We hope you'll join us in Long Beach, CA, to see this wonderful lineup of speakers!

2019 General Sessions

Viola Davis

Viola Davis

Thursday, February 28, 9:30 - 10:45 AM
LBCC, Pacific Ballroom

Viola Davis is a critically revered, award-winning actress of film, television and theater known for her intriguing and groundbreaking roles. She is the first black actress to win a Tony, Oscar and Emmy Award in addition to being the most Academy Award nominated black actress in history. In 2016, she won the Academy Award for her role in Fences. 
Davis is currently starring on the drama “How to Get Away with Murder,” from ABC Studios and Shondaland. The series, which drew 14.24 million viewers during its 2014 premiere, is a sexy, suspense-driven legal thriller that centers on ambitious law students and their brilliant and mysterious criminal defense professor. In 2015, Davis received the Screen Actors Guild Award for “Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series,” in addition to becoming the first African American to receive the Primetime Emmy Award for “Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series.” In 2016, she received her second Screen Actors Guild Award and her second Emmy nomination for portraying Annalise Keating.

Formed in 2012, Davis and her husband founded a multi-ethnic production company, JuVee Productions, committed to excellence in film, television, and theatre. As their first project, they optioned the rights to Ann Weisgarber’s 2008 book The Personal History of Rachel DuPree. DuPree, a fictional, early 20th-century Chicagoan, leaves home to become a rancher’s wife in South Dakota’s Badlands. The neighboring white settlers rely on each other during 1917’s crippling summer drought, but the pregnant DuPree is isolated by both race and geography. The story focuses on her struggle to survive and provide for her family, but also examines the harsh racial struggles facing the rarely-explored lives of black pioneers. JuVee Productions’ other projects include the story of Harriet Tubman, a leader of the Underground Railroad which will be produced in association with HBO Films; Vee-Jay Records, a label that released the first Beatles tracks in America; and a Barbara Jordan biopic.

A graduate of The Julliard School, Davis received an Honorary Doctorate during its 109th Commencement Ceremony and she also holds an Honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts degree from her alma mater, Rhode Island College.

Viola Davis's opening general session is sponsored in part by Community Brands. 

Frans Johansson

Frans Johansson

Thursday, February 28, 3:30 - 4:45 PM
LBCC, Pacific Ballroom

An author, entrepreneur, and acclaimed international keynote speaker, Frans Johansson has addressed audiences around the world. His debut book, The Medici Effect, available in 20 languages, was named one of the "Best Books on Innovation" by BusinessWeek and one of the top 10 best business books of the year by Amazon. His follow up book, The Click Moment was named top 10 best business book of the year by Fast Company.

Johansson has advised some of the world’s leading organizations, including The Walt Disney Company, Nike, IBM, Caterpillar, CNN, Novartis, and American Express as well as startups, investment firms, government agencies, and universities around the world.

Raised in Sweden by his African-American/ Cherokee mother and Swedish father, Johansson has lived all his life at the Intersection. He has founded a software company, an international healthcare firm, and a hedge fund. Frans holds a B.S. in Environmental Science from Brown University and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School. He is the CEO of The Medici Group, the innovation and strategy firm he founded to put his ideas into practice with Fortune 500 companies.

Shiza  Shahid

Shiza Shahid

Friday, March 1, 9:30 - 10:45 AM
LBCC, Pacific Ballroom

Shiza Shahid is an entrepreneur, technologist, investor, and impact leader.
Shahid co-founded the Malala Fund with Nobel Prize winner Malala Yousafzai, and led the organization as founding CEO. She focused on creating access to high-quality education for all children around the world.
After launching NOW Ventures in Silicon Valley, in partnership with AngelList, Shahid now invests in mission-driven technology startups that are solving the world’s most pressing challenges through technology, innovation, and high-growth business models.
Shahid is renowned for her work, receiving many awards as a thought leader. She was named one of TIME’s “30 Under 30 People Changing the World,” Forbes “30 Under 30 – Social Entrepreneurs” and a Tribeca Institute Disruptive Innovator. She is a member of the WEF Global Agenda Council and has been featured in multiple publications, including Forbes, Fast Company, Elle, Glamour, Town and Country, The Edit, CNN, ABC, Al Jazeera, MSNBC, and others.

