Haydn Shaughnessy

A natural-born innovator, Haydn began his writing career in broadcasting. Anticipating commercial satellite services, he then became involved in the EU’s attempt to create an ARPA-type unit, where he managed downstream satellite application pilots, just as they entered the market. Preceding the web, Haydn also wrote policy on broadband applications, 3G (before it was invented), and Wired Cities.

Haydn contributes to many major outlets including the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, HBR, Forbes and GigaOm. He has produced TV for the BBC, Channel 4 and RTE. A research fellow at the Center For Digital Transformation at UC Irvine, he is also an advisory board member, advisory board member at Crowdsourcing.org and Fellow of the Society for New Communications Research.

Formerly an editor of Innovation Management, his book, The Elastic Enterprise, co-authored with Nick Vitalari, looks at how stellar companies have gone beyond innovation to a new form of wealth creation and has been described as a must read for companies that want to succeed in the new era of business.  He speaks on new innovation paradigms.


Ric Dragon

Ric Dragon is the author of Social Marketology and the DragonSearch Online Marketing Manual, both published by McGraw-Hill. He is the CEO and co-founder of DragonSearch, with more than 20 years of extensive experience in graphic design, information architecture, web development and

digital marketing.  As an artist, Ric has been shown in countless group and solo shows.  He is a regular guest columnist for Marketing Land, and Social Media Monthly, and a speaker at many marketing and business conferences.

Rob Peters

Rob is a recognized leadership advisor, trust strategist and organizational culture driver to business and technology services firms. His firm, The Standard of Trust Group, has developed a breakthrough methodology called the Standard of Culture Maturity Matrix. In addition, the Standard of Trust Group provides an end-to-end solution for assessing, capturing, analyzing, and utilizing Relationship Capital (RC) that is earned by your star performers and your highest performing teams.

Considered an expert and advocate for Relationship Capital (RC) standards of assessment, capture, measurement, and utilization, since 2005 Rob has played a significant role in the creation of industry standards and best practices for the capture of RC. As a trusted relationship builder with 25+ years of large-account new-business development experience, Rob and his teams created new business clients that generated revenue & profits for iGATE, Capgemini Financial Services, Headstrong, Keane, Romac International and IBM.


Connie Dieken

For more than 20 years, Connie has dedicated herself to journalism as a television news anchorwoman, reporter, broadcast personality, and talk show host, including co-hosting The Morning Exchange, America’s longest running television talk show. She is a multiple Emmy® award-winning and Telly® 

award-winning journalist; her excellence has led to her induction to the Radio/Television Broadcasters Hall of Fame.

Connie has represented more than 50 companies as their spokesperson, including Intel, Sealy, GE, American Greetings, Ernst and Young and Goodyear. Connie spent her career with the most successful and influential people in business and entertainment and recognized a pattern to their success. After years of research, she learned the common traits each of these people shared, and discovered people could learn how to be influential with the right training. Armed with unique insight into the power that influence has over each of us, she developed a proven methodology to transform any leader or executive into an influencer. In 2000, she founded onPoint Communication to train leaders and emerging leaders in critical influential leadership, communication, media and presentation skills.

Connie is the author and co-author of five books, dedicated to teaching individuals influential leadership, communication and presentation techniques. Her most recent bestselling book, Talk Less, Say More: 3 Habits to Influence Others and Make Things Happen, takes Connie’s knowledge, research and experience coaching high-powered leaders and condenses it into a fast-paced, no-nonsense guide to teach anyone to be an influential communicator with anyone, anywhere.


Kevin Randall

When Kevin isn’t writing for Fast Company or The Economist, he’s a consulting at Movéo turning client brands into fast businesses. His thoughts and stories have also appeared in The New York TimesThe AtlanticThe Wall Street JournalWiredSmithsonian Magazine, Yahoo!The Telegraph and Los Angeles Times.

Google hired Kevin to lecture its leaders after they had googled “B2B Branding.” Harvard Business School and MIT Sloan School of Management have also invited Kevin to speak about brands. When he’s not writing, strategizing or speaking, Kevin may be naming companies or products. The “All-Brand” guy may also be tweeting (@KevinBrandall).


