The 16 Best Creativity Speakers of 2024

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December 5, 2023

Creativity isn’t just for beret-wearing artists or guitar-strumming musicians. It’s the backbone of industry giants and the driving force of economies. One of Adobe’s research studies has the receipts to prove it: 80% of people see innovation as the linchpin of economic growth. Yet, only a quarter feel they’re truly living up to their full creative potential.

Ouch. 

Even if your job title doesn’t scream “visionary,” you need to keep coming up with new, great, and reliable ideas to stay relevant. If you want to be more than just a blip on the radar, it’s time to get acquainted with the best in the business. Dive into this curated list of creativity speakers who know how to shatter norms, ignite genius, and supercharge your potential.

1. Natalie Nixon

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Natalie Nixon is the go-to “creativity whisperer” for top leaders. With a colorful mix of anthropology, fashion, and dance in her toolkit, she’s lived in five countries and now leads Figure 8 Thinking. There, Natalie guides businesses to unlock their potential and soar to new heights. 

2. Cassandra Worthy

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Cassandra Worthy is a powerhouse in change management. With her unique Change Enthusiasm approach, she turns challenges into opportunities. As a former chemical engineer with years in the corporate realm, she’s both relatable and pragmatic. Cassandra is the guiding light for businesses navigating change, teaching them to thrive, not just survive.

3. David Kelly

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David Kelly is the brain behind IDEO, one of the world’s leading design firms. As the author of Creative Confidence, he’s on a mission to unlock the potential in all of us. With a knack for making the intricate world of design thinking accessible to everyone, David is the go-to guru for those looking to boost their ability to invent. 

4. Josh Linkner

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Josh Linkner is the maestro of modern innovation, with a flair for fresh ideas and pushing boundaries. Drawing from his rich experiences and successes, Josh offers insights that are both enlightening and practical. He has a knack for making the world of creativity accessible to all, inspiring audiences to think differently and embrace change. 

5. Linda Naiman

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Linda Naiman is the Picasso of the corporate world. With each presentation, she paints a vivid picture of creativity, urging her audience to see beyond the mundane. 

Her approach dives deep into the practicalities of innovation, drawing from her rich reservoir of experiences. As a speaker, Linda has an uncanny ability to captivate, inspire, and challenge listeners to think outside the conventional box. 

6. Duncan Wardle

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With a unique ability to turn imagination into groundbreaking ideas, Duncan Wardle stands out as a true conjurer of creativity. He has a talent for making the complex seem simple, and the impossible feel attainable. Duncan’s talks are immersive experiences that blend insight with inspiration. He challenges audiences to think bigger, dream wilder, and dare to be different.

7. Judy Sorum Brown

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With words that dance and ideas that resonate, Judy Sorum Brown is a storyteller and visionary. She has a unique ability to weave tales of innovation, turning complicated ideas into captivating narratives. Judy’s sessions blend wisdom with whimsy, urging listeners to see the world in vibrant color and fresh perspectives. 

8. Austin Kleon

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Austin Kleon is the creative spark behind the renowned “Steal Like an Artist” mantra. With a pen that’s mightier than most, he’s a modern-day muse for creators everywhere. He believes in borrowing brilliance and turning inspiration into innovative masterpieces. Austin’s talks are a mix of humor and insight, nudging audiences to see creativity in a whole new light.

9. Taylor K. Shaw

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Taylor K. Shaw is a multifaceted force. She’s a poet, essayist, TV and film writer, and media executive. She’s the visionary behind BWA Studios, the pioneering animation studio powered by Black women and animators of color. 

Her newsletter, Self-Portrait, is a deep dive into self-discovery, blending essays with photographic portraits. Recognized by Forbes as a 30 Under 30 in Hollywood & Entertainment, she’s on a mission to craft liberating narratives for Black women and marginalized groups. Taylor is reshaping the entertainment landscape, one story at a time.

