Seth Godin

Seth Godin has written 17 books on marketing and real leadership, all which were best sellers.  He is a successful business owner, writer, and sought-after speaker.  Seth got his undergrad from Tufts, his MBA from Stanford eventually starting a direct marketing firm called Yoyodyne which he sold to Yahoo in 1998 for $30 million dollars.  He continues to be very active through his blog (to which he publishes daily), numerous marketing projects, and his speaking.  Godin and his wife Helene live in Hastings-on-Hudson, New York with their two sons.

Link to all of Seth’s books on

Seth’s Blog

Hi. I’m Seth Godin. I’m a teacher, and I do projects.

For more than thirty years, I’ve been trying to turn on lights, inspire people and teach them how to level up. This blog has been appearing daily for more than a decade. One day, if we meet, I hope you’ll share with me your favorite posts. Even better, I’d like to hear about how a book or course helped you interact with the world differently and make a difference.

I’ve spent most of my professional life as a writer. I’ve published 19 bestselling books. These books are a great way to go deep into a concept, and I think many of them stand the test of time. Along the way, I’ve found countless detours, interesting projects designed to inspire and entertain you as you continue to do your work. My latest book is called THE PRACTICE. Like the one before, THIS IS MARKETING, both were bestsellers. The one before that was called Your Turn. It’s illustrated and shareable and provocative. I hope you’ll invest a few minutes to see what you’ve been missing.

In 2015, I created the altMBA. It’s a life-changing 30-day workshop and it’s entirely possible it will change your life. More than 60,000 people have taken my online courses, including The Marketing Seminar and several on Udemy.

I’m in the Guerrilla Marketing Hall of Fame, the Direct Marketing Hall of Fame and, just recently, the plain old no-modifier Marketing Hall of Fame. Which is pretty cool. You can read my free ebooks on the placebo effect and education. And there are five TED talks.

Go, make a ruckus.

Nikki Lavoie

Nikki is originally American, having gone to school just outside of Boston Massachusetts, and starting her career in research there before eventually relocating to France. She made the move in 2011, and has since launched MindSpark, and moderated hundreds of hours of interviews, focus groups and ethnographic conversations–online and offline–in both French and English. 

Relevant Experience:

Nikki is a spirited and intuitive qualitative UX researcher who translates her passion for understanding people into strategic insight. She has focused largely on combining ethnographic and digital techniques in a cross-cultural context, as a result of her years spent in the US and as an expat living in Paris. Nikki sits on the Board of the AQR (Association of Qualitative Research) and is also a member of the ESOMAR Council. In addition, she has been presenting on topics like agile qualitative research, linguistics and DEI (diversity, equality and inclusion) for over 15 years. 


  • Bachelor’s of Science in Communication with an Advertising Specialisation: Endicott College, 2005
  • Founder and CEO of MindSpark Research International
  • Member of WIRe (Women in Research)
  • Member of the Board of the Association of Qualitative Research (2016-current)
  • Member of the ESOMAR Council (2018-current)
  • Speaker at numerous ESOMAR events, including ESOMAR Congress in 2013 and 2016
  • Speaker at numerous QRCA events, including in 2016 and the WorldWide Qualitative Event in 2014
  • Leader of Diversity Panels at the 2020 ESOMAR Digital Insights Festival
  • DEI workshop leader at numerous Fortune 500 companies, globally
  • Design Thinking Facilitator

Farai Chideya

Farai Chideya

Farai Chideya is the creator and host of Our Body Politic, a podcast and radio show about American politics from the perspective of women of color, plus national and international culture, health, and social issues. She’s the author of six books, the most recent of which is The Episodic Career: How to Thrive at Work in the Age of Disruption. Chideya has covered every Presidential election from 1996 on; worked for FivethirtyEight, NPR, CNN, ABC, and NPR; and appeared on numerous other networks. 

Chideya also works in philanthropy, as the journalism program officer for the Ford Foundation. Born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland, she graduated from Harvard University and lives in Brooklyn, New York. 

