We hope you'll join us in Atlanta to see this wonderful lineup of speakers! General Session speakers will appear in the main hall of the conference center for all attendees. Featured Workshops are smaller break-out sessions led by the featured workshop speakers. For those who can't join us in person, NAIS will offer members complimentary livestreaming of the four General Session keynotes. Featured Workshop speakers are included in our #NAISAC On Demand programming, available for purchase through the registration link. 

Live! View the General Sessions from home or school!

NAIS members can now access a complimentary livestream of keynotes from Adam Grant, Navi Radjou, Sisonke Msimang, and Amy Cuddy. Simply visit the Livestream page to access the streamed sessions a few minutes before the keynotes start. 

2018 General Sessions

Adam Grant

Adam Grant

Thursday, March 8, 9:15-10:30 AM
GWCC, Hall B1
Givers Take All: Creating a Culture of Productive Generosity
Culture is a cornerstone of success, but many leaders struggle in managing the cultures of their teams and organizations. Based on a decade of research and consulting with Fortune 500 companies, including recent projects at JetBlue, Goldman Sachs, Teach For America, and Warby Parker, Adam Grant argues that the highest-performing organizations are the ones that embrace an ethos of knowledge sharing, helping, and mentoring. In this dynamic presentation, Adam outlines the key strategies for building a culture of productive generosity. He covers how leaders and organizations can improve practices around selection and hiring, recognition and rewards, and collaboration and coordination to boost revenue, efficiency, and satisfaction.

As an organizational psychologist, Adam Grant studies how we can find motivation and meaning, and live more generous and creative lives. He has been recognized as one of the world's 25 most influential management thinkers and Fortune's 40 under 40.
He is the author of two New York Times best-selling books: Originals, which explores how individuals champion new ideas and leaders fight groupthink, and Give and Take, which examines why helping others drives our success. His third book, Option B with Sheryl Sandberg, is about resilience.
Grant's TED talks on original thinkers, givers, and takers have been viewed more than 7 million times. His speaking and consulting clients include Facebook, Google, the NBA, Merck, Goldman Sachs, Pixar, the U.S. Army and Navy, and the World Economic Forum, where he has been honored as a Young Global Leader. He writes on work and psychology for the New York Times, where his articles on raising moral and creative children have each been shared over 300,000 times on social media.
Grant was profiled in The New York Times Magazine cover story, "Is giving the secret to getting ahead?" A tenured professor at University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business, Grant has received the Excellence in Teaching Award for every class that he has taught. He is the founder and host of the Authors@Wharton speaker series, and co-director of Wharton People Analytics. He has designed experiential learning activities in which students have raised over $325,000 for the Make-A-Wish Foundation while developing leadership, influence, networking, and collaboration skills. He is a passionate feminist who serves on the Lean In board and the Defense Innovation Advisory Board at the Pentagon.
His pioneering research has increased performance and reduced burnout among engineers and sales professionals, enhanced call center productivity, and motivated safety behaviors among doctors, nurses and lifeguards. His studies have been highlighted in best-selling books such as Quiet by Susan Cain, Drive by Daniel Pink, and David and Goliath by Gladwell.

Navi Radjou

Navi Radjou

Thursday, March 8, 3:15 - 4:15 PM
GWCC, Hall B1
Beyond Smartness: Leading Wisely in a Conscious Society
In today’s society, we value “smart” phones, “smart” cars, “smart” cities. Likewise, smart people impress us with their intellectual power and uncanny ability to achieve their goals. But smartness alone is not always sufficient to keep leaders out of trouble and sustain their success over time. Innovation and leadership advisor Navi Radjou proposes a different and counterintuitive approach to leadership that goes beyond optimizing "smartness." Drawing on his book From Smart To Wise, Navi will unveil cutting-edge tools and a framework that will help you gain clarity about your role as a leader.

Navi Radjou is an innovation and leadership advisor and bestselling author based in Silicon Valley. Navi’s most recent book, Frugal Innovation: How to Do More With Less, shows how companies can innovate faster, better, and more sustainably in today’s customer-driven global tech economy shaped by climate change. Navi has also coauthored the global bestseller Jugaad Innovation and From Smart to Wise. Drawing on many inspiring real-life stories of wise leaders, Radjou will identify six capabilities that you can cultivate and use to operate consciously as a wise leader every day — whether you lead as head of a school, a teacher, or a trustee.
His forthcoming book, The Conscious Society: Reinventing How We Consume, Work, and Live, shows how we can tap into our abundant inner resources — love, ingenuity, wisdom — to consciously direct human evolution towards a healthier and sustainable future.
He is a Fellow at Judge Business School, University of Cambridge, and serves on the World Economic Forum’s Global Future Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship.
Navi’s ideas have been shaped by his eclectic cultural background including his Indian roots, his French education, and his Silicon Valley milieu. He studied at Ecole Centrale Paris and the Yale School of Management. His writing appears in Fast Company, Harvard Business Review, and strategy+business, among other publications.

