Skip to Content
  • Sign up for exclusive offers and news and be entered to win a $500 Sea Island Gift Card. Subscribe Now

  • Creativity Conference

As we prepare for future Annual Creativity Conferences and other programs, we want to hear from you! Do you have a favorite past speaker you would like to see again?

Please select your favorites from each year below, hitting “Submit” before moving on to the next year.

Can’t remember a name? Be sure to scroll to view speaker bios.

Please vote for your favorite speakers from 2022.

Stephon Alexander

Stephon Alexander

Stephon Alexander is a cosmologist and sax virtuoso who bridges physics with music in his book, The Jazz of Physics; his investigations push Einstein’s theory to new extremes by connecting the smallest and largest entities in the universe.

Baba Brinkman

Baba Brinkman

Rap artist Baba Brinkman, born in a log cabin built by his parents, is known for science-themed albums, TED talks and off-Broadway productions that combine hip-hop music with performance art, literature, and cutting-edge research studies.

Helen-Fisher

Helen Fisher

Leading American anthropologist Helen Fisher is an expert on falling in love, human sexuality, and gender; among her accomplishments, she was instrumental in working out the criteria by which match.com connects men and women.

Dr Ayanna Howard

Ayanna Howard

Artificial intelligence researcher and innovator Ayanna Howard was involved in building the Mars rover while at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and is currently constructing robots that, for example, assist children with learning disabilities.

Barry Kerzin

Barry Kerzin

Physician to the Dalai Lama, Buddhist monk Barry Kerzin arranges medical care for India’s poor, collaborates with scholars to study such topics as meditation, moral­ity and compassion, and founded the Altruism in Medicine Institute in the U.S.

Steven and Susana

Susana Martinez-Conde and Stephen Macknik

Award-winning neuroscientists Susana Martinez-Conde and Stephen Macknik are foremost authorities on perception; they put together the “Best Illusion of the Year” contest and have recently co-authored the book, Champions of Illusion.

Scott McCloud

Scott McCloud

Scott McCloud is a graphic novelist and cartoonist with many Harvey and Eisner awards in this field who is best known for his insights about cartooning in books such as Reinventing Comics, leading to the moniker “the Aristotle of comics.”

Katie Orff

Kate Orff

The acclaimed landscape architect Kate Orff designs urban environments to better foster our social lives in the face of ongoing ecological change; she has taken the lead on projects that include rebuilding much of the New York City coastline.

Carl Safina

Carl Safina

Carl Safina is a MacArthur-winning conservationist and animal rights activist who explores human relationships to nature, most recently with the book Becoming Wild: How Animal Cultures Raise Families, Create Beauty, and Achieve Peace.

Randall Wells

Randall Wells

Randall Wells directs the world’s longest-running study of a wild dolphin population with his fifty year investigation of the social behavior, ecology, health, and conservation of the bottlenose dolphin community that resides in Sarasota Bay.

Sam Zygmuntowics

Sam Zygmuntowicz

Preeminent American luthier Sam Zygmuntowicz, who’s crafted cellos and violins for Yo-Yo Ma, Isaac Stern and many others, has become expert on the physics of music from teaming up with scientists to better understand stringed instruments.

Please vote for your favorite speakers from 2020.

 

Deirdre Barrett

Deirdre Barrett

Psychologist Deirdre Barrett, the author of several highly-regarded books and a past President of the International Association for the Study of Dreams, teaches at the Harvard Medical School about dreams, imagery, creativity, and hypnosis.

Carter Burwell

Carter Burwell

Carter Burwell is the celebrated composer of the scores for such movies as Spike Jonze’s Being John Malkovich, Adaptation and Where the Wild Things Are, Coen brother films Fargo, Big Lebowski and No Country for Old Men, and many others.

Alison Gopnik

Alison Gopnik

Alison Gopnik, a psychologist studying human development and the philosophy of mind, writes a Wall Street Journal column, “Mind and Matter” and critically acclaimed books like The Philosophical Baby and The Gardener and the Carpenter.

Lauren Greenfield

Lauren Greenfield

Lauren Greenfield is the photographer of the exhibits and books Fast Forward, Girl Culture, THIN, and Generation Wealth, director of The Queen of Versail­les and The Kingmaker, and producer of the hashtag and commercial #likeagirl.

Robert Lang

Robert Lang

Mathematician Robert Lang builds origami masterpieces that combine aspects of the Western school of mathematical origami design with an Eastern emphasis on line and form to yield work that is distinctive, elegant, and a challenge to fold.

Amory Lovins

Amory Lovins

Amory Lovins, a Time magazine Hero of the Planet with twelve honorary doctorates, is the author of more than thirty books and several hundred articles and advises governments around the world on matters of energy use and efficiency.

John Mather

John Mather

NASA cosmologist John Mather earned his Nobel Prize in physics for research cementing the big bang theory of the origin of the universe. He is senior project scientist in building a telescope that will see farther into space than ever before.

Peter Kuper

Peter Kuper

Peter Kuper is most widely known for his Spy vs Spy cartoons for Mad magazine, but is renowned as well for his New Yorker cartoons and graphic novels, among them award-winning adaptations of Heart of Darkness and The Metamorphosis.

Stephanie Sinclair

Stephanie Sinclair

Stephanie Sinclair has numerous awards for humanitarian efforts and photogra­phy, including the Pulitzer Prize. She is the founder and executive director of Too Young to Wed, a nonprofit whose mission is to empower girls around the world.

Alvy Ray Smith

Alvy Ray Smith

Alvy Ray Smith, computer graphics pioneer and the co-founder of Pixar, has received two Academy Awards for his technical innovations. He also creates works of art, among them one in the collection of Museum of Modern Art in New York.