Born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland, I grew up with family from all walks of life and opinions — military, art school, educators, and civil servants. Every Thanksgiving after dinner, we would hotly debate the issues of the day – from abortion, to transgender rights, to the Vietnam War – and then move on to dessert.

That’s my American side. My paternal Zimbabwean side, which I first visited at age four and then in adulthood over the past two decades, gave me an increasingly rich perspective on race, culture, politics and economics from an African diasporic and trans-Atlantic perspective.

Today, I work both behind the scenes and in public forums on questions of media equity — meaning, the ways in which media can serve rural and urban Americans; people of all races and national backgrounds, and gender — for the health of civil society. My most recent book, The Episodic Career, is about how we must be psychologically self-employed (including being aware of dynamic shifts in our workplaces, industries and economy) in order to pivot, grow, earn and thrive. On camera and on the air, I talk on a variety of broadcast outlets about politics, demographics and cultural analysis. I also write my own data- and reporting-rich stories.

Currently, I serve as a Program Officer focusing on journalism with the Ford Foundation’s Creativity and Free Expression team. I also travel the world to talk about my research and experiences to public media audiences, civic institutions, universities, and more. You can watch some of my talks here.

Steve Portigal

Steve Portigal is an experienced user researcher who helps organizations to build more mature user research practices. Based outside of San Francisco, he is principal of Portigal Consulting, and the author of two books: The classic Interviewing Users: How To Uncover Compelling Insights and Doorbells, Danger, and Dead Batteries: User Research War Stories.

He’s also the host of the Dollars to Donuts podcast, where he interviews people who lead user research in their organizations.

Steve will also be available for a side room chat  – AMA (Ask me Anything) for those who want to pick his brain.

Anthony Ulwick

Tony is the pioneer of jobs-to-be-done theory and the inventor of Outcome-Driven Innovation® (ODI), a powerful innovation process with a documented success rate that is 5-times the industry average. Tony has been granted 12 patents for his game-changing innovation practices, which result in products that help customers get a “job” done better.

Philip Kotler, S. C. Johnson Distinguished Professor of International Marketing at the Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University says, “I call Ulwick the Deming of Innovation because, more than anyone else, Tony has turned innovation into a science.”


Tony began his career with IBM’s PC division in 1981. Witnessing the failure of the PCjr, Tony was inspired to develop a better approach to innovation. Since founding the innovation consultancy Strategyn in 1991, he and his global team of ODI practitioners have led strategy engagements with over one-third of the Fortune 100, helping them generate billions of dollars in revenue growth.

In 2002, Tony introduced Harvard Business Review readers to ODI in the article Turn Customer Input into Innovation. HBR recognized ODI as one of the best business ideas of the year, declaring it one of “the ideas that will profoundly affect business as we forge ahead in today’s complex times.”

Tony is the author of the original Jobs-to-be-Done book, What Customers Want, his recent release, JOBS TO BE DONE: Theory to Practice, and additional articles on ODI published in HBR and MIT Sloan Management Review. Through his involvement in hundreds of innovation initiatives, Tony has helped companies reinvent underperforming products, create new business models, and build and implement company-wide innovation programs. His work is cited in hundreds of publications.

As an innovation thought leader, inventor, author and speaker, Tony Ulwick has changed the way academics and executives alike think about growth strategy and product innovation.


Jobs-to-be-Done Theory has major implications when it comes to knowing all your customer’s needs. How many people in your organization today know all your customer’s needs? Imagine if they all shared a common understanding of what a need is. How would decision-making improve if everybody in your organization had knowledge of all your customer’s needs? How much more effective would your product and marketing teams be if it were possible to determine with a high level of confidence exactly what customer needs are underserved? What possibilities would arise if it became possible to discover segments of customers with unique sets of unmet needs? Knowledge of all the customer’s needs changes everything. So how can it be achieved?

