Plenary Speakers

Tuesday, April 20

Black Man in a White Coat

Damon Tweedy, MD

Dr. Damon Tweedy’s plenary will examine the implications for both doctors and patients resulting from the small percentage of Black physicians in the United States. An associate professor of psychiatry at Duke University School of Medicine and a staff psychiatrist at the Durham Veteran Affairs Health Care System, Dr. Tweedy travels frequently to speak to physicians and clinicians, healthcare companies, medical schools, teaching hospitals and other organizations involved in health and wellness about the impact of race on the medical profession at all levels. He has published articles about race and medicine in the Journal of the American Medical Association and other medical journals and his columns and op-eds have appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post and various other print publications.

Dr. Tweedy is the author of the New York Times bestseller Black Man in a White Coat, selected by TIME magazine as one of the Top 10 Non-Fiction books of 2015.


Wednesday, April 21

The Science of Succeeding with People

Vanessa Van Edwards

Vanessa Van Edwards’ plenary will share tangible, science-based skills—including insights on how people work—to improve interpersonal communication and leadership. Vanessa researches human behavior, communication and the science of relationships. As the founder of Science of People, Vanessa has helped over 30 million people learn her techniques on understanding the hidden forces that drive our behavior.  Her innovative work has been featured on CNN, NPR, Fast Company and Entrepreneur. Vanessa is renowned for teaching science-backed people skills to audiences around the world.

Vanessa is the national bestselling author of Captivate: The Science of Succeeding With People, which has been translated into 16 languages.

Thursday, April 22

Big Potential

Shawn Achor

Shawn Achor’s plenary will dispel the conventional wisdom that if you work harder, you will be more successful and feel happier. After a decade of research at Harvard University and work in 51 countries, including in hospitals in the wake of a mass shooting in Orlando and the Boston bombing, Shawn came to understand that the reverse is true: our potential to succeed is fueled by our happiness, optimism and social connection. Shawn will discuss how conscious positive habits could overcome genes and environment—even in crisis and challenge—to significantly increase happiness and meaning.

Shawn is the NYTimes bestselling author of The Happiness Advantage and Big Potential, which demonstrates how inextricably linked our potential is with others in our ecosystem, signifying a need for our interconnected pursuit of happiness and success.