Edie Widder

Edie Widder

Edie Widder, MacArthur-awarded scientist on giant squid and authority on bioluminescence, is CEO and senior scientist at the Ocean Research and Conservation Association, a not-for-profit founded by her and focused on supporting marine life.

Please vote for your favorite speakers from 2019.

Laurie Anderson

Laurie Anderson

Laurie Anderson is one of America’s most daring creative pioneers. Renowned for her multimedia presentations, she is a visual artist, vocalist, songwriter, and director whose groundbreaking works span the worlds of art, theater, and music

Roy Baumeister

Roy Baumeister

Roy Baumeister is among the most prolific, frequently cited psychologists in the world, with over 600 articles and 35 books, including New York Timesbestseller Willpower. Roy works on issues such as identity, meaning, self-esteem, and free will.

Ethan Coen

Ethan Coen

With his brother Joel, Ethan Coen has written, produced, and directed such films as the Academy Award-winning No Country for Old Men and Fargo. Now in the 35th year of their career, their 18th feature film, The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, is currently in release.

Norman Doidge

Norman Doidge

Psychiatrist and psychoanalyst Norman Doidge’s books, The Brain That Changes Itself and The Brain’s Way of Healing, have been called “remarkable” by Oliver Sacks and “brilliant” by the London Times. He is also highly regarded as a poet.

Sheldon Glashow

Sheldon Glashow

Sheldon Glashow is a theoretical physicist focused on particle physics and cosmology: the sciences at the far extremes of size. He discovered the fundamental particle “Charm” and has a Nobel Prize for contributions to the unified theory.

Bernd Heinrich

Bernd Heinrich

Bernd Heinrich, naturalist, artist, and outdoorsman, has made major contributions to ecology, with highly praised books on everything from long-distance running and the economics of living in a bumblebee hive to the intelligence of ravens.

Donald Johanson

Donald Johanson

One of the most accomplished scholars regarding human origins, Donald Johanson has produced some of the field’s most groundbreaking discoveries, including the most widely known fossil of the 20th century, the 3.2-million-year-old “Lucy” skeleton.

Peter Norvig

Peter Norvig

Peter Norvig was the senior computer scientist at NASA before becoming director of research at Google. He coauthored the most important textbook on artificial intelligence, and millions have read his article on learning to program in ten years.

Pete Souza

Pete Souza was the official White House photographer under President Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama and former director of the White House Photography Office. Pete’s most recent bestseller is Shade: A Tale of Two Presidents.

Amy Tan

Amy Tan

Amy Tan, a New York Times best-selling novelist and writer of children’s books and memoirs, also co-wrote the screenplay for the film adaptation of her book, The Joy Luck Club, and the libretto for the opera The Bonesetter’s Daughter.

Jill Tarter

Jill Tarter

Jill Tarter, Emeritus Chair of SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) received the TED Prize and has been named one of Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World. She is portrayed by Jodie Foster in the movie Contact.

Please vote for your favorite speakers from 2018.

Mahzarin Banaji

Mahzarin Banaji

Mahzarin Banaji, authority on biases and stereotyping, studies our unconscious thoughts and feelings about others. She is a professor of psychology at Harvard and coauthor with Anthony Greenwald of Blindspot: Hidden Biases of Good People.

Steve Coleman

Steve Coleman

Steve Coleman, a saxophonist and composer known as perhaps the foremost innovator of jazz since Coltrane, has explored musical traditions from many parts of the world and drawn from science and nature to redefine the jazz sound.

Fred Dame

Fred Dame

Fred Dame, the first American to serve as President of the Court of Master Sommeliers, has been active in expanding the master sommelier program across the U.S. He has honorary professorships at Purdue and University of South Carolina.

Annie Duke

Annie Duke

Annie Duke, a world poker champion and authority on risk, has written several books on poker and decision-making, among them Thinking in Bets: Making Smarter Decisions When You Don’t Have All the Facts.

Peter Menzel and Faith D’Aluisio

Peter Menzel and Faith D’Alusio

Husband and wife team Peter Menzel and Faith D’Alusio document science and the environment with unique books that explore issues such as material possessions (Material World) and diet (Hungry Planet).

Craig Packer

Craig Packer

Craig Packer is a biologist, conservationist, and professor at the University of Minnesota. He appears often in National Geographic, is the leading authority on lions and the Serengeti and won the John Burroughs Medal for his book, Into Africa.

Robert Pinsky

Robert Pinsky

Robert Pinsky, twice poet laureate of the United States, is known for his efforts to make poetry a meaningful part of everyday life, most notably through his Favorite Poem Project, in which Americans read poems aloud for the Library of Congress.

Karen Russell

Karen Russell

Karen Russell, author of St. Lucy’s Home for Girls Raised by Wolves, Vampires in the Lemon Grove, and Swamplandia! is a MacArthur winner, proclaimed by NPR “a literary genius” and “one of the great American writers of our young century.”

Bruce Schneier

Bruce Schneier

Bruce Schneier, cryptographer and fellow at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, has been called a security guru by The Economist, and is the author of Data and Goliath: The Hidden Battles to Collect Your Data and Control Your World.

Nick Ut

Nick Ut

Nick Ut, winner of the Pulitzer Prize, is best known for one of history’s most iconic images: the “napalm girl,” running from her burning village during the Vietnam war. The napalm girl herself, Kim Phúk, now an advocate for victims of war, joins Nick.

Harold Varmus

Harold Varmus

Harold Varmus, Nobel Laureate in Medicine for his research on cancer, has held many influential posts including directorships at the National Cancer Institute and National Institutes of Health. He is currently a professor at Weill Cornell.

Please vote for your favorite speakers from 2017.

Please vote for your favorite speakers from 2016.

Please vote for your favorite speakers from 2015.

Please vote for your favorite speaker from 2014.