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 is a futurist with a tech, consumer, retail and brand specialization, making complex societal shifts and emerging technologies relatable for any audience. She advises on the future of customer experience, how marketing is evolving, and using technology to adapt to new customer behaviors and expectations.
Simon T. Bailey
Breakthrough Strategist, Author, Life Coach, Entrepreneur
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.
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.
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.
Founder and CEO of FutureThink, Bestselling Author of Kill the Company and Why Simple Wins
Lisa Bodell is an award-winning author and CEO of futurethink. As a futurist and expert on change management, she has helped thousands of senior leaders ignite innovation at Google, Pfizer, Lockheed Martin, and more.
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.
World Leading Futurist on Global Trends and Disruptive Innovation.
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.
Nationally Recognized Political/Tax Thought Leader, Author, Integral Part of The Washington Update
A colleague of Andy Friedman and an integral part of The Washington Update, Jeff is the industry thought leader that guides domestic clients through the complex and ever-changing political and tax environment and helps international audiences understand United States politics.
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 Arming Leaders to Confront Disruptive Change and Win
Experience counts! Fortune veteran Geoff Colvin gives audiences critical information and insights they need to win. The rules have changed. Winning demands courage to confront reality faster than the competition. Transformation, innovation, and reinvention are on every leader’s mind. Colvin identifies what top companies and leaders are doing to adapt.
Transformational Business & Life Strategist and Sales Coach
Gary Coxe's work has been featured on The View, Inside Edition, Fox and Friends and as a regular on Dr. Phil’s show, The Doctors, and The Big Idea with Donny Deutsch. Gary draws onpersonal triumphs over tragedy and adversity to help individuals and organizations overcome their own obstacles to success.
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.
Organizational Psychologist, Researcher, and New York Times Best-Selling Author
Blending scientific savvy, hands-on tools, and powerful stories of leadership transformation, Tasha's programs are packed with interactive discussion, real-world application, and experiential activities. Audiences don’t just walk away inspired and entertained—they are ready to transform.
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.
Haben Girma, Esq.
Human Rights Lawyer, Author, First Deafblind Graduate of Harvard Law School
The first Deafblind person to graduate from Harvard Law School, Haben Girma advocates for equal opportunities for people with disabilities. President Obama named her a White House Champion of Change.
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 13 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 thirteen 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.
CEO of Zen Media, Best-Selling Author, Keynote Speaker, LinkedIn Top Voice in Marketing 4X
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.
Entrepreneur, Blogger and “Rejection Proof” Author
Jia Jiang (pronounced Jah Jahng) is an entrepreneur, blogger, TED speaker and an author. is the owner of Rejection Therapy and author. After he left a career in the corporate world to pursue life as an entrepreneur, he was soon confronted with everyone's biggest fear – rejection.
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. 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?
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.
Neuroscientist, Entrepreneur, and Author of Deviate
To thrive in change, we must let go of assumptions and beliefs that keep us from seeing the world differently. Neurologist and perception science expert, Beau reveals why trading certainty for doubt increases our capacity to adapt, lead, innovate, and thrive in the darkness of “I don’t know.”
Former Lead Storyteller and Animator at Pixar Studios
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.
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, was published in 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.
Author of the New York Times bestseller, "Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less." Host of the, "What's Essential" podcast.
Emerging as one of the most sought after speakers on leadership, peak performance, and business growth, Greg McKeown has trained at hundreds of events across the world including in the U.S., Australia, Bulgaria, Canada, China, England, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Norway and Singapore.
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.
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.
#1 New York Times Bestselling Author, Organizational Culture Guru, Co-Founder 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.
#BePrecedential - Writer, Youth Development Expert and Human Justice Advocate
From facing life-in-prison at 19 to preeminent voice in social and criminal justice.
"Everything we were told to believe about justice, violence, crime, race, gender needs to be rethought. And I am here rethinking it all in real time through my words. Why? Prison made me do it."
Customer Experience & Leadership Expert; Trusted Advisor to CEOs
If you’re aspiring to satisfy your customers, then you’re aspiring to mediocrity. That’s the philosophy at the heart of Jon Picoult’s work, because building brand loyalty requires impressing customers, not just satisfying them.
Social Entrepreneur, Branding Strategist & Creator of #100DaysWithoutFear
Michelle Poler is a creative and passionate social entrepreneur, keynote speaker, fear facer, and branding strategist. She is the Founder of Hello Fears, a social movement empowering millions to step outside of the comfort zone and tap into their full potential.
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.
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.
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.
Melissa A. Schilling
Professor of Management at New York University Stern School of Business and Innovation Researcher
Melissa A. Schilling is the Herzog Family Professor of Management at New York University Stern School of Business. Professor Schilling’s research focuses on innovation and strategy in high technology industries such as smartphones, video games, pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, electric vehicles, and renewable energies.
Founder & CEO Karrikins Group, Bestselling Author, Named Top-25 Most Influential Speakers in the World
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 & Geo-Economic Strategist - Expert in Global Affairs and American Politics
John is a geopolitical strategist and diplomacy coordinator to the Department of State, sharing 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.
CEO & Author
Liz Wiseman is a researcher and executive advisor. Author of New York Times bestseller Multipliers: How the Best Leaders Make Everyone Smarter, The Multiplier Effect: Tapping the Genius Inside Our Schools, and Wall Street Journal bestseller Rookie Smarts: Why Learning Beats Knowing in the New Game of Work.
Browse topics in this category
- 24 Artificial Intelligence
- 24 Big Data
- 68 Branding / Marketing
- 107 Business
- 135 Business Growth / Strategy / Trends
- 42 CEO
- 133 Change Management / Organizational Change
- 104 Communication
- 12 Conflict Resolution
- 57 Corporate Culture & Governance
- 24 Corporate Social Responsibility
- 63 Customer Relations
- 27 Disruption
- 2 Distribution / Supply Chain Management
- 57 Diversity and Inclusion
- 35 Emotional Intelligence
- 90 Employee Engagement
- 100 Entrepreneur
- 30 Ethics / Values
- 61 Futurists / Trends
- 5 Hospitality
- 57 Human Resources / Workforce Issues
- 49 Influence
- 145 Innovation / Creativity
- 25 IT
- 267 Leadership
- 30 Management
- 37 Moderator / Facilitator
- 18 Negotiation
- 19 Networking
- 27 Productivity
- 1 Real Estate
- 8 Risk Management
- 11 Safety
- 84 Sales
- 34 Social Media
- 31 Storytelling
- 18 Stress Management
- 15 Sustainability
- 112 Teamwork / Teambuilding
- 78 Thought Leader
- 11 Trust / Honesty
- 303 Virtual
- 53 Work-life Balance