Becky McCray

Becky McCray says that small businesses and small towns have a future. She is a small town business owner, she and her husband Joe co-own a retail liquor store and a cattle ranch. She writes and speaks about small town business, and she and Chicago entrepreneur Barry Moltz are the authors of the award-winning book Small Town Rules.

She has been featured in The New York Times, BusinessWeek, and Entrepreneur Magazine. Her blog, Small Biz Survival, ranks in the top 20 small business blogs worldwide. She makes her home base in Hopeton, Oklahoma, a community of 30 people.


Andy Crestodina

As Strategic Director for Orbit Media, Andy has provided web strategy advice to more than 1,000 businesses over the previous 12 years. Andy loves to teach web marketing, both as a public speaker and through the Orbit blog. He has written more than 170 articles on content marketing topics including SEO, email marketing, social media, and Analytics.

Says Andy of his work, “It’s both art and science. This is why I love web design and web marketing. It’s a place to be both creative and technical, artistic and analytical. As soon as I realized this, I was hooked.” He is the author of Content Chemistry: The Illustrated Handbook for Content Marketing. Andy graduated from the University of Iowa with a degree in Asian Language and Literature and a certificate to teach Chinese.


Liz Strauss

Liz Strauss is an opportunity creator, an international business strategist, and keynote speaker. She’s been called the most influential “real-ebrity” on the web. She’s a master teacher, an über connector ~ an idea machine with bias toward action. No one questions that Liz brings a one-of-a-kind authenticity backed with hands-on authority.

Liz speaks softly and carries a lot of street cred. Brilliant strategy and high return that creates customer relationships is a powerful combination.

FROM her father’s saloon to years in education — across all age groups: pre-school to graduate classrooms from USC to City University London…

THROUGH the conceptualization and execution of an innovative, strategic relationship model that restructured a market and built an international corporate publishing network on four continents…

TO a blog post that became a ground-breaking business strategy summit, and a business that leads entrepreneurs and corporations as they blend the values of traditional business with the speed and reach of the Internet…

LIZ has gained deep understanding of influence, human behavior, community, communication and solid business strategy.

NOW Liz works with corporations and entrepreneurs to create, identify and leverage unique, real-time opportunity. Strategist, CEO and founder of SOBCon, author of the popular Successful-Blog.com, keynote speaker, storyteller.


Sean McGinnis

Sean is a digital strategist who ensures digital tactics are aligned with a compelling strategy that drives business results. He’s been involved in technology companies since shortly after graduating from law school in 1994 and he’s consulted with small businesses to help them more effectively market and sell their services over the web since 1999.

Over the years, Sean has worked directly with hundreds of small companies and indirectly with thousands more.

Sean approaches all aspects of his efforts in the digital space through incorporating a three-prong strategy of Connecting, Learning and Mentoring. Through building on successive iterations of these principles, Sean has been able to create lasting value across platforms and industries. Combining an extensive business experience with a comprehensive, well-rounded digital perspective, Sean has delivered results within SEO, marketing and sales.


Jane Boyd

Jane Boyd is the Founder and CEO of 45 Conversations Media & Education. 45 Conversations provides a range of work-life, education and new media-related products and services. Through 45 Conversations, she creates spaces and opportunities (both real and online) to learn, grow and connect. They are dedicated to serving educators, children, communities, entrepreneurs and employers.

Every day, Jane has conversations with people about the things that matter the most to them. She works on lots of cool and interesting projects that are related to employee well being, work-life, human resource and dependent care solutions.

From wellbeing to child care to elder care, Jane understands the challenges that people and organizations are facing. Jane’s client range from very small companies all the way through to huge global corporations. She loves designing and developing high quality, customized solutions – both in communities and for the corporate sector.

Jane is frequently called upon to speak at conferences, training events and strategic planning retreats. She loves working with people face to face and developing real human relationships.


Paul O’Mahony

Paul is a Brand Sociologist at ChangeAgents Branding, whose focus is helping people tell their stories better. A “digital translator,” Paul is strongly committed to more meaningful marketing because he’s fed up with rubbish, mediocre marketing.

Paul values branding that both works and attracts people ~ motivating them to care about you and your business. Driven to eliminate waste, whether money, time or resources, Paul strives to ensure that every investment delivers more than was anticipated.

