Charles Holt - Finding your voice

Finding Your Voice: It’s An Inside Job

Charles Holt is a Broadway actor, inspirational speaker, recording artist, entrepreneur, author, and nationally recognized storyteller. 

He has starred in some of the most celebrated and spectacular productions in American theatre history including Smokey Joe’s Café, Jesus Christ Superstar, and The Lion KingHe also performs concerts on college and university campuses, as well as in spiritual centers and at conference events. Intuitive Rebel, Charles’ landmark book, was released by AMI/Hay House in May 2012.



Dr. Syb Bennett - The Underground Railroad is Back...Shhh, Don't Tell Nobody

Dr. Sybril Bennett, affectionately known as “Dr. Syb,” is a Vanderbilt-educated, Harvard-trained, two-time Emmy award-winning multimedia journalist, and a proud TEDxNashville board member. 

She is an Associate Professor of Journalism at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee where she helped to establish the New Century Journalism Program in 2003. Her book (in press), "Innovate: Lessons from the Underground Railroad" examines the Underground Railroad and the Internet as among America's most effective, innovative and disruptive networks.


Matt Mahaffey - Nice Guys Don't Finish Last, Nice Guys Finish Happy

Given the quirky nature of his original music, one would not suspect that Matt grew up in East Tennessee, playing bluegrass at Dollywood, Dolly Parton’s theme park, at age 11. Matt has performed with and produced many artists. Some well-known artists he has worked with are Pink, Beck, Liz Phair, Tenacious D, Phantom Planet, Beyonce, Butch Walker, The Sounds, Mandy Moore, Mika, and Smashmouth. 


Dr. Anna Nekaris - Is Social Media Saving or Enslaving the Slow Loris?

Anna Nekaris is Professor in Primate Conservation and Anthropology at Oxford Brookes University, and course tutor of their world-reknowned MSc in Primate Conservation programme

She previously conducted long-term studies of Indian and Sri Lankan slender lorises and studied the community ecology of Sri Lanka's rainforest primates, including toque macaques and purple-faced langurs. In particular she has examined the effects of fragmentation on populations throughout Sri Lanka's sparse remaining rainforests.  Her current research project looks at the diversity of Asian slow lorises, both in the field and using museum specimens. 


Todd May - What is the next ship for exploration?

Todd May manages the Space Launch System Program office, located at NASA Marshall Space Flight Center.

Slated for its first mission in 2017, the Space Launch System will be the nation’s next heavy-lift vehicle for human and scientific exploration beyond Earth's orbit. He managed more than 100 research projects in the Science and Mission Systems Office at Marshall, and oversaw a $5 billion annual portfolio of space and Earth science missions as Deputy Associate Administrator in the Science Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters. 


Sara Terry - Storytelling in a Post-Journalism World

Sara Terry made a mid-career transition into documentary photography and filmmaking after nearly two decades of work as an award-winning print and public radio reporter. 

Since that time, her work has focused mainly on post-conflict issues. Her long-term project about the aftermath of Bosnia’s war, “Aftermath: Bosnia’s Long Road to Peace” led her to found The Aftermath Project, a non-profit which supports photographers covering the aftermath of conflict and creates publications and curriculum on post-conflict and visual literacy issues. She was named a 2012 Guggenheim Fellow in photography for her current long-term project, “Forgiveness and Conflict: Lessons from Africa.” 


David C. Baker - How Balancing Confidence, Opportunity, & Capacity Will Shape an Impactful Life

David speaks 30-35x/yr worldwide, has analyzed 700+ marketing service firms, has worked in 28 countries, and his work has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Fast Company, Inc. Magazine, Forbes, CBS Business Network, MarketingProfs, BusinessWeek, and about a dozen books others have written. His second book (of four) was just named by Inc. Magazine as one of the Top 10 Books Entrepreneurs Should Read.


Andrea Guerrero - Immigration Reform

She leads an outstanding team that is building coalitions and mobilizing resources to achieve greater impact on the issues that matter. Before joining Alliance San Diego, Ms. Guerrero was the Field & Policy Director of the ACLU of San Diego & Imperial Counties. Prior to that, she practiced immigration law before administrative, federal district and appellate courts. Originally from Mexico City, Ms. Guerrero views the world from a binational, bicultural, and bilingual lens. 


Rashad Rayford - The Poet

Free Styled. Stylistic. Truth Seeker.

Rashad "thaPoet" Rayford is an activist/actor/artist from Nashville,TN. He has performed in over 30 stage productions.