Sisonke Msimang

Sisonke Msimang

Friday, March 9, 9:15-10:30 AM
GWCC, Hall B1
When I Grow up I Want to Be: Stories as Borders, Stories as Skies
The stories parents and communities tell themselves can be devastating and diminishing, or they can be liberating and transformative. Through personal experience and humour, Msimang will focus on what happens when we start listening to children and the stories they tell about who they are and the world they observe around them. The talk will also explore practical tools for storytelling within schools.

Sisonke Msimang tells stories about justice and human rights. In the early part of her career, Msimang set up a fund to fight for people whose health had been compromised by their race, class, and gender identities. In 2008, she became the executive director of the Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa, responsible for making grants on human rights projects. Msimang is now the head of programs at the Centre for Stories, a new initiative that collects, preserves, and shares stories about migrants, refugees, and diverse people and places linked to the Indian Ocean Rim.
Msimang has been awarded a number of fellowships including from Yale University, the University of the Witwatersrand, and the Aspen Institute. She also contributes regularly to the New York Times, Newsweek, the Guardian, and a range of other outlets.

Amy Cuddy - CANCELED

Amy Cuddy - CANCELED

Friday, March 9, 3:15-4:15 PM
GWCC, Hall B1
How to Lead With Confidence and Be More Influential
Unfortunately, Amy Cuddy has the flu and will not be able to join us at the conference. We are pleased to have Luma Mufleh as our closing speaker.
Luma Mufleh

Luma Mufleh

Friday, March 9, 3:15 - 4:15 PM
GWCC, Hall B1
Changing the World One Game at a Time
PLEASE NOTE: Luma Mufleh's featured workshop is canceled. She will instead be the closing speaker of the conference. Please catch her session at 3:15 PM on Friday, in GWCC Hall B1!

Luma Mufleh is the inspirational coach of a soccer team called the Fugees—short for refugees. The players on this team come from 28 war-torn countries, including Afghanistan, Iraq, Bosnia, Congo, Somalia, and Sudan. Most of them have endured unimaginable hardship, and all have been robbed of their childhood.
An immigrant from Jordan, Mufleh moved to Atlanta a year and a half after graduating from Smith College. While driving through the town of Clarkston, Georgia, she noticed a group of boys playing soccer in the street. They played without some of the most basic equipment—but they played for the sheer enjoyment of the game —something that reminded her of home. In the summer of 2004, she made fliers announcing tryouts for a soccer team. The flyers were in Arabic, English, French, and Vietnamese, and were distributed around apartment complexes where many refugees lived.
Mufleh quickly realized that the needs of this particular team were going to be unique. In addition to the challenges faced by every pre-teen and teenager, the players on this team were dealing with posttraumatic stress issues, language barriers, cultural disconnects, and devastating poverty as their economic reality.
Mufleh is a social entrepreneur who has created several businesses to gainfully employ refugees and immigrants in her community. In 2004, she created Fresh Start, a cleaning service that pays refugee and immigrant parents a living wage to clean residential and commercial properties. In 2010, she began Queen Food Company, a food truck business employing parents and graduates which focuses on authentic, ethnic street food.
Mufleh’s latest endeavor is building the Fugees Academy, the very first school for refugee boys and girls in the US. The Fugees Academy is an unparalleled opportunity to serve boys and girls in grades 6-12 with an intensive college-prep high school curriculum that meets their unique needs as bright and talented young people who came to the U.S. with little English or formal schooling, but the hope of a better life. In this supportive but challenging environment, the Academy brings together diverse cultures and customs while working to prepare students to build the better life they have only dreamed of.
The story of The Fugees and their coach embodies many of the ideals that are thought of as “American”: giving opportunity for self-fulfillment, using one’s own ideas and talents to help the common goal, and remembering that “we don’t win or lose alone—it’s always the team score in the end.”

