General Session: Those Who Tell the Stories Rule the World
Synopsis: The number one business skill of the next decade is not what you think. Shane Snow, founder of Contently and journalist for Wired and Fast Company, says that storytelling will be the key driver of 21st century business at both macro and micro levels — and he has the research to prove it. Why do twice as many people trust J.K. Rowling as a leader than the Queen? How do some brands steal and maintain massive market share in a few years, and how do even the most introverted employees manage to drive innovation and climb the ladder faster than others who’ve paid dues longer than them? The answer to all of these is the same: through the power of great stories. In his signature blending of dramatic narrative and rigorous science, Snow shows why stories work at a neurological level, how both businesses at large and individuals who work in them can — and must — harness the power of story to build relationships and make people care like never before.
Workshop: Shortcuts: The Breakthrough Power of Lateral Thinking
Synopsis: How did Jimmy Fallon get his big break on SNL as an unknown kid from Upstate New York? How did change makers turn Finland’s school system around? How did Youtube tycoon Michelle Phan, the fastest-rising U.S. presidents and the 2nd African American shoe designer in history climb to the top and achieve incredible things faster than expected? In this high-energy session, award-winning journalist and entrepreneur Shane Snow brings research and stories to life, showing attendees a framework for finding smarter paths to big goals and breakthroughs, and how to beat the plateau and generate momentum in work and life.
“The next Gladwell.” That’s what fans and critics from Forbes to The L.A. Times are calling innovation expert and keynote speaker Shane Snow, the bestselling author of SMARTCUTS: How Hackers, Innovators, and Icons Accelerate Success. An award-winning entrepreneur and journalist, Snow has been declared a “Wunderkind” by The New York Times, a “Digital Maverick” by Details Magazine, and his work “Insanely addicting” by GQ.
Snow is the Chief Creative Officer of Contently, a technology company he co-founded in 2010 with the mission of creating a better media world. Contently has helped more than 50,000 freelance journalists build better careers, and provides publishing tools and creative talent for Fortune 500 companies from American Express to GE to Coca-Cola. Snow’s writing has appeared in Wired Magazine, The New Yorker, Fast Company, The Washington Post, Time and many more. He’s been named one of Forbes and Inc.’s “30 Under 30,” BusinessInsider’s “Coolest People In Tech,” Folio’s “15 Under 30 Magazine Innovators,” a Fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts and a recipient of Columbia University’s 2014 Innovator Award “for furthering the cause of journalism.”
In his inspiring keynote presentations, Snow shatters common wisdom about success, distilling patterns from years of studying rapidly successful companies and people in a dynamic style that’s been described as “Good to Great meets MacGyver.” Through gripping stories and thought-provoking research, he offers fresh insight related to personal development, organizational growth, innovation, change management and resilience. Takeaways include why some groups are able to achieve incredible things in implausibly short amounts of time while others fall by the wayside, how to beat roadblocks and plateaus in business and life, and how to approach creative problem solving through what psychologists call “lateral thinking.”
The BBC says that Snow’s ideas, “could change your life,” and Maxim Magazine adds, “Snow is not telling you how to succeed; he’s daring you to do it.”