A trained sociologist who taught theory and research methods at Institute of Public Administration in Dublin, he moved to London, where he worked at London Transport (Buses).

Leveraging his experiences from bus conductor promoted to senior management, he headed up customer service training for 19,000 people (including management development). 

Incorporating his direct knowledge of the workings of the various levers of a complex organisational structure, he was able to effect change and cultural transformation.

At The National Trust, Paul led performance management training for all managers and directors during a period of major change. In 1998, Paul created the business consultancy OMani & Co, which specialised in improving the reputation and impact of individuals and teams within corporations and not-for-profits. Clients included The National Trust, Lucent Technologies, First Group, National Health Service (NHS) and Euro RSCG.

Returning to Ireland in 2005, Paul changed things up, establishing the his micro business, Marketing Write Now, providing copywriting and marketing services. It quickly morphed into a Reputation Building service. As a natural extension of his gift for copywriting, Paul became a storyteller for business, keen to help companies and individuals accurately present themselves within the evolving, transparent world of the social space.

Paul’s life-long goal is to be surrounded by great designers – to present big attractive ideas and ideals in the best possible style. Through co-Founding ChangeAgents Branding, Paul has realized his ideal.


David Drew

David Drew, Principal at Drew Consulting, has 16 years’ experience managing the full range of B2B Marketing activities at an international level with a number of industry-leading global firms. For the better part of a decade, this experience has been in Global Marketing and Commercial Management Leadership positions, incorporating strong client consulting delivery experience in applied critical thinking skills with a global management consultancy.

David possesses top flight experience leading and coaching global and multilingual teams.  He holds a BA Joint Honours degree in Modern European Languages from Cardiff University in the UK, and has lived and worked in the UK, France, Spain and the USA. Former clients have included Berlitz Corporation, Kepner-Tregoe, Pivotal Corporation, Cognex Corporation and Nissan Europe.


Drew Marshall

Drew Marshall is the Principal of Primed Associates, LLC, an innovation consultancy. He lives in central NJ and works with clients across the USA and around the world. Prior to founding Primed Associates, LLC, Drew spent ten years with Princeton-based management consulting firm Kepner-Tregoe where he rose to become a Partner and the Chief Innovation Officer.

Drew is a co-host of the weekly innovation-focused Twitter chat, #innochat, the founder, host and producer of Ignite Princeton, and a contributor to the Innovation Excellence and Collaborative Innovation blogs.


Nick Kellet

Nick is co-founder the social-list content platform Listly, combining crowdsourcing, content curation and embeddable lists to drive high-level community engagement, live inside your blog posts. Listly brings badly needed structure to

social content by combining two interesting trends on the web – crowdsourcing and interactive social polling. Listly’s web service and plugins allow bloggers and publishers of any size to quadruple engagement with their audience in up to 30% of their content, enabling them to derive more revenues (or reach) for their valuable content.

Literally a visionary, Nick sold his visual segmentation startup to Business Objects (now SAP) in 1999; the tool capitalized on our love of Venn diagrams to discover and express the business questions people needed to ask.

A passionate innovator, Nick self-published a board game instead of the predictable book. His game, GiftTRAP, gamifies the act of gift exchange, is translated into 12 languages and has won 20+ awards globally including a Spiel des Jahres Prize (considered the gamer’s Oscar).


Angela Maiers

Angela’s career focus has always been about teaching and communication. Her twenty years as an educator and passionate pursuit of literacy and learning gave her the healthy dose of courage and skills that led her through a wonderful variety of

experiences, including classroom and University teaching, instructional coaching, research, writing, publishing, corporate training, and starting her own business, Maiers Education Services.

Also the founder of the nonprofit Choose2Matter, Maiers expanded upon her belief that we all do indeed matter, and it is the validation and recognition of each person’s intrinsic gifts and perspective that contributes to the whole.

Maiers’ unique insights regarding the wisdom of the hive mind serve her well. The room is the smartest person in the 21st century, but only if every person in the room contributes everything they have. Instead, most are told growing up that we don’t matter and so therefore stop contributing. Through her company Maiers Educational Services, Maiers tells the story of how a classroom of students went from believing that they don’t matter to believing that their contribution can change the world. Students ~ our children ~ are not asking for permission; they are simply asking you to notice and contribute to the change they are making.
The resultant energy is invigorating and the change wrought by engaged kids is exciting!