Gerry McGovern

Gerry has developed Top Tasks, an information design framework that helps identify what truly matters to people, design an information architecture, and measure the ability of people to complete top tasks. It was developed over a 15-year period and has been used more than 500 times. Microsoft, Cisco, NetApp, Toyota, IBM, the European Union, US, UK, Dutch, Canadian, Norwegian, and Irish governments have used it.

A highly regarded speaker, Gerry has spoken about designing simpler digital experiences in more than 40 countries. He has written eight books. His latest is called World Wide Waste: How digital is killing the planet and what to do about it.

The Irish Times has described Gerry as one of five visionaries who have had a major impact on the development of the Web. He has appeared on BBC, CNN and CNBC television, partaken in various radio shows, and featured in numerous print media publications. He is the founder of Customer Carewords, a consultancy that implements the Top Tasks framework.


Top Tasks

One of the most important things I’ve learned as a result of observing the voting intentions of some 500,000 people in more than 100 countries is that there are indeed top tasks that are universal.

With Toyota we found that there are universal top tasks in relation to how Europeans approach buying a car. With the European Union we found that citizens of EU member states had very similar needs. With the World Health Organization we discovered that all over the world people had the same top tasks when it came to COVID-19.

Back around May and June, we also did country-specific Top Tasks surveys for COVID-19 in Canada, New Zealand, Norway and Ireland. These countries had so much in common. Their citizens wanted to know about the same basic things. One of the universal top tasks was, not surprisingly, “vaccine”.

We have now just completed a Top Tasks on the vaccine for the Irish government with the objective of finding out what matters most to people when it comes to making the decision to get the vaccine or not. While I can’t go into exact details, what I can say is that there are overwhelming top tasks among the Irish population. Young or old, health professionals or the general public, from rural or urban areas, people want to know about the same things.

The underlying consistency of top tasks is nearly always a surprise to organizations. Every department and manager likes to think they’re special and that their audience or customer base has unique needs. That can, of course, be the case. But it is surprising how much people have in common.

When we did the WHO study, the top tasks included:

  • Vaccine (development, availability, safety)
  • Latest news, latest research (alerts, directives, updates)
  • Transmission, spread, epidemiology
  • Immunity, antibody testing (criteria, availability, accuracy)

These were common across all the continents. They were common across age groups and genders. They were common for health professionals, academics and the public. When we later asked a large group to sort the tasks into classes, we found that health professionals were organizing things in the same way as the general public. There are common patterns out there, common mental models that can unify multiple audiences.

With the vaccine Top Tasks projects there was only one segment that stood out: those who were highly unlikely to get the vaccine. Even this group shared some of the tasks of the rest of the population. What was encouraging was that those who said that they were “unlikely” had more in common with the groups that said they would get the vaccine than with the “highly unlikely” group.

Amanda Johnstone

Amanda Johnstone is the CEO and Co-Founder of Transhuman. She is a technologist, inventor and investor, primarily in emerging technologies. She is also a keynote speaker, panellist and technology advisor. Amanda is a standout change-maker of her generation. She is an energetic, charismatic and forward-thinking technologist.

She founded the mental health app ‘Be A Looper’, preventing suicides in over 87 countries. In 2019, she was awarded as a 1 of 10 “Next Generation Leaders” under 35 globally by Time Magazine. She was the first Australian to receive the honour and is 1 of 100 in the history of the awards to be highlighted. In 2020 Amanda was named The CEO Magazine’s Startup Executive of the Year.

