Thought Leader Keynote Speakers
Browse Thought Leader Speakers
Thought Leader keynote speakers inspire us to think differently. They can tap into psychology, emerging technology, innovations, and disruptions to deliver a message. Always in demand for fresh insight and practical future-focused strategies, GDA has many options of thought leader keynote speakers for your next event.
New York Times Bestselling Author and Positive Psychology Expert
Shawn Achor is the world’s leading expert on happiness and success topic. His acclaimed TED Talk, The Happy Secret to Better Work, has been seen by more than 20 million people around the world, and he’s shared his insight in his two books, The Happiness Advantage and Before Happiness.
Inspirational Retail & Hospitality Trends Speaker, 'How the Future Consumer will Buy'
Kate's the go-to gal for understanding the omni-channel revolution and how the physical and digital worlds are colliding in retail and hospitality. Her London based research team tap into the world's best designers to gather global insight on trends in a mobile-first world.
Simon T. Bailey
Critically Acclaimed Speaker, Author and Breakthrough Strategist
Simon T. Bailey is leader of the SPARK Movement whose purpose is to ignite sustainable transformation in people, individuals, systems, and nations. Simon T. Bailey is leader of the SPARK Movement whose purpose is to ignite sustainable transformation in people, individuals, systems, and nations.
Author and Brand Expert, Partner at eatbigfish.
Do you need to do more with less? Challenger the status quo? Get more bang for your buck? Mark Barden is an expert on how to challenge in a market, transform your constraints into inventive opportunities and embed the strong internal culture you need to succeed.
Chief Global Economist at The Economic Outlook Group
Bernard Baumohl is chief global economist at The Economic Outlook Group. He is well known for being ahead of the curve in assessing the direction of the U.S. and world economy.
Father of Modern Entrepreneurship
Entrepreneur-turned-educator Steve Blank is credited with launching the Lean Startup movement. He’s changed how startups are built; how entrepreneurship is taught; how science is commercialized, and how companies and the government innovate.
First African American Astronaut
Dr. Guion “Guy” Bluford, Jr. (Colonel, USAF, Ret.) was the first African American to fly in space in 1983, and the first African American to return to space for a second, third, and fourth time. He logged over 688 hours and he is now president of the Aerospace Technology Group.
Entrepreneur, Venture Capitalist, Best-selling Author and a 2 Time Emmy Nominated Media Visionary
Leonard Brody has been hailed as "a controversial leader of the new world order." He has helped in raising millions of dollars for start-up companies, been through one of the largest Internet IPOs in history, and involved in the building, financing, and/or sale of five companies to date.
Innovation Expert, Technology Futurist & Business Strategist
Daniel Burrus is considered one of the World’s Leading Futurists on Global Trends and Innovation. The New York Times has referred to him as one of the top three business gurus in the highest demand as a speaker.
Gabor George Burt
Business Tranformationist, Innovation Pioneer, Founder of the Slingshot Framework
Gabor George Burt is the global authority on re-imagining boundaries and author of the book Slingshot. A mastermind of innovation, creativity and strategy, Gabor enables individuals and organizations to overstep perceived limitations and to carve out successful growth strategies. His Slingshot Framework is at the forefront of global innovation.
The go-to expert on finding, engaging & keeping great employees.
Eric Chester is a trusted source in the global dialogue on workplace culture, employee engagement, and the emerging workforce. He helps business leaders attract, develop and retain top talent that delivers "on fire" performance.
Senior Editor-at-Large, Fortune Magazine and Bestselling Author Helping Leaders Confront Trends Driving Disruption
The best companies and leaders win by confronting reality faster than the competition. Geoff Colvin of Fortune delivers valuable insights to help audiences do just that. He unpacks actionable insights on economic, competitive, political, and technological forces driving disruptive change - revealing what top companies are doing to manage them.
Expert on NextGen Disruption/Customer Engagement, Founder of BeautyKind & J.Hilburn
Hil Davis understands the conversion of the offline and online world. He can help companies understand how and where the disruption happens or how to integrate this into your company. In short, he can help companies think and quantify how to bridge and manage this online/offline change.
