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Announcing Our Headline Speakers for SMW New York 2018

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Here is the first group of speakers and presenters signed on to join Social Media Week in New York from April 24 to 27, 2018.

When my team first began crafting the global theme for this year’s Social Media Week conference series, we had in mind the types of leaders and visionaries who could inspire and educate the SMW community around challenging topics that influence both our personal and professional worlds.

The 2018 global theme, “Closer” explores the intensifying conflict between community and individualism and how that tension impacts business, society, and culture. It’s a weighty subject, and so we’re deeply committed to bringing together a diversity of perspectives to discuss the most productive ways to drive innovation, improve consumer experiences, and bring people closer together.

With that, I am thrilled to share with you our first wave of confirmed speakers for our flagship New York conference, to be held at the Sheraton Times Square in April. They include marketing and creative leadership at some of the world’s best agencies and brands, visionaries from breakthrough startups, influential content creators and storytellers, and activists who are writing new rules for civic engagement.

Complete list of confirmed speakers:

  • Melissa Bell, Publisher, Vox Media
  • James Thompson, Chief Marketing & Technology Officer, Diageo
  • John Nitti, Chief Media Officer, Verizon
  • Suraj Patel, Candidate for US Congress, NY-12
  • Anjali Sud, CEO, Vimeo
  • Nancy Lublin, CEO, Crisis Text Line
  • Jennifer Barrett, Chief Education Officer, Acorns
  • Matt Britton, CEO, Crowdtap
  • Harry Bernstein, Chief Creative Officer, Havas NY
  • Anda Gansca, CEO & Founder, Knotch
  • Steve Babcock, Chief Creative Officer, VaynerMedia
  • Dan Gardner, Co-Founder, Executive Creative Director, Code & Theory
  • Abbey Klaassen, CMO, 360i
  • Chris Marino, Director, Global Social Media Strategy, American Express OPEN
  • Jaymee Messler, President, The Players’ Tribune
  • Sanja Partalo, VP of Digital, WPP
  • Mick Purzycki, CEO, Jerry Media
  • Cyndi Ramirez-Fulton, Founder, Chillhouse & Taste the Style
  • Mike Rothman, CEO & Co-Founder, Fatherly
  • Jason Peterson, Chief Creative Officer, Havas US
  • Johnny Vulkan, Founding Partner, Anomaly
  • Debbie Grishman, VP, Global Digital Brand, American Express OPEN

Together, these speakers and those that we will announce in the coming weeks and months will lead interactive and inspiring sessions around how three key trends are influencing business, culture, and society:

  • The You Universe: What are the implications of a highly personalized media environment that tends to insulate us within our own ideas and limit our ability to explore the world beyond ourselves?
  • The Social Divide: Why are social media platforms, which initially served to bring people closer together, instead driving us further apart? How do we as an industry and as a society reverse this trend?
  • AI vs. Humanity: How do we balance the benefits of an increasingly automated world with the risks of losing our humanity in the process?

Call for submissions

With this first wave of speakers, we continue to accept submissions from speakers and companies who are interested in hosting a session as part of the official program.

We’re looking for compelling thought-leaders from brands, agencies, platforms, publishers, educators, and other leaders who aren’t afraid to host transparent and thoughtful conversations around our global theme.

Moreover, we’re prioritizing a diversity of ideas and viewpoints. We implore you to think beyond your traditional speaking pitch and consider how you and your business fits within the bigger issues articulated in this year’s theme.

If you’d like to pitch a session idea, please submit here.

Thank you to American Express OPEN

We’re thrilled to announce American Express OPEN as an official sponsor of SMWNYC 2018. As media, marketing and technology continue to play an increasingly important role in business, and likewise, American Express is committed to ensuring businesses have the money, tools and know-how needed to get business done.




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