The keynote speakers can be found on the keynote section of the website. A brief description of each keynote speaker is also listed below.
Kevin Carroll is the founder of Kevin Carroll Katalyst LLC and the author of three highly successful books: Rules of the Red Rubber Ball, What's Your Red Rubber Ball?!, and The Red Rubber Ball at Work. As an author, speaker, and agent for social change (a.k.a., the Katalyst), it is Kevin’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.
With his consulting endeavors, Kevin has helped turn creative ideas into reality for organizations such as the National Hockey League, ESPN, Nike, Starbucks (his words appeared on 17 million grande cups), The National Basketball Association, Walt Disney Company, Mattel, Hasbro, Procter & Gamble, Discovery Channel, and Capital One.
Raised by his grandparents in Philadelphia, Kevin spent endless hours at the neighborhood playground, where he found his calling: a red rubber ball. His subsequent pursuit of play and his "red rubber ball" took him overseas with the U.S. Air Force, where he served as a language interpreter and translator, gaining fluency in Croatian, Czech, Serbian, and German.
After serving in the air force for 10 years and earning a college degree, Kevin became an athletic trainer at the high school and collegiate levels in Philadelphia. His expertise in sport performance was recognized by the 76ers organization and led to a job as the head athletic trainer for the team in 1995. While at the 76ers, Nike tapped Kevin for his unique experiences, directing him to create a position at the company that would add value to the brand’s overall mission. As a Katalyst (the K is for Kevin)—a creative change agent—he was instrumental in helping the company develop a deeper understanding of athletic product performance, team dynamics, and interpersonal communication. Kevin left Nike in 2004 to create his own company, Kevin Carroll Katalyst LLC, committed to elevating the power of sport and play around the world.
Kevin 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. He was honored to address the United Nations as part of the UN Year of Sports for Development and Peace in 2005 and to serve as the host of the Beyond Sport Summit & Awards that featured Archbishop Desmond Tutu in 2009.
Kevin holds a master of science in health education from St. Joseph's University, a bachelor of arts in speech communication with a minor in physical education from Angelo State University, and an associate’s degree in interpreting and translating from the Community College of the Air Force. Kevin is a frequent visiting professor across the United States.
Acknowledged as one of the most engaging and crowd-pleasing speakers in the world of neuroscience, John Medina is a developmental molecular biologist, a researcher, a professor, and the author of 10 books. His New York Times bestseller, Brain Rules: 12 Principles for Surviving at Work, Home and School has been celebrated as the standard handbook on understanding the brain and optimizing its performance. Brain Rules has been translated into more than 20 languages and selected as a textbook at numerous universities. John’s focus is on the genes behind brain development and psychiatric conditions. He has spent most of his professional life as an analytical research consultant, working primarily in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries on research related to mental health. He also consults with hospitals and healthcare facilities on designing brain-healthy environments that reduce staff stress and improve patient outcomes. John is an affiliate professor of bioengineering at the University of Washington School of Medicine. He is also the founding director of the Talaris Research Institute, which studies how infants encode and process information at the cognitive, cellular, and molecular level. His extensive study of the developing brain resulted in his most recent book, Brain Rules for Baby. John’s upcoming books, The Teenaged Brain and Your Aging Brain, further explore the brain’s life stages.
John and his team work collaboratively with clients to understand his audiences and tailor his presentations to fit specific interests and challenges. His high-energy keynotes consistently receive high ratings and resounding applause. As one corporate event committee chair praised, “He was the talk of the conference—a rare combination of brilliance and engaging presentation style.”
Danielle Feinberg began her career at Pixar Animation Studios in February 1997, and has worked on films such as Toy Story 2; Monsters, Inc.; the Academy Award–winning Finding Nemo; and The Incredibles. Danielle was the director of photography-lighting for the Academy Award–winning features WALL•E and Brave. She also worked on Pixar’s fall 2017 film Coco.
At the age of 23, Danielle’s first role at Pixar was the lead render technical director on A Bug’s Life, where she in charge of a team of nine men, eight of whom were older than herself. She got her first taste of lighting on this film and quickly discovered her love of that unique combination of technology and art.
Danielle went on to work as a lighting artist on many of Pixar’s feature films, where she moved up the ranks—from master lighting artist on Toy Story 2 and Monsters, Inc. to lead lighting artist on The Incredibles. On Finding Nemo, Danielle took on the role of CG supervisor of the Ocean Unit, where she was responsible for the team that created the scenes in the depths of the ocean, the field of pink jellyfish, and the rollercoaster ride with the turtles. For WALL•E, she returned to her passion of lighting as the director of photography-lighting. In that role, she led a team of more than 35 lighting artists to design and execute the “filmic” look envisioned by the film’s director. Danielle was once again in a lead creative role as director of photography-lighting for Brave, which stars Pixar’s first female protagonist. While working on Brave, Marie Claire magazine named her the “top film techie” in their 2011 Women on Top Awards.
A native of Boulder, Colorado, Danielle’s love of combining computers and art began when she was eight years old, and first programmed a Logo turtle to create images. This eventually led her to a bachelor of arts in computer science from Harvard University. Now, in addition to her Pixar work, she works with teenage girls, encouraging them to pursue math, science, and code by demonstrating to them the same beautiful simplicity she found with the programmed art of the Logo turtle.