Brené Brown, Tim Gunn, and More to Keynote at Talent Connect 2017

September 13, 2017

When you think back on a conference like Talent Connect, you remember the people, the venue, the buzz—but it’s the “ah-ha” moments that always stick out: those speeches where something clicks and you suddenly see things in a new way.

It’s those lessons that you can’t wait to share with your team, the insights that spark new projects and come back to you again and again over the next year.

And at this year’s Talent Connect in Nashville, the keynotes will have you bursting with inspiration from all the “ah-ha” moments and brilliant speakers we’ve managed to pack into three days—from one of the most viral TED Talkers, to a fashion icon, to some of the HR and talent acquisition professionals at the top of the game today.

Here are just six of the keynotes we know you’ll be thinking back on all year.

1. Edith Cooper, Goldman Sachs’ Global head of Human Capital Management, talks about addressing race in the workplace and naming the elephant in the room

Edith Cooper received worldwide attention last year when she published a LinkedIn post that went viral about addressing race in the workplace. As a woman of color in a leadership position, she saw it as her responsibility to name the elephant in the room and lead the conversation about race within Goldman Sachs and the business community at large.

In this fireside chat, Edith will share her personal experiences, including how she summoned the courage to name the elephant in the room, how Goldman Sachs has reacted, and how she’s learned to have productive discussions on race and diversity at work.

She’ll also talk about how to identify the elephants in your own company and start the bold conversations you need to have, whether they’re on race, generations, gender, or reputation. Beyond naming the elephant, Edith also discusses taming it—confronting issues head-on to begin making a real difference.

2. Sarah Wagener, Pandora’s VP of Talent, gives lessons on following your instincts to your career-defining moments

Sarah Wagener’s professional journey has taken her from pharma, to Facebook, to Pandora, where she shapes the talent strategy from recruitment to culture to diversity and inclusion—but it hasn’t been a simple, direct path.

In her keynote, Sarah will discuss how she’s taken risks, faced adversity, learned from failed experiments, and trusted her instincts over her fears. In telling her own story, she’ll dispense valuable, actionable lessons on how to bet on yourself, stand out, and go outside your comfort zone by following your instincts.

3. Brené Brown, Founder and CEO of Brave Leaders Inc, talks about Daring Leadership

Brené Brown, one of most watched TED Talk speakers of all time, researches vulnerability, courage, shame, and authenticity. Her speech on the power of vulnerability has been viewed over 37 million times alone.

Brené‘s keynote will explore how courage can be taught, developed, and measured and provide actionable strategies for leaning into our discomfort and embracing vulnerability as a source of courageous leadership.

4. Kimberly Bryant, Black Girls CODE’s founder and CEO, shares her personal experience and thoughts on the value of diversity

Kimberly Bryant leads Black Girls CODE, an inspiring non-profit that teaches programming and tech skills to girls from underrepresented communities. An engineer turned entrepreneur, Kimberly has grown the organization she founded in 2011 into a massive success that’s reached over 6,000 girls and aims to reach a million by 2040.

In her keynote, Kimberly will share her own experience in the workforce, her thoughts on addressing the gender and diversity gaps, and how organizations like hers are empowering young women with technical skills to help them thrive.

5. Matthew Luhn, story consultant and former Pixar Story Supervisor, advises on how storytelling can enhance your employer brand

Matthew Luhn knows the value of spinning a good story goes far beyond entertainment or charisma. Not only has he helped shape the stories behind Pixar classics like Toy Story, Finding Nemo, Ratatouille, and several early episodes of The Simpsons, Matthew also helps businesses build enticing brands.

His keynote will cover how companies and recruiters can harness the power of storytelling to bolster their employer brands and attract candidates. Offering examples from his own—pardon the pun—storied career, Matthew will give actionable tips on weaving stories into business value.

6. Tim Gunn, fashion icon, gives a fireside chat on finding extraordinary talent

Tim Gunn, Emmy-winning co-host and mentor for Lifetime’s Project Runway, has discovered and developed talent throughout his career. From his early days as the director of admissions at the Corcoran College of Art and Design, to his corporate success as Chief Creative Officer for Liz Claiborne, Inc., to his meteoric rise as a TV personality and fashion consultant, he’s had an instinct for spotting talent and bringing it out in others.  

In this fireside conversation, Tim will talk about how to engage candidates, recruiting the talent at the top of your industry, and develop the skills of those already within the fold.

If you aren't joining us in Nashville on October 3-5, be sure to sign up for the livestream to listen in on all the keynotes and more. We'll also be covering these as well as the top sessions right here on the blog. 

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