Real Leaders

2023 Top 50 Keynote Speakers

Every year Real Leaders lead the way in identifying the world’s Top 50 Keynote Speakers. These are ordinary people who have achieved extraordinary outcomes and redefined our understanding of leadership. They are the Real Leaders of the world.

WORLD’S TOP 50 IN 2023

Keynote Speaker List

Ones to Watch List


Tony Robbins

“The only limit to your impact is your imagination and commitment”

The world’s leading life and business strategist. He has empowered over 50 million people around the world through his audio programs, educational videos, and live seminars.

Tony Robbins is a bestselling author that has been praised for his knack in business by several publications like Accenture, Harvard Business Press, and Fortune Magazine. He gives back through countless  philanthropic ventures. He has worked with 4 U.S. presidents, several top entertainers, athletes, sports teams, and business leaders as an advisor and coach.


Simon Sinek

“If you want to feel happy, do something for yourself. If you want to feel fulfilled, do
something for someone else.”

Unshakable optimist, known for his TEDx talks on the concept of why. He is an inspirational speaker, bestselling author, qualified ethnographer, and have spoken at the UN Global Compact Leaders Summit.

Simon Sinek hosts A Bit of Optimist podcast and is the founder of The Optimist Company. He is also the founder of The Curve, a nonprofit that advocates for police reform in the U.S. He is a member of the RAND Corporation – one of the world’s most esteemed think-tanks and his innovative views on business and leadership have attracted international attention.


Brené Brown

“I don’t have to chase extraordinary moments to find happiness – it’s right in front of me if I’m paying attention and practicing gratitude.”

Research professor, storyteller, and author of 6 #1 New York Times bestsellers. She studies courage, vulnerability and shame, and she has helped countless people on their journeys to self-love.

Brené Brown has written several bestselling self-help books that have been translated into more than 30 languages. She is the host of two award-winning podcasts and she is the first researcher to have filmed a lecture on Netflix. She holds the Huffington Foundation Endowed Chair at the Graduate College of Social Work and she is passionate about helping people discover and embrace their true selves.


Gary Vaynerchuk

“Legacy is greater than currency.”

Known as “Gary Vee,” one of the leading minds on what’s next in culture, relevance and the internet. He is considered one of the most forward thinkers in business – recognizing trends and patterns early to determine how these shifts impact markets and consumer behavior.

Gary Vaynerchuk, is an entrepreneur at heart — he builds businesses – and is a 5x bestseller. He aspires to build “the biggest, baddest empire” while being a good and kind person along the way. He supports several charities and made headlines when he raised $2.3 million on TikTok for the “All-In Challenge” that benefits Meals on Wheels.


Ed Mylett

“When you truly have love in an environment, respect follows.”

The fastest-growing business personality in the history of social media. He is one of the top business leader and peak performance experts in the world. He is passionate about mentoring and coaching.

Ed Mylett hosts the #1 rated business podcast The Ed Mylett Show and the online series Change with Ed Mylett. He is the bestselling author of inspirational books with an online audience of over 3 million followers and donates regularly to a variety of charities.


Jane Goodall

“It isn’t only human beings who have personality, who are capable of rational thought and emotions like joy and sorrow.”

Primatologist and anthropologist who blazed the trail in chimpanzee conservation. She is the world’s foremost expert on chimpanzees and the founder of the Jane Goodall Institute which supports research and runs community-centred conservation and development programmes in Africa.

Jane Goodall, Ph.D. and Dame, is best known for her 60-year study social and family interactions of wild chimpanzees. She is an environmental and animal rights activist and the founder of several chimpanzee preservation and rehabilitation organisations. She is a bold critic of businesses, politicians and world leaders and calls for the abolishment of cruel practices like fox hunting and caging farm animals.


Jay Shetty

“The thing about limitations is that they are only true as long as you believe in them. So, instead of believing in your limitations, start believing in yourself.”

As a former monk he has redefined what success really means to him. Jay is an award winning host, storyteller and content creator whose wisdom has inspired and helped people around the world.

Jay Shetty lives a life of service, impact and passion. He is known for his bestselling book Think Like a Monk and his top-rated podcast On Purpose. He now owns a viral video agency and is one of the most viewed people on the internet globally.


Grant Cardone

“I am going to become great by making everyone 10X greater.”

Named the #1 sales trainer in the world, he works with companies – small to Fortune 500 – to them grow sales by identifying and optimising untapped potential. He is a top entrepreneur, business and sales expert, and New York Times bestselling author.

Grant Cardone is the CEO of Cardone Enterprises and Cardone Capital, and the creator of the 10x Movement and Cardone University. He is a philanthropist and creates mentoring and financial literacy education to at-risk people through his nonprofit Cardone Foundation.


Tim Ferriss

“A person’s success in life can usually be measured by the number of uncomfortable conversations he or she is willing to have.”

Described as “a cross between Jack Welch and a Buddhist monk,” Tim is an entrepreneur, investor, lifestyle guru and bestselling author. He achieved fame with his “4-Hour” self-help book series and has been listed as one of the Fortune’s “40 under 40.”

Tim Ferriss is a former angel investor and advisor to startups. He is the host of The Tim Ferriss Show podcast and is known for his TED talk: “Why you should define your fears instead of your goals.” He serves on the advisory board of educational nonprofit and donates funds for clinical research into psychedelic drugs.


Lewis Howes

“True greatness is not self serving. It means impacting others.”

Passionate mentor who is driven by helping others overcome their personal challenges. He is a 2-
sport all-American, world-record holding athlete, business coach, entrepreneur, New York Times
bestselling author, and has been named one of “5 Internet Guru’s that can Make You Rich.”

