Keynotes

"The keynote speakers were excellent—beyond expectations—thank you! This was my first time attending, and all I could think was why didn't I attend before!"

—ATD 2016 Attendee

Captains Mark and Scott Kelly

Highly Decorated NASA Astronauts and Retired U.S. Navy Captains

Heroes who exemplify courage, leadership, and sacrifice, Captains Mark and Scott Kelly, American astronauts and identical twin brothers, have secured their place in history, laying the groundwork for the future of space travel and exploration.

With careers as remarkable as they are similar, the Kelly brothers served in the U.S. Navy, retiring as experienced aviators and decorated captains prior to starting their illustrious careers with NASA in 1996.

Now retired after 15 years with NASA, Mark spent more than 50 days in space and commanded both the space shuttle Endeavour, including its final flight in 2011, and space shuttle Discovery. He is one of only two individuals who have visited the International Space Station on four different occasions.

As America's first year-round astronaut, Scott’s record-breaking year in space spanned from March 2015 to March 2016, during which he and Russian cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko captivated the world with live interviews and never-seen-before photos from the International Space Station. Scott continues to garner media exposure like no other pioneer of our time.

The historic mission also included NASA's Twins Study, monitoring Scott from space and Mark on the ground, in an unprecedented experiment to understand how space affects the human body.

With candid reflections on the experiences and lessons that shaped their views on teamwork and leadership, overcoming adversities and dealing with tragedy, and personal strategies for harnessing courage and adapting to change, Mark and Scott deliver twice the insight and inspiration in a one-of-a-kind presentation.

Coming in fall 2017, Scott’s widely anticipated memoir, Endurance: My Year in Space and Our Journey to Mars, will feature his life and career experiences, including exclusive commentary from Mark, and was recently optioned by Sony Pictures.

Monday: 8:00 a.m. - 9:30 a.m.
To Infinity and Beyond! Extraordinary Life Lessons From the Kelly Brothers

U.S. Navy fighter and test pilots. NASA astronauts. American heroes. Identical twin brothers Captains Mark and Scott Kelly’s career achievements have been almost as similar as they are remarkable. In this keynote, the Kelly brothers candidly reflect on the experiences and lessons that shaped their views on teamwork and leadership, how they learned to face and overcome adversity, and their personal strategies for adapting to change. From NASA’s Twin Study and Scott’s year in space, to flying in combat and dealing with tragedy, to entertaining stories only a sibling could (or would) reveal, the Kelly brothers’ perspective and lessons leave audiences doubly inspired and motivated.

Dr. Kelly McGonigal

Health Psychologist and Lecturer at Stanford University

For many of us, the day can seem like a long series of willpower battles: I’m trying to stay focused on this project, but I keep checking my email. I’m trying to work out more, but I can never get myself to the gym. And I swear this will really be my last cigarette . . . OK, this will. Maybe just one more.

Meanwhile, in the workplace, we clutch at our willpower to support us through deadlines, meetings, customer demands, and the thousand little stresses of our jobs. But the harder we try to keep things together, the harder it gets to work at the highest level, make good long-term decisions, and hold ourselves to our professional goals.

What if we told you that you could train your willpower? That most of us misunderstand willpower and actually hurt ourselves the more we strive for discipline? What if we told you someone with both science and sensitivity could map out for you a path through the maze of wants and wills—and guide you to a more empowered life?

Kelly’s insights have already changed the lives of hundreds of students in her Stanford University course, The Science of Willpower, and with her book The Willpower Instinct. This exciting book collects the latest findings in psychology and neuroscience to explain the evolutionary and cognitive basis of willpower and the steps we can take to harness it.

In her book The Upside of Stress: Why Stress Is Good for You, and How to Get Good at It, Kelly delivers a startling message: Stress isn’t bad. She highlights new research indicating that stress can make us stronger, smarter, and happier if we learn how to embrace it.

