03 Jul 10 YEARS, 10 SPEAKERS
Over the course of the last 10 years WIN World has involved more than 425 world-renowned speakers, trainers and artists in its projects. From university professors to rugby players, scientists, explorers, philosophers, CEOs, artists, chess players or sailors, among many other backgrounds, they all have something in common: their impact. They all, in one way or another, have created an important impact for a better world around them and want to inspire and empower other people to do the same. For us, it is really difficult to make any selection of speakers because they are all so different and so great in their own way. But well, we’ll take up the challenge for the sake of this post! So, here are 10 speakers who have moved and inspired us in a particularly special way.
Again, a final note: there are many more speakers that we love but this was the choice that was possible for this post!
Ah, a second final note: before founding WIN World, Carlota was involved in the organization of great conferences with Rudy Giuliani, Jack Welch, Bill Clinton and Kofi Annan, among others. We didn’t consider these speakers as these conferences were organized before the foundation of WIN World. So the speakers considered for this post are those of WIN World’s life so far, of course!
In an aleatory order, here we have ten speakers who are very special for us.
1. TAL BEN SHAHAR
Tal Ben-Shahar is an author and lecturer. He taught two of the largest classes in Harvard University’s history, Positive Psychology and The Psychology of Leadership. Today, Tal consults and lectures around the world to executives in multi-national corporations, the general public, and at-risk populations. The topics he lectures on include leadership, happiness, education, innovation, ethics, self-esteem, resilience, goal setting, and mindfulness. His books have been translated into more than twenty-five languages, and have appeared on best-sellers lists around the world.
An avid sportsman, Tal won the U.S. Intercollegiate and Israeli National squash championships. Today, for exercise, he swims, dances, and practices Yoga. He obtained his PhD in Organizational Behavior and BA in Philosophy and Psychology from Harvard.’
Tal Ben Shahar was a speaker at the Happy Conference 2009 (you can watch the best of video here), and two other private corporate meetings, one in 2010, another in 2016.
2. ALAIN DE BOTTON
Alain de Botton was born in Zurich, Switzerland in 1969 and now lives in London. He is a writer of essayistic books that have been described as a ‘philosophy of everyday life.’ He’s written on love, travel, architecture and literature. His books have been bestsellers in 30 countries.
Alain also started and helps to run a school in London called The School of Life, dedicated to a new vision of education. Alain’s latest book, published in April 2016, is titled The Course of Love.
Alain started writing at a young age. His first book, Essays in Love [titled On Love in the US], was published when he was twenty-three.
The first time we worked with Alain de Botton was in 2012, for Conferências Fidelidade (watch here). Later, Alain de Botton was a speaker at the Porto Business School Grand Conference 2016 (you can watch the best of video here) and at The School of Life Conference 2017 (no best of video available).
3. NANDO PARRADO
Nando Parrado was born in Montevideo, Uruguay, to a middle-class family. He has an older sister, Graciela, and a younger sister, Susana. He studied at the Stella Maris School, where from an early age he demonstrated special skills for sports and excelled in rugby.
In 1972, he and his teammates were traveling to Chile to participate in an international rugby exhibition. Their flight never arrived at its destination; it tragically crashed at 18,000 feet in the Cordillera de los Andes.
In the two-and-a-half months that followed, Nando’s life was changed completely. His mother and younger sister, Susana, were killed in the accident. Nando made a superhuman effort, survived for 72 days, and found his way out of the Andes, after an 11-day snowy trek through the mountains with his friend Roberto Canessa.
Soon after the rescue of the survivors because of the epic passage of Nando and Roberto, the survivors worked with Piers Paul Read to write the bestseller, Alive. Twenty years later, he served as the technical advisor in the production of the film, Alive, where he was played by Ethan Hawke.
Today, he is the President of Seler Parrado S.A., the founder of two media production companies, and an active sportsman. He is married to Veronique, and has two daughters, Veronica and Cecilia.
Nano Parrado was a speaker at the Porto Business School Grand Conference 2011 (you can watch the best of video here).
