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Creativity Conference Curators

Mark W. Moffett

Tropical explorer Mark Moffett is investigating the life and death of societies across species and in humans right up to the present day. Trained under the Harvard ecologist E.O. Wilson, he is most widely known for finding new species and behavior and recording them in the National Geographic magazine.

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.

2016 Creativity Conference Speakers

Dan Ariely

Dan Ariely, professor of psychology at Duke, director of the Center for Advanced Hindsight, and author of Predictably Irrational, the Upside of Irrationality, 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 indispensable 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.”

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.”

Graham Hawkes

Graham Hawkes designs and builds super-fast submarines that you strap into as if you were in an airplane. His machines, owned by Richard Branson among many others, are so beautiful they’ve been displayed at the Smithsonian’s museum of design, the Cooper-Hewitt, which calls Hawkes “our 21st century Jules Verne.”

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.

Mark Moffett

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.

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.

Isabella Rossellini

Isabella Rossellini, actor, filmmaker, model, and author, is known for her roles in movies such as “Big Night” and “Blue Velvet”. Currently a student of animal behavior at Hunter College, she has been screenwriting, directing, and appearing in Green Porno, a series of films for the Sundance Channel on animal sexual behavior.

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 Debutante’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.

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