Meet the Keynote Speakers for the Global Scrum Gathering 2023 Portland + Beyond

A green graphic showing the portraits of the 2023 keynote speakers for the Global Scrum Gathering in Portland

With the Global Scrum Gathering in Portland ahead of us, Scrum Alliance is thrilled to introduce the two keynote speakers for the event. 

The Gathering speakers set the tone for the entire event by inspiring and motivating us, and centering the moment in time as our unique journeys converge for a few days into one shared Gathering. They share insights from their years of experience as changemakers transforming how people work across the globe. Don’t miss this chance to see Natalie Nixon, Ph.D., and Erik Weihenmayer, whether you join us in Portland or virtually. 

Watch recorded sessions from PDX

Natalie Nixon - Ph.D., Creativity Whisperer to the C-Suite

Natalie Nixon, Ph.D., is "the creativity whisperer to the C-Suite.” She is a creativity strategist who advises leaders on achieving transformative business results by applying wonder and rigor. She is a highly sought-after global keynote speaker, valued for her accessible expertise on creativity, the future of work, and innovation. 

Natalie was selected for Real Leaders' "Top 50 Keynote Speakers in the World for 2022" list; and has been featured in Forbes, Fast Company, and INC. She is the author of the award-winning The Creativity Leap - an honoree in the creativity category of Fast Company's 2021 World Changing Ideas Awards. Her firm, Figure 8 Thinking, was named among the top 20 women-led innovation firms in 2021 by Core 77. In 2022, LinkedIn launched Natalie’s course “Lead with Inquiry, Improvisation & Intuition.” Clients have included Microsoft, Salesforce, Comcast, Citrix, Morrison & Foerster, Living Cities, VaynerMedia, and Bloomberg. 

A hybrid thinker, Natalie consistently applies her background in cultural anthropology, fashion, design thinking, and dance. She is an early-stage investor at two social impact ventures, valued for her ability to work at the intersection of commercial value and stakeholder equity. 

Natalie is a trustee of the Smithsonian's Cooper Hewitt Design Museum; Vassar College; and Leadership+Design. She has lived in Germany, Brazil, Portugal, Israel, and Sri Lanka and is proficient in Portuguese and Spanish. She is certified as a Foresight Practitioner by the Institute for the Future. She received her BA (honors) from Vassar College and her Ph.D. from the University of Westminster in London. 

When she's not dancing up a storm in hip-hop class, Natalie is fine-tuning her salsa, foxtrot, and tango on the ballroom floor. She lives in her hometown of Philadelphia with her husband, John Nixon, and is the proud stepmother of Sydney.

Erik Weihenmayer - Athlete, Author, Adventurer

Despite losing his vision at the age of 14, Erik Weihenmayer has become one of the most celebrated and accomplished athletes in the world. Re-defining what it means to be blind, Erik has opened up the eyes and minds of people around the world. In 2001, Erik became the first blind climber in history to reach the summit of Mount Everest. In 2008, he completed his quest to climb the Seven Summits – the tallest peak on each of the seven continents. An article in Time Magazine stated, “There is no way to put what Erik has done in perspective because no one has ever done anything like it. It is a unique achievement, one that in the truest sense, pushes the limits of what man is capable.” 

Erik continues to seek out new adventures, having led expeditions around the world with veterans injured in war, blind Tibetan teenagers ostracized by their communities, and others who struggle against significant obstacles. And along the way, a new vision emerged – to help ignite in others a No Barriers Mindset, the ability to turn into the storm and reach for nearly impossible goals. No Barriers has now grown into a powerful movement that has inspired thousands of people to break through personal barriers and elevate their lives and the world. 

To promote the No Barriers message, Erik kayaked the entire 277-mile length of the Grand Canyon along with blinded Navy veteran, Lonnie Bedwell. Through their journey, Erik and Lonnie encouraged thousands of followers to take the No Barriers Pledge, a commitment statement to live a No Barriers Life.

Erik is the author of the best selling memoir, Touch the Top of the World, which was made into a feature film, as well as The Adversity Advantage, which shows readers how to turn everyday struggles into everyday greatness. Erik’s latest book is No Barriers. Kevin Fedarko, New York Times bestselling author of The Emerald Mile, says, “No Barriers offers a shining testament to the truth that within the pockets of turbulence – the places where chaos reigns greatest – discovery, wisdom, and growth await.”

Haven’t Registered Yet?

The Global Scrum Gathering this May has so much in store. In addition to the keynote speeches, we’ll have more than 60 educational speaker sessions covering a wide variety of agile and scrum topics. Whether you’re new to agility or have been on this path for years, there’s always something inspirational, valuable, and innovative to take away from a Gathering. Virtual and in-person tickets are available.

PDX attendee? Click here to watch recorded sessions

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