4. BENJAMIN ZANDER
World famous conductor, Benjamin Zander uses the metaphor of the orchestra and a life-time of experience conducting, coaching and teaching musicians to work his magic to overcome barriers to corporate productivity. This presentation sources fundamental changes in organizations.
Music was Benjamin Zander’s life at a very early age. When Zander was nine he was already composing and by twelve he was studying under Benjamin Britten and Imogen Holst. He left home at the age of fifteen to study for five years with the great Spanish cellist Gaspar Cassado in Florence and at the State Academy in Cologne. After completing his degree at London University, he went to the United States on a Harkness Fellowship and has made his home in Boston ever since. There, as conductor of the Boston Philharmonic since its formation in 1978, and a guest conductor of numerous orchestras, he has become the centre of an intense, at times almost cult-like following. In his case, however, the followers are not starry-eyed acolytes, but rather some of the most well-informed musical intellectuals in America.
For 45 years he was on the faculty of the New England Conservatory of Music, where his class on interpretation attracted students from all over the world, and he travels extensively giving masterclasses, conducting guest performances, and touring with his own recently formed Boston Philharmonic Youth Orchestra. He has established an international reputation as a guest conductor and has conducted all over the world.
Benjamin Zander has traveled the world lecturing to organizations on leadership (notably, at the World Economic Forum in Davos). The best-selling book, The Art of Possibility, co-authored with leading psychotherapist Rosamund Zander, has been translated into seventeen languages.
Mr. Zander was awarded highly prestigious international awards.
Benjamin Zander was a speaker at the first edition of Porto Business School Grand Conference, in 2010 (you can watch the best of video here).
5. JANE GOODALL
Jane Goodall was born on April 3, 1934, in London, England. At the young age of 26, she followed her passion for animals an Africa to Gombe, Tanzania, where she began her landmark study of chimpanzees in the wild – immersing herself in their habitat as a neighbor rather than a distant observer. Her discovery in 1960 that chimpanzees make and use tools rocked the scientific world and redefined the relationship between humans and animals.
In 1977, she established the Jane Goodall Institute (JGI) to advance her work around the world and for the generations to come. JGI continues in the field research at Gombe and builds on Dr. Goodall’s innovative approach to conservation, which recognizes the central role that people play in the well-being of animals and the environment. In 1991, she founded Roots & Shoots, a global program that guides young people in nearly 100 countries in becoming conservation activists and leaders in their daily lives.
Today, Dr. Goodall travels the world, speaking about the threats facing chimpanzees, environmental crises and her reasons for hope. In her books and speeches, she emphasizes the interconnectedness of all living things and the collective power of individual action. Dr. Goodall is a UN Messenger of Peace and Dame Commander of the British Empire.
Jane Goodall was a speaker at the first edition of the National Geographic Summit, in 2017 (you can watch the best of video here).
6. ELLEN MACARTUR
Dame Ellen MacArthur made yachting history in 2005, when she became the fastest solo sailor to circumnavigate the globe, and remains the UK’s most successful offshore racer ever.
She is a founder of the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust, set up in 2003, a charity which takes young people aged between 8-24 sailing to help them regain their confidence on their way to recovery from cancer, leukaemia and other serious illnesses.
Having become acutely aware of the finite nature of the resources our linear economy relies upon, she stepped away from professional sailing in 2009 to launch the Ellen MacArthur Foundation following 4 years traveling the world and researching the challenges facing our current global economy.
Ellen MacArthur was a speaker at the COTEC National Meeting on Innovation 2016 (you can watch the video here).
7. GARRY KASPAROV
Garry Kasparov is a Russian pro-democracy leader, global human-rights activist, business speaker and author, and former world chess champion.