 The pulitzer prize winning TopDog/ UnderDog, The Mountaintop, Antigone Cycle, Never Been Home and Hunger in Paradise, just to name a few. He's worked with Sista Style Productions, the Destiny Theatre Experience, Tennessee Rep, American Negro Playwright Theatre, Manhattan Rep, People's Branch theatre and many others. He has starred in two full feature films as well: "The 70% Club and "CrossBoneClick." 


Jeremy Kane - From me to we

How I Stopped Trying and Learned to Collaborate

Jeremy Kane is the Founder and CEO of LEAD Public Schools, Tennessee’s first charter management organization.

Before founding LEAD, Jeremy attended and/ or taught in public and private schools, served as a speechwriter for Senator John Kerry, and promoted school choice as the Executive Director of the Tennessee Charter Schools Association. While completing his Masters in Public Policy at Vanderbilt University, he developed the concept for LEAD Academy, one of Tennessee’s highest performing schools.


Scott Huler - Change the world with 2 simple ideas

Changing Everything with Two Things You Probably Have Laying Around Your Community Right Now.

Scott Huler was born in Cleveland and raised in that city’s eastern suburbs.

He graduated from Washington University in 1981; there he was made a member of Phi Beta Kappa because of the breadth of his studies, and that breadth has been a signature of his professional work. He has written on everything from the death penalty to bikini waxing, from NASCAR racing to the stealth bomber, for such newspapers as the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Philadelphia Inquirer, and the Los Angeles Times and such magazines as Backpacker, Fortune, and ESPN. 


Southern Word

Local Youth Spoken Word

Through the literary and performing arts, Southern Word offers creative solutions for youth to build literacy and presentation skills, reconnect to their education and to their lives, and act as leaders in the improvement of their communities. In pursuing this mission, Southern Word conducts spoken word school residencies, after school workshops, open mics, and shows.


Dr. John Wikswo - The Homunculi & Lessons from Building Organs on Chips

John Wikswo is the Gordon A. Cain University Professor at Vanderbilt University and is the founding Director of the Vanderbilt Institute for Integrative Biosystems Research and Education. 

Trained as a physicist, he received his B.A. degree from the University of Virginia, and his PhD. from Stanford University. He has been on the Vanderbilt faculty since 1977. His research has included superconducting magnetometry, the measurement and modeling of cardiac, neural and gastric electric and magnetic fields, and non-destructive testing of aging aircraft.


Dr. Ossama Bahloul - The Gift of Difficulty

We often associate the news of the arrival of a gift with something that will be pleasing. Realistically, a gift that may seem pleasing may consequentially be painful. While another situation that appears grim at first may in fact turnout to be your shining moment. It is not always the news that determines the ultimate result, sometimes it is how we choose to receive and manage it.


Erik Qualman - My digital stamp

Discover the 5 success keys for your best life, leadership and legacy in the digital era.

Called a Digital Dale Carnegie, Erik Qualman is the author of Socialnomics. Socialnomics made Amazon's #1 Best Selling List for the US, Japan, UK, Canada, Portugal, Italy, China, Korea and Germany. 

His 2012 book Digital Leader helped him be voted the 2nd “Most Likeable Author in the World” behind Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling. Qualman has recently given international keynotes with: Coach, Sony PlayStation, National Restaurant Association, IBM, Facebook, SCG Thailand, ADP, Starbucks, M&M/Mars, Cartier, Raytheon, Chrysler, Small Business League, and others. 



Bob Ezrin - Balance of Art & Commerce

Music Producer - Alice Cooper, Kiss, Pink Floyd and More

Bob Ezrin is a Canadian music producer and keyboardist, best known for his work with Alice Cooper, Kiss, Pink Floyd, and Hanoi Rocks. 

Ezrin's career in music has spanned four decades, and he continues to be involved in music production work, with acts such as the Deftones and 30 Seconds to Mars. After co-founding an interactive media company, 7th Level, in 1993, Ezrin branched out into philanthropy and activism, underpinning projects such as Music Rising and Young Artists for Haiti.


Dr. Ross Scott Emcee


Dr. Ross Scott leads human capital initiatives at Healthways. He is responsible for keeping several thousand colleagues and partners engaged and on message in a fast-paced, change-filled world of healthcare. More importantly, he helps ensure that Healthways is the place where smart people choose to do their best work. Ross and his team have a goal to make Healthways colleagues the living lab for the future of well-being; physical, social, community, financial and career.



Mike Farris - Be on the "helping" team


In music there are those special artists that seem to transcend genre and defy categorization. From time to time one hears a voice that can stop you dead in your tracks and shake your very foundation to the core. 

Mike Farris is that artist and he has that voice.