Wednesday, August 2 at 12:30 p.m.
Erik Wahl is an internationally recognized artist, TED speaker, and No. 1 bestselling author. His breakthrough experience as an artist and entrepreneur has translated into making him into one of the most sought-after corporate speakers on the circuit today.
On stage, Erik’s keynote experience creates a dynamic multidimensional metaphor for how to systematically embrace innovation and risk. His message: disruption is the new normal and businesses must embrace creativity in a wholesale fashion, or risk being left behind. Erik’s presentation inspires organizations to be increasingly agile and outlines how to use disruption as a competitive advantage. Some companies will be disrupted others will choose to be the disruptor. Choose wisely.
His new book, The Spark and the Grind, activates the essential components of translating ideas into action. His breakthrough thinking has earned praise from the likes of top influencers in both art and business.
Erik’s previous book, a bestseller called Unthink was hailed by Forbes Magazine as The blueprint to actionable creativity, and by Fast Company Magazine as “provocative with a purpose.”
The Warhol of Wall Street, the Renoir of ROI, The Picasso of Productivity, the Jobs of … Well, Jobs. Erik discovered an alarming truth early in his career as a partner in a corporate firm: organizations that encouraged the mental discipline of creativity did better than those that did not put innovation as a priority mission. So he set out to challenge companies to change their way of thinking. In the meantime, inspired by street art, he became an acclaimed graffiti artist—though he has since stopped selling his works for personal gain, and instead uses his art to raise money for charities. His keynote is where his passion for business growth and art converge into a fascinating performance.
Erik’s list of clients includes AT&T, Disney, London School of Business, Microsoft, FedEx, Exxon Mobil, Ernst &
Young, and XPrize.
Thursday, August 3 at 12:30 p.m.
Sekou Andrews is the Founder/CEO of SekouWorld, Inc., innovator of “Poetic Voice,” and one of the most successful spoken word poets in the world. On any given day, this schoolteacher turned artist and entrepreneur, who built a 7-figure company on poetry, can be found keynoting at a Fortune 500 company, inspiring thousands at a concert, or performing for Barack Obama in Oprah’s backyard.
Sekou is the creator of “poetic voice” – a cutting-edge speaking category that seamlessly fuses inspirational speaking with spoken word poetry, like “Hamilton” meets “TED.” This innovative blend of strategic storytelling,
thought leadership, spoken word, theater, and comedy humanizes content, making it entertaining, moving and memorable. Sekou’s accomplishments include two National Poetry Slam championships, two national poetry
tours, two Independent Music Awards, three Helen Hayes Awards, the most “Just Plain Folks” music awards in history, the 2020 ABA “Entrepreneur of the Year” award, and the first “Best Spoken Word Album” Grammy nomination for a poet in 30 years.
It is no surprise that Forbes has called Sekou a “polymath” and “the de facto poet laureate of corporate America.” His “wow-factor” is in high-demand with the world’s most successful organizations, including Google, Viacom, Toyota, Nike, Cisco, Linkedin, Capital One, L’Oreal, Global Green, Paypal, ASAE, The Gap, Paypal, General Mills, the ACLU, and the NBA to name but a few. Sekou’s work has also been featured on such diverse national media outlets as ABC World News, CBS, MSNBC, HBO, Good Morning America, Showtime, MTV, and BET, and he has given private performances for such prominent individuals as Maya Angelou, Quincy Jones, Larry King, Hillary Clinton, Norman Lear, Sean “Diddy” Combs, and Coretta Scott King. Sekou has also emerged as a powerful voice for health and wellness, routinely evoking tears, cheers, and standing ovations at events for clients such as the Johnson & Johnson, United Healthcare, Mayo Clinic, Blue Shield, Kaiser Permanente, TEDMED, Roche, Northwell Health, Genentech, and the American Medical Association.
Sekou is a multi-talented entertainer with over 2 decades of experience inspiring audiences across platforms and genres. He has shared event stages with such heavyweights as Drake, Stevie Wonder, Jay-Z, Carlos Santana, Kendrick Lamar, Maroon 5, Jill Scott, and John Legend. He is also a voiceover artist and actor with several national commercials, three films, and an original, critically-acclaimed, two-man play on his resume. With creative partner Steve Connell, Sekou has inspired audiences from the HBO US Comedy Arts Festival to The Pasadena Pops Orchestra. Sekou has even returned to the classroom, teaching his rockstar secrets to public speakers through his highly effective Stage Might™ speaker training system that helps executives, influencers and leaders become more dynamic communicators.
With all of the innovation and inspiration that is poetic voice, Sekou Andrews is accomplishing the seemingly impossible – bringing spoken word poetry to the world’s largest stages, while redefining the notion of what a speaker is, and what a poet can be.