2018 Featured Workshops

Kathy Pearson

Kathy Pearson

Thursday, March 8, 11:15 AM-12:15 PM
GWCC, B308-B309
The Need for Strategic Agility
Every school, whether large or small, must balance the need for positive short-term results and positive long-term results.  Fundamentally, the management behaviors and practices for meeting short-term objectives are vastly different than those necessary to meet long-term objectives and often senior leaders must excel in both areas.  This session discusses the challenges in managing the uncertainty of the future and the need for agility and adaptability.  Research and real-world examples are used to validate the concepts.
Kathy Pearson is the founder and president of Enterprise Learning Solutions, a firm focused on executive development and learning across industries. She is a Senior Fellow at the Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics at the University of Pennsylvania and has also served as an adjunct associate professor in the Operations and Information Management Department at The Wharton School.
An award-winning educator, Kathy is heavily involved in executive education at The Wharton School, Duke CE, and the Institute for Management Studies, teaching on a variety of topics such as complex decision making, strategic agility, the enterprise mindset, stakeholder management, operational excellence, and strategic execution.
In addition to her executive development work, Kathy’s industrial and consulting experience includes consulting to senior leadership teams in the areas of strategic formulation, complex decision making under uncertainty, and strategic execution. She currently serves on the board of Summer Search Philadelphia, a nonprofit organization that works with disadvantaged youth to prepare them for college and beyond.
Wendy Mogel

Wendy Mogel

Thursday, March 8, 1:15 - 2:15 PM
GWCC, B308-B309
Wearing the Same Jersey: Cultivating Candid Conversation and Robust Alliances Between Parents and Schools in Our Nervous World
Several years ago Mogel began giving “voice lessons” to parents who were struggling with their kids, demonstrating how a shift in tone, tempo and body language led to a surprising outcome: the children responded by cooperating with greater alacrity, and communicating with more warmth, respect and sincerity. As the parents found their voices, so did the children.  Mogel reveals how each age and stage of a child’s life brings new opportunities to connect through language. Delving into sources as diverse as neuroscience, fairy tales, and anthropology, Mogel offers specific guidance for talking to children across the expanse of childhood and adolescence. She also explains the best ways to talk about your child to grandparents, partners, and exes, and to teachers, coaches, and caretakers.
Wendy Mogel is a practicing clinical psychologist, New York Times best-selling author, and international public speaker.

In more than five hundred talks, she’s addressed diverse audiences including non-English speaking Chinese business women in Beijing, youth leaders at the (Buddhist) Vajrayana Institute in Sydney, the staff of the New York Times, Baptist clergy, rabbinic students, and the graduating class of the Claremont Colleges at their interfaith baccalaureate ceremony. She was once on a program with President Barack Obama, once with the Dalai Lama and once with circus performers. 

Currently she serves on the scientific advisory board of Parents Magazine and is a research and policy advisor for Challenge Success—a child advocacy program of the Stanford University School of Education.
Mogel is a frequent guest expert on national media. She weighs in issues of the day—from talking to kids about death to embracing the chaos of messy rooms—and on the topic for which she is best known: the protection and promotion of self-reliance, resilience, accountability, and exuberance.

In a review Publisher’s Weekly described her bestseller, The Blessing of a Skinned Knee, as, “Impassioned, lyrical and eminently practical—a real treasure.” Critical praise for her book about raising teenagers, The Blessing of a B Minus, emphasized its wit, wisdom, compassion and common sense.

Her new book, Voice Lessons for Parents: What to Say, How to Say It, and When to Listen, will be released in April. In it, she offers guidance for communicating with children across the expanse of childhood and adolescence and explains the most effective ways to talk about your child to teachers, coaches, nannies and caretakers, grandparents, partners, and your ex.
Sanford J.  Ungar

Sanford J. Ungar

Friday, March 9, 1:15 - 2:15 PM
GWCC, B308-B309
The Paradox of Free Speech in America Today
Sanford J. Ungar, president emeritus of Goucher College, is director of the Free Speech Project at Georgetown University.  He has been director of the Voice of America and dean of the School of Communication at American University.  During his journalism career, he was a staff writer for the Washington Post, Washington editor of The Atlantic, managing editor of Foreign Policy magazine, and co-host of “All Things Considered” on NPR.  He is the author or editor of six nonfiction books, including The Papers & The Papers: An Account of the Legal and Political Battle over the Pentagon Papers, which won the George Polk Award.  Ungar earned an AB in Government magna cum laude from Harvard College and a master’s degree in International History from the London School of Economics.  He teaches undergraduate seminars on Free Speech at both Georgetown and Harvard.