CEO, Not Impossible Labs
Working to expand the human possibilities of technology, Mick Ebeling was named one of Wired magazine's 2015 Make Tech Human thought leaders. In 2014, he was awarded the Muhammad Ali Humanitarian of the Year Award and named one of Ad Age's Top 50 Most Creative People. Mick is a film, television, and commercial producer; philanthropist; technology trailblazer; author; entrepreneur; and public speaker. The CEO of Not Impossible Labs, Mick founded the organization that develops creative solutions to address real-world problems on his firm belief that nothing is impossible. Not Impossible’s first project was the development of the award-winning ocular tracking device, the EyeWriter, which enables individuals with paralysis to communicate and create art using only the movement of their eyes. TIME magazine called it one of the 50 Best Inventions of 2010, and the device is now part of the permanent collection of New York’s Museum of Modern Art (MoMA).
Not Impossible’s next endeavor, Project Daniel, is now celebrating its two-year anniversary. The subject of Intel’s Look Inside campaign, Project Daniel enabled Mick to fly to Sudan to 3D–print prosthetic limbs and fit them for children of the war-torn region. He then left the equipment behind with trained locals to continue his work, thus creating the world’s first 3D–printing prosthetic lab and training facility. Arms are printed within hours and cost $100. TIME magazine said, “It’s hard to imagine any other device doing more to make the world a better place.”
Project Daniel has won numerous accolades. In 2014, it garnered the Titanium Cannes Lion as well as Gold and Bronze Lions. Project Daniel also won a 2015 SXSW Interactive Innovation Award, Association of Independent Commercial Producers’ Next Cause Marketing Award, Best in Show in the 2014 One Show, Silver and Bronze Telly Awards, and the 2014 Maker Faire Editor's Choice Blue Ribbon.
This year’s project, Don’s Voice, did not leave a dry eye in its wake. Released on Valentine’s Day 2015, Don’s Voice relays the story of ALS patient Don Loir telling his wife Lorraine “I love you” for the first time in 15 years. The video received hundreds of thousands of views and widespread press in the first two weeks. Driven to help many by telling the story of extraordinary individuals, Not Impossible continues to drive forward on projects that utilize technology for the sake of humanity.
This year, Mick’s first book, Not Impossible: The Art and Joy of Doing What Couldn't Be Done, hit shelves. The book recounts his life experiences, the EyeWriter, and Project Daniel. Praised by Jillian Michaels as “a road map to changing your life by changing the lives of others,” and hailed by Deepak Chopra as “the template for a new science of consciousness,” the book is now in its fifth printing.
Wednesday: 8 – 9:15 a.m.
The Fallacy of “Impossible”
Since the launch of the EyeWriter and Not Impossible Foundation, Mick Ebeling has passionately studied the concept of “impossible.” All the modern conveniences we see around us were once considered impossible by people who didn’t know any better. Synthetic fabrics, cell phones, and digital watches (not to mention cars and computers) were all figments of the imagination until inspiration met execution and the impossible became a reality. In this talk, Mick dives deeper into “impossible,” the underlying psychological effects it has on an organization, and how to overcome “impossible” so true innovation can take place.
