Meet our 2022 AHOU Annual Conference Keynote Speakers Kate O'Neil and Bruce Kirkby.
Companies like Google, Etsy, Cisco, and more look to Kate O'Neill, the "Tech Humanist", for optimism about the role of technology in the world, along with a firm reality check. She helps humanity prepare for an increasingly tech-driven future by guiding business and civic leaders to be both successful and respectful with human-centric data and technology, and by helping people better understand the human impact of emerging technologies.
Kate is now founder and CEO of KO Insights, a strategic advisory firm committed to improving human experience at scale. Whether in convention centers to audiences of thousands or in an executive board room — or even at the United Nations — Kate advocates for the future of humanity in an increasingly tech-driven world. Her insights help corporate and cultural leaders re-think how to succeed long-term by taking a human-centric approach to digital transformation and readiness for the future.
Kate’s expertise in data-based business models, integrated experience strategy, and human-centric digital transformation comes from more than 20 years of experience and entrepreneurship leading innovations across technology, marketing, and operations in category-defining companies. She was one of the first 100 employees at Netflix, where she created the first content management role and helped implement innovative dynamic e-commerce practices that became industry standard; was founder & CEO of [meta]marketer, a first-of-its-kind analytics and digital strategy agency; led cutting-edge experience optimization work at Magazines.com; developed Toshiba America‘s first intranet; and has held leadership and advisory positions in a variety of digital content and technology start-ups.
Author of 4 books including her latest, Tech Humanist, Kate's insights and expertise have been featured in WIRED, CMO.com, and USA Today, and she has appeared as an expert commentator on BBC, NPR, Marketplace, NBC, and a wide variety of other national and international news media.
Throughout her career, she has been named “Technology Entrepreneur of the Year,” to the Thinkers50 Radar 2020 class, a “Power Leader in Technology,” a “Woman of Influence,” and numerous other awards and recognitions. A vocal and visible advocate for women in technology, entrepreneurship, and leadership, she was featured by Google in the launch of their global campaign for women in entrepreneurship.
Bruce Kirkby lives life on the edge. An acclaimed explorer, travel writer and television host (with a degree in engineering physics), Kirkby’s travels have taken him from the world’s highest mountains to the wildest rivers and driest deserts. He draws on these experiences to provide real-world, practical lessons on resilience, risk management and change leadership, helping individuals and organizations confront fears, embrace change and find lasting success.
With journeys spanning more than 80 countries and 2000 days, Kirkby’s accomplishments include the first modern crossing of Arabia’s Empty Quarter by camel, a raft descent of Ethiopia’s Blue Nile Gorge by raft, sea kayak traverse of Borneo’s northern coast, and a coast-to-coast Icelandic trek. The former host of CBC’s No Opportunity Wasted, Kirkby recently spent six months travelling to and living in a Himalayan Buddhist monastery with his young family — an experience chronicled on Travel Channel’s Big Crazy Family Adventure.
Kirby is the author of three bestselling books. A columnist for The Globe and Mail, and a National Magazine Award winner, Kirkby’s writing has appeared in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, EnRoute, and Canadian Geographic. His photography was selected by National Geographic as among “the most compelling adventure images of the decade.”
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