Speaker Series: Leadership In Action

We are thrilled to bring in a star-studded lineup of luminaries for our Leadership In Action speaker series. In intimate conversations moderated by Global Citizen Year alumni, these speakers will share insight, expertise, and inspiration for making a meaningful impact in the world.

Please join us for one or more of these special sessions. Simply click the "Register To Attend" link below each speaker to sign up for their event. Please note, all times are listed in Pacific Time.

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JENNIFER AAKER | General Atlantic Professor at Stanford Graduate School of Business

Dr. Jennifer Aaker is the General Atlantic Professor at Stanford Graduate School of Business. A behavioral scientist and author, Dr. Aaker is a leading expert on how purpose and meaning shape the choices individuals make, how money and time can be used in ways that cultivate long-lasting happiness, and how technology can positively impact human well-being. Dr. Aaker is widely published in leading scholarly journals and her work has been featured in The Economist, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic, and Science. Dr. Aaker co-authored the award-winning book, The Dragonfly Effect, and is the recipient of the Distinguished Scientific Achievement Award, Stanford Distinguished Teaching Award, and the MBA Professor of the Year Award. At Stanford, she teaches classes including Designing AI to Cultivate Human Well-Being, Rethinking Purpose, A New Type of Leader, VR/AR: Scaling Empathy in an Immersive World, Power of Story, and Humor: Serious Business. Dr. Aaker serves as a board member and advisor helping companies and leadership teams with digital transformation, global brand building and embracing a new type of leadership for the innovation economy - one anchored on purpose, fueled by levity.

Sept 17th, 7pm PT

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ABBY FALIK | Founder & CEO, Global Citizen Year

Abby Falik is an award-winning social entrepreneur. A recognized expert on social innovation and the changing landscape of education, Falik has been featured in Forbes, NPR, The Washington Post and The New York Times. In 2018 she was named one of Goldman Sachs' 100 Most Intriguing Entrepreneurs, and in 2016 Fast Company named her one of the 100 Most Creative People in Business. For her achievements as a social entrepreneur, she has been recognized as an Ashoka Fellow and a Draper Richards Kaplan Entrepreneur. She currently serves on the advisory boards of World Learning, Teach for All and the Harvard Business School. She received a B.A. in international relations and an M.A. in International Comparative Education from Stanford University. She received her MBA from Harvard Business School. Abby lives in Oakland with her husband, Joel Segre, and two young sons, Rio and Luca.

Sept 18th, 10am PT

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JULIE LYTHCOTT-HAIMS | Author & Former Stanford Dean

Julie Lythcott-Haims is a New York Times bestselling author and TED speaker whose books range from a critique of helicopter parenting, to a memoir on racism and microaggressions, to a forthcoming book for young adults on adulting. She is a former attorney and Stanford dean, and she holds a BA from Stanford, a JD from Harvard, and an MFA in Writing from California College of the Arts.

Sept 24th, 7pm PT

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ZIAD AHMED | Entrepreneur, student, and speaker

Ziad is the CEO of JUV Consulting, a Generation Z consultancy that works with clients to help them understand young people. JUV has worked with over 20 Fortune 500 companies, has been profiled by the New York Times, and has launched major purpose-driven TikTok campaigns. Because of JUV, Ziad was named to the 2019 Forbes #30Under30 list when he was 19-years-old. Ziad is also a full-time student at Yale. Additionally, Ziad is the Founder of Redefy, a youth-run non-profit committed to furthering equality. He speaks often on the power of his generation, and he seeks to use his voice to push the envelope forward wherever/however possible.

Sept 25th, 9am PT

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NIKETU IRALU | Social Worker restoring community relationships in India & Myanmar

Since 1957, Niketu Iralu has been an honory worker with Initiatives of Change in India an various countries of Asia, the Pacific region, Europe, North and South America. He also helped the Naga Mothers Association and the Kripa Foundation in Mumbai to establish Mt. Gilead Home in 1989. Mt Gilead Home is the region's first center for counseling and rehabilitation for drug and alcohol addiction. Today, Niketu Iralu is a social worker involved in the search for healing and restoration of relationships among the ethnic tribes/nationalities and the majority communities in Northeast India and Northwest Myanmar. Niketu Iralu lives with his wife Christine in Zubza village near Kohima, Nagaland, Northeast India. Their son Vipulie is a computer engineer working in Melbourne, Australia.

