Main Stage

Main Stage

 


Opening Keynote
Sunday, August 11
8:30 - 10:15 a.m. 

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Amanda Gorman

Poet Laureate, Activist, Icon 

Amanda Gorman is the youngest inaugural poet in U.S. history. She is a committed advocate for the environment, racial equality, and gender justice. Amanda’s activism and poetry have been featured on the Today Show, PBS Kids, and CBS This Morning, and in the New York TimesVogue, and Essence. After graduating cum laude from Harvard University, she now lives in her hometown of Los Angeles. In 2017, Amanda Gorman was appointed the first-ever National Youth Poet Laureate by Urban Word—a program that supports Youth Poets Laureate in more than 60 cities, regions, and states nationally. Gorman’s groundbreaking performance of her poem, “The Hill We Climb”, at the 2021 Presidential Inauguration received international critical acclaim, inspiring millions of viewers with her message of hope, resilience, and healing. 

Amanda appeared on the cover of TIME magazine in February 2021 and was the first poet to grace the cover of Vogue in their May 2021 issue. 

Amanda signed a three-year long partnership with Estee Lauder, becoming their very first Global Changemaker. The partnership inspired Writing Change, an initiative to support grassroots organizations dedicated to advancing literacy as a pathway to equality, access, and social change, through the power of young voices. She also was featured in Prada’s fine jewelry ‘Eternal Gold’ campaign featuring accessories made out of 100% certified recycled gold as an extension of the house’s commitment to sustainability. 

The special edition of her inaugural poem, “The Hill We Climb,” her debut picture book, Change Sings, and her poetry collection Call Us What We Carry, were published in 2021 and all debuted at #1 on New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestseller lists. Her latest children’s book, Something, Someday, was released in September 2023 and was a #1 New York Times bestseller.

 


Keynote
Monday, August 12
8:30 - 10:15 a.m.

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Adam Kinzinger 

Former U.S. Congress Member, CNN Commentator, Air National Guard Officer 

Congressman Kinzinger recounts his time in public service and his hopeful vision for the future of our country. Pulling from his six terms in the House of Representatives, Congressman Kinzinger shares his thought processes as he witnessed firsthand the changes in our government, and how he made the decision to stand against his own party for the sanctity of his country. Leave inspired to not just be idle observers of, but rather active participants in our democracy. 

For Former Rep. Adam Kinzinger, service to country has been the guiding principle of his life and career—first as a member of the armed forces and later as a lawmaker in the halls of Congress. 

From 2011-2022, Congressman Kinzinger served six terms in the United States House of Representatives, where he proudly represented Illinois’ Sixteenth Congressional District, which stretches across 14 counties in Northern Illinois. While in Congress, Kinzinger served as a member of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce and the House Foreign Affairs Committee, where he served as Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Europe, Eurasia, Energy and the Environment in the 116th Congress. He also served on the non-partisan Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol. 

Prior to being elected to Congress, Kinzinger served in the Air Force in both Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. Kinzinger continues to serve his country as a pilot in the Air National Guard, with the current rank of Lieutenant Colonel, and balanced this service with his duties in Congress. 

Kinzinger recounts his story of faith, service, and political duty in a democracy under siege in his New York Times best-selling memoir Renegade

 


Globally Renowned Speaker & Master Interviewer

Sunday, August 11
8:30 - 10:15 a.m.

and

Monday, August 12
8:30 - 10:15 a.m.

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Holly Ransom

Ideas architect, Author, Leadership game changer

Holly Ransom will conduct can't-miss interviews with Amanda Gorman and Adam Kinzinger on this year's Main Stage!

Holly is recognized globally for her unique ability to take complex ideas and problems, grind them down, and restructure them in a way that everyone can understand. She is the founder and CEO of the consulting firm, Emergent; author of The Leading Edge; co-founder, chief curator, and catalyst at Energy Disruptors, winning ‘Best Conference’ in Canada.

As a renowned speaker and master interviewer, Holly has led discussions with influential figures such as Barack Obama, Malcolm Gladwell, Billie Jean King, Condoleezza Rice, Prime Minister Julia Gillard, Nobel Prize Winner Muhammad Yunus, and the world's first humanoid robot, Sophia. She even delivered a Peace Charter to the Dalai Lama.

Holly was named one of Australia's 100 Most Influential Women by the Australian Financial Review and was awarded the US Embassy's Eleanor Roosevelt Award for Leadership Excellence in 2019. To top it off, Sir Richard Branson nominated her for Wired magazine's 'Smart List' of Future Game Changers to watch.

Holly’s book, The Leading Edge, is democratizing leadership learning by igniting individuals ability to accelerate change through asking better questions, thinking beyond biased answers, and establishing a groundswell for advancement.

An accomplished company director in her own right, Holly has compressed a power-packed career into a decade, spanning corporate, non-profit, and public sectors. Working with big-name clients such as P&G, Microsoft, Virgin, Cisco, and KPMG to effect and inspire actual change. On occasion, Holly will grace Australian screens commentating for Reuters, CBS, and Australia’s ABC. Holly's fierce dedication to inclusivity and equity drives her work as Chair of Pride Cup Australia, a non-profit organization and movement devoted to eradicating LGBTQI+ discrimination within sporting clubs, while making them secure and welcoming for players and fans.