10. Todd Henry

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Todd Henry is the dynamo behind Accidental Creative. With a passion for sparking A-HA! moments, he’s a guiding light for anyone looking for brilliance in their work and life. 

Through his books, podcasts, and workshops, Todd offers invaluable insights, helping people be brave, laser-focused, and exceptionally smart. As an accomplished international speaker and sought-after consultant, he dives deep into the nitty-gritty of problem-solving, leadership, and powerful collaboration. 

11. Guy Kawasaki

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Guy Kawasaki is the creative genius who once fueled the fires at Apple. With a mind as sharp as a Mac’s edge, he’s a tech evangelist. Guy has lived innovation first-hand, having been at the forefront of the tech revolution. His talks blend wisdom with wit, inspiring audiences to think differently and keep innovating.  

12. Heidi Zuckerman

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Heidi Zuckerman is the artful mastermind steering the ship at the Orange County Museum of Art. With an eye for the exquisite and a heart for creativity, she’s a curator of inspiration. Heidi brings art to life, making every exhibit a vibrant conversation. Her talks are a canvas of insights, urging audiences to see beyond the frame.

13. Ed Catmull

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Ed Catmull stands as a titan in the animation industry, being one of the minds that co-founded Pixar Animation Studios. He has been instrumental in transforming the way people see animated films, turning them from mere movies into heartfelt experiences. 

His talks offer a close look into the world of creativity, innovation, and leadership, providing audiences with a behind-the-scenes look at the magic of Pixar. Drawing from his rich experiences and successes, he inspires listeners to push boundaries, embrace challenges, and create their own masterpieces. 

14. Olympia LePoint

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Olympia LePoint is the rocket scientist with a flair for sparking inspiration. With a background that combines aerospace engineering with the world of creativity, Olympia stands out as a unique voice in the realm of science and innovation. 

She has a natural ability to turn complex scientific ideas into relatable stories, making the wonders of space and technology accessible to all. Her talks are experiences, blending intellect with imagination, and always urging her audiences to think bigger and aim higher.

15. Seth Godin

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Seth Godin stands as pillar in the world of marketing and thought leadership. Well-known for his insightful takes on branding and business, he has a unique ability to turn abstract ideas into a real plan of action. With a writing career that boasts many best-selling books, Seth is a guiding light for those navigating the ever-evolving world of marketing. 

16. Carla Johnson

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That’s right, I’m including myself on the list. I know it’s a little tacky, but speaking is a passion of mine and I would be honored to speak at your event or to your team. I’ve covered many topics on creativity, innovation, and curiosity, and my goal is to help leaders make creative thinking their competitive advantage with measurable results. 

As the author of 10 books, including the best selling RE:Think Innovation, I’m proud to have worked with teams at brands such as Intel, Amazon, Pfizer, Citi, and Adobe. As the world’s leading Innovation Architect, I help leaders catapult to inspired thinking and leapfrog to bigger outcomes. Click here to book me to speak! or watch me in action, below. 

Unlock your creative potential

These 16 creativity speakers stand out in the world of innovative thinking, each carving their own path and leaving a lasting mark. They challenge, inspire, and redefine the boundaries of what’s possible. Their stories, insights, and legacies prove the power of imagination and the potential of a creative mind. 

Ready to unlock your next great idea? As the world’s leading Innovation Architect, I can help. Read more on my blog page now, or email me today to learn how to nurture creative thinking.

About Carla

Carla Johnson Innovation Creativity Speaker Author

Carla Johnson helps leaders who are often paralyzed by traditional thinking. They suffer from slow growth, an eroding competitive advantage, low employee engagement, and depleted investor confidence. Their teams lack purpose and progress and constantly battle a resistance to change and new ideas.

As the world’s leading innovation architect, Carla’s spent 20 years helping leaders shatter limits and discover undiscovered possibilities. Through years of research, she’s developed a simple, scalable 5-step process that teaches people how to consistently produce inspired ideas that lead to uncommon outcomes.