‘Born in Baku, Azerbaijan, in the Soviet Union in 1963, Garry Kasparov became the under-18 chess champion of the USSR at the age of 12 and the world under-20 champion at 17. He came to international fame at the age of 22 as the youngest world chess champion in history in 1985. He defended his title five times, including a legendary series of matches against arch-rival Anatoly Karpov. Kasparov broke Bobby Fischer’s rating record in 1990 and his own peak rating record remained unbroken until 2013. His famous matches against the IBM super-computer Deep Blue in 1996-97 were key to bringing artificial intelligence, and chess, into the mainstream.
Kasparov’s was one of the first prominent Soviets to call for democratic and market reforms and was an early supporter of Boris Yeltsin’s push to break up the Soviet Union. In 1990, he and his family escaped ethnic violence in his native Baku as the USSR collapsed. In 2005, Kasparov, in his 20th year as the world’s top-rated player, retired from professional chess to join the vanguard of the Russian pro-democracy movement. In 2012, Kasparov was named chairman of the New York-based Human Rights Foundation, succeeding Vaclav Havel. Facing imminent arrest during Putin’s crackdown, Kasparov moved from Moscow to New York City in 2013.
The US-based Kasparov Chess Foundation non-profit promotes the teaching of chess in education systems around the world.
Kasparov’s book How Life Imitates Chess on strategy and decision-making is available in over 20 languages. He is the author of two acclaimed series of chess books, My Great Predecessors and Modern Chess. Kasparov’s 2015 book, Winter Is Coming: Why Vladimir Putin and the Enemies of the Free World Must Be Stopped is a blend of history, memoire, and current events analysis.
Kasparov’s next book is Deep Thinking: Where Machine Intelligence Ends and Human Creativity Begins. (May 2017) It details his matches against Deep Blue, his years of research and lectures on human and machine competition and collaboration, and his cooperation with the Future of Humanity Institute at the University of Oxford.
Garry Kasparov was a speaker at the Porto Business School Grand Conference, 2011 (you can watch the best of video here).
8. DAN ARIELY
Dan Ariely is the James B. Duke Professor of Psychology and Behavioral Economics at Duke University and a founding member of the Center for Advanced Hindsight. He does research in behavioral economics on the irrational ways people behave, described in plain language.
His immersive introduction to irrationality took place as he overcame injuries sustained in an explosion. During a range of treatments in the burn department he faced a variety of irrational behaviors that were immensely painful and persistent. He began researching ways to better deliver painful and unavoidable treatments to patients.
Ariely became engrossed with the idea that we repeatedly and predictably make the wrong decisions in many aspects of our lives and that research could help change some of these patterns.
After using his knowledge of decision-making and behavioral economics to convince his girlfriend to marry him, Ariely realized that understanding decision-making can help anyone in their daily life.
Irrationally Yours, Predictably Irrational, The Upside of Irrationality, The (Honest) Truth About Dishonesty, the movie Dishonesty and the card game Irrational Game are his attempt to describe his research findings in non-academic terms, so that more people will discover the excitement of behavioral economics and use some of the insights to enrich their own lives.’
Dan Ariely was a speaker at SONAE Finov 2013 (no video available).
9. ANTONIO DAMASIO
Antonio Damasio is University Professor, David Dornsife Professor of Neuroscience, Psychology and Philosophy, and Director of the Brain and Creativity Institute at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles.
Trained as both neurologist and neuroscientist, Damasio has made seminal contributions to the understanding of brain processes underlying emotions, feelings, and consciousness. His work on the role of affect in decision-making has made a major impact in neuroscience, psychology, and philosophy. He is the author of numerous scientific articles and has been named “Highly Cited Researcher” by the Institute for Scientific Information, and is regarded as one of the most eminent psychologists of the modern era (Google Scholar h-index is 149; over 155,000 citations).
His most recent work addresses the evolutionary development of mind and especially the role of homeostasis in the generation of cultures (his new book on the subject is The Strange Order of Things: Life, Feeling, and the Making of Cultures, to appear in the Fall of 2017).
Damasio is a member of the National Academy of Medicine and a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Bavarian Academy of Sciences, and the European Academy of Sciences and Arts. He has received numerous prizes, among them the Grawemeyer Award  and the Honda Prize , the Asturias Prize in Science and Technology , and the Nonino , Signoret  and Pessoa  Prizes.