Founder + CEO at Deutser | Author | Speaker
Brad Deutser, author of Leading Clarity: the Breakthrough Strategy to Unleash People, Profit and Performance, is the founder, President and CEO of Deutser, an award-winning management consulting firm, that works with leaders to create great companies inside and out.
National Authority on Women, Aging, & Marketplace Trends
Maddy Dychtwald is a nationally recognized author and leading expert on the changing demographic trends shaping the marketplace, the workplace, and our lives. She has also emerged as an authority on the economic ascent of women and its impact on various industries, including financial services, health care, and consumer marketing.
Renowned Visionary of the Age Wave and Longevity in America
Dr. Ken Dychtwald has emerged as North America’s foremost visionary and original thinker regarding the lifestyle, marketing, health care, and workforce implications of the age wave. During his career, Ken has addressed more than two million people worldwide in his speeches to corporate, association, social service, and government groups.
Cindy Eckert (formerly Whitehead)
CEO and founder of Sprout Pharmaceuticals & The Pink Ceiling
Cindy Eckert is an expert Entrepreneur and Angel Investor with total exits over $1.5 Billion. After selling her pharmaceutical company, Cindy launched the The Pink Ceiling business incubator for women led or women focused businesses.
History-Making Mountain Climber, Business Executive, International Speaker and Bestselling Author
As a history-making mountain climber, business executive and author, Susan
Ershler inspires audiences to challenge their perceived limitations and reach
new heights of business and personal success.
Best-Selling Author, Leadership & Accountability Expert
Henry is the Founder and Chief Excellence Officer for Dynamic Results, LLC. He applies the knowledge and experience gleaned from numerous successes and a failure in his own career, augmented by the knowledge gained in working with his executive clients every day.
Dr. Paul Fedak
Heart Surgeon and Innovator
Dr. Paul Fedak is a cardiac surgeon, innovator, mentor, and academic leader. He is an engaging speaker who uses reflection into the rigorous training and unique challenges faced by performing open-heart surgery and developing novel biomedical innovations to provide useful insights into technical mastery, peak performance, and self-discovery.
Dr. Adam Gazzaley
Professor in Neurology, Physiology and Psychiatry, Founder & Executive Director of Neuroscape.
Dr. Adam Gazzaley obtained an M.D. and a Ph.D. in Neuroscience. He is now Professor in Neurology, Physiology and Psychiatry at University of California, San Francisco and the Founder & Executive Director of Neuroscape, a translational neuroscience center engaged in technology creation and scientific research.
Bestselling Author of The Power of Positive Leadership
Jon Gordon's best-selling books and talks have inspired readers and audiences around the world. His principles have been put to the test by numerous Fortune 500 companies, professional and college sports teams, school districts, hospitals, and non-profits. He is the author of 16 books including 6 best-sellers.
Street-smart business leader, bestselling author, franchise expert, and founder of 12 companies
There are few situations in the business world that Troy Hazard has not experienced and survived – from massive financial loss to stunning success. As a serial entrepreneur who has founded and nurtured twelve businesses, Troy has been as consultant to some of the world's leading brands.
Leading Shark on ABC's Shark Tank and Founder & CEO Herjavec Group
Robert Herjavec is one of North America’s most recognizable business leaders. A dynamic entrepreneur, Robert has built and sold several IT companies to major players such as AT&T. He shares his expertise with other entrepreneurs each week as a leading Shark on ABC’s Emmy Award-winning hit Shark Tank.
New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestselling author on strategy
The #1 most valued skill in business people today is strategic thinking. But only 23 percent of managers are strategic. Rich Horwath presents a simple framework for all business people to live strategically to reach their full potential.
World Leading Shopper & Consumer Behaviouralist, Customer Experience Strategist
Ken Hughes is now acknowledged as being one of the world’s leading authorities on consumer and shopper behavior, blending his understanding of consumer & cyber psychology, digital anthropology, behavioral economics and retail futurology to explore the needs of the new consumer and predict the changes to come.
