Announcing the 2013 Annual Conference Keynoters

Prepare to Revolutionize Your Thinking and the Way You Lead!

This year’s ICMA Annual Conference keynoters include four “game changers”: innovators and problem solvers who have introduced an element or factor that changes an existing situation or activity in a significant way. social psychologist and Harvard Business School professor Amy Cuddy opens the conference; New York Times bestselling author about the changing world of work Daniel Pink returns for the Monday plenary session; Beth Simone Noveck, who was founder and director of the White House Open Government Initiative and the first U.S. deputy chief technology officer, will lead the Tuesday plenary; and John Jacobs, cofounder and chief creative optimist of the Boston-based Life is good Company delivers the Wednesday plenary address.  

Amy Cuddy (Sunday keynote)


Helping people become more powerful with just a few simple tweaks to body language

This year’s ICMA Annual Conference opening session on September 22, 3:00–5:00 p.m., features a keynote presentation by Amy Cuddy, social psychologist, Harvard Business School professor, and one of Time magazine's “Game Changers” of 2012.

Amy wasn’t supposed to become a successful scientist. In fact, she wasn’t even supposed to finish her undergraduate degree. Early in her college career, she suffered a severe head injury in a car accident, and doctors said she would struggle to fully regain her mental capacity and finish her undergraduate degree. But she proved them wrong. Today, Amy is a professor and researcher at Harvard Business School, where she studies how nonverbal behavior and snap judgments affect people from the classroom to the boardroom.

Investigating the roles of such variables as culture, emotion, nonverbal behavior, and psychophysiological indicators. Amy studies the origins and outcomes of how we perceive and are influenced by other people. Much of her work focuses on people who are visually identified by social categories (e.g., Asian Americans, elderly people, Latinos, working mothers): how they are judged by others as well as by their own members (stereotyping) and how these judgments set the tone and content of their social interactions (leading to, among other things, prejudice and discrimination). Amy and her collaborators have developed a substantial body of research that concentrates on how the judgments of others play out in such areas as hiring promotion, negotiations, and charitable giving. 

In her opening session keynote presentation, “Body Language Shapes Who You Are,” Amy will explore how nonverbal behavior and snap judgments affect everyone, from the classroom to the boardroom. Her recent work investigates how a person’s brief, nonverbal expressions of competence/power (“power posing”) actually alter that person at the biological level and generally configure the brain to cope well in stressful situations.


Dan Pink (Monday keynote)



Turning conventional workforce theory on its head.

Daniel Pink leads the plenary on Monday, September 23, 8:30–9:30 a.m., six years after his highly acclaimed presentation at ICMA’s 2007 Annual Conference in Pittsburgh. 

Dan is author of five provocative bestselling books about the changing world of work, including the long-running New York Times bestsellers, A Whole New Mind and Drive. His latest book, To Sell is Human, is a #1 New York Times business bestseller, a #1 Wall Street Journal business bestseller, and #1 Washington Post nonfiction bestseller. 

In DRIVE: The Surprising Truth about What Motivates Us, Dan uses 50 years of behavioral science to overturn the conventional wisdom about human motivation. He shows that carrot-and-stick motivators have been oversold and that high performance depends much more on the deeply human need to direct our own lives, to learn and create new things, and to do better by ourselves and the world. 
Drawing on his best-selling books as well as on a rich trove of social science and cutting-edge practices from organizations around the world, Dan will demonstrate during his Monday keynote presentation, “Leadership and the New Principles of Influence,” the new ways in which leaders are persuading, influencing, and motivating others.


Beth Noveck (Tuesday keynote)



Using “Big Data” for smarter decision making

On Tuesday, September 24, 8:30-9:30 a.m., hear Beth Simone Noveck, who was the first U.S. deputy chief technology officer, and founder and director of the White House Open Government Initiative, which developed the administration policy on transparency, participation, and collaboration. Beth was named one of the “100 Most Creative People in Business” by Fast Company magazine and one of the “Top Women in Technology” by the Huffington Post. She is author of Wiki Government: How Technology Can Make Government Better, Democracy Stronger, and Citizens More Powerful. Her book The Networked State will be out in print this year.  

In her Tuesday keynote presentation, “Smart Communities and the Opportunities of ‘Big Data,’” Beth will describe how local governments can find insights and make better decisions by accessing “Big Data,” the vast amount of information accumulated in traditional databases, as well as the fast-growing new sources of digital data, including the web, video, e-mail, and social network communications. 


John Jacobs (Wednesday keynote)



Showing how optimism can take you anywhere

Wednesday’s plenary on September 25 is at a new time, 8:30–10:15 a.m. Moved earlier in the day to accommodate attendee travel schedules, this year’s ICMA Celebration of Service to the Profession includes a keynote presentation by CEO, entrepreneur, and inspirational speaker John Jacobs. 

John is cofounder and chief creative optimist of the Life is good® Company. A privately held business based in Boston, Life is good® spreads positive vibes through both its colorful collection of apparel and accessories and its social mission to help kids overcome poverty, violence, and illness. The company attracts a rapidly growing community of optimists, including over 1.5 million followers on Facebook, by forging meaningful, emotional connections. Fusing the interests of children facing life-threatening challenges with the interests of its business at every touchpoint, Life is good® also presents a powerful and inspiring model for seamlessly integrating a for-profit and a nonprofit. John's innovative lessons on branding, leadership, and corporate social responsibility apply to organizations of all sizes, and his moving story will help you see how optimism can truly take you anywhere. 

In his Wednesday keynote presentation, “Life Is Good,” John will combine innovative business lessons and humor to weave the compelling story of how he and his brother Bert, with a combined sum of just $78 in the bank, launched a business that now sells products in over 4,500 retail establishments nationwide. 

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