Plenary Sessions

OPENING PLENARY

Inversion Factor: The Culture of Disruption Leads to Innovation 

Sunday, March 15  |  8:30 - 10:00 a.m.

Linda Bernardi

Technologist and Innovation Provocateur
Former IBM Chief Innovation and Disruption Officer and Watson Co-Lead


Author of:

The Inversion Factor: How to Thrive in the IoT Economy
Provoke: Why the Global Culture of Disruption Is the Only Hope for Innovation 

Linda Bernardi believes the impact of digital disruption is a huge positive for today’s business organizations. With highly engaged discussions, Linda raises the comfort level audiences have with embracing disruptive technologies. She shares an enthusiastic outlook on how a wide range of sectors such as finance, retail, manufacturing, and health care can “futureproof” their businesses and thrive in the disruptive economy.

Linda is working with companies in all sectors to INVERT their mindset and offerings. As author of the Amazon best-seller The Inversion Factor: How to Thrive in the IoT Economy (MIT Press, 2017), Linda shares with audiences how to abandon the “product-first” model and capitalize on a “customer-need” model, driven by customer data, and how to futureproof their businesses. On stage, Linda focuses on how companies like Amazon, Airbnb, Uber, and Netflix all saw the opportunity to leverage disruptive innovation, reinvent their futures, and futureproof their business.

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ACHIEVING EXCELLENCE THROUGH DIFFERENCE/SHPEP PLENARY

The Pathway to Gender Equality

Sunday, March 15  |  5:00 - 6:30 p.m.

Ana Lopez Fuentes

Dominique Jackson

Model, Actress, Author, Advocate and Activist


Dominique Jackson was born on the smaller island of the twin island Republic of Trinidad and Tobago and went on to become a transgender actress. At the age of 15, she moved to the United States to escape traumatic situations, where she graduated in the 10th percentile of her class at Owings Mills High School in Maryland before going on to attend Fayetteville State University and Morgan State University.

In 2017, Ms. Jackson received the Legacy of Pride Award, presented by Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr., at the borough’s seventh annual LGBTQ & Allies Pride Awards Ceremony. That same year, she was honored with the New York State Assembly Citation issued by Mark Gjonaj. In 2019, she was honored with the National Equity Award by the Human Rights Campaign. She serves on the Community Health Program Board at the Montefiore South Bronx Healthcare Clinic. Ms. Jackson currently stars as Elektra Abundance Evangelista on the hit FX series POSE..

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POLITICAL SPOTLIGHT

The Pathway to Leadership 

Monday, March 16  |  8:30 - 9:45 a.m.

Michael Beschloss

Presidential Historian, NBC News and PBS NewsHour
New York Times Columnist and #1 Best-selling Author


Michael Beschloss is an American historian specializing in the United States presidency. He provides gripping tales and brilliant inside analysis, revealing the leadership secrets of great presidents and other towering figures in history. Trained at the Harvard Business School in leadership studies, Michael unravels the mysteries of powerful and effective leadership in areas from business to politics to sports.

He is a contributing columnist for The New York Times, writing a monthly column on business history (Sundays) and a weekly column on sports history (Saturdays). Winner of an Emmy award, he also serves as NBC News Presidential Historian and contributes to the PBS NewsHour. He is the author of nine best-selling books, including Presidential Courage: Brave Leaders and How They Changed America, 1789-1989; Jacqueline Kennedy: Historic Conversations on Life with John F. Kennedy (co-authored with Caroline Kennedy); and two volumes on President Lyndon Johnson’s secret White House tapes. With more than 110,000 followers, Michael also has the largest Twitter following of any historian on earth; his popular site appears on TIME magazine’s list of the world’s top Twitter feeds.  

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CLOSING PLENARY

The Pathway to Awesome: Getting Stronger and Living an Intentional Life

Tuesday, March 17  |  10:00 - 11:15 a.m.

Neil Pasricha

Leadership Keynote Speaker, Bestselling Author,
Positive Psychology Researcher


Neil Pasricha helps people live happy lives. He is a top-rated leadership keynote speaker, New York Times bestselling author, and positive psychology researcher focused on the relationship between happiness and leadership in business. Neil is one of the most popular TED speakers, with his first TED Talk “The 3 A’s of Awesome” (2010) ranked as one of the 10 most inspiring of all time and his second, “How will you maximize your tiny, short life?” (2016), was the world’s first ever TED Listen, composed entirely of questions.

As a leadership keynote speaker Neil has spoken to hundreds of thousands of people around the world, including Fortune 100 companies, Ivy League schools, and Royal Families in the Middle East. Before leading The Institute for Global Happiness and keynote speaking, Neil spent a decade running Leadership Development and working directly for two CEOs at Walmart, the world’s largest company. He was responsible for CEO onboarding, executive development, and talent management across all levels of the organization. His work has been featured in hundreds of outlets including CNN, BBC, The Today Show, The Early Show, The Oprah Winfrey Network, Harvard Business Review, Fast Company, Fortune, and Forbes.

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