Founder & CEO, Best-Selling Author, Media Correspondent, Inc & Forbes 30 under 30
Shama is a trailblazing, award-winning entrepreneur who has built a global audience and is known for helping brands succeed in the digital age.
Forbes, Businessweek, and Inc - Top 30 under 30 entrepreneurs in the field of marketing LinkedIn’s Top 10 Voices in Marketing for four years in a row
Customer Service and Experience Expert
Have you ever walked away from an interaction with a company and thought, "Wow, that was an amazing experience," or "Those people were amazing!"? That is what Shep Hyken helps his clients achieve. Shep works with companies who want to build loyal relationships with their customers and employees.
Founder of Travelocity.com, Founding Chairman of Kayak.com, Digital Disruptor
Terry Jones, author, venture capitalist, innovator and keynote speaker is the founder of Travelocity.com, founding Chairman of Kayak.com and current Chairman for Wayblazer, a company designed around innovation and travel. He has a proven track record of leading companies whose innovations have revolutionized an industry.
NYT Best-selling Author, Entrepreneur, Forbes Contributor, a Senior Fellow at the Kauffman Foundation
Diana Kander is a New York Times Bestselling Author of All In Startup, entrepreneur, innovation consultant, and keynote speaker for Fortune 1000 companies who asks some big questions. What causes big, household brands to lose relevance with their customers and go out of business?
Co-Founder Free The Children, Me to We and We Day
Craig Kielburger is an internationally acclaimed speaker, humanitarian, social entrepreneur and New York Times bestselling author. He is the co-founder of a family of organizations dedicated to shifting the world from ‘me’ to ‘we.’
Cultural theorist, author, filmmaker
In her fast-paced and entertaining presentations Jean Kilbourne illustrates that ads sell more than products. They sell values, images, and concepts of love and sexuality. Sometimes they sell addictions. Her topics include the image of women in advertising, the sexualization of children, and the marketing of alcohol and tobacco.
Content Chief & Co-Founder of Not Impossible, Executive Director - The Not Impossible Foundation
Elliot is a social innovator with degrees in Law, Science and Storytelling. His particular obsession is collaborating on harnessing technology and science to produce low-cost solutions for our most vulnerable populations then utilizing the power of film and the strength of brands to amplify those stories for true reach.
Futurist, Founder Delphi Group, Author Ten books, Speaker, Columnist
Tom Koulopoulos is a leading futurist, author of eleven books including Revealing the Invisible; The Gen Z Effect; Cloud Surfing; and The Innovation Zone, and founder of Delphi Group, a Boston-based think tank named one of the fastest growing private companies in the US by Inc. Magazine.
Founder of Unwritten Labs, Social Innovator, Researcher, Author, Teacher
Jeff Leitner is a social innovator, researcher, author, and teacher. He is a fellow at New America in Washington, D.C., author of See Think Solve: A Simple Way to Tackle Tough Problems, and speaker and facilitator on the organizational and larger social influence of unwritten rules.
CEO & Chief Happiness Officer of Delivering Happiness, Culture Book Creator and Consultant at Zappos
Jenn will captivate your audience by demonstrating how culture is a powerful model for achieving success, strengthening your competitive advantage & how concentrating on the happiness creates sustainability. We will equip you with the data-driven, science-backed information necessary to make a compelling case to reexamine your organization’s culture.
Expert on Cities, Mobility, Travel, Trade, and the Future of Work
Greg is a funny, provocative, dynamic speaker who packs more ideas and examples into an hour-long than almost anyone. Whether he's speaking about the future of cities, or the office, or autonomous cars, or tourist destinations, he weaves fresh reporting and speculation about the future to make every speech memorable.
Elizabeth Lombardo, Ph.D.
Renowned Psychologist, Best Selling Author, Success Coach
Success starts from within. Whether you want to have a healthy body, booming business, or flourishing relationships, the first step is to rewire your brain and cultivate your peak mindset. Dr. Lombardo teaches practical skills to make lasting transformations in your life.
