Main Stage Keynotes
Great Ideas offers you a variety of perspectives from thought leaders both inside and outside the association industry to evoke ideation and problem solving. You will hear and collaborate with some of the most innovative, inspiring, and creative leaders around.
Thank you to our Main Stage host and Corporate Partner:
Sunday, March 17, 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Unleash Your Inner da Vinci
Integrated Advertising Agency
Has your team’s creativity stalled their innovation into a slump? Are fresh ideas and solutions becoming extinct? Do you need to help reignite their creativity and careers? Let this modern-day da Vinci inspire you to unleash your creativity and innovation. Get ready to uncover your hidden problem-solving abilities to achieve success. Through rarely heard stories about Leonardo da Vinci, laugh-out-loud improvisational comedy, and masterpiece paintings done in four minutes, Scott will ignite the creative force that sits within us all.
It Starts with Empathy
Vice President, Allison Partners
Lecturer, UVA Darden School of Business
A designer’s sensibilities and a line manager’s practicality are the perfect mix to help you develop actionable solutions to challenging problems. But before you jump right to the future to get started solving, discover why it’s critical to take a look around. Rachel will debunk dated problem-solving approaches that suggest creative thinking starts with brainstorming solutions. The design process is human-centered, and you’ll discover that it begins by understanding the current reality for real users. The insights and inspiration that emerge from developing empathy for each relevant stakeholder group—colleagues, members, suppliers, partners, and your own operations— fuel your innovation and jump-start great ideas.
Play or Die
Shimi Kang, MD
Clinical Associate Professor, University of British Columbia
Medical Director, Child and Youth Mental Health, Vancouver Coastal Health
Is a lack of balance “plaguing” your work life? Award-winning Harvard-trained doctor, researcher, and best-selling author Shimi Kang, MD has a prescription for you. You might just be missing your daily dose of POD. Shimi’s personal mission is to spread the message that a balanced lifestyle with enough play, social connection, and downtime is vital for human health. Beyond the survival basics of eating, sleeping, and getting exercise that are necessary for our wellbeing and self-motivation—there is play. All animals play in nature. Learn to engage in play to support critical thinking and adaptability, and get comfortable with unpredictability.
Monday, March 18, 9:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.
CEO, Luminary Productions
“It’s not what you see that counts, it’s how you choose to look at it.” An internationally renowned magician and communicator, Vinh unlocks the secrets of the human mind to help you reach a heightened state of imagination and innovation where the impossible becomes possible. Through a visual demonstration and a series of magic effects, you’ll discover the psychology behind the art of magic to prove that your negative beliefs, no matter what they are, do not exist. You’ll be inspired to aim high, create positive change, and be a top performer.
Stephen Covey’s four quadrants. The Food Pyramid. Simon Sinek’s Golden Circle. These ideas have spread and impacted millions of people. Your ideas are powerful, and they deserve to get attention and make impact. But before they can, people need to understand them. One of the most powerful tools to help people understand your ideas is a contextual model. Neen will teach you to translate your ideas into powerful, spreadable, repeatable contextual models. Learn when ideas spread (and when they don’t), why visuals are a vital communication tool to accelerate engagement and deeper understanding, and how a proven methodology and specific language will give you a competitive edge.
The Challenge Mindset
The Idea Enthusiast
Most of us have had big goals in our lives. Things we want to be, things we’d like to have, things we want to gain. But what happens if we don’t reach those destinations? Have we “failed?” Perhaps there’s another way to create and achieve. By using a simple attitude shift – The Challenge Mindset – we can redefine what long-term success looks like. We can stop falling victim to the Curse of Lofty Goals. We can stop wishing and start becoming. Greg will share stories of people who “went small”, watching humble beginnings and micro-experiments pay off in ways they wouldn’t have imagined at the beginning.
Tuesday, March 19, 9:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.
Make Way for Gen Z!
David and Jonah Stillman
Coauthors, Gen Z @ Work
The leading edge of GenZ has entered their 20s. While they might be your intern for now, you need to know that they are your future workforce and your future members. Best-selling author and generations expert David Stillman will be joined by his son Jonah for an unforgettable father-son Gen Xer-Gen Zer duo. Together they offer insights that will help you get ahead of the curve. No more speculating about the latest generation. Here’s your chance to get the scoop straight from two experts, based on the results of a national research study GenZ@Work, and have fun doing it!
Performance Under Pressure
Leadership Strategist and Vitality Advocate
Founder of the BrainAMPED Research Group
What causes smart leaders and rising stars to plateau, or even worse, fail? Alternatively, what makes an exceptional leader? Surprisingly, both often have the same answer—Emotional Intelligence. A set of skills and practices critical to making good decisions, adapting to changing environments, managing energy are key to creating strong connections that inspire, influence, and drive positive results. Whether a seasoned executive, middle manager, or driven individual, Sara Ross will share three key insights that will shift how you think about emotional intelligence as well as how you build and apply these strategies for success in associations. Building on cutting-edge research from positive psychology and neuroscience, she will share her research to help you respond more skillfully while also building your vitality as pressure, tension and complexity increase around you.
The Power of Diversity and Teams
Jeff DeGraff, PhD
Founder & Dean of Innovation
Most processes are designed to align your organization. Especially, your hiring and staffing practices. That’s great if you want efficiency and quality, but if you want innovation you have to introduce the variety necessary to produce valuable growth. Innovation is the opposite of standard operating procedures- a form of positive deviance generated through the creative power of constructive conflict. When people have diverse views, skills, and experiences, they take different approaches to creating value. These points of departure, when properly and respectfully engaged, challenge the status quo by producing new and hybrid ideas that lead to breakthrough products and services. Learn to go beyond ethnic heritage or cultural background alone, and consider diverse mindsets, worldviews and skills each team member brings to work. Discover a new way of thinking about diversity: how to identify the strategic situation, appropriate culture and competencies, and specific leadership practices necessary to produce growth. This energetic and compelling talk demonstrates how to make diversity work where you work. One size never fits all, and it’s time to throw out your checklist.Speaker presented by:
Tuesday, March 19, 12:15 p.m.–1:15 p.m.
Lunch & Ignite Center Stage
Back by popular demand, everyone’s favorite edutainment session is center stage. Join us for Great Ideas Ignite—a showcase of talks that might be bold, possibly brash, maybe even brilliant, but never boring! It's the learning format that's fast, fun, and focused. Each speaker gets 20 slides, auto-advancing every 15 seconds, for five minutes total. Their challenge: Enlighten us, but make it quick!