Keeping an eye on productivity, teamwork, as well as physical safety and mental health, the transition back to the office brings a new set of challenges for leaders and employees. These HWA speakers show leaders how to re-engage their teams while keeping the best of what we learned while working remotely.


INDRA NOOYI: Former Chairman + CEO of PepsiCo

Nooyi was selected by Connecticut governor Ned Lamont as co-chair of the Reopen Connecticut Advisory Board, a delegation formed amid the coronavirus to help the state devise an appropriate and thoughtful plan for reopening that considers both public health outcomes and economic and social costs.

In her engaging, actionable, and informative remarks, Nooyi shares lessons learned from being on the front lines of managing the pandemic and its impact, and delves into issues such as balancing commerce with public health and well-being. She also draws on her experience leading PepsiCo through a decade of tremendous growth, disruption, and change, offering audiences first-hand, authentic, and empowering guidance on how to successfully lead in uncertain, critical, and rapidly-evolving times. 


CHARLES DUHIGG: New York Times Bestselling Author of The Power of Habit and Smarter Faster Better; Pulitzer Prize-Winning Columnist for The New York Times Magazine; Host of the How To! Podcast

Charles Duhigg’s The Power of Habit spent three years on the New York Times Bestseller list. His latest bestselling book, Smarter Faster Better: The Secrets of Being Productive in Life and Business is a fascinating exploration of the science of productivity and why managing how you think—rather than what you think—can transform your life. As the pandemic slowly comes to an end it is useful to look to science to ask: Is there any good that might come of this? Any silver linings we might seize? As Duhigg highlights in his compelling presentations, one of the things we know about the science of habit formation is that habits become more flexible during moments of great upheaval. Right now is the perfect time for new habits, which creates an opportunity – if we know how to use it. To understand how to create new, good habits, Duhigg details how habit formation works, provides fascinating examples of research and case studies in which habits were used to successful and dramatic results, and provides a roadmap on how to use the upheaval we’re all living through to create great new habits of our own.


BOZOMA SAINT JOHN: Trailblazing brand marketing executive; Chief Marketing Officer, Netflix; Former Chief Brand Officer at Uber; Former Marketing Executive for Apple Music, iTunes, and PepsiCo

Boz partners with CEOs, CMOs, and those in senior leadership as part of a weekly discussion on communicating with clarity in the age of COVID-19 – how to reopen, regain trust, and reemerge as business leaders in every industry. She addresses questions such as: What are the narratives and communication that our audiences and consumers want from businesses as we reopen? How can leadership deliver in an authentic way to draw on the loyalty of existing consumers while also gaining new customers? How do we communicate with our employees that despite these extraordinary times we're all working toward a common purpose?  In Boz’s podcast with co-host Katie Couric, Back to Biz with Katie and Boz, the two dive into how every industry became innovative in the new reality, and how we can continue to keep these innovative strategies long after the pandemic. In a virtual conversation for Harvard Business Review she discussed how the pandemic will change career paths.


TOM BOSSERT: Former Homeland Security + Counterterrorism Advisor; National Security Analyst, ABC

Just months after being appointed Homeland Security Advisor under President Trump, Bossert delivered a keynote at the Aspen Security Forum titled "The Next Pandemic" where he laid out his plans to improve the U.S. bio-defense strategy and predicted the next devastating pandemic. Now, Bossert has become a go-to advisor for business leaders, including Disney’s Chairman Bob Iger, on their reopening plans. He’s helped Disney navigate their relationship with government officials, re-think safety measures at their parks and properties, and helped shape how they communicate with their employees, customers, shareholders about their efforts. Along with Disney, Bossert has advised dozens of Fortune 500 companies, several of the nation’s largest university systems, and countless government entities and officials on how to think about reopening, what to expect, and how to move forward in a way that works for everyone. He tailors his remarks to each audience, providing actionable next steps.


ERICA KESWIN: Author of Bring Your Human to Work and Rituals Roadmap; Workplace Strategist & Executive Coach Specializing in the Business of Relationships

Erica Keswin has worked for the past twenty years with some of the most iconic brands in the world as a consultant, speaker, writer and professional dot-connector. Her book Bring Your Human to Work: Ten Sure-Fire Ways to Design a Workplace That is Good for People, Great for Business, and Just Might Change the World, a Wall Street Journal bestseller in its first week, serves as a powerful guide to a workplace revolution that honors relationships and puts people first. Now she's released Rituals Roadmap: The Human Way to Transform Everyday Routines Into Workplace Magic as we all look for new routines in a post-pandemic world. She spoke to Forbes about building rituals at work, and shares these ideas in powerful, game-changing keynotes. Leaving audiences deeply informed and engaged, she combines cutting-edge scientific research with examples from the most human companies, like Starbucks, Microsoft, Chipotle and LinkedIn to talk about how to create rituals at work, both while we are still working from home and when we return.