Former Pixar Story Artist, Writer, Story Consultant, Creative Writing Instructor and Speaker
Matthew Luhn is a writer, story and branding consultant, creative writing instructor and keynote speaker with over 25 years' experience creating stories and characters formerly at Pixar Animation Studios, The Simpsons, and beyond.
Award-winning Persuasion and Influence Expert Increases Your “Win Rate” with Proven Science of Influence Strategies
We have a speaker with a strong business background who delivers immediately actionable business strategies in an entertaining and thought-provoking way. Melinda Marcus is an award-winning communicator who shares scientific research that reveals how surprisingly small things can influence big business decisions. Our clients have been really impressed.
Co-founder, First Friday Book Synopsis and Accomplished Keynote Speaker
Randy Mayeux is an accomplished speaker who specializes in conducting Executive Book Briefings and training on presentation skills. He is an Instructor in the Business Leadership Center in the Cox School of Business at Southern Methodist University, where he has received the Teaching Excellence Award multiple times.
Digital Biology, Scientist, Engineer, and Entrepreneur
Raymond McCauley is a scientist, engineer, and entrepreneur working at the forefront of biotechnology. Raymond explores how applying technology to life “”biology, genetics, medicine, agriculture”” is affecting every one of us. Raymond is Chair of Biology at Singularity University, Co-founder and Chief Architect for BioCurious, the hackerspace for biotech.
Heather E. McGowan
Future-of-work strategist Heather E. McGowan helps leaders prepare their people and organizations for the Fourth Industrial Revolution. McGowan is the co-editor and author of the book Disrupt Together: How Teams Consistently Innovate and a Forbes contributor. Her book, The Adaptation Advantage, due out in spring 2020.
Rita Gunther McGrath
Professor, Columbia Business School
Rita Gunther McGrath is a world-renowned thought leader and a professor at Columbia Business School, where she directs the popular Leading Strategic Growth and Change program. She is widely recognized as a premiere expert on leading innovation and growth during times of uncertainty. I
Best-selling Author "Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less", CEO of THIS Inc, Young Global Leader
McKeown challenges conventional wisdom in a unique and engaging style from the first moment to the last instant. Offers a way of thinking for discerning what is essential, eliminating what is not, and removing obstacles in order to break through to the next level.
Leading, Selling and Performing with a Noble Purpose
Lisa McLeod has rocked the house for giants like Google and Roche, as well as franchises, non-profits, and associations around the world. She has delivered programs in over 25 countries. She is a bestselling author and has been featured on NBC Nightly News and The Today Show.
Joseph A. Michelli, Ph.D.
Author, Speaker, Consultant
Dr. Joseph Michelli is an internationally sought-after public speaker, organizational consultant, and a #1 New York Times bestselling business author who has worked with and written about customer-centric organizations such as Airbnb, Starbucks, Zappos, UCLA Health System, The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company and Mercedes-Benz USA.
World's Top Public Philosophers and Pioneering Business Thinkers
Philosopher Tom Morris has become one of the most popular keynote speakers in our time on topics of success, motivation, leadership, and change management. He brings the wisdom of the ages to bear on all our most pressing contemporary challenges with deep thought, high energy, and surprisingly great humor.
Social Journalist, Author, Humanitarian
Sonia Nazario is an award-winning journalist and humanitarian. Her personal story is the story of migration and of ganas (determination). Her articles and speeches move people to tears and end in standing ovations.
The New York Times Bestselling Author, Organizational Culture Guru, Member of MTV's The Buried Life
Ben struggled with depression growing up and was forced to drop out of college. Searching for purpose, he created the world’s greatest bucket list with his three childhood friends.
Author of best-selling book, On Fire: The 7 Choices to Ignite a Radically Inspired Life
In 1987, John was a curious nine-year-old boy. Playing with fire and gasoline, he created a massive explosion in his garage and was burned on 100% of his body. John was given one percent chance to survive.
Marlon went from facing life in prison at 19-years old to being one of the preeminent voices in social and criminal justice. Just seven years since his release, he was named one of America's 100 most influential and inspiring leaders in the Black community by Ebony Magazine.
