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Keynote Speakers


Our lineup of dynamic, thought-provoking keynoters will provide you with innovative new perspectives on your talent management strategies.  Gathering the best ideas from business, strategy, play, and technology, you'll hear from some of the most ground-breaking thinkers in the world.

John Jacobs
Chief Creative Optimist, Life is good

Monday, April 15
3:00 p.m. - 4:15 p.m.

Jane McGonigal
Game Designer & Futurist
Tuesday, April 16
8:30 a.m. - 9:45 a.m.

Kevin Carroll
Best-Selling Author
Wednesday, April 17
11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.


John Jacobs
Chief Creative Optimist, Life is good
Monday, April 15 | 3:00 p.m. - 4:15 p.m.

Optimism Can Take You Anywhere
Chief Creative Optimist John Jacobs created Jake, the company’s optimistic icon, and the three simple words beneath that became the company’s name – Life is good – in 1994. Since then he and his brother Bert have been spreading the power of optimism, growing their brand into one of the hottest and best recognized in the apparel industry. Innovative initiatives, like the company’s Genuine Neighborhood Shoppes program, keep the Life is good brand fresh and growing. The company also demonstrates a unique and unwavering commitment to its core social mission that goes well beyond cause marketing. Jacobs’ lessons on branding, leadership and corporate social responsibility are applicable to organizations of all sizes.

About John Jacobs
Co-founder and Chief Creative Optimist of The Life is good Company, a $100 million privately held business based in Boston that spreads positive vibes, Jake, the company’s iconic hero, teaches men, women and children that optimism is fun, healthy, and empowering. Life is good products are sold by over 5,000 retailers nationwide and in 32 countries worldwide. Believing that consumers are already overwhelmed by too much “noise” in the marketplace, Life is good has never spent a penny to advertise its products. 100% of the company’s growth is attributable to consumer word-of-mouth. Simplicity, humility and a sense of humor are the three keys to Life is good’s continued success.


“Happiness is a choice. Some people face difficult adversity, but Jake reminds us to take control of that choice and appreciate what we have instead of thinking of what we could have.”



Jane McGonigal|
Game Designer & Futurist
Tuesday, April 16 | 8:30 a.m. - 9:45 a.m.

Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Help Us Achieve Extraordinary Goals
We spend three billion hours a week as a planet playing computer and videogames. Gaming is actually one of the most productive ways we can spend our time — it produces positive emotion, stronger social relationships and a sense of accomplish¬ment. Scientific research shows that all of these feelings and activities can trickle into our real lives and impact our real-life confidence, ambition, likability and willingness to help others. In fact, when we play a good game, we become the best version of ourselves: the most optimistic, most creative, most focused, most collaborative, the most likely to set ambitious goals, the most resilient in the face of failure. In this talk, find out how you can unlock the power of games to achieve extraor¬dinary goals and how gaming can become a source of innovation and collaboration for your organization. Game designer and futurist Jane McGonigal explains how games optimize human ability and shows you games that are harnessing the power of collective intelligence to solve real-world problems.

About Jane McGonigal
A visionary game designer and futurist, Jane McGonigal is harnessing the power of Internet games in new ways to help solve some of the biggest challenges facing our world today and tomorrow. She believes that the gamer spirit—an attitude of fun, dedicated, collective problem-solving—is our greatest asset, as we face the social, economic and environmental problems of the 21st century. She argues that game designers are effectively happiness engineers, experts in making difficult tasks engaging, and that we should draw on their smarts as we frame the challenges of our time. With McGonigal’s help, you can understand how to channel that drive to revitalize your company—and fill our world with epic wins.

“I think inspiration always has a use. I think the ultimate good in any action is to reduce suffering. Inspiration counts.”


Kevin Carroll
Best-Selling Author
Wednesday, April 17 | 11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

Play@Work: Unleashing Growth Through Creativity and Innovation

As children our days were filled with productive play. What was entertaining was also instructive. Games of tag were exercises in planning, teamwork, strategy, design, decision-making, creativity, interpersonal communication and risk-taking. Play was serious business in our youth—and it should be even more serious business in our professional lives if we hope to unleash the creative genius that spurs organizational growth. By cleverly drawing from childhood lessons, Kevin Carroll reveals the relevance of play and how we must continue to tap into those lessons for our future success. An innovator who passionately inspires leaders to create sustainable change in their own organizations, Carroll raises a variety of questions during the session including:

  • Are you continuing to strengthen the creative genius of your organization?
  • Do you have the necessary passion and creative endurance to deliver consistent and amazing insight and business ingenuity?
  • Why should an organization’s business culture embrace the power of play even more so in the 21st century?
  • How can a business culture that incorporates “purposeful play” impact leadership, employee quality of life, retention and attract new talent?

About Kevin Carroll
Back by popular demand, Kevin Carroll is the author of three highly successful books, Rules of the Red Rubber Ball, What's Your Red Rubber Ball?! and The Red Rubber Ball. As an author, speaker and agent for social change (a.k.a. the Katalyst), it is Carroll's "job" to inspire businesses, organizations and individuals—from CEOs and employees of Fortune 500 companies to schoolchildren—to embrace their spirit of play and creativity, to maximize their human potential and sustain more meaningful business and personal growth. Carroll has dedicated his life to advancing sports and play as a vehicle for social change. He partners with nongovernmental organizations and businesses around the world that share his vision and goals.

“Being quiet and still allows us to be present and aware of more things in our daily lives. Look UP. Be curious. Dream BIG! Game ON!”