Co-Founder, Red Thread
Rahaf Harfoush is a digital innovation and foresight strategist who has a deep passion for exploring how technology is affecting the way we communicate, work, and play. She connects business leaders to the latest global foresight trends and offers a unique approach to digital strategy, ideation, and innovation. Rahaf Harfoush is the co-founder of Red Thread, a consulting agency that provides clients with out-of-the-box thinking to tackle strategic challenges. Formerly, she was the associate director of the Technology Pioneer Program at the World Economic Forum in Geneva, Switzerland, where she researched and identified startups that were using technology to improve the state of the world. Harfoush was responsible for managing the web and IT category of the program and in integrating the companies within her portfolio into the forum's global network, various initiatives, and regional events, such as Davos, the Annual Meeting in Switzerland, and the Annual Meeting of New Champions in China. Harfoush is a global ambassador for the Sandbox Network, a community of exceptional entrepreneurs under the age of 30. She is on the board of directors of Taking IT Global, a nonprofit that enables the world's largest community of youth to create positive changes in their cities. She is also on the advisory board of OneLeap.to, a site that helps connect young people to business leaders. In August 2008, she joined Barack Obama's New Media Team at the Chicago headquarters as a full-time volunteer during the presidential election campaign. In 2009, she published a book about her experiences titled Yes We Did! An Insider's Look at How Social Media Built the Obama Brand. She is also the co-author of New York Times bestseller and Gold Axiom Business Book Award Winner The Decoded Company: Know Your Talent Better Than You Know Your Customers, which explores how big data can increase employee success and satisfaction and encourage corporate growth. The Decoded Company was also the winner of a 2015 Axiom Business Book Award in the Business Technology category, tied with Walter Isaacson's The Innovators. She is currently working on her third book, entitled ArchiTechs: How to Live, Work & Govern in a HyperConnected World.
Thursday: 8 – 9 a.m.
Big Data and Leadership: Creating Meaningful Experiences With Analytics and Information
As we transition from a period of data scarcity to data abundance, the availability of nearly unlimited information is having a profound impact on how we behave as consumers and citizens. In this keynote, Rahaf Harfoush explores how big data and analytics are creating new opportunities and challenges for institutions, corporations, governments, and more.
Harfoush investigates how big data has evolved into a major leadership issue: how data abundance, hyper-personalizations, and global talent shortages have forced companies to apply data to improve performance and profitability and create happy work cultures. She shows how we can avoid information overload, and instead use data with intelligence to communicate, build our brands, and strengthen customer relationships. She demonstrates how data can be human-centric—how we can merge data with storytelling to create meaningful experiences that meet deep human desires. And she takes us beyond technology to see how “ArchiTechs” are using digital tools to rebuild the world around them. Filled with practical tools and case studies, Harfoush’s talks focus on making data accessible to everyone—regardless of industry, size, technical literacy, or budget.
CEO and Founder, Hearsay Social
Clara Shih is CEO and founder of Hearsay Social, whose predictive analytics technology helps salespeople reach out to clients at the right time with the right message while staying in compliance with industry regulations. A pioneer in the social media industry, Clara developed the first social business application in 2007 and subsequently authored the New York Times-featured bestseller The Facebook Era. Her latest book, The Social Business Imperative: Adapting Your Business Model to the Always-Connected Customer, was released in April 2016. Clara has been named one of Fortune’s Most Powerful Women Entrepreneurs, Fast Company’s Most Influential People in Technology, Businessweek’s Top Young Entrepreneurs, and both Fortune’s and Ad Age’s 40 Under 40. She was also named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum, InvestmentNews’s 40 under 40, and 5 to Watch in ThinkAdvisor’s 2015 IA 35 for 35.
Clara is a member of the Starbucks board of directors and previously served in a variety of technical, product, and marketing roles at Google, Microsoft, and Salesforce.com. She graduated first in her class in computer science at Stanford University, where she also received an MS in computer science. She also holds an MS in Internet studies from Oxford University, where she studied as a U.S. Marshall Scholar.
Friday: 11 a.m. - 12 p.m.
Social Business Imperative
From management teams to frontline sales and customer service agents, today’s professionals must personally grasp the changes arising from the always-connected customer, and then rethink traditional business models, business practices, and even their own job responsibilities and careers. The risk traditional retailers and product manufacturers face is losing direct customer control and of commoditization due to intermediation by “someone else’s” mobile app and marketplace. Vision is easy. Execution is hard. In this keynote address, Clara provides a concrete playbook for enterprises to bring together multiple social business initiatives spanning different departments, product lines, and geographies to unlock synergies without unleashing bureaucracy.