2015 Keynote Speakers

We’re committed to bringing you the best collection of relevant, practicing Great Game speakers and subject experts working across a variety of industries.

James Surowiecki - Opening Keynote

Author, The Wisdom of Crowds.

Wrote the book on how to systematically tap your organization’s collective intelligence.

Universally quoted thought leader on how to  harness the collective wisdom of your organization for competitive advantage. 

James Surowiecki is the foremost authority on how to harness the collective wisdom of your organization for competitive advantage.  His definitive book is called The Wisdom of Crowds: Why The Many Are Smarter Than The Few And How Collective Wisdom Shapes Business, Economies, Societies And Nations. In this book, Jim describes systematic ways to organize and aggregate the intelligence available in your organization in order to arrive at superior decisions — often better than those that individuals would make, even if they are ‘experts’ The book and Jim’s presentations based on the book are full of insights into how groups operate that are invaluable to business leaders. He also offers practical methods, tailored to his audience, for leveraging people and technology to learn what you need to know and make decisions that really serve the organization’s goals. 

Jim writes a twice-monthly financial column for The New Yorker that is typically pegged to current events and incorporates the kind of insights from economics, sociology, and business history that make The Wisdom of Crowds so valuable. He has written for a broad range of other publications on a wide variety of topics. His work has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Wired, and The Wall Stree Journal and other major publications. He wrote “The Bottom Line” column for New York magazine, and was a contributing editor at Fortune.


Bo Burlingham - Lunch Keynote

In the next 5-10 years, 1.36 to 2.0 million businesses will trade hands as the entrepreneurial Baby Boomers look to retire.  That represents up to 10 trillion dollars in financial activity! In this new talk aimed at the millions of business owners who need to think about their exit strategy (even if it is far off), Bo offers lessons to organizations of any size, and presents great tips for any executive looking to increase their company’s value.

Bo Burlingham joined Inc. Magazine in January 1983 as a senior editor and became executive editor six months later. In 1990, he resigned so that he could do more writing and became editor-at-large. Subsequently he wrote two books with Jack Stack, the co-founder and CEO of Springfield Remanufacturing Corp. and the pioneer of open-book management. One of the books,The Great Game of Business, has sold more than 300,000 copies. The other, A Stake in the Outcome, has been called “the first management classic of the new millennium.”

In Bo’s book, Finish Big: How Great Entrepreneurs Exit Their Companies On Top, he presents the eight factors that separate owners who’ve been happy after selling their companies from those who’ve been miserable. 

Bo’s other books include Small Giants: Companies That Choose to Be Great Instead of Big and The Knack: How Street-Smart Entrepreneurs Learn to Handle Whatever Comes Up with Norm Brodsky.  Also with Brodsky, Burlingham co-authored the popular monthly column in Inc. called “Street Smarts,” which was a finalist for a National Magazine Award, the highest honor of the magazine industry.

Verne Harnish - Closing Keynote

Founder, EO and Gazelles.

Syndicated columnist.

Author, Mastering the Rockefeller Habits, Scaling Up, and The Greatest Business Decisions of All Time.

Verne Harnish is founder of the world-renowned Entrepreneurs' Organization (EO) and chaired for fifteen years EO's premiere CEO program, the "Birthing of Giants" and WEO's "Advanced Business" executive program both held at MIT. Founder and CEO of Gazelles, a global executive education and coaching company with over 150 coaching partners on six continents, Verne has spent the past three decades helping companies scale-up.

The "Growth Guy" syndicated columnist, he's also the Venture columnist for FORTUNE magazine. He’s the author of Scaling Up (Rockefeller Habits 2.0); Mastering the Rockefeller Habits; and along with the editors of Fortune, authored "The Greatest Business Decisions of All Times", for which Jim Collins wrote the foreword. Verne also chairs FORTUNE Magazine's annual Leadership and Growth Summits and serves on several boards including chairman of The Riordan Clinic and the newly launched Geoversity. An investor in several scale-ups, Verne resides in Barcelona, Spain, with his wife and four children and enjoys piano, tennis, and magic as a card-carrying member of the International Brotherhood of Magicians.

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