Oct 1st, 8:30pm PT

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COURTNEY MARTIN | Journalist & Author

Courtney E. Martin is an author and entrepreneur. Her latest book, The New Better Off, explores how people are re-defining the American dream. Courtney consults with TED, The Obama Foundation, The Aspen Institute, and IDEO. She is also the co-founder of The Solutions Journalism Network and FRESH Speakers Bureau.

Oct 2nd, 9am PT

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SETH GODIN | Author & Teacher, akimbo.com

Seth Godin is the author of 19 books that have been bestsellers around the world and have been translated into more than 35 languages. He’s also the founder of the altMBA and The Akimbo Workshops, online seminars that have transformed the work of thousands of people. He writes about the post-industrial revolution, the way ideas spread, marketing, quitting, leadership and most of all, changing everything. You might be familiar with his books Linchpin, Tribes, The Dip and Purple Cow. His latest book, This Is Marketing, was an instant bestseller around the world. In addition to his writing and speaking, Seth has founded several companies, including Yoyodyne and Squidoo. His blog (which you can find by typing “seth” into Google) is one of the most popular in the world. His podcast is in the top 1% of all podcasts worldwide. In 2018, he was inducted into the Marketing Hall of Fame. More than 20,000 people have taken his powerful Akimbo workshops, including the altMBA and The Marketing Seminar.

Oct 5th, 1pm PT

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PRITI KRISHTEL | Co-Executive Director, I-MAK

Priti Krishtel wants to reinvent the patent system. A lawyer and veteran of the global access to medicines movement, she is exposing how the failures of the patent system are affecting all of us — and how we can fix it. As medicine and technology increasingly intersect, Krishtel is leading the charge to democratize the patent system and make it more accountable to the public. Krishtel envisions a future in which people can actively participate in decisions that impact their health and the health of their loved ones.

Oct 8th, 8pm PT

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BILL GEORGE | Author; Senior Fellow, Harvard Business School; Former Chairman & CEO, Medtronic

Bill George is a senior fellow at Harvard Business School, where he has taught leadership since 2004. He is the author of: Discover Your True North. Mr. George is the former chairman and chief executive officer of Medtronic. He joined Medtronic in 1989 as president and chief operating officer, was chief executive officer from 1991-2001, and board chair from 1996-2002. Earlier in his career, he was a senior executive with Honeywell and Litton Industries and served in the U.S. Department of Defense. Mr. George has served on the boards of Goldman Sachs, ExxonMobil, Novartis, Target Corporation, and the World Economic Forum USA. He recently concluded his term as a trustee of the Mayo Clinic. In 2014, the Franklin Institute awarded him the Bower Award for Business Leadership. He was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 2012, and was named one of the "Top 25 Business Leaders of the Past 25 Years" by PBS; "Executive of the Year-2001" by the Academy of Management; and "Director of the Year-2001-02" by the National Association of Corporate Directors.

Oct 9th, 8am PT

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JENNIFER MORGAN | Executive Director, Greenpeace International

Jennifer Morgan is a leading expert on climate issues and civil society advocacy. Recently voted by Apolitical as one of the world's top 20 most influential people in climate policy, Morgan is currently the Executive Director of Greenpeace International. As well as managing the organisation, Jennifer is a public figure who represents Greenpeace in the media, and at moments ranging from UNFCCC meetings and the World Economic Forum, to strikes, marches and rallies around the world. Involved in climate change issues for over twenty years, she has previously held a series of directorship roles of climate programmes at different non-governmental organisations, including World Resources Institute (2009-2016); E3G (2006-2009) and WWF (1998-2006). She has participated in every COP meeting since the first in Berlin in 1995, and was also a Review Editor for the 5th Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

Oct 14th, 7am PT

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ANDREW YOUN | CEO, One Acre Fund

Andrew Youn started One Acre Fund in 2006. Most of the world’s poor are farmers, and One Acre Fund helps make them more productive. One Acre Fund has 8,000 full-time staff who serve 1,000,000+ families per year, plus 1,000,000+ families through partnerships.

Oct 21st, 7am PT

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SOPHIA BUSH & MANDANA DAYANI | Co-founders, I am a voter.