He holds Honorary Doctorates from several leading Universities, some shared with his wife Hanna, e.g. the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne [EPFL], 2011 and the Sorbonne [Université Paris Descartes], 2015.
Damasio has discussed his research and ideas in several books, among them Descartes’ Error, The Feeling of What Happens, Looking for Spinoza and Self Comes to Mind, which are translated and taught in universities worldwide.
Antonio Damasio was a speaker at a conference at University of Porto, promoted by SONAE (no video available).
10. RAM CHARAN
Ram Charan is a world-renowned business advisor, author and speaker who has spent the past 35 years working with many top companies, CEOs, and boards of our time. In his work with companies including GE, MeadWestvaco, Bank of America, DuPont, Novartis, EMC, 3M, Verizon, Aditya Birla Group, Tata Group, GMR, Max Group, Yildiz Holdings, and Grupo RBS, he is known for cutting through the complexity of running a business in today’s fast changing environment to uncover the core business problem. His real-world solutions, shared with millions through his books and articles in top business publications, have been praised for being practical, relevant and highly actionable — the kind of advice you can use Monday morning.
Ram’s introduction to business came early while working in the family shoe shop in a small town in northern India, where he was raised. He earned an engineering degree in India and soon after took a job in Australia. When his talent for business was discovered, Ram was encouraged to develop it. He earned MBA and doctorate degrees from Harvard Business School, where he graduated with high distinction and was a Baker Scholar, then served on the faculties of Harvard Business School and Northwestern University before pursuing consulting full-time.
Ram’s work takes him around the globe non-stop and gives him an unparalleled, up-to-date insider view of how economies and leading companies operate. Through keen observation and analysis, he forms powerful insights that help business leaders face their toughest challenges in the areas of growth, talent development, corporate governance, and profitability. His timely concrete advice is a powerful tool in navigating today’s uncertain business climate. Former Chairman of GE Jack Welch says Ram “has the rare ability to distill meaningful from meaningless and transfer it in a quiet, effective way without destroying confidences,” while Ivan Seidenberg, the former CEO of Verizon, calls Ram his “secret weapon.”
Ram Charan was a speaker at the first CEO Conference, in 2010, and later at the fifth edition of the Porto Business School Grand Conference, in 2014 (you can watch the best of video here).
A YOUNG SPEAKER WE LOVED: ADJANY COSTA
Adjany Costa is an Angolan conservationist and ichthyologist. She has a master’s degree in marine biology and is currently doing her Ph.D.
She is one of the National Geographic’s 14 emerging explorers. This group has been honored for the way its members explore new frontiers and find innovative ways to remedy some of the greatest challenges facing our planet.
She has been in love with nature since she was a child. When she was a little girl, she enjoyed watching documentaries about animals and life in nature.
Adjany currently works as the assistant director of the Okavango Wilderness Project, a Wild Bird Foundation initiative, funded and promoted by the National Geographic Society. Together, Angolan and international researchers, in collaboration with National Geographic filmmakers, photographers and writers, are studying the area in order to document its extraordinary biodiversity and gather information about the health of its waters.
The project has allowed Adjany to experience her country’s beauty firsthand. It is an extraordinary adventure, full of opportunities, but also full of challenges. Indeed, Adjany can confirm that this landscape is sometimes unforgiving. Pulling a mekoro (dug-out canoe) filled with heavy equipment (around 770 lbs.) through mud and grass after being stung by a scorpion is just another day at the office. When she joined this initiative, for several months she was the only woman in a project led by 25 men. She was attacked four times by hippos and twice by elephants. But for Adjany, it is all worth it to protect the watershed integral to the birds, elephants, hippos and more – as well as those depending on the Okavango river basin.
Her hope? To create a protected marine area along the southwest coast of Angola, adjacent to the Skeleton Coast in Namibia.
Adjany Costa was a speaker at the second edition of the National Geographic Summit, in 2018 (you can watch the best of video here).