Simon Sinek

Simon Sinek

Friday, March 1, 3:30 PM - 4:45 PM
LBCC, Pacific Ballroom
The Infinite Game
How can we win a game that has no end? The simple answer is we can’t. However, that’s exactly what so many companies are trying to do. The problem is, there is no such thing as “winning business.” In a game with no finish line and no agreed upon rules or metrics it is impossible to “be number one,” “be the best” or “beat our competition.” In this Infinite Game, there is only ahead and behind. Leaders of organizations must understand the rules of the Infinite Game. Failure to do so dramatically increases the chance that they will set themselves on a path that eventually drains them of the will and resources to play at all. Eventually they will drop out of the game and no one will care. Their competition will just keep playing without them. In his talk, Simon explores how understanding the rules of the Infinite Game is essential if any leader wants to stay ahead and outlast any competitor…forever.
Simon​ ​Sinek​ ​is​ ​an​ ​unshakable​ ​optimist. He​ ​believes​ ​in​ ​a​ ​bright​ ​future​ ​and​ ​our​ ​ability​ ​to​ ​build​ ​it​ ​together.
Described as “a visionary thinker with a rare intellect,” Sinek teaches leaders and organizations how to inspire people. With a bold goal to help build a world in which the vast majority of people wake up every single day feeling inspired, feel safe at work, and feel fulfilled at the end of the day, Sinek is leading a movement to inspire people to do the things that inspire them. 

A trained ethnographer, Sinek is fascinated by the people and organizations that make the greatest, lasting impact in their organizations and in the world. Over the years, he has discovered some remarkable patterns about how they think, act and communicate and the environments in which people operate at their natural best. He has devoted his life to sharing his thinking in order to help other leaders and organizations inspire action.
Sinek may be best known for popularizing the concept of Why in his first Ted Talk in 2009. It rose to become the third most watched talk of all time on TED.com, with over 35 million views and subtitled in 45 languages. His interview on Millennials in the Workplace broke the internet in 2016. It garnered over 80 million views in a week and is now up to more than 200 million views, inspiring conversations on the subject around the world. He is the author of many bestselling books, including Start With​ ​Why:​ ​How​ ​Great​ ​Leaders​ ​Inspire​ ​Everyone​ ​to​ ​Take​ ​Action

2019 Featured Workshop Speakers

The Education Nexus:  Secondary Schools, Universities, and the Future of Work

The Education Nexus: Secondary Schools, Universities, and the Future of Work

Thursday, February 28, 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM
LBCC, Grand Ballroom B
More and more students graduating from high school are less ready for the opportunities and responsibilities of being in higher education, graduating on time, and managing the expectations of their workplace and personal life. Investigate how our world is changing and how we can better prepare our students to excel after they leave our schools.
Moderator: Rich Odell, Heads Up Educational Consulting
Panelists: Kevin Ross, Lynn University; Tacy Trowbridge, Adobe; Colleen Glaude, Apple; Robert H. Huntington, Heidelberg University; Jonathan Holloway, Northwestern University
Learning from Parkland: How to Respond to, Prepare for, and Prevent Active Shootings

Learning from Parkland: How to Respond to, Prepare for, and Prevent Active Shootings

Thursday, February 28, 1:30 - 2:30 PM
LBCC, Grand Ballroom B
The threat of an armed assailant on campus is easily one of the most overwhelming safety issues our schools are facing. Together with a student survivor from Stoneman Douglas High School, we will listen, examine, and plan for when the worst happens. Expect to leave with a heavy heart, a list of action items in your pocket, and yes, more hope than you entered with.
Presenters: Chris Joffe, Joffe Emergency Services; Lorena Sanabria, Parkland Survivor and Activist
Sex Abuse: Supporting the Well-Being of Survivors, Students, and the Community