Sophia Bush is an American actress, activist, entrepreneur, and global education access advocate. Bush is a member of the Directors Guild of America and has starred in various independent projects, shows and movies. Named one of the most charitable celebrities by CNN, Sophia devotes her free time to bettering girl’s education and the environment. Sophia co-founded and sits on the board for “I am a voter” where she campaigns and promotes awareness of registration tools while also encouraging all to use their resources to participate in the voting process. In 2019, Sophia launched her podcast, Work in Progress. She features frank, funny, personal, professional, and sometimes even political conversations with people who inspire Sophia about how they’ve gotten to where they are, and where they think they’re still going. These discussions stem from her "aha" moment of realizing you are allowed to be both a masterpiece and a work in progress, simultaneously. Mandana Dayani is the Creator and Co-founder of I am a voter., a nonpartisan movement that aims to create a cultural shift around voting and civic engagement. She is also the co-host of The Dissenters podcast with actress and activist, Debra Messing, where they highlight the journeys of 20 of their heroes. Mandana began her career as a corporate attorney at top international law firm, Paul Hastings. She then worked as a talent agent where she developed licensing and endorsement opportunities for celebrities before going in house to work with stylist and entrepreneur, Rachel Zoe, to launch the Rachel Zoe Collection and to launch and lead her company’s initiatives. After 6 years, Mandana joined EBTH as Chief Brand Officer. She is also the founder of The Learning Series, an event series for women leaders.

Oct 23rd, 10am PT

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Arianna Huffington is the founder and CEO of Thrive Global, the founder of The Huffington Post, and the author of 15 books, including, most recently, Thrive and The Sleep Revolution. In 2016, she launched Thrive Global, a leading behavior change tech company with the mission of changing the way we work and live by ending the collective delusion that burnout is the price we must pay for success. She has been named to Time Magazine's list of the world’s 100 most influential people and the Forbes Most Powerful Women list. Agapi Stassinopoulos is a best-selling author and speaker who inspires audiences around the world. She is currently conducting workshops for Thrive Global, a company founded by her sister, Arianna Huffington, to help change the way we work and live. Joey Hubbard is the Director of Trainings at Thrive Global. He has dedicated the last 30 years to coaching and facilitating motivational seminars to assist individuals and professional organizations in improving their lives, their careers and their businesses all over the world. Joey was recently Executive Consultant and Partner for McGhee Productivity, which provides consulting and educational services to businesses to increase productivity, communication, and quality of life.

Oct 27th, 11am PT

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PREMAL SHAH | Co-founder Kiva.org

Premal co-founded Kiva.org —a global poverty alleviation non-profit website that makes it easy for you to lend to underserved entrepreneurs around the world. Since 2005, over +$1 billion has been channelled through Kiva to +2 million entrepreneurs - 80% women and with a 96% repayment rate. He’s passionate about making it easier for everyone to lead more meaningful lives.

Oct 29th, 11am PT

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SELENA SERMENO | Psychologist, Educator and Facilitator

Selena is a psychologist, educator and facilitator committed to the study, treatment and prevention of traumatic events. A native of El Salvador, Selena is guided by questions such as what does it take for youth to heal from adversity and become healing agents of change themselves. She is a mom, wife and avid hiker.

Oct 30th, 9am PT

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RAJ PANJABI | CEO, Last Mile Health; Assistant Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School

Dr. Raj Panjabi is CEO of Last Mile Health and Assistant Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and the Division of Global Health Equity at Brigham & Women’s Hospital. Raj grew up in Liberia and fled Liberia’s civil war with his family when he was nine years old, becoming a refugee in the United States of America. He returned to Liberia as a medical student and then in 2007 co-founded Last Mile Health, a non-profit organization working to save lives in the world’s most remote communities by partnering with governments to design, scale, strengthen, and sustain high-quality community health systems. Raj was named by TIME as one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World and one of the 50 Most Influential People in Healthcare and currently serves as a Beck Visiting Social Innovator at Harvard Kennedy School of Government.

