Look Who’s Talking at Convening Leaders 2017

Author: Christopher Durso       

PCMA Convening Leaders 2017 opens in Austin, Texas, on January 8.  What can you expect? From Austin — amazing food, second-to-none live music, and an inspiring culture of weirdness. From Convening Leaders — top-level education, great networking, and mind-expanding speakers.

Convene has been talking to many of the featured presenters during the past few months — here’s a roundup of links to this year’s Convening Leaders Preview interviews. Click on the speaker’s name to go to the full interview.

MONDAY, Jan. 9

Rachel Botsman, co-author, What’s Mine Is Yours: The Rise of Collaborative Consumption; visiting academic, University of Oxford Saïd Business School: Opening Main Stage, 8–9:30 a.m., “Collaboration and the Meaning of Trust in the Digital Age.”

Interview highlight — “One of the most important points I will explore with the audience is that the collaborative economy is not a startup trend but a transformative lens on the way we think about value and trust. There will be specific ventures that may help the events industry, such as apps that transform the booking of unusual spaces, or more efficient ways to share equipment, but that is really on the surface level of change.”


Dan Goods, visual strategist, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory: Networking Lunch Keynote, 11:45 a.m.–1 p.m., “Seeing the Unseen.”

Interview highlight — “Whenever people get the opportunity to see things or talk about their subject in a way that they’re not accustomed to, hopefully they get a different perspective that just makes their understanding of what they’re doing richer.”


Stacey Chang, executive director, University of Texas at Austin Design Institute for Health: Thought Leader, 1:15–2:15 p.m., “How Design Thinking Is Disrupting the Status Quo in Health Care.”

Interview highlight — “Design has a huge influence on how systems work. The design of spaces dictates how people interact with each other. The design of technology dictates how effective someone’s workflow might be.”

TUESDAY, Jan. 10

Jeremy Rifkin, president, TIR Consulting Group; senior lecturer, The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania: Main Stage, 1:30–3 p.m., “The Third Industrial Revolution — Powering a Greener, More Just Global Economy.”

Interview highlight — “The Third Industrial Revolution brings together a new convergence of communication, energy, and transport to manage, power, and move economic activity. This will allow us to dramatically change our way of living on the Earth, so that we can address climate change, put people to work, create new businesses, and live in a more responsible way.”


Scott Belsky, venture capitalist; author, Making Ideas Happen: Overcoming the Obstacles Between Vision and Reality: Main Stage, 10–11 a.m., “Making Ideas Happen.”

Interview highlight — “I hope to leave people with the belief that they need to invest in the optimization of how they work. Oftentimes we’re just so focused on our work that we don’t really take time to improve the way we work.”


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