Speakers for ThinkBig 2018

Jeff Selingo has written about higher education for two decades. He is the author of three books, the newest of which, There Is Life After College (HarperCollins, 2016), is a New York Times bestseller. Named one of LinkedIn’s “must-know influencers” of 2016, Jeff is a regular contributor to the Washington Post and a special advisor at Arizona State University, where he is the founding director of the Academy for Innovative Higher Education Leadership in partnership with Georgetown University.



Adam Bryant conducts interviews with CEOs for Corner Office, a twice-weekly New York Times feature column about leadership and management.  He has written two books:  Quick and Nimble; Lessons from Leading CEOs on How to Create a Culture of Innovation, provides a playbook about the biggest drivers of effective corporate culture. His first, The Corner Office was a New York Times bestseller.




Elise Foster is co-author of “The Multiplier Effect: Tapping the Genius Inside Our Schools”.  Elise began her career as an engineer, managing high-profile global projects.  Soon she took an interest in how organizations work and ways to optimize the full capability of every employee and now a leadership coach who enables education and business executives to unlock their personal potential and to use their intelligence to make everyone around them smarter, more capable, and more successful. She is well-versed in the field of leadership and collective intelligence.



Cara Stein was named Senior Vice President, Chief Talent Officer for NBCUniversal in June 2011.  Since joining the company, she has been a trailblazer in how the company retains and hires talent through NBCUniversal’s Talent Lab.  Stein has developed a series of Leadership Development Programs from the ground up and revamped the Employee Survey and Performance Feedback process. She’s currently re-imagining the early career development programs, including the premier Page program, NBCUniversal’s longest running franchise. A 25-year veteran of William Morris Endeavor, Stein served as Partner and Television Packaging agent, and oversaw operations and human resources for the William Morris Endeavor New York office.  Named to the Board of Directors of the William Morris Agency in 2003, she also serves on the Board of Directors for Women at NBCUniversal and the New York Television Festival.


Debbie Bial, founder of the Posse Foundation and a MacArthur Fellow, will lead the group through a series of discussion and activities that will broaden your perspective and understanding in order to bring more authenticity to how you navigate a changing demography and culture.




Natalie W. Nixon.  Natalie is a design strategist and a hybrid thinker. She applies her diverse background in service design, anthropology, and fashion, to help clients with culture transformation, leadership development, ideation sessions, and envisioning labs.  Natalie is a Fellow at the Paris d.School and the Founding Director of the Strategic Design MBA program at Philadelphia University.  She is the editor of Strategic Design Thinking: Innovation in Products, Services, Experiences and Beyond and a regular contributor to INC.com Online Magazine on creativity and design thinking.


Jason Shen.  Jason co-founded of Headlight, a performance hiring platform that helps find, screen, and recruit talent, and serves on the board of directors for the Presidential Innovation Fellowship Foundation (PIFF).  Since 2010, The Art of Ass-Kicking has served as his personal blog where Jason breaks down how people and organizations gain the competitive advantage.  Jason has written for Fast Company and Quartz, been quoted in The New York Times and The Atlantic, and spoken at Google, Pinterest, and the prestigious TED Residency.