Nov 5th, 8am PT

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SHERYL SANDBERG | Chief Operating Officer, Facebook

Sheryl Sandberg is chief operating officer at Facebook, overseeing the firm's business operations. She also serves on Facebook’s board of directors. Prior to Facebook, Sheryl was vice president of Global Online Sales and Operations at Google, chief of staff for the United States Treasury Department under President Clinton, a management consultant with McKinsey & Company, and an economist with the World Bank. Sheryl received a BA summa cum laude from Harvard University and an MBA with highest distinction from Harvard Business School. Sheryl is the co-author of Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy with Wharton professor and bestselling author Adam Grant. She is also the author of the bestsellers Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead and Lean In for Graduates. She is the founder of the Sheryl Sandberg & Dave Goldberg Family Foundation, a nonprofit organization that works to build a more equal and resilient world through two key initiatives, LeanIn.Org and OptionB.Org. Sheryl serves on the boards of Facebook, Women for Women International, ONE, and SurveyMonkey.

Nov 6th, 11am PT

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TONI TOWNES-WHITLEY | President, US Regulated Industries

As president of US Regulated Industries at Microsoft, Toni Townes-Whitley leads the US sales strategy for driving digital transformation across customers and partners within the public sector and regulated industries. With responsibility for the 4900+ sales organization and ~$14B P&L, she is one of the leading women at Microsoft, and in the technology industry, with a strong track record for accelerating profitable business performance and building high-performance teams. In addition to leading a sales organization, Townes-Whitley is helping to steer the company’s work to address racial injustice – with efforts targeted both internally at the level of corporate culture, and externally to counter the prevailing societal impacts. Townes-Whitley serves on the boards of the PNC Financial Services Group, the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, and the United Way Worldwide. She is an advisor to the Women’s Center of Northern Virginia, and a past president of Women in Technology. She has helped to launch new initiatives at Microsoft with the Athena Alliance, an organization that prepares women for corporate board roles, and Gender Fair, which rates companies on their fairness practices for leadership, employee policies, advertising and philanthropy. Townes-Whitley continues to support the US Peace Corps, for which she volunteered for three years as a village teacher in Gabon (Central Africa).

Nov 12th, 11am PT

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EDDIE NDOPU | United Nations Secretary-General's Global Advocate for Sustainable Development

Eddie Ndopu is an award-winning, internationally-acclaimed activist and humanitarian. Diagnosed with Spinal Muscular Atrophy at age two and projected to live only until the age of five, nearly 30-year-old Ndopu has gone on to become a beacon of hope for people with disabilities around the world. Ndopu serves as Special Advisor to RTW Investments, a leading investor in scientific and medical innovation. He has also advised organizations such as the World Economic Forum, UN-Women, and Amnesty International. Eddie has been recognized as a Top 30 Thinkers Under 30 and one of the 50 Most Influential People with Disabilities in the World. He is the Founder and CEO of Beyond Zero Ventures.

Nov 13th, 7am PT

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ALEX BERNADOTTE | Founder & CEO, Beyond 12

Alex Bernadotte is the founder and CEO of Beyond 12, a digital coaching platform that combines virtual human coaches, a campus customized mobile app, and an AI-powered analytics engine to help first-generation students thrive in college and beyond. She has more than 20 years of executive management and strategic development experience in both the nonprofit and private sectors. Before creating Beyond 12, she was an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at NewSchools Venture Fund where she developed the business plan for Beyond 12. Alex received her undergraduate degree from Dartmouth and a master's with a concentration in policy and organizational leadership from Stanford. She is an Ashoka Fellow and a 2012 Jefferson Award for Public Service recipient. Alex received her undergraduate degree from Dartmouth and earned a master's degree with a concentration in policy and organizational leadership from Stanford. She is an Ashoka Fellow, a recipient of the 2011 NewSchools Venture Fund Entrepreneur of the Year award and the Stanford 2019 Alumni Excellence in Education Award, as well as a Fellow of the 22nd class of the Pahara - Aspen Education Fellowship,

Nov 20th, 10am PT

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WENDY KOPP | CEO & Co-founder, Teach For All

Wendy Kopp is the CEO and Co-founder of Teach For All, a global network of partner Organizations across 53 countries and six continents, cultivating their nations’ promising future leaders to ensure everyone has the chance to reach their true potential. She’s previously founded Teach For America and has been recognized as one of Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People.