Current Work: As the CEO of Transhuman, a Social Health Innovations company, Amanda is committed to working with her team to enhance both peer-to-peer relationships and human to computer communication through a series of technologies, including but not limited to the brain to computer interface, mobile, AI and IoT. Amanda is a co-patent holder of ‘Methods for tracking and responding to mental health statuses’ and the ‘Method for deriving and storing emotional conditions of humans.’ She is also an investor and mentor in the Tech Ready Program, an advisor to ESGtech and an angel investor in a number of tech start-ups. Amanda strongly believes that technology has a significant role to play in reducing the rising suicide rate, as well as increasing the wellbeing and health of the general population on a global scale. What fortifies Amanda’s drive is her belief that “accessible, practical and private technology for all” must be readily accessible and provide a practical solution to maintain meaningful daily social connections. Amanda has many of the solutions for which the corporate world is searching. Amanda has the ability to command the attention of an audience to deliver inspiring and concise messages. Amanda initiates thought leadership and seeks to deliver the best outcomes for others. Amanda is a quick-witted and compelling speaker who readily engages with an audience and motivates them to be better as individuals and as a corporate entity. Amanda’s messages are universal and she conveys them with the authenticity of a young leader who is a wonderful role model for change. She is an example of what is possible and tailors her presentations for each audience. Her key areas of interest are suicide intervention and prevention, leadership, public health, corporate social responsibility, social impact and artificial intelligence. Amanda Johnstone believes that every community needs to engage and protect their most precious asset, their people!

Previous Experience: Amanda’s professional background includes a decade of due diligence, innovations, brand management and technology transformation with private and public companies internationally. Her last project before launching Transhuman, was a consultancy on a new pharmaceutical and technology rollout for global healthcare leader, Ramsay Healthcare. She has been a strategic guide in the digital commercialisation for several large online retailers after co-founding retail chain Sebachi in Tasmania at 17 years of age. She served for 15 years as an advisor to youth suicide prevention retreat, ‘The Timeout House” and the ‘Youth Suicide Action Group’.

Leigh Sales AM

Leigh Sales AM is one of Australia’s most respected journalists. As the anchor of the ABC’s flagship current affairs program, 7.30,she has interviewed dozens of world leaders and celebrities, including Hillary Clinton, Tony Blair, Henry Kissinger, the Dalai Lama, Paul McCartney, Patti Smith, Harrison Ford, Leonardo DiCaprio and Julie Andrews. She has interviewed every living Australian prime minister and also anchors the ABC’s federal election coverage. Leigh is the winner of two Walkley Awards, Australia’s highest journalism honour; the author of the books Detainee 002 and On Doubt;and the co-host of a popular podcast called Chat 10, Looks 3 with Annabel Crabb.

Leigh Sales in conversation with Rebecca Huntley
What has Leigh Sales discovered about Humans through her career?

Leigh Sales AM is a multi award-winning author and journalist at the Australian Broadcasting Corporation and currently anchors the network’s prime time current affairs program 7.30. She is the face of the ABC’s major events coverage, including federal election and budget nights. She has interviewed every living Australian Prime Minister and innumerable world leaders and celebrities from Hillary Clinton and Tony Blair to Paul McCartney and Elton John.

Leigh has held numerous roles at the ABC, including as Washington Correspondent, and is a three-time winner of Australia’s highest journalist prize, the Walkley Award. She’s the author of three books, the most recent being national bestseller Any Ordinary Day. Leigh also co-hosts a wildly popular podcast with Annabel Crabb called Chat 10 Looks 3. It attracts hundreds of thousands of downloads monthly and has an associated facebook group with almost 40,000 members. In 2018, Leigh was awarded the Order of Australia for her services to Journalism. She has a Bachelor of Journalism and a Master of International Relations and was awarded Deakin University’s 2019 Lifetime Achievement Award

Fabian Dattner

Founder-CEO, Dattner Group & Homeward Bound | Leadership expert |TEDx speaker | AFR100 Women of Influence| Stevie Award

Fabian Dattner is well known to many Australians. She is founding partner of Dattner Group, highly regarded leadership experts. Dattner Group include Compass, a national leadership initiative for women, Open Door, a national recruitment initiative for women in technology, and Re:think, a transformational leadership consultancy. Fabian is widely recognised for her commitment to helping from Board to basement. She’s a speaker, educator and social entrepreneur, and a regular commentator in the media on leadership and ethical issues in the world today, and on the role of women in building a sustainable future. She has won many awards for her work. Fabian is CEO, dreamer and Co-founder of Homeward Bound.