Sex Abuse: Supporting the Well-Being of Survivors, Students, and the Community

Friday, March 1, 8:00 - 9:00 AM
LBCC, Grand Ballroom B
Explore survivor-focused responses to allegations of sexual abuse in your community. Discuss the effects of sexual abuse, how to best support survivors, how to help the community heal, and how we can work to prevent abuse in the future.
Moderator: John Palfrey, Phillips Academy (MA)
Panelists: Janet E. Fine, victim advocacy expert;  Mike Hanas, San Francisco Friends School (CA); Kathleen Buckstaff, author of Get Savvy and survivor; and Jamie Forbes, consultant and survivor
David  Gleason

David Gleason

Friday, March 1, 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM
LBCC, Grand Ballroom B
At What Cost? Defending Adolescent Development in Fiercely Competitive Schools
Anxiety, depression, and their dangerous manifestations—substance abuse, eating disorders, self-injury, and suicide—are increasingly commonplace at many competitive high schools. Paradoxically, most of these schools promote themselves as being committed to students' holistic development in academics, athletics, and the arts, and in their personal, social, and emotional growth. So why are so many students struggling? David Gleason has investigated these concerns in competitive high schools, and has found that these caring and dedicated adults fully admit to overscheduling, overworking and sometimes overwhelming their students and teenage children. This workshop explores the conflict between parents’ and educators’ actions and intentions.
Clinical psychologist David Gleason is an author and professor who provides counseling and consulting services within public, independent, and international schools.

Gleason served as administrative director of student support services at St. Paul’s School in Concord, New Hampshire, before opening his own practice in Concord, Massachusetts, in 2000. At that time, he also joined Concord Academy as that school’s consulting psychologist. In addition, Gleason serves as senior neuropsychologist at Wediko Children’s Services in Boston, where he supervises pre- and post-doctoral neuropsychology interns and co-teaches a professional development seminar.

Gleason has taught psychology at the secondary, undergraduate, and graduate levels, and he presents workshops and seminars at schools, national conferences in the United States, and at international conferences around the world. He is the author of At What Cost? Defending Adolescent Development in Fiercely Competitive Schools.
Cori  Lathan

Cori Lathan

Friday, March 1, 1:30 - 2:30 PM
LBCC, Grand Ballroom B
Harnessing technology trends that will enhance human performance
Cori Lathan will explore the impact of emerging technologies such as robotics, augmented reality, and the internet of things and how we can shape human-technology interaction to have a positive impact. Dr. Lathan will share her journey as a technology entrepreneur having developed robots for kids with disabilities, virtual reality technology for the space station, and wearable sensors for training surgeons and soldiers.  She will also share her passion for digital health and quantifying brain health across the lifespan. As the inventor of the “Brain Thermometer,” Dr. Lathan will explain how we've been ignoring the brain, but emerging technologies show that the decade of the brain is ahead of us.
Cori Lathan is a technology entrepreneur who has developed robots for kids with disabilities, virtual reality technology for the space station, and wearable sensors for training surgeons and soldiers. She is a global thought-leader in the relationship between technology and human performance and believes in a future of benevolent cyborgs.

Founder and CEO of AnthroTronix (est. 1999), Lathan has led projects from agencies such as DARPA, NASA, NIH, and NSF and recently developed one of the first FDA-cleared digital health platforms winning a prestigious Gold Edison Award. For this work, she was named a Woman to Watch by Disruptive Women in Health Care. She also joined the Women Against Alzheimer's Women's Leadership Council to address the most dangerous threat facing women today. Dr. Lathan has been featured in Forbes, Time, and the New Yorker magazines, and her work has led to such distinctions as MIT Technology Review Magazine’s “Top 100 World Innovators,” and one of Fast Company's “Most Creative People in Business.”

Lathan is a social advocate and actively involved in STEM educational outreach programs that empower women and minorities in science and technology. She founded Keys to Empowering Youth (est. 1992) for junior high school girls, coached for the FIRST and VEX robotics program, and advised the Smithsonian Institute’s Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation. She is on the Boards of the KID Museum Makerspace and Engineering World Health, which provides opportunities to college students to support the emergence of healthcare technology in the developing world.  Cori is also the parent of two LGBTQ+ children and is passionate about LGBTQ+ issues and has written about her family’s experience for the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Blog.