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SteltznerA-400b Adam Steltzner
Team Leader & Chief Engineer EDL, NASA Mars Rover Curiosity & Author

The Right Kind of Crazy
Wednesday, June 28
Upper Level, Room 20C
Open to all Registered Attendees & Exhibitors

When NASA needed to land Curiosity—a 2,000-pound, $2.5 billion rover—on the surface of Mars, they turned to the Jet Propulsion Lab for a breakthrough, never-been-tried-before solution. At the helm of this effort was an unlikely rocket scientist and accidental leader, Adam Steltzner. Adam’s team couldn’t test their kooky invention, the Sky Crane. They were on an unmissable deadline. And the world would be watching when they succeeded—or failed.

From aspiring rock star going nowhere fast to history-making rocket scientist, Adam Steltzner is recognized as one of NASA’s leading—and most unique—innovators. After barely graduating from high school, he followed his curiosity to a local community college to find out why the stars moved, where he discovered an astonishing gift for math and physics. Upon getting his Ph.D., he ensconced himself within JPL, NASA’s decidedly unbureaucratic cousin, where success in a mission is the only metric that matters.

Described as “Einstein brilliance meets Johnny Cash cool,” Adam will share a profound perspective on innovation for anyone who wants to channel their craziness into creativity, balance discord and harmony, and find a signal in a flood of noise. Buckle up and get ready to learn:

  • How his team learned to switch from fear-based to curiosity-based decision making
  • How to escape “The Dark Room”—the creative block caused by fear, uncertainty, and the lack of a clear path forward
  • How to tell when we’re too in love with our own ideas to be objective about them—and, conversely, when to fight for them
  • How to foster mutual respect within teams while still bashing bad ideas

Keynote sponsored by:

WellsFargo Metrostudy  CaliberSmall

kotler steven-400Steven Kotler
Steven Kotler is a New York Times bestselling author, an award-winning journalist and the Co-founder & Director of Research for the Flow Genome Project.

Stealing Fire
Thursday, June 29
Upper Level, Room 20C
Open to all Registered Attendees & Exhibitors

It’s the biggest revolution you’ve never heard of, and it’s hiding in plain sight. Over the past decade, groups ranging from Silicon Valley executives, elite military special operators, and maverick scientists have turned everything we thought we knew about high performance upside down. Instead of grit, better habits, or 10,000 hours, these trailblazers have found a surprising shortcut—harnessing rare and controversial states of consciousness to solve critical challenges and outperform the competition.

New York Times bestselling author Steven Kotler spent four years investigating the leading edges of this revolution—from the home of SEAL Team Six to the Googleplex, the Burning Man festival, Richard Branson’s Necker Island, Red Bull’s training center, Nike’s innovation team, and the United Nations’ Headquarters. And what he learned was stunning. In their own ways, with differing languages, techniques, and applications, every one of these groups has been quietly seeking the same thing: the boost in information and inspiration that altered states provide.

Today, this revolution is spreading to the mainstream, fueling a trillion dollar underground economy and forcing us to rethink how we can all lead richer, more productive, more satisfying lives. Driven by four accelerating forces—psychology, neurobiology, technology and pharmacology—we are gaining access to, and insights about, some of the most contested and misunderstood terrain in history. Stealing Fire is a provocative examination of what’s actually possible; a guidebook for anyone who wants to radically upgrade their life.

MatthewLuhn 400

Matthew Luhn
One of the original story creators at Pixar

The Best Story Wins!
Thursday, June 29
Upper Level, Room 33
Open to all Registered Attendees & Exhibitors

The most powerful tool in business is a great story. Stories compel us to engage in experiences, learn lessons, and define our values and ourselves within our organization. They bridge the gap between the mind and the heart. As one of the original story creators at Pixar Animation Studios, Matthew Luhn spent over two decades inside the most successful filmmaking group in the history of Hollywood. His story credits include Up, Finding Nemo, Monsters Inc., Monsters University, Cars, Ratatouille, and all three of the Toy Story films. Prior to joining Pixar, he was, at 19 years old, the youngest animator to work on The Simpsons TV series.

In this (naturally) story-driven presentation, Matthew will demystify the storytelling process, providing practical strategies to connect more effectively and persuasively with audiences—and helping you drive your story toward one unforgettable selling point. Attach emotion to logic and anything is possible. That’s the power of story.