ALEXIS OHANIAN: Co-Founder, Reddit, 6th largest website in the world; Co-Founder, Initialized Capital, an early stage venture capital firm

Ohanian offers actionable, tangible advice on best practices for businesses and brands navigating the pandemic. A co-founder and managing partner at Initialized Capital, Ohanian and his firm advise a wide range of top startups, including Instacart, Patreon, Opendoor, and Coinbase, and Ohanian has had hands-on experience helping these companies communicate with customers and the public during this crisis. He's been sought-out for his virtual conversations, speaking frequently to CNBC about finance and social media and regulating online content, as well as CBS about diversity in tech. In a powerful gesture, Ohanian announced he was stepping down from his role as a member of Reddit's board of directors, and encouraged the company to replace him with a Black candidate.


APRIL RINNE: Global Authority on the New Economy, Future of Work and Navigating Constant Change; Head of the Sharing Economy Working Group, World Economic Forum; Advisor for Airbnb, Jobbatical and Trov; Contributor, Quartz at Work

April Rinne helps individuals and organizations navigate a world in flux. Even before the pandemic, the pace of change was mind-boggling - and as we shift back into life after the pandemic, we will return to this fast pace. Around every corner, there is more change. So how do we move forward? In her keynotes, presentations and forthcoming book Flux: 8 Superpowers for Thriving in Constant Change, Rinne guides the way. A "flux mindset" is a term she coined to describe how to thrive in a world of constant change. In her talks, she guides audiences on a journey through what a flux mindset is, why it matters, and how to develop one to thrive after a year of constant change and uncertainty. She's given many presentations about thriving after change, including her TED Talk titled "How to Navigate Our Uncertain Future," her virtual keynote for nexxworks, discussing "A World In Flux" with the Femme Futurists Society, and more.


MOHAMED EL-ERIAN: Chief Economic Advisor at Allianz; CEO and Co-Chief Investment Officer of PIMCO (2007-2014)

Renowned as one of the world's most widely followed economists, El-Erian has been a leading voice amid the coronavirus epidemic on the economic and geopolitical implications of the new normal. Named to Foreign Policy's "Top 100 Global Thinkers" for four consecutive years, a Bloomberg Opinion and Financial Times columnist, and a fixture on financial news outlets, recently El-Erian has engaged in compelling virtual engagements including at Wharton on “Managing Global Business and Financial Uncertainty", for Nile University on the world during and after COVID-19and virtual interviews for countless leading outlets including CNBCFOX Business, and Bloomberg TV


ALEXA VON TOBEL: Founder & CEO,; Founder & Managing Partner, Inspired Capital

Having started a financial planning company, LearnVest, in 2008 during the Great Recession (and sold it for a reported $375 million), Alexa von Tobe​l knows firsthand how to lead an organization through difficult times and thrive after challenges. She provides actionable and empowering advice on business innovation amid challenges, and how to harness the best of entrepreneurism to thrive amid a recession. She's been sought-out for a virtual conversation with Inc. on "Starting Up During a Turndown" and a virtual live Q+A on everything fintech. She was featured in Inc. on How To Recession-Proof Your BusinessTechCrunch on the biggest driver of social media stock trading, and had her story and advice featured in People. Currently a Founder and Managing Partner at Inspired Capital, a woman-led early-stage venture firm, Von Tobel is bucking the status quo to partner with forward-looking, effective, socially responsible entrepreneurs who will shape the future. At virtual engagements she discusses the impact of the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent financial upheaval on launching and scaling a business and sheds light on how to leverage what you learned from the pandemic in order to survive.



Jammet, Neman, and Ru have been making headlines for Sweetgreen's forward-looking and purpose-driven response to the pandemic and they provide practical insight into how businesses can be creative, resilient, and successfully incorporate new technology and reach costumers long after the pandemic is done. From launching a native delivery app and making operational adjustments to launching the Sweetgreen Impact Outpost Fund to feed front-line medical personnel working in hospitals, it's easy to see why these three have been named to Fast Company’s “Most Creative People in Business,” Inc’s “30 Under 30,” Forbes’ “30 Under 30” and more. Sought-out for NPR's popular "How I Built This" podcast, the three discussed how they launched Sweetgreen with a sole location, and successfully scaled it to over 100 locations nationwide, and how the company is using new technology to re-imagine the fast-casual model, even as it faces unprecedented challenges from the pandemic. Jammet was also sought-out for Inc.'s "How I Did It" to discuss moving away from tradition and betting big on tech, Neman for an interview on Barron's to discuss how technology helped start their restaurant chain and keep it going amid the pandemic, and Ru quoted in Forbes about building a healthy food movement. They are frequently in the spotlight for their pledge to make their business carbon neutral by 2027.

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