HWA Speakers Unlock Creativity and Innovation


  • Actress, HBO's Industry
  • Actress, Hulu's Plan B

With a career many young actresses would dream of, many would think Myha’la Herrold’s success was predestined, but it wasn’t. She had to overcome insecurities and obstacles while building her confidence in order to land work. Now established, Myha’la breaks down the skills and mindset that took her from university graduate to TV star, and inspires the next generation of leaders, performers, and artists.  

Read more > >


  • Award-Winning Actor and Producer
  • Founder Nine Stories Productions

As an award winning actor and producer, Jake Gyllenhaal has learned how to stretch beyond his comfort zones in order to create boldly. Gyllenhaal encourages audiences to push past their discomfort and take risks as part of the creative process.

Learn more > >


  • Inspiration4 Astronaut: The First All-Civilian Mission to Orbit
  • First Black Female Pilot of a Spacecraft
  • First Black Civilian Astronaut

Dr. Proctor is a geoscientist, explorer, space artist, and astronaut, and was the mission pilot for the Inspiration4 all-civilian orbital mission to space. She is also a painter and a creative.

Watch Dr. Proctor paint in space > >


  • Award-Winning Actor, Director and Screenwriter
  • CEO, HITRECORD, a unique production company and online platform for creative collaboration

As the founder and acting CEO of HITRECORD, an online creative platform, and with an acting career that spans three decades, Gordon-Levitt has emerged as a thought leader in exploring the relationship between technology and creativity. 

Read more > >


  • International Jazz Icon
  • Renowned Musician, Composer, Bandleader, Educator and a Leading Advocate of American culture
  • Managing and Artistic Director of Jazz at Lincoln Center
  • Director of Jazz Studies at The Juilliard School

Wynton Marsalis speaks about innovation, creativity, and resilience. His creativity and innovation catapulted him to stardom in the jazz world and resulted in such positions as the Managing and Artistic Director of Jazz at Lincoln Center and the Director of Jazz Studies at The Juilliard School, as well as 9 Grammy wins and 32 nominations. 

Read more > >


  • Award-winning actor, writer, producer, musician, and director
  • Activist focused on diversity and representation

Ahmed has been sought-out to speak everywhere from the British Parliament’s House of Common, where he was an invited guest to speak on diversity, to the BBC, where he’s spoken on harmful stereotypes and representation. He provides powerful remarks on diversity and inclusion, combating negative stereotypes, and harnessing creativity for good.

Read more > >


  • Famed Filmmaker, Screenwriter & Producer
  • Entrepreneur

Roman Coppola uses his experience as a jack-of-all-trades creative and master storyteller to share his insights into creativity and innovation. Coppola shares the lessons he's learned over the course of his career, including letting your intuition guide your creative process, beginner mistakes to watch out for, and collaborating with others. He also offers his knowledge about working with the tools at your disposal to create something new, and makes the case that embracing limited resources can actually be a source of creative power - you don’t need lots of resources to create something great.

Read more > >


  • Academy, Golden Globe, Emmy, and Grammy Award-Winning Producer
  • Co-Founder and Chairman, Imagine Entertainment
  • New York Times Bestselling Author

With a unique flair for telling fascinating stories, and decades of experience as a Hollywood icon to draw upon, Grazer offers insight into themes such as leading through times of disruption, unleashing curiosity and creativity, innovating in a fast changing world, and the future media landscape. 

Read more > >


  • Award-Winning Cartoonist, The New Yorker
  • Resident Cartoonist, CBS News
  • Cultural Envoy, U.S. State Department
  • Author/Editor of 16 Books

Donnelly gives a masterclass in art and creative expression, focusing on the wellness benefits of art, how to unleash your inner doodler, and the value of drawing. Always an engaging and interactive speaker, Donnelly begins drawing as she speaks, often doodling what she's discussing.

Learn more > >


  • Nigerian-American Writer & Lecturer
  • Financial Times Weekend Columnist

Organizations looking to build culture, teams and community tap Okoro to speak on the power of identity and belonging, and how we can collectively elevate ourselves with bigger ideas – like art, culture and the human experience – to find our shared humanity. 

Read more > >


  • Highly-Acclaimed Writer, Storyteller, and Speaker
  • Author, Black Girl Unlimited: The Remarkable Story of a Teenage Wizard
  • Star of her one-woman show, 'Black Virgins Are Not for Hipsters'

Echo Brown has been featured in EsquireThe New York Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Oakland Tribune, and KQED for her storytelling work and books. A dynamic and prolific writer and speaker, Echo has taught workshops internationally, given two Tedx talks, and been invited to speak at high profile companies like Dropbox, Facebook, Google, and Pixar.

Read more > >


  • Grammy-Award Winning Composer and Conductor
  • Renowned Speaker on Innovation and Leadership

A creative innovator in the music and technology space, Grammy-winning composer and conductor Eric Whitacre digs into man's natural sense of curiosity. Creativity is hard to learn, but enhancing curiosity through teaching ourselves to have an open mind, endlessly questioning premises and exploring opportunity, unlocks a higher level of consciousness and the ability to deliver creative and successful solutions. Embracing the mantra of 'fail big, fail often', Eric explores failure as a positive and often necessary pathway to true innovation.

Read more > >


  • Award-Winning Poet
  • Scholar
  • Activist

Caroline Randall Williams is a catalyst. She makes change possible by bringing art and joy into the room in such a way that the grit of real challenge and limits may become eclipsed by analysis, innovation, and skill. Williams speaks about creative collaboration such as co-writing, making a life in the arts, self-care, and more.

Read more > >


  • Trailblazing Screenwriter and Television Producer behind Girlfriends and The Game

Groundbreaking Hollywood visionary and power player Mara Brock Akil has written and produced nearly 400 episodes of television, truly leaving her mark on the industry. A trailblazer in many ways, she speaks about the creativity that fueled her powerful and engaging creations.

Read more > >


  • Singer, Songwriter, and Producer
  • Frontman for Better Than Ezra
  • Philanthropist
  • Founder of Pilgrimage Music and Cultural Festival

Kevin Griffin speaks about creativity and focuses on staying inspired, relevant, and competitive.

Watch him discuss creativity > >


  • Five-time Tech Entrepreneur and Hyper-Growth CEO
  • Two-time NY Times Bestselling Author of Disciplined Dreaming and The Road to Reinvention
  • Founder and Former CEO/Chairman of EPrize
  • Founding Partner of Detroit Venture Partners

On a regular basis, we upgrade our cars, software, and wardrobe. But when was the last time you upgraded your imagination? Isn’t it about time to give your team a boost of inventive thinking, creative problem solving, and everyday innovation to drive better outcomes?

Read more > >