Keynote Sessions

Change Your Thinking. Unleash Your Creativity. Unleash a Mighty Guffaw...


Opening General Session

Anders Sorman-NilssonDigilogue—Where High Tech Meets High Touch

Thursday, April 18 ~ 9:00-10:30 am


Anders Sorman-Nilsson

We upgrade, exchange and replace our software because we know that old technology, rusty circuitry and limited bandwidth won’t suffice in the future. Yet why are we so reluctant to apply the same upgrades to our thinking? The current rapid pace of change in every industry means we need to be constantly upgrading our personal, organizational and leadership software.

The only way to make these upgrades is to understand how oncoming trends are likely to affect your organization, so you can act swiftly when the next tidal wave of information hits. How would your company be different if your staff were inspired about change, rather than paralyzed by it? Anders Sorman-Nilsson is here to help.

A reformed lawyer, and the founder and creative director of the Sydney and Stockholm based research company—Thinque, Sorman-Nilsson helps teams and leaders navigate a constantly changing business landscape. His unique global perspectives have been assisting business owners in the USA, Europe, Asia and Australia make sense of and harness disruptive trends in innovations, generations and communications. His misfit insights have recently been manifested in his book Thinque Funky: Upgrade Your Thinking and endorsed by AFR Boss Magazine, Wired (UK) and Monocle.

His clients include Apple, MTV, Johnson & Johnson and Eli Lilly.

Sponsored by American Business Media Agri Council


Second General Session Josh Linkner

Unleashing Creativity

Thursday, April 18 ~ 11:00 am-12:30 pm


Josh Linkner

What’s the riskiest move a company can make today? Doing the same-old same-old. Hugging the status quo. In a world economy that can flip in a nanosecond, thinking that the future will follow the past is the fast road to obsolescence. What’s the antidote? Igniting your company’s creativity.

Josh jolts organizations and people worldwide, helping them recharge their creativity to
reawaken companies and careers. A New York Times bestselling author, successful four-time entrepreneur, venture capitalist and well-respected jazz musician, Josh bridges the gap between the arts and business to help audiences maximize their creative potential.

Josh is the New York Times bestselling author of Disciplined Dreaming: A Proven System to Drive Breakthrough Creativity, named one of the top 10 business books of 2011. He is also the CEO and Managing Partner of Detroit Venture Partners.

Together with business partners Earvin “Magic” Johnson and NBA team owner Dan Gilbert, Josh is actively rebuilding urban areas through technology and entrepreneurship.

As the Founder, Chairman and former CEO of ePrize, Josh led the largest interactive promotion agency in the world, providing digital marketing services for 74 of the top 100 brands.

Prior to ePrize, Josh was the founder and CEO of three other successful technology companies. He has been honored as the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year and is a President Barack Obama Champion of Change award recipient. Josh is a regular columnist for Fast Company and Inc. Magazine, and his work has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, USA Today and the New York Times.

Sponsored by Syngenta


Damian MasonClosing General Session

Humor for the Heart of Agriculture

Friday, April 19 ~ 10:30 am-12:00 Noon


Damian Mason

With an unabashed passion for the agriculture industry, Damian Mason will send you on your way with a smile on your face. Mason is a professional comedian, author and entertainer with a degree in Agricultural Economics and improvisation experience gained at the prestigious Second City Training Center in Chicago—the training ground of many
Saturday Night Live stars.

Growing up on a dairy farm provided plenty of material, and he has an optimistic message for everyone who earns their living in agriculture.

Mason’s comedy is relevant, funny and uplifting. His stories and witty observations get right to the heart of American agriculture—the people.

Long before Damian enjoyed professional success in business or on the speaking circuit, he was a farm boy. At age 8 he had his first job, bottle-feeding calves on the Indiana dairy farm where he was raised. Like many children of agriculture, he was involved in FFA and was a 10-year 4-H member.

Since 1994, he’s made over 1,400 appearances, entertaining crowds in 50 states and seven foreign countries.

Damian is a member of the National Speakers Association, the Screen Actors Guild and the Indiana Farm Bureau. He and his wife Lori live (and work!) on a 200-acre beef, grain and timber farm in Huntington, Indiana.

Sponsored by Beef Checkoff Program and Elanco Animal Health