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Idea Accelerators

Idea Accelerators are idea and solution energy boosters to help provide additional insights and thought leadership. There are three sessions during each 45-minute time slot. Idea Accelerators run concurrently with the Business Exchange so if you have a break between appointments you can escape here.

All Idea Accelerators are located on the Orchid Terrace.


Navigating Ambiguity

Friday, April 20
11:00–11:45 a.m. 
Event Tent, Orchid Terrace

Dan Klein

Stanford University

Dan Klein teaches 'improvisation' at Stanford University where he is a Lecturer in the Graduate School of Business and the Department of Theater and Performance Studies. He also leads classes at the Hasso Plattner Institute for Design, including a new offering titled Game Design: Making Fun. His workshops are in demand at the Schools of Law, Medicine, and Engineering, and he was recently named Teacher of the Year by the Stanford Students Association. Dan travels around the world delivering leadership communication programs with Stand & Deliver Consulting for organizations like Cisco, Blackrock, Roche, Nestle, Nasdaq OMX, eBay, and LucasFilm.


Surround Sound Communication

Friday, April 20
11:00–11:45 a.m. 
Corporate Tent, Orchid Terrace


Dorothy Jones
Founder & CEO, J Star Marketing
Former CMO, Interstate Batteries and Susan G Komen for the Cure

With 20 years of branding experience at major companies such as Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation and Frito-Lay, Dorothy lead the marketing strategy and internal creative team behind the billion-dollar battery brand, Interstate Batteries, where she oversaw the communication to their distributor network, franchisees, and team members, before founding her own marketing and management consultancy for small businesses. In 2013, Dorothy earned the Non-Profit Mentor of the Year award from Women of Visionary Influence and she currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas.


Where is what matters.

Friday, April 20
11:00 a.m. –11:45 a.m.
Strategic Tent, Orchid Terrace 

Michael Dominguez
Chief Sales Officer
MGM Resorts International

Mike provides executive oversight for the global sales strategies of MGM’s 42,000 hotel rooms and its three million square feet of meeting space (more meeting space found than in all of New York City). In his role Mike leads the company’s industry relations and MGM Resorts Event Productions’ efforts. Among many other achievements, Mike was named one of Meetings Focus’ 2014 Meetings Trendsetters; among the “50 Influentials” in the 2013’s annual list, one of the 25 Most Influential Hispanics in Business in North America by Hispanic Business Magazine; and one of the “25 Most Influential People in the Meetings Industry” by Successful Meetings Magazine.

As the 2017 Location Zone Captain for XDP, and working for an entertainment company like MGM, Mike understands how your event’s location drives the entire experience. Gain insights on how meeting environments, venues, and destination partners can create more stickiness for your meetings and events.


Performance Leadership

Friday, April 20
12:00 p.m. –12:45 p.m
Event Tent, Orchid Terrace

Erica Qualls-Battey
General Manager
Atlanta Marriott Marquis

Prior to Erica’s current role as General Manager, Erica began her career with Marriott International in 1993, holding key positions in various disciplines. Now she is responsible for Marriott International’s fourth largest hotel with a yearly operations budget of $100 million. Erica views her role as Chief Host which includes responsibility over associate engagement, guest satisfaction, owner relations, and giving back to the community, amongst other things. Erica’s numerous awards showcase her performance leadership throughout her career. Those awards include the Atlanta Business League’s prestigious Leadership Award for outstanding volunteerism and listed her as one of Atlanta’s Top 100 Black Women of Influence. She won the Bridge Builder Award by the Atlanta Technical College and the Apex Award by the Travel Professionals of Color National Association. She was named Business to Business Magazine’s Women of Excellence Honoree. Honored as YWCA Woman of Achievement and joined Leadership Atlanta Alumni Class of 2010. She has distinguished herself among the very best in hospitality, named Host Hotels and Resort General Manager of the Year, Marriott International General Manager of the Year, and General Manager of the Year by the Georgia Hotel Lodging Association, and Most Admired CEO presented by the Atlanta Business Chronicle.

Learn from one of the most dynamic leaders in the industry and get energized by her stories and engaging performance leadership style. See how she is commits to leading by example and having fun every day.


Tap Into Your Potential

Friday, April 20
12:00–12:45 p.m. 
Strategic Tent, Orchid Terrace

Siri Lindley
Triathlon coach and world champion.

The author of “Surfacing: From the Depths of Self-Doubt to Winning Big and Living Fearlessly”, Siri is one of the world’s best triathlon coaches and a world champion. Siri dominated the International Triathlon Union (ITU) World Rankings over the course of her career as a pro, winning 13 World Cup races between 2000–2002 and became the 2001 ITU World Champion. With her professional sporting goals achieved, Siri turned to coaching in 2003 and has coached athletes to Olympic medals, and world championship crowns at both the Ironman and half ironman distances. Siri has been inducted into both the Brown University Hall of Fame, her alma mater, and the USA Triathlon Hall of Fame.