Kelly is a lecturer (in management) for the Stanford Graduate School of Business and for the Stanford Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education, part of the School of Medicine's Institute for Translation Neuroscience. She is the former editor in chief of the International Journal of Yoga Therapy. Her scientific research has been published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, the International Journal of Psychiatry in Medicine, and Monitor on Psychology. She’s been quoted in the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, MSNBC.com, Web MD, TIME, Fitness, Women’s Health, and more. In 2010, Forbes named her one of the 20 most inspiring women to follow on Twitter.

Kelly’s winning, lively style makes the daunting task of reclaiming our lives seem within anyone’s grasp. It’s a message we’re confident will help you achieve your personal and professional goals, and live the life you really want to live.

Tuesday: 8:00 a.m. - 9:30 a.m.
The Upside of Stress: Why Stress Is Good for You, and How to Get Good at It

Stress is unavoidable. But is it always harmful? Stanford psychologist and award-winning author Kelly McGonigal offers a surprising new view of stress—one that reveals its upside, and how to capitalize on its benefits. The latest science shows that stress can make us smarter, stronger, and more resilient. Stress can even help you connect with what you care about most and strengthen close relationships. This session will explore what makes stress good for you, and what you can do to get good at stress. Learn how to cultivate a mindset that helps you thrive under stress, and simple strategies for transforming the biology of your stress response to improve health and well-being. The new science of stress resilience will give you a renewed sense of optimism about your own ability to handle whatever challenges life brings.

Dr. Ronan Tynan

Irish Tenor, Paralympic Champion, and M.D.

Irish Tenor Dr. Ronan Tynan is a modern-day Renaissance man. Raised on a dairy farm in Kilkenny, Ireland, his personal story of triumph and his impassioned singing inspires audiences. A natural-born storyteller and gifted with humor, Ronan empowers audiences to overcome adversity, take risks, and achieve peak performance.

Born with a lower-limb disability, Ronan was “as wild as a March hare” as a young man, riding horses and racing motorcycles. While the first disabled student admitted to the National College of Physical Education in Limerick, Ronan suffered complications from an auto accident, resulting in his legs being amputated at age 20. Just weeks after the operation he was climbing the steps of his college dorm. Within a year he was winning gold medals in the Paralympics. Between 1981 and 1984 Ronan amassed 18 gold medals and set 14 world records.

Following a dream, Ronan pursued medical school at Trinity College. During his residency as a physician specializing in orthopedic sports injuries, at the age of 33, he began formal voice study. With encouragement from his colleagues he not only entered Go for It, a televised BBC singing competition, but won! Selected to be a member of the Irish Tenors, Ronan was introduced to international audiences and has become known for his unique voice and irresistible appeal.

Acting on his mother’s advice, Ronan went on to launch a solo career. He has achieved success that could have only existed in the farthest reaches of his dreams. He continues to tour with the Irish Tenors and as a solo artist. He is the Alltech Artist in Residence at the University of Kentucky Opera Theatre and is one of the most sought after motivational speakers.

Profiled in the United States on ABC's 20/20 and CBS Sunday Morning, Ronan moves people like few others can. His ability to easily connect with audiences along with his inspiring message about overcoming obstacles and living life to the fullest promotes ways to reach new heights both professionally and personally.

Wednesday: 3:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Hitting the High Notes, Living Life to the Fullest

What does it take to follow your dreams? How can you overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles? Ronan Tynan, MD, Paralympic gold medalist, and professional recording artist, will take the audience on a humorous and thought-provoking journey through his life while giving lessons as to how anyone can live their life to the fullest. He will inspire audience members as he tells the story of overcoming his disability to become a gold medalist and finding the courage to follow his true passion of singing when he was in his 30s. Ronan’s gift of storytelling and his inspiring voice will encourage people to reach new heights both personally and professionally.

 

"This was the best conference I've ever attended. The quality of the keynotes was the best, bar none."
—ATD 2016 Attendee

"This was my first conference with ATD and it set a very high bar for all conferences I’ll attend in the future."
—ATD 2016 Attendee