Make a Reservation:
The Cloister is Expanding

We are adding 63 rooms, a pool and a junior ballroom on the outer edges of the Cloister property.

Creativity Conference

Sea Island Creativity Conference

Friday, February 12–Saturday, February 13
The Cloister Ballroom

Expand your horizons and stimulate your mind by engaging with extraordinary thinkers and innovators from the arts, sciences, and media during Sea Island's third annual creativity weekend. The two-day program includes talks, Q&As, activities, and socializing with visionaries across many different fields.

An Intimate Dinner with Creativity Conference Speakers

Friday, February 12, 2016
7-9 p.m.
Cloister Clubroom

Get to know the speakers personally during this four course dinner with four stories, where the conversation and ideas multiply! Reservations required.

Individual reservations are required for each lecture day and the dinner.

2016 Conference Schedule


Ecologist Dr. Mark Moffett and his wife and frequent expedition partner, Melissa Wells, will serve as conference hosts. “Sea Island is a gorgeous spot surrounded by nature (golden marsh lands, protected oyster beds, and sea turtles), with amenities for a rejuvenating and stimulating weekend. We were impressed with our experience at Sea Island and jumped at the chance to help create a conference of like-minded creatives.”

  • Mark W. Moffett, Ph.D

    Mark W. Moffett, a.k.a. "Doctor Bugs," has discovered new species and behaviors from the tops of the world's tallest trees to sink holes a quarter-mile deep. He has writing and photography credits for more than 30 articles for National Geographic and is the recipient of the highest honor in exploration, the Lowell Thomas Award from the Explorers Club.

    An entomologist at the Smithsonian Institution, he created a solo exhibition, “Farmers, Warriors, Builders: The Hidden Life of Ants.” He is a 2008 Yale Poynter Journalism Fellow with three books, The High Frontier: Exploring the Tropical Rain Forest Canopy, Face to Face with Frogs, and Adventures Among Ants, which The New York Times said was written “with an entertainer’s instinct for hooking a restless audience.” He is the recipient of the highest honor in exploration, the Lowell Thomas Award from the Explorers Club.

  • Melissa Wells

    Melissa Wells is an expert at managing healthcare systems in the US and abroad. When on expeditions with fellow explorer Moffett, she also captures the work and inspiration of scientific researchers through photography and film.


  • Dan Ariely

    Dan Ariely, professor of psychology at Duke, director of the Center for Advanced Hindsight, and author of Predictably Irrational, the Upside of Irrational¬ity, and The Honest Truth About Dishonesty, carries out remarkable experiments to reveal why, despite our intentions, we often fail to act on our own best interests.

  • Martin Chalfie

    Columbia University professor Martin Chalfie won the 2008 Nobel Prize in chemistry for working out how to use fluorescent proteins to track the physiology of cells and tissues, a technique that has become indispensible for biologists and medical researchers—and used by artists to make glow-in-the-dark bunnies.

  • Billy Collins

    Billy Collins, two-time poet laureate of the United States, has been described as “America’s favorite poet” by the Wall Street Journal, and is often compared to Robert Frost. As J.J. Abrams tells us in the New York Times, Collins “is able, with precious few words, to make me cry. Or laugh out loud. He is a remarkable artist.”

  • Dr. Temple Grandin

    Temple Grandin, professor of animal science at Colorado State University, is a spokesperson for people with autism and a pioneer in improving the treatment and welfare of farm animals. She has made Time magazine’s list of 100 most influential people and is the subject of the acclaimed movie, Temple Grandin.

  • Kevin Kelly

    Technology and internet guru Kevin Kelly, founder of Wired magazine and its executive editor for seven years, was a former editor of Whole Earth Review. He has written What Technology Wants, New Rules for the New Economy, Out of Control and other books, and currently runs the popular website, Cool Tools.

  • Apollo Robbins

    Apollo Robbins, an expert on pickpockets, confidence crimes, and deception, is “widely considered the best in the world at what he does, which is taking things from people's jackets, pants, purses, wrists, fingers, and necks, then returning them in amusing and mind-boggling ways," reports the New Yorker.

  • David Salle

    Painter and print maker David Salle, whose works appear in the world’s leading museums, helped define the postmodern sensibility by combining figuration with an extremely varied pictorial language. He is renowned as well for his costume and set design work with choreographer and dancer Karole Armitage.

  • Gary Shteyngart

    Leningrad-born Gary Shteyngart has been lauded for his humorous pieces in the New Yorker, his memoir Little Failure and the novels Absurdistan, Russian Debu¬t¬ante’s Handbook and Super Sad True Love Story, which have each been named among of the best books of the year by dozens of newspapers and magazines.

  • Loudon Wainwright III

    Loudon Wainwright, III, the Grammy-winning singer, musician, and stage performer, has a new one-man show, “Surviving Twin.” He is also known for such acting roles as the “singing surgeon” for the television series M.A.S.H. In April 2015 he was awarded the BBC Lifetime Achievement Award for songwriting.


2014 Speakers      2015 Speakers