Speaker presented by:

Keppler Speakers

Superhero Leadership

Friday, April 20
12:00–12:45 p.m. 
Corporate Tent, Orchid Terrace

Brett Culp

Brett is an acclaimed filmmaker and social entrepreneur whose work has inspired audiences around the world. He is the personal cinematographer for Hollywood stars, music icons, beloved authors, hall of fame athletes, and royal families. His films are featured on Netflix, iTunes, Hulu, and other top digital platforms, as well as media outlets including Entertainment Tonight, USA Today, and WIRED. Rather than thinking as a traditional filmmaker, Brett has developed an expertise for creating 'mini-movements' that bring diverse groups of people into dialogue and inspire the heroic spirit in everyone. With his uplifting, non-profit documentary film “Legends of the Knight”, Brett pioneered a ground-breaking approach to community building and relationship-driven engagement. 

Speaker presented by:

Keppler Speakers

Robots and Humans

Friday, April 20
1:00–1:45 p.m.
Corporate Tent, Orchid Terrace 

Heather Knight, PhD
Social Roboticist

Heather, formerly with NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and sensor design at Aldebaran Robotics, is currently an assistant professor of Robotics at Oregon State University. There, her CHARISMA research group uses methods from entertainment to bootstrap the development of social robots. She also runs Marilyn Monrobot, a robot theater company with comedy performances and an annual Robot Film Festival, featured on TED, an installation at the Smithsonian/Cooper-Hewitt Design Museum, and even a British Video Music Award. She was named to AdWeek's top 100 creatives in 2017 and Forbes List's 30 under 30 in Science in 2011. Heather’s academic background includes a postdoc at Stanford University exploring minimal robots and autonomous car interfaces, a PhD in Robotics at Carnegie Mellon University, and M.S. and B.S. in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at MIT. 


Human Centered Learning Design

Friday, April 20
1:00 and 2:15 p.m
Event Tent, Orchid Terrace

Richard Culatta
International Society for Technology in Education

Richard is a leader in the field of learning innovations. He serves as a senior fellow at NYU’s GovLab and as a design resident for the San Francisco-based innovation and design firm, IDEO.  He has worked in K-12, higher education, and workplace learning settings. Prior to joining the ITSE leadership team in Rhode Island, he served as the Executive Director of the Office of Educational Technology for the U.S. Department of Education where he focused on leveraging new technologies and data to create personalized learning experiences. Richard also served as the Chief Technology Officer for the CIA University and as a policy advisor in the U.S. Senate. Prior to joining the federal government, Culatta worked for Brigham Young University where he was instrumental in designing the university's online learning program. 


Using Space to Curate Positive Emotions

Friday, April 20
1:00 p.m. and 2:15 p.m. 
Strategic Tent, Orchid Terrace

Tom Condon
Creative Director
Steelcase Event Experiences

Tom holds an Interior Design degree from Michigan State University and is an award-winning interior designer and artist. Tom specializes in designing tradeshows, conferences, and showrooms. Building upon insights gained from these projects, and 25 years of design experience, Tom aims to unveil beauty that communicates a message, enhances a vision, and improves the experience. Combining simplicity, craftsmanship, and creative-partnerships, designs are able to move beyond the ordinary to achieve greatness.

Tom’s role at Steelcase is one of both education and design. As curators of exceptional spatial experiences, his expertise is in showing how different spaces can elicit different emotions.

Tom will share how space can help create or enhance various emotions, like awe, delight, happiness, and excitement! “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it and how it makes them feel!” Great food for thought will be shared to help you create great experiences at your events.


Building Your Brand, Telling Your Story, Protecting Your House

Friday, April 20
2:15–3:00 p.m.
Corporate Tent, Orchid Terrace 

Steve Battista
Branding Expert and Storyteller
Former SVP of Brand for Under Armour

From sports business category underdog to athletic apparel disruptor, CLIO award-winning branding expert Steve Battista reflects on lessons learned from Under Armour’s storied growth (small t-shirt company grew to $5 Billion in global sales, he was the 19th employee) and helping launch other start-ups to offer actionable insights on growing your brand, constantly innovating and successfully connecting with consumers in the digital age. In 2018, Steve co-founded the brand Revtown, an online clothier featuring premium denim for a fraction of the cost of designer jeans. 

His topic, “Building Your Brand, Telling Your Story, Protecting Your House” details how to build and protect a brand through emotional campaigns, amazing brand experiences, genuine product placement, savvy digital marketing … and how you can apply these strategies to build your brand and tell your story.

Speaker presented by:

Keppler Speakers

More Faculty

In addition to Idea Accelerators, the XDP faculty includes your Host and Zone Captains, Pop-Up Talks, and about 200 volunteer Team Leaders.