Learning on a Whole New Level

Training 2017’s keynoters bring a new perspective to learning and training. So prepare to open your mind. These five keynoters’ unique experiences and time in the trenches help them see the world through a different lens and envision a bright future for learning, full of innovation, collaboration, and transformation.

Monday Keynote: January 30, 9:15 am – 11:15 am

Temple Grandin Focusing on All Kinds of Minds

Temple Grandin
Professor, Author, The Way I See It and The Autistic Brain
By the age of 2, Temple Grandin displayed all the signs of autism. Countless hours of therapy and intensive teaching enabled her to speak. Mentoring by her high school science teacher and her aunt motivated her to study and pursue a career as a scientist. An expert on animal behavior, Grandin has designed humane handling systems for half the cattle-processing facilities in the U.S. An HBO movie about her life received seven Emmy awards, a Golden Globe, and a Peabody Award. Learn about Grandin’s ability to “think in pictures,” which helps her solve problems that neurotypical brains might miss. She’ll show us how the world needs all kinds of minds, including people on the autism spectrum (visual thinkers, pattern thinkers, and verbal thinkers) — an important point Learning & Development professionals need to keep in our minds.

Anant Agarwal

Reimaging Education

Anant Agarwal
CEO, edX (online education destination founded by Harvard and MIT), and Professor, MIT
Anant Agarwal is one of the world’s leading voices in reimagining education on campus, online, and now in the workplace. He created and taught the first MOOC on edX, which has facilitated extensive research into how people learn online. The revolution in education continues as Agarwal describes the new world of ‘unbundled’ learning in the corporate space. He will examine how new education models allow for flexible, innovative online credentials for professionals and why they matter. Discover Agarwal’s vision for bridging the gap between academia and the business world to develop tomorrow’s talent.


Ken Blanchard Taking a Wider View of Leadership

Ken Blanchard
Cofounder, The Ken Blanchard Companies
International management guru Ken Blanchard believes the world is in desperate need of a new leadership model — and that model is Servant Leadership. He asks one question of leaders, “Are you here to serve or be served?” Your answer to this question will reflect a fundamental difference in the way you approach leadership. If you believe leadership is all about you, where you want to go, and what you want to attain, then your leadership, by default, will be more self-focused and self-centered. On the other hand, if your leadership revolves around meeting the needs of the organization and the people working for it, you will make different choices that will reveal a more “others-focused” approach. Hear Blanchard explain why Servant Leadership is the most effective way to inspire great performance and generate great human satisfaction.

Tuesday Keynote: January 31, 9:15 am – 10:45 am

Isaac LidskyEnvisioning the Possibilities

Isaac Lidsky
Author, Eyes Wide Open: Overcoming Obstacles and Recognizing Opportunities in a World that Can’t See Clearly
At age 36, Isaac Lidsky has already experienced more than people twice his age. He was a child television star in both commercials and series (we’ll leave it to him to reveal which ones). He graduated with degrees in math and computer science from Harvard (at 19!) and then added a law degree magna cum laude from the same university. He clerked for U.S. Supreme Court Justices Sandra Day O’Connor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg and argued a dozen cases in federal court on behalf of the U.S. Justice Department, not losing any. He’ll reveal a secret during his keynote — something that has changed his perspective and his perception of reality. “At the end of the day, we’re blessed to be in full control over the reality we choose for ourselves and the way we want to live it,” Lidsky says. “It’s all about accountability — if you’re prepared to accept that responsibility.”

Piper KermanObserving from the Inside Out

Piper Kerman
Author, Orange Is the New Black: My Year in a Women’s Prison
Piper Kerman’s memoir, Orange Is the New Black: My Year in a Women’s Prison, chronicles the 13 months she spent in a Federal Correctional Institution. That memoir was adapted into an award-winning Netflix series of the same name. Since her release, Kerman has worked to promote the cause of prison and criminal justice reform, including speaking at the White House on reentry and employment to help honor Champions of Change in the field. What has stuck with her the most from her experience, Kerman says, is the power of women’s communities, “the incredible ability of women to step up for each other, and to be resilient and to share their resiliency with other people.” Kerman emphasizes that same need for resiliency in the workplace, stressing the importance of learning from one’s mistakes and the power of communities.



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