Dec 4th, 8am PT

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DERAY MCKESSON | Civil Rights Activist, Educator, Podcaster, & Author

DeRay Mckesson is an acclaimed civil rights activist, educator, podcaster, and author of the critically-acclaimed On the Other Side of Freedom: The Case for Hope. He is the co-founder of Campaign Zero and host of the award-winning weekly podcast “Pod Save The People”. In 2015, DeRay was named one of Fortune magazine’s World’s 50 Greatest Leaders was awarded the Peter Jennings Award for Civic Leadership. In 2016, President Obama praised DeRay for his “outstanding work” and he was named one of the 30 Most Influential People On The Internet by Time Magazine.

Dec 8th, 11am PT

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JAY SHETTY | Storyteller, Podcast Host, Former Monk

Jay Shetty is an author, storyteller, podcaster, and former monk. Shetty’s vision is to Make Wisdom Go Viral. He is on a mission to share the timeless wisdom of the world in an accessible, relevant, and practical way. Shetty has created over 400 viral videos with over 7.5 billion views, and hosts the #1 Health and Wellness podcast in the world, On Purpose.

Dec 10th, 11am PT

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VARSHINI PRAKASH | Executive Director and Co-founder, Sunrise Movement

Varshini Prakash is the Executive Director and co-founder of Sunrise, a movement of young people working to stop climate change and create millions of good jobs in the process through the Green New Deal. Varshini has been a leading voice for young Americans, including when she helped lead a mass demonstration for the Green New Deal with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez that went viral and put the climate crisis at the top of the political agenda for the 2020 elections. Varshini's work has been featured in the New York Times, MSNBC, The New Yorker, BBC, The Washington Post and more. In 2019, she was named to Forbes 30 under 30 list for law and policy, and TIME 100 Next, a new list of rising stars who are shaping politics, popular culture, science, and more. Varshini currently lives in Boston, MA.

Dec 11th, 8am PT

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MELINDA GATES | Philanthropist, Author, & Co-chair, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Melinda French Gates is a philanthropist, businesswoman, and global advocate for women and girls. As co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, she shapes and approves the foundation’s strategies, reviews results, and sets the organization’s overall direction. Together, Melinda and Bill meet with grantees and partners to further the foundation’s goal of improving equity in the United States and around the world. Through her work at the foundation over the last twenty years, Melinda has seen first-hand that empowering women and girls can transform the health and prosperity of families, communities, and societies. Her work has led her to focus increasingly on gender equity as a lever for change. In 2015, Melinda founded Pivotal Ventures, an investment and incubation company working to drive social progress for women and families in the United States. She is also the author of the bestselling book The Moment of Lift, in which she introduces readers to the inspiring women she has met during her work and travels around the world and shares her own journey to becoming an advocate for women and girls. Melinda spent the first decade of her career developing multimedia products at Microsoft, and was later appointed General Manager of Information Products, before leaving the company to focus on her family and philanthropic work.


SHAWN MENDES | Singer Songwriter

GRAMMY nominated Toronto born multi-platinum singer/songwriter Shawn Mendes released his highly anticipated self-titled third album in May 2018. Throughout his career, Shawn has achieved 3 consecutive #1 album debuts, 3 platinum albums, and 11+ consecutive platinum and multi-platinum singles. Worldwide, he has sold over 20 million albums, 175 million singles, and has amassed over 31 billion strong streams and over 8 billion YouTube views. Shawn has completed two sold-out world tours with over one million tickets sold, selling out legendary stadiums and arenas including NYC’s Madison Square Garden and London’s O2 Arena in minutes. Shawn was nominated in two categories for the 61st annual GRAMMY® Awards, including “Song of the Year” for “In My Blood” and “Best Pop Vocal Album” for SHAWN MENDES. Most recently, Shawn was nominated for a GRAMMY for “Best Pop Duo/Group Performance” for his single with Camila Cabello, “Señorita.” He topped Billboard’s “21 Under 21” in 2017 and 2018 and has been featured on Forbes “30 Under 30,” Spotify’s “25 Under 25,” and Time Magazine’s “Time 100 Most Influential”. Last year, ROI Influencer Media recognized Shawn as the #1 Most Influential Artist and #1 Most Influential Teen across all social media platforms. Shawn launched The Shawn Mendes Foundation in 2019. The Shawn Mendes Foundation seeks to inspire Shawn’s audience, the youth generation of today—to learn about those causes that they are passionate about, and help empower them to use the voice they have to bring change to the world by taking action & giving back. As part of its ongoing mission, the Foundation provides resources and support to amplify the voices, messages, and platforms of young leaders driving positive change.