high volume, full cycle recruitment as part of a large Recruiting machine where he was exposed to many best practices and innovative strategies to land top gaming talent from around the globe. He then joined a start-up who was developing a new game, focused on building out a multi-disciplined team while helping to mature their recruiting / sourcing capabilities. The start-up was acquired by Ubisoft a few years later and craving the larger Recruiting team environment, he was lured to Microsoft to help grow several new game teams in Vancouver. Andrew has written for the Microsoft Job Blogs on topics such as ‘How to Break into the Game Industry’ and regularly presents at local schools to help the next generation of game developers land their dream job!
Yvonne Wu, Talent Recruiting Manager for Hyperwallet, is a veteran in the recruiting space for 15 years. Her experience stems from being both an in-house and as an agency recruiter specifically in the tech industry. She has seen the ups and downs of the marketplace in Recruiting from small start-ups to global organizations – this has allowed her go into companies to put together recruitment strategies and to execute them successfully. Aside from onboarding, recruiting, sourcing and building relationships, she also has a passion for building an exceptional employment brand to attract talent and to retain employees. Yvonne started her career in Recruiting with Blast Radius Inc. when it was a start-up and has grown her career in a global organization with Sage Software. She has lead the Recruiting strategies for Sage Software for Canada and Absolute Software and most recently she joined Hyperwallet Systems Inc to grow the organization. She enjoys the implementation and the strategy of finding solutions to source and attract top talent within organizations she works for. She believes that relationship building is key to being a successful Recruiter whether it be with internal/external clients and candidates. She was chosen to be the first Canadian to compete in the Top Recruiter Competition Miami series as a contestant for the title of Top Recruiter in the US. She has spoken at the Talent Tech Conference and has been on CPHR BC & Yukon panels in the past to share her recruitment experiences. She is also an active participant and volunteer for Dress for Success (a community which empowers women back into the workforce). You will find Yvonne networking all over Vancouver in numerous events and conferences.

New Paradigms: Mental Health in the Workplace
DATE: Wed. May 3
TIME: 2:15pm
TRACK: Leadership & Personal Development
AUDIENCE LEVEL: All
DESCRIPTION: Stéphane Grenier has challenged society’s traditional outlook regarding mental health for much of his career by redefining how we should care for and support those affected by mental health problems. His body of work began in his very own workplace, the Canadian Military, where he created and managed numerous employee driven mental health programs that have proven effective over the years and have been sustained since his departure.

Grenier is a powerful speaker who provides a nice blend of evidence base, personal experiences and humor, allowing audiences a firm understanding of how we need to re-humanize the healing and recovery process. His body of work includes coining and defining the term “Operational Stress Injury” in 2001, a term later adapted by the US Marine corps as “Combat Stress Injury”. His views have resonated as far as with the American Psychiatric Association when debating the value of renaming the diagnostic of “Post Traumatic Stress Disorder” to “Post Traumatic Stress Injury”. His work took him to lecture at US Marine Corps University, several Physician Health Program conferences in the United States and the international Physician Health Conference in Montreal Canada where he received a standing ovation by over 350 clinicians for his inspirational outlook.

His personal struggles with PTSD and Depression in his workplace following his 10 months in Rwanda simply make him a moving speaker who will be sure to give audiences a refreshing perspective and motivate innovation in how the mental health care system and workplaces can improve how they support those struggling with mental health problems.

PRESENTER(S):
In today’s modern workplace, mental health problems have become the leading cause of disability claims, accounting for 70% of workplace disability management costs in Canada. As a former post-traumatic stress disorder sufferer, Lieutenant-Colonel (Retired) Stéphane Grenier knows the toll mental health issues can take on individuals firsthand. Grenier offers audiences pragmatic advice designed to foster workplaces that support an open, non-stigmatized approach to mental health.

Grenier retired as a Lieutenant Colonel with the Canadian Military after serving for just over 29 years. He participated in several Canadian missions overseas, most notably nine months in Rwanda in 1994-95 and six months in Kandahar, Afghanistan, in 2007, as well as numerous shorter deployments to Cambodia, Kuwait, the Arabian Gulf, Lebanon, and Haiti, to name a few.

Faced with undiagnosed post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression upon return from Rwanda, he took a personal interest in the way his workplace was dealing with mental health issues. In 2001, he conceived, developed, implemented and managed a government based national peer-support program. To this day, this program continues to successfully provide peer support to CF personnel, Veterans affected by mental health issues and their families, and also assists those who have suffered the loss of a loved one through a Bereavement Peer Support Program.

In 2007, he was appointed as the Operational Stress Injury Special Advisor to the Chief of Military Personnel and entrusted with the task of creating a Canadian Forces-wide workplace mental health education program. His work led to the launch of a second highly successful non clinical mental health program that now delivers “peer based” mental health education to over 20,000 military personnel per year and that has now been expanded since his departure.

Over the course of his career, Grenier was recognised for his team building skills and transformational leadership style. Most notably, he was presented with a Commendation for his collaborative efforts and his outstanding leadership during the post war humanitarian disaster caused by the Rwandan Genocide. He has also been awarded a Meritorious Service Cross by the Governor General of Canada for taking the concept of peer support and driving it from the grass-roots up into a formal federal government program and in later awarded a national Champion of Mental Health Award by the Canadian Alliance on Mental Illness.