 


Immersive Final Act 
Tuesday, August 13
12:00 - 2:30 p.m.

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Choir! Choir! Choir! 

Harmonic Arrangements, Teamwork, United In Music 

Choir! Choir! Choir! directors Daveed Goldman and Nobu Adilman (AKA DaBu) throw the biggest and best singing parties of all time! All you have to do is show up! Armed with just an acoustic guitar, the duo teach harmonic arrangements to the greatest pop songs of all time and get every room laughing and singing at the tops of their lungs! Since 2011, C!C!C! has built a dedicated and passionate community of singers (and non-singers) by creating a safe, productive, and exceedingly fun space to express themselves. They’ve shared the stage with David Byrne, Patti Smith, Rick Astleye—even Kermit The Frog—and performed on some of the world’s greatest stages, including Carnegie Hall, Radio City Music Hall, and Newport Folk Festival.

 


Catalyst
Sunday, August 11
2:30 - 3:30 p.m.

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Andre Norman

From Prison to Harvard

From spending two years in solitary confinement with a daunting 105-year sentence at a maximum-security prison, Andre Norman's journey is a testament to the transformative power of resilience and a second chance.

Now a Harvard Fellow, Andre travels internationally, leveraging his unique experience to teach others his process of transitioning from a life of incarceration to overcoming impossible odds and conquering self-doubt.

Over the last 24 years, Andre has become a global speaker in schools, boardrooms, and prison units like the one he used to call “home.” Traveling beyond borders, Andre’s impact extends to over 20 countries and more than 2,000 companies.

As a captivating podcast host, he shares insights and inspiration. In his role as a second-chance mentor, Andre plays a pivotal role in guiding individuals toward professional and personal success. His daily outreach touches the lives of over 650,000 inmates, instilling in them the belief that positive transformation is achievable. Andre is the author of The Ambassador of Hope: Turning Poverty and Prison into a Purpose-Driven Life, available now.

 


Catalyst
Monday, August 12
10:45 - 11:45 a.m.

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Cliff Goldmacher

Master the Seven Essential Skills of Innovation by Learning to Write Songs

Cliff Goldmacher is a GRAMMY-recognized, #1 hit songwriter, speaker and author. His book, The Reason For The Rhymes: Mastering The Seven Essential Skills of Innovation by Learning to Write Songs, encapsulates the principles of his presentations and workshops where Cliff helps organizations innovate and build their creative confidence by teaching them to write songs. Cliff’s work was recently featured in Forbes.
 
After graduating from Stanford with a degree in political science, Cliff, instead of heading to law school, chose to pursue a career in music. Fast forward thirty years and Cliff has written well over a thousand songs including chart toppers recorded by GRAMMY-winning and platinum-selling artists in genres ranging from Americana, country, pop, blues, jazz and classical crossover. Cliff has also given multiple TEDx presentations on songwriting. Cliff’s clients include Deloitte, Bank of America, IDEO and Vanderbilt’s Owen Graduate School of Management.


Catalyst
Monday, August 12
3:00 - 4:00 p.m.

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Dr. Airica Steed, Ed.D, MBA, RN, CSSMBB, FACHE

Healthcare Think Tank

Appointed in 2022, Dr. Airica Steed is the first woman, first person of color, and first nurse to serve as Chief Executive Officer and President for The MetroHealth System in Cleveland, one of the nation’s most highly regarded academic public health systems.

Under her leadership, MetroHealth has grown into a $2 billion healthcare system providing care throughout the community, including at the county jail and inside dozens of schools with its nationally recognized School Health Program.

Dr. Steed has transformed MetroHealth with a people-first culture that incorporates intentional listening, collaboration, and empowerment to best serve caregivers, patients, and the community.

Fueled by her personal experiences with America’s healthcare system, Dr. Steed is on the front lines of the fight to end healthcare inequities and injustice. As a proud fourth-generation nurse, she is relentless in her advocacy and her action.

Dr. Steed has been recognized as one of Modern Healthcare’s “100 Most Influential Leaders in Healthcare,” “Top Women Leaders,” “Top 25 Minority Leaders in Healthcare,” “Top 25 Healthcare Innovators,” and an “Up & Comer.” Other awards include Diversity MBA Magazine’s “Top 100 Executive Leaders Under 50” and Becker's Healthcare’s “Women CEOs of Hospitals & Health Systems to Know,” “Top 130 Female Healthcare Leaders to Know,” and “Black Healthcare Leaders to Know.”

Hosted by
Cleveland

 


Catalyst
Tuesday, August 13
10:30 – 11:30 a.m.

Marli Williams

Marli Williams

Be an EPIC Leader: Create Meaningful Moments & Become Unforgettable

Marli is an inspirational speaker and coach for transformational leaders. She is Chief Inspiration Officer at Marli Williams Leadership Training and Founder of Camp Yes for Women. She is passionate about creating programs, events and workshops that inspire and move people to realize their own innate beauty, talent and potential. As an intentional educator, mentor and advisor, Marli focuses on providing opportunities for people to develop themselves and their leadership skills. She designs her talks to deliver what people are truly craving - an experience to remember, and deeper connection with themselves and others.

Marli is on a mission to inspire, motivate, and elevate individuals and organizations to unleash and unlock their full potential to become the confident and authentic leaders and changemakers they are meant to be.

 

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