Opening Keynote Speaker

Thursday, September 29, 8:30 - 10:00 a.m.

​Frans Johansson, Best-selling author

An author, entrepreneur, and internationally acclaimed speaker, Frans Johansson is the definitive authority on how diversity drives innovation and creativity. His debut book, The Medici Effect, introduced the concept of intersectional innovation, earning praise from BusinessWeek as one of the "Best Books on Innovation" and from innovation legend Clayton Christensen as "one of the most insightful books on managing innovation." His follow up, The Click Moment, named one of the top 10 best business books of the year by Fast Company, rewrote the rules of success with a blueprint that harnesses serendipity to stand apart.

As a thought leader, Frans has advised executive leadership from some of the world's largest companies such as American Express, IBM, MetLife, Microsoft, Starwood Hotels and Resorts and Volvo. He has worked with startups, venture capital firms, government agencies, and universities around the world, and sits on the Diversity and Inclusion Council at Novartis AG. A frequent commentator on diversity, innovation and creativity, Frans has been featured on ABC, CNN, CNBC, and National Public Radio. The ideas in his books have echoed around the world, growing in impact in areas such as urban, regional, and economic development; education and training; creativity; and entrepreneurship.

Frans is the founder and CEO of The Medici Group, a strategy and innovation consulting firm. Based on the ideas in his books, The Medici Group's approach redefines unpredictability as opportunity, diversity as profit, and execution as strategy for clients. The firm has worked with over 1,000 teams around the world to use diversity and unpredictability to develop creative ideas and transforming them into game changing initiatives for their organization.

Raised in Sweden by his African-American/Cherokee mother and Swedish father, Frans has lived all his life at the intersection. He has written articles on healthcare, information technology, and the science of sport fishing. He has founded a software company, an international healthcare firm, and a hedge fund. Frans holds a B.S. in Environmental Science from Brown University and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.

Frans was interviewed for the July/August 2016 issue of Civil Engineering magazine. Read the "7 Questions" article (PDF)

Closing General Session & Luncheon

Saturday, October 1, 11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.

gabie-figueroa-headshot.jpg​Gabie Figueroa, Civil engineer and NWHL player

Gabie Figueroa graduated from Princeton University in 2014, earning a degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering with a structural focus. She lives in NYC and is an associate with DNA Development - a privately held, vertically integrated real estate investment and development company focused on ground-up development, value-add repositioning opportunities and adaptive re-use conversions. Prior to beginning work with DNA, she worked in construction management with Gilbane Building Company as a Project Engineer. This past year, while working full-time, she played professional ice hockey for the New York Riveters in the inaugural season of the National Women’s Hockey League (NWHL), the first paid professional women’s ice hockey league. Her hockey and building careers collided when she worked with Gilbane on the pre-construction phase of the Kingsbridge National Ice Center project. The project involved repurposing the Kingsbridge Armory located in the Bronx, NY, into the world’s largest ice rink complex with 9 ice rinks.


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