Maiers is an award-winning educator, speaker, consultant and professional trainer known for her work in literacy, leadership and global communications. She is a consistently energized and recognized worldwide speaker greatly impacting leadership through not only the education field, but the international business community as well. Challenging educational philosophies and business ethics, Maiers strives to achieve total synergy and unstoppable energy by reconstructing the thought process of many dated ideologies.


Mark J. Carter

An innate networker, Carter discovered early on in his career that true networking consisted of more than dispensing business cards like Pez. The people behind the cards made the difference and leveraging their stories and strengths formed the basis of his company, One80.

Seeing a need within the philanthropic and not-for-profit worlds, Carter was able to harness Chicago’s young professionals’ desire to give back to their community in a meaningful way. Through being able to capitalize on their time, talent and treasure applying a strategic focus on pairing various individuals with a cause that best utilized their gifts, Carter was able to create a relationship between a robust volunteer base and underserved nonprofit organizations in an effective manner.

Growing from his initial networking business, Carter expanded to coordinate book launches and events for the likes of former CSO of Yahoo! and New York Times Bestselling Author Tim Sanders for Today We Are Rich; the social media campaign for Bestselling author Mark Sanborn’s launch of Up, Down or Sideways; and former Chief Marketing Officer of the New England Patriots Lou Imbriano’s book Winning The Customer.

In 2013, Carter combined his passion for mentoring by launching mentoring projects and began focusing on bringing other people’s genius to the world with his unique interview style. Carter and his team interviewed the speakers for the UnleashWD Conference. He also interviewed the speakers on site for TEDxNaperville. All of the interviews will be used to build year long content and community marketing campaigns. He co-anchored the newsdesk as a spokesperson for Dell World 2013; interviewing top Dell Executives, entrepreneurs and key team leaders (including Michael Dell).

In 2014, Carter continues to build on his lifelong passion for mentoring, events and speaking while working with conferences and building events. Carter is teaming with Liz Strauss to create amazing content and build the SOBCon community (before, at and after the event) through interviews. Other cause marketing conference projects are in the works. He currently serves as Vice President of Marketing for Chicago MPI.


Raffi Cavoukian, C.M., O.B.C.

Dubbed “the most popular children’s singer in the English-speaking world” by The Washington Post, Raffi’s music was, for millions of fans, the soundtrack of their childhoods. As a testament to the timelessness and whimsy of his gift, these “beluga grads” now share his songs with their own kids. 

In a career spanning four decades, Raffi has refused all commercial endorsement offers and has never taken part in direct advertising to children. In 2010, he founded the Centre for Child Honouring — a global movement that views honouring children as the best way to create sustainable, peacemaking cultures. In 2013, Raffi wrote Lightweb Darkweb: Three Reasons To Reform Social Media Before It Re-Forms Us.


Molly M. Cantrell-Kraig

According to a national study, the number one reason welfare to work programs fail is lack of reliable transportation. Herself a former single mother, Cantrell-Kraig established Women With Drive Foundation in order to build a collaborative solution to systemic

generational poverty with a focus on providing not only the missing element of transportation, but the necessary component of process and structure for the participants they serve.

Included among the CNN10: Visionary Women in honor of Women’s History Month (March 2014), and featured as one of 32 global influencers in Social Media and Inspirational Leadership by the Huffington Post in February 2013, Cantrell-Kraig moved to Chicago in order to learn how to scale their organization nationally. Over the three years’ prior, Women With Drive Foundation had received requests for cars from women in Jordan, Senegal, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Australia and Romania. Since being featured in the Huffington Post and on CNN, they have received requests to open chapters across the country.

Also a speaker covering topics as varied as building relationships between entrepreneurs and the media, women, poverty, social entrepreneurism, tech and impact investing, Cantrell-Kraig has appeared as either a speaker or panelist at NextGen:Charity in New York City; TechWeek Chicago and Pitch Week, Chicago. She was also invited to attend the premier episode of the Ricki Lake Show, in Los Angeles, where the episode featured online communities that had an impact offline.

Cantrell-Kraig also serves as a featured blogger for Successful Blog, appearing on Sundays.

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