Homeward Bound was a dream I had in October 2014 – a dream I shared with Jess Melbourne Thomas the morning after I had it. Both of us recognised that the dream could be made real. The first 10 page document was done that day, sent to Jess at the Australian Antarctic Division, and the rest is history as they say.

I lead Homeward Bound (an out of hours madness) and together with my partner, Jim Grant, through our company Dattner Grant, am also a significant donor (DG provides premises, technology etc.)

Leading this initiative has been a transformational experience, humbling, challenging, inspiring and inevitable, in equal measure.

Our target is 1000 women within 10 years who share a common sense of leadership, hold each other to their higher selves, collaborate for the greater good, on a bedrock of intellectual rigor, deep expertise and passion for what women bring to the table – inclusive, collaborative, legacy mindset and trusted with assets (money and people). The need for this in our world should be self evident. Common sense. Unfortunately it is not yet common practice. This is how we help.


Mark Ritson

Mark Ritson Is back!!!!

Mark Ritson is a brand consultant and former marketing professor. He has a PhD in Marketing and taught on the MBA programmes of leading business schools including London Business School and MIT. He has written a column on marketing for almost 20 years, winning the PPA Business Columnist of the Year three times. He teaches the Marketing Week Mini MBAs in Marketing and Brand Management.

Adam Ferrier

Adam Ferrier is a consumer psychologist, and champion of the intersection of ideas and marketing sciences.  Adam is the co-founder of Thinkerbell an agency that fuses together marketing sciences and hard-core creativity – or as they like to put it – ‘Measured Magic’ (Thinkerbell is the current 2018 Adnews’ Creative Agency of the Year).

Adam has also co-founded two conferences;  s p a c e, a boho corporate conference festival type thing that is embracing creativity and ideas to lift Australia’s ambition, and MSIX Marketing sciences Ideas Xchange.  Adam is also the  author of ‘The Advertising Effect: How to change behaviour, (Oxford (2014), now available in 3 languages), sits on the boards of Tribe and Good Thnx (a social influence and social giving company respectively), and PIJI (the public interest journalism initiaiive).

In more random news Adam is a weekly guest on Australian national TV shows Sunrise and Your Money, and regular panellist on others such as Gruen and The Project, and many many years ago was the state under 12 Chess Champion of Western Australia (still the coolest thing on his bio).

Kristin Hickey

I am a passionate and creative insights and planning professional, dedicated to bringing freshness to our industry. This was what inspired me to start up a boutique research consultancy back in 2008 – ruby cha cha – to provoke change that inspires and delivers brand and business growth to our local and global clients. ruby cha cha (UK) Ltd has now re-branded as kubi kalloo – the same insights professionals and clients, but bringing a series of innovative new offers to market.

I bring a diverse background of academia (BA Hons, MBA, PhD coursework, lecturer in marketing and management), and commercial experience (5 years management consulting; 15 in market research) to my insights role which helps deliver to the ruby promise of deeper insights and stronger translation of these insights into inspirational brand and business strategies. Being both a qualitative researcher and statistician means I’m particularly passionate about ‘Quintegration’​ – where these different left and right brain perspectives collide!

Specialties: Areas of global insight and planning expertise include Branding & Innovation, Communications Development and Optimisation, U&A’s, Segmentation, Portfolio & Customer Strategy, Customer-Centricity, Customer Experience Insight, Brand and Communications Tracking and Creative Facilitation.

Winner of two ESOMAR awards including best paper; nine published papers; recent winner of a Ginny Valentine bravery award; author of two books in customer service excellence; professional speaker and part-time artist, cook, art dealer and volunteer advisor.

Short: With over 20 years’ experience combining academic, management consulting, market research and strategic planning, Kristin brings passion and eclecticism to her mission of provoking industry change as head of the London-based agency kubi kalloo (formerly ruby cha cha UK). A fresh thinker, inspirational presenter and regular ESOMAR speaker, Kristin specialises in asking beautiful questions, integrating qual and quant more often and providing more illuminating and commercially-savvy research for kubi kalloo’s global clients.

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3 - 7 May 2021
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