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Virtual + Strategic HR: Oct 24-26, 2021


The Six Big Ideas | Keynotes

The following information is from the completed 2020 event. Please check back in the spring for 2021 details.

Meet our headline speakers:


Margaret Heffernan (London, England) joins us to discuss her latest book, Uncharted. It’s a critique of our overreliance on efficiency in the business and HR world, in that efficiency can stymie creativity, and by example, the search for a pandemic vaccine doesn’t work well in an efficiency model. Prescient in that it was written just before the pandemic, it challenges how we rely on past experience. Margaret is author of several books, and her three TedTalks have drawn almost ten million views.

Frank Warren (Laguna Niguel, California), creator of PostSecret.com and author of The World of Post Secret. His postcard work has been featured in the Museum of Modern Art and The Smithsonian. His keynote is just right for the times: “Can I Tell you a Secret? Lessons from the most trusted man in America, and how we reflect on mental health issues at work.”


Olga Khazan (Washington, DC), staff writer for The Atlantic and author of Weird: The Power of Being an Outsider in an Insider World. Olga writes about a range of public health, gender, and science issues, and in the process challenges many of our assumptions and business buzzwords. Her 2018 Atlantic article, “Why Being Black in America Can Be Hazardous to Your Health” can be read with equal measure today.


Neha Sangwan, MD (Boston) author of Talk Rx: Five Steps to Honest Conversations. Dr. Neha has a different world view on problem-solving, one that is not necessarily taken from classic medical scripts. She asked her heart attack and stroke patients why they thought their events happened, and why they happened now. The answers were astounding, and she will pose the same questions to HR, referencing the “collective heart attack” our country, our economy, and HR are experiencing.


Jason Harris (Aurora, Colorado). His keynote is “Re-evaluating Trust: How to Infuse HR Strategy with This Precious Commodity.” The word “trust” will echo throughout Strategic HR 2020 in very human, visceral terms. HR needs trust in processes and trust in people to navigate the crises that surround us. Who better than an American Airlines pilot and former fighter pilot to talk trust?


Rodney Evans (Durham, North Carolina) joins us to discuss the restructuring of our organization charts. This multi-crisis moment is the time to re-evaluate the structures and purpose of companies and what we call work. In deference to Gertrude Stein, maybe “there is no there, there.” Rodney will join us to pull back the curtain on how we organize the work of our people.


All these keynotes will run on October 21, 22, and 28, and we will announce the final timeslots and faculty soon.