Customer Experience and Leadership Expert
Jon Picoult helps companies impress their customers and inspire their employees, creating raving fans that drive business growth. He has worked with some of the world’s foremost brands and has been featured in dozens of media outlets, including The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, NBC News and Inc.
Social Entrepreneur, Branding Strategist & Creator of #100DaysWithoutFear
Founder of Born and raised in Caracas-Venezuela to a family of holocaust survivors, Michelle was accustomed to living with fear. It was what kept her safe and comfortable.
CNN Hero; Social Entrepreneur
Chad Pregracke embodies how one person can make a difference. Since the age 17, Chad has lead a movement for cleaner water through hard work and by mobilizing thousands of volunteers and corporations to join his cause. His presentation style is authentic, humorous, spontaneous, and inspires people to take action!
Top Technology and Motivational Speaker, #1 Bestselling Author & Futurist
Often called a Digital Dale Carnegie, Erik Qualman is the author of multiple bestsellers including Socialnomics: How social media transforms the way we live and do business. He is the producer of the "Social Media Revolution" videos, the most-watched social media video series in the world.
Former Navy SEAL Officer, Author of Orange Wounded Warrior Sign at Bethesda Naval Hospital
Jason Redman joined the Navy on September 11, 1992 and spent eleven years as an enlisted SEAL. On September 13, 2007, outside of Fallujah, Iraq, Lieutenant Redman’s Assault Team came under heavy machine gun and small arms fire and he was severely wounded in the ensuing firefight.
Professor Chris Roebuck
Delivering inspirational leadership from a unique perspective
Chris provides a unique perspective on making leadership work. A successful military, corporate & government leader, Professor , executive mentor, CEO confidant. He inspires the audience to use their own knowledge to transform performance though simple day to day actions they can start immediately.
Author, Culture Change Expert
Dr. Randy Ross is founder and CEO (Chief Enthusiasm Officer) of Remarkable! A master of cultural transformation, Dr. Ross has a unique understanding of employee engagement and offers practical solutions for increasing both the morale and performance of your teams.
Angela M. Sanchez
Formerly Homeless, Writer, Cartoonist, Magician, Education Advocate, First Generation Latino College Graduate
Angela M. Sanchez has written and published the children’s book, Scruffy and the Egg, and currently working on my first young adult novel. She is most interested in urban fantasy and cartoons. When Angela is not drawing, she writes on issues related to social justice and access to higher education.
Best-Selling Author. Consultant. Coach. Speaker. Innovator.
Rod is a entrepreneur, best-selling author and business coach who has built a business from the ashes of Great Recession to be a leading consulting and coaching organization throughout North America. He has develop principles in sales and personal marketing that propel his clients to earn 5X their industry peers.
Author "The Collapse of Parenting", Physician, and Psychologist
In June 2008, Dr. Sax sold his practice to his associate and began a 5-year sabbatical, working with schools and community groups across the United States and around the world.
Bestselling Author and World Renowned Speaker on Growth and Transformation
Founder & Group CEO of Karrikins Group, Peter Sheahan is known internationally for his innovative business thinking and thought leadership. With staff in more than 23 cities across 7 countries, he knows firsthand the challenges of growing a business in these rapidly-changing times.
Best-selling author and founding leader of the Conscious Capitalism Movement
The world is changing and human beings are evolving rapidly. Business-as-usual will no longer work. Raj’s inspiring and original research shows that companies rooted in higher purpose and built on love and care outperform dramatically financially while creating many kinds of value for all stakeholders, including society and the planet.
Geopolitical Strategist - Expert in Global Affairs and American Politics
John is a geopolitical strategist and diplomacy coordinator to the Department of State, shares his insights into U.S. and global geopolitical trends, intelligence and strategies before high-stakes decision makers and opinion leaders at investor, business and government conferences, forums and events.
Retail thought leader, speaker, trainer and advisor
Carol brings a rare combination of thought leadership and concrete tools and tactics, all of which are customized to the audience and aligned with event themes (no "canned" presentations or "pitches from the podium”). Carol is often lauded for her story-telling ability, energy, high-quality presentations, and in-depth knowledge of retail.
