2017 General Session Speakers

Saturday, March 25

Captain Scott Kelly

History-Making U.S. Astronaut & Retired U.S. Navy Captain

Back from his historic record-breaking Year In Space, NASA astronaut Captain Scott Kelly has laid the groundwork for the future of space travel and exploration, and continues to garner media exposure like no other pioneer of our time. From the cover of TIME to live interviews on TODAY to features in Forbes and on CNN to a Twitter following that is rapidly approaching 1 million, the world remains in awe as we celebrate a hero’s return to the planet that is home, from an adventure that is extraordinary. 

An astronaut since 1996, Kelly’s achievements over his illustrious 20-year career with NASA earned him the coveted position as America’s first year-round astronaut. On his historic mission that spanned from March 2015 to March 2016, Kelly and Russian cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko conducted experiments, reconfigured station modules, and captivated the world with live interviews and never-seen-before photos from the International Space Station.

The historic mission also included NASA’s groundbreaking Twins Study, in which Kelly’s identical twin brother, retired NASA astronaut Captain Mark Kelly served on the ground as a control model in an unprecedented experiment to understand how space affects the human body.

Prior to his career with NASA, Kelly served 25 years in the U.S. Navy, retiring as an experienced aviator and decorated Captain.


Sunday, March 26

Arianna Huffington

Founder of The Huffington Post, Founder and CEO of Thrive Global, and Author

In May 2005, Arianna Huffington launched The Huffington Post, a news and blog site that quickly became one of the most widely-read, linked to, and frequently-cited media brands on the Internet, and in 2012 won a Pulitzer Prize for national reporting. In August 2016, she launched Thrive Global, a corporate and consumer well-being and productivity platform with the mission of changing the way we work and live by ending the collective delusion that burnout is the price we must pay for success. Thrive Global provides trainings, seminars, e-courses, coaching and ongoing support based on the latest scientific findings to improve people’s health and increase productivity for both companies and individuals around the world.

She has been named to Time Magazine's list of the world’s 100 most influential people and the Forbes Most Powerful Women list. Originally from Greece, she moved to England when she was 16 and graduated from Cambridge University with an M.A. in economics. At 21, she became president of the famed debating society, the Cambridge Union.

Her last two books, Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom, and Wonder and The Sleep Revolution: Transforming Your Life, One Night At A Time, on the science, history and mystery of sleep, both became instant international bestsellers.


Monday, March 27

Wes Moore

New York Times Best-Selling Author & Youth Advocate

Acclaimed author Wes Moore is a veteran, Rhodes Scholar and the founder of BridgeEDU. 
His most recent book, The Work, is a collection of, “…incredibly valuable lessons about what it means to create lives that matter…[it is] a way of exploring the meaning of success in a volatile, difficult, and seemingly anchorless world.” The book was received as a model for how we can weave valuable lessons together from supremely different people in order to forge individual paths to triumph. 

Moore’s first book, The Other Wes Moore, is a story of mentorship and support networks who refused to let him fall into crime and drugs. It tells the tale of two kids with the same name living in the same decaying city. One grew up to be a Rhodes Scholar and White House Fellow after serving in the prestigious 82nd Airborne Division of the US Army. The other is currently serving a life sentence for the killing of a police officer during an armed robbery. Burning with curiosity as to why he and the other Wes were so radically different, Moore investigated the man with the same name. The result was an instant New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller which captured the nation’s attention on what draws the line between success and failure in our communities. 

Moore is also the host of Beyond Belief on the Oprah Winfrey Network, and the executive producer and host of PBS’s Coming Back with Wes Moore, which focuses on the re-integration of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans and their return home. 

Filled with stories of everyday people, Moore’s very human perspective coupled with his transformative programs bring concrete benefits. Audiences leave with new outlooks, and sincere motivation to tackle today’s problems.

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