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Plenary Speakers

Thursday, July 14, 9:45-10:45am
Speaker: PICO IYER

Born in Oxford, England, to parents from India, Pico Iyer was educated at Eton, Oxford and Harvard, while officially growing up in Southern California. He is the author of seven works of non-fiction, including Video Night in Kathmandu (cited on many lists of the best travel books ever), The Lady and the Monk (finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Award in the category of Current Interest) and The Global Soul (subject of websites and theatrical productions around the world). He has also written the novels Cuba and the Night and Abandon. For a quarter of a century, he has been an essayist for Time magazine, while also writing constantly on literature for The New York Review of Books, on globalism for Harper's, and on many other topics for venues from The New York Times to National Geographic. His most recent book, The Open Road, describing more than 30 years of talking and traveling with the Fourteenth Dalai Lama, came out in a dozen countries, and was a best-seller across the U.S. He has been based for the past 20 years near Nara, in rural Japan, though he is still often to be found making stops everywhere from North Korea to Ethiopia, and from Bolivia to Easter Island.  Photo by Derek Shapton

Pico Iyer has written books on globalism and the Dalai Lama, on Sufism and on jet lag. Drawing on his varied experiences, he will suggest some of the fresh possibilities--and challenges--of our coming decade, and how dance has to change (or, maybe not) to meet the needs of our fast-accelerating world.

"What will the year 2021 look like, and how can we craft a vision that works in sync with that? What can dance offer in a world that increasingly prizes speed and streaming information? How can dance bring spaciousness, clarity and focus to lives that feel ever more rushed and congested? And what is the place of stillness in a world of movement, of a pause in our go-go lives?" Pulling together stories, impressions and reflections from a lifetime of thinking about globalism and technology, Iyer will share thoughts about how dance can bring us connections deeper than any plane or smart phone, and how it can offer us a model of both universalism and the capacities of the individual.

Saturday, July 16, 9-10am


Patricia Martin is CEO and founder of LitLamp Communications, a marketing and communications boutique acclaimed for using culture as a medium to connect brands with communities of consumers. Martin tunes in to social tremors before they become trends to help clients win hearts and change minds. She conjured a strategy for the Asian tour of the New York Philharmonic, spearheaded a viral Information Privacy initiative funded by George Soros, launched Animal Planet, introduced Dannon products into school lunch rooms nationwide, and re-focused Sun Microsystems’ higher education strategy. Author of the book Renaissance Generation: The Rise of the Cultural Consumer and What it Means to Your Business, Martin pioneered the point of view that the convergence of art, technology and entertainment is remaking the American consumer. A keynote speaker in demand, Martin brings C-level executives to their feet when she casts the American consumer in a new light and sets the stage for marketing in the 21st Century. Characterizing her speaking style, the Houston Chronicle said Martin has a "magnetic presence." Before founding her firm in 1995, Martin created the first-of-its-kind sponsorship marketing division for the American Library Association. While there, she partnered with some of the world’s most recognized brands, including Microsoft, where she built the blueprint for what is now the Gates Library Foundation, an initiative Mr. Gates believes "History will get right," as his most important legacy. (New York Times, Nov. 6, 2002). Martin has been featured in the Chicago Tribune, the New York Times, NPR, the Wall Street Reporter, Market Watch, Harvard Business Review, and Advertising Age. She lives in Chicago with her son, her daughter, and her dog.

Learn more about Patricia here.

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