Super Session
From Employee Engagement to Employee Experience
DATE: Wed. May 3
TIME: 2:15pm
TRACK: Talent Management
AUDIENCE LEVEL: Senior
DESCRIPTION: Employee engagement has been a hot topic in HR for over a decade. Every leading organization seeks to find ways to engage employees. The research linking engagement to positive outcomes is clear. However, only recently have organizations begun to think deliberately about employee experience. As organizations strive to become the employer of choice in their industries, they are taking steps to attract and retain top talent by fostering an environment and culture that inspires people to join them. It’s not about ping-pong tables and cool furniture, or even CSR policies; it is about developing strategies that lead to job experiences that employers can tout along with more traditional benefits like health insurance and RRSP plans. Right now, only a handful of organizations are thinking deliberately about designing employee experiences. This talk will share what the most progressive organizations such as Netflix, McDonald’s and Airbnb are doing to conceptualize and create a truly great employee experience.
PRESENTER(S):
Sean Fitzpatrick is President and Founder of TalentMap. Sean has garnered a wealth of experience developing and implementing employee engagement solutions. Over the past 20 years, Sean has worked across Canada and around North America with firms in the financial, healthcare, municipal, educational and energy sectors. His extensive experience across multiple industries gives him a particular insight into how organizations can improve as they grow. Previously, Sean was Vice President of Internet Services at a survey research firm, and he worked as a management consultant implementing the Balance Scorecard for Suncor Energy in Fort McMurray. He has also helped organizations such as Athabasca University, Calgary Airport Authority, Canon Canada, City of Edmonton, Canadian Western Bank, Deloitte, EPCOR Utilities, Erb Transport, Great West Life, McDonald’s Canada, McMaster University and Stantec create and deploy employee surveys that help drive positive change. Sean holds a Bachelor of Commerce, and an MBA from the Richard Ivey School of Business and he is completing his Doctorate in human resources management at Cranfield University in the UK. When he is not working he can be found on the ski hills on the winter and on the lake in the summer teaching his three kids to ski.

Creative Living Beyond Fear
DATE: Wed. May 3
TIME: 3:30pm
TRACK: Keynote
AUDIENCE LEVEL: All
Sponsored by:
DESCRIPTION: For years, Elizabeth Gilbert has been meeting people who tell her that they long to live more creative lives, but are somehow blocked by fear — fear of criticism, fear of failure, fear of stepping out of the box, fear of unworthiness, or fear that they don’t even have a creative bone in their body. Using stories from her own life of creative exploration, as well as experiences from her world travels, Gilbert will show how “everyone is invited”, and will explain how absolutely everybody — no matter what their background or position in life — can benefit from exploring and expressing their own inherent creativity. She will explain how every human life is a creative endeavor, and that creativity is not just a privilege of artists. Defining a creative life as “any life where your decisions are guided by curiosity instead of fear,” Gilbert will open up her audience’s imaginations to the possibility of seeing creativity, and their own journeys, in a lighter, more easeful manner.
PRESENTER(S):
Elizabeth Gilbert’s memoir Eat, Pray, Love has been called “a generation’s instruction manual” by the Toronto Sun. Exploding onto the scene in 2006, the bestseller famously chronicled the year Gilbert spent traveling the world after a shattering divorce. Translated into more than 30 languages, Eat, Pray, Love, has sold over ten million copies worldwide. The book catapulted its author from respected but little-recognized writer to a woman Oprah Winfrey has called a “rock star author.”

Educated at New York University, Elizabeth Gilbert hails from an ascetic childhood in rural Connecticut. Fearless reporting skills and an abiding appreciation for working-class values have colored her writing from the beginning. Meanwhile, a persistent longing to understand the world and her place in it have made her not merely a writer, but an explorer. Gilbert worked in a Philadelphia diner, on a western ranch and in a New York City bar to scrape together the funds to travel: “to create experiences to write about, gather landscapes and voices.”

“I think my gift, far beyond whatever gifts that I have as a writer, my gift as a human is that I can make friends with people very quickly. Everything I learned about being a journalist I learned by being a bartender. The most exquisite lesson of all is that people will tell you anything. Want to. There’s no question you can’t ask if your intention is not hostile. And it’s not like entrapment; it’s more like a gorgeous revelation. People want to tell the story that they have.”
—Elizabeth Gilbert

Ten years ago, Gilbert captivated the world with her powerful and transformative memoir Eat, Pray, Love, encouraging millions of readers to make changes, large and small, in their own lives. In the ensuing decade, people worldwide have sought further advice from Gilbert on how to lead a bold and inspired life and she has dedicated herself to exploring the mysteries of creativity and courage. Out of this period of investigation Gilbert has written a brilliant nonfiction treatise, “Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear”, in which the author digs deep into her own generative process to share her wisdom and unique perspective about creativity.

Gilbert lives in New Jersey where she is working on her next novel and as a columnist for O, the Oprah magazine.

For more information on Elizabeth Gilbert, please visit www.elizabethgilbert.com.


Please note that speakers and schedule are subject to change.