Trends+Innovation Speaker, Adjunct Professor Univ. of San Francisco and UC Berkeley
Michael has founded four startups and is a highly rated speaker who created Ubertrends to map the future and shows how leveraging these tectonic shifts can propel innovation and change trajectories.
Cyber-illusionist, Tech innovator, Fellow MIT Media Lab
Cyber-illusionist, tech innovator & MIT Media Lab fellow, Marco presents cutting edge ideas and illusions in his keynote speeches and performances for all types of corporate and private audiences.
World Renowned Futurist, Author, Expert on Change
Jack Uldrich speaks over 100 times a year to organizations, especially agriculture, education, energy, finance, retail, health care and manufacturing. He says creativity and action are more powerful and versatile than knowledge. He is energetic and full of thoughtful business and personal advice that will educate, entertain, and inspire audiences.
Inviting Individuals and Organizations to Greater Courage
Most people and organizations see the world as it is and react. This impactful presentation redefines courage as an invitation to envision the world as it could be, then create it Stosh's presentations invite individuals and organizations to live with greater courage and create the best world they can envision.
Nicholas J Webb
Top Speaker on Innovation, Healthcare and Customer Experience
Inspire your team to strive for excellence, let Nicholas take you and your audience on an incredible journey through his presentation.
- Awarded over 40 US Patents
- Bestselling Author
- CEO of LeaderLogic, LLC
- WesternU Adjunct Professor and Director of Innovation
Leah Weiss, PhD
Author; Stanford Professor and Researcher; Expert on Burnout, Mindfulness, Soft Skills, Compassion, Self-Compassion, and Purpose
A founding faculty member of the Dalai Lama’s Compassion and Cultivation Program at Stanford University, Leah Weiss, PhD, MSW is a lecturer at Stanford Business School, researcher and meditation expert. She has dedicated her life to teaching people how to leverage research-based mindfulness.
M.S. in Criminal Justice with a Life-Sentence on Parole, Addiction, Recovery and Behavioral Health Advocate
Damon West, M.S. Criminal Justice, is a motivational speaker and best-selling co-author (with motivational speaker Jon Gordon) of The Coffee Bean: A simple Lesson to Create Positive Change. His first book was, The Change Agent: How a Former College QB Sentenced to Life in Prison Transformed His World.
Best Selling Author, Executive Advisor, President of The Wiseman Group
Liz Wiseman teaches leadership to executives worldwide. She’s President of the Wiseman Group, a leadership research and development firm in Silicon Valley, California. Liz is listed on the Thinkers50 ranking with the top 10 leadership thinkers in the world. She wrote the best selling leadership books: Rookie Smarts & Multipliers.
Browse topics in this category
- 21 Artificial Intelligence
- 26 Big Data
- 68 Branding / Marketing
- 113 Business
- 141 Business Growth / Strategy / Trends
- 40 CEO
- 141 Change Management / Organizational Change
- 104 Communication
- 13 Conflict Resolution
- 63 Corporate Culture & Governance
- 26 Corporate Social Responsibility
- 74 Customer Relations
- 18 Disruption
- 3 Distribution / Supply Chain Management
- 42 Diversity
- 32 Emotional Intelligence
- 82 Employee Engagement
- 97 Entrepreneur
- 29 Ethics / Values
- 57 Futurists / Trends
- 6 Hospitality
- 55 Human Resources / Workforce Issues
- 46 Influence
- 146 Innovation / Creativity
- 27 IT
- 266 Leadership
- 29 Management
- 36 Moderator / Facilitator
- 16 Negotiation
- 19 Networking
- 34 Productivity
- 0 Real Estate
- 10 Safety
- 87 Sales
- 38 Social Media
- 31 Storytelling
- 19 Stress Management
- 15 Sustainability
- 127 Teamwork / Teambuilding
- 80 Thought Leader
- 5 Trust / Honesty
- 65 Work-life Balance