Lewis Howes is a former professional football player and plays on the current USA Men’s National Handball Team. He is frequently featured on major media platforms like ESPN, Forbes and Men’s Health, and hosts a topranked podcast The School of Greatness.


Sadie Robertson Huff

“Identity is how you were created, image is what you created.”

A sister and friend to everyone, she lives to inspire and offer spiritual motivation. She is an actress, businesswoman, prominent Christian media personality, and bestselling author.

Sadie Robertson is prominent in the Christian faith community and speaks at major conventions every year. She is passionate about helping people in need and is part of ROMA Boots’ “Giving Poverty The Boot” mission that raises funds for community upliftment.


Iyanla Vanzant

“I stopped being a quiet peacekeeper and started being a loud peacemaker. My anger was good.”

“Great mother” is an inspirational speaker, New Thought spiritual teacher, author, and television personality. She is the founder executive director of the Inner Visions Institute for Spiritual Development where she mentors her students on their spiritual growth and healing journeys.

Iyanla Vanzant hosts the Iyanla: Fix My Life television show and podcast. She is a life coach who have been named to Oprah Winfrey’s SuperSoul100 list of visionaries and influential leaders.


Eric Thomas

“It’s not who you are that holds you back,
it’s who you think you are not.”

Has taken the world by storm with his creative, common-sense approach to living a successful and satisfying professional and personal life. He is a minister, also known as “ET, The Hip Hop Preacher,” famous for his high-energy messages.

Eric Thomas, Ph.D., is the epitome of hustle, drive, determination, and success. Formerly homeless and desperate, he draws from personal experiences to motivate and inspire his followers. He is a consultant, critically acclaimed author and motivational speaker. He is featured on several R&B and Hip-hop tracks and is passionate about educating and guiding people, especially youth, out of hardship.


Guy Kawasaki

“Great companies start because the founders want to change the world, not make a fast buck.”

Silicon Valley venture capitalist, marketing specialist and author. He is the chief evangelist of Canva and is credited for popularising the concept of a “marketing evangelist” in the 80’s when he famously “evangelized” the Apple Macintosh to developers.

Guy Kawasaki is the creator of the Remarkable People podcast and is an executive fellow at UC Berkeley. He cares about animals and serves as a board member on the Peninsula Humane Society nonprofit.


Nick Vujicic

“For every disability you have, you are blessed with
more than enough abilities to overcome your challenges.”

Born with tetra-amelia syndrome – a rare disorder characterised by the absence of all four limbs – Nick is a world-renowned bestselling author and motivational speaker. He is the founder and CEO of Life Without Limbs and the creator of the “Attitude is Altitude” Social Emotional Learning Curriculum.

Nick Vujicic overcame tremendous obstacles from a young age by discovering key principles that helped him realise his potential and become one of the most sought-after speakers in the world. He is an anti-bullying advocate and his witty sense of humour, unshakable faith, and unbelievable story of triumph draw people to him and impact millions every year.


Glennon Doyle

“I stopped being a quiet peacekeeper and started being a loud peacemaker. My anger was good.”

Bestselling author and activist known for her wisdom, bold activism, and captivating storytelling. She runs Together Rising, a nonprofit that supports refugees, immigrant families, and other people in need.

Glennon Doyle hosts the We Can Do Hard Things podcast and her books have helped countless people deal with heartbreak and pain while empowering them along the way. She is an inspiration to women around the world.


John C. Maxwell

“Creating positive change is the best way to test whether a person can lead well… and everyone deserves to be led well.”

Spent the last 40 years inspiring and challenging people from numerous companies – ranging from Fortune 500 to nonprofits and educational institutions – to find and grow their passion. He is a preacher, coach, speaker, and bestselling author who has sold over 24 million copies in 50 languages.

John C. Maxwell founded the Maxwell Leadership foundation which provides free resources to assist in implementing international change. His non-profits gave trained more than 5 million leaders in 180 countries and his passion lies in challenging and motivating others to take action. 


Lynne Twist

“When you take a stand, it actually does shift the whole universe and unexpected, unpredictable things happen.”

Global citizen, philanthropist, teacher, visionary, author. She is an activist for ending world hunger and supports social justice and environmental sustainability. Lynne has raised hundreds of millions of dollars as the Chief Fundraising Officer for the Hunger Project. She is Co-Founder of the Pachamama Alliance.

Lynne Twist has been recognized as a global visionary leader for more than 40 years. From working with Mother Teresa in Calcutta to the refugee camps in Ethiopia and the threatened rainforests of the Amazon, as well as guiding the philanthropy of some of the worlds wealthiest families, Lynne’s on-the- ground work has brought her a deep understanding of people’s relationship with money. Lynne and her husband, Bill, co-founded The Pachamama Alliance — a social profit (nonprofit) organization whose mission is to empower indigenous people of the Amazon rainforest to preserve their lands and culture and, using insights gained from that work, to educate and inspire individuals everywhere to bring forth a thriving, just and sustainable world.


Marie Forleo

“Don’t wait until you find someone. You are someone.”

New York Times bestselling author of advice books like Everything is Figureoutable. A no-BS business woman, the founder of the Marie Forleo International business coaching practice and named by Oprah as “a thought leader for the next generation.”

Marie Forleo is an entrepreneur, business and life-coach and bestselling author. She hosts The Marie Forleo Podcast and the MarieTV YouTube series. She partners with nonprofit foundations like The Malala Fund which fights to end child-marriages – a practice that results in girls being removed from schools prematurely.


Lisa Nichols

“When your clarity meets your conviction and you apply action to the equation, your world will begin to transform before your eyes.”

From a struggling single mom to a millionaire entrepreneur Lisa Nichols’ story has inspired countless men and women. She is one of the most requested motivational speakers as well as a corporate CEO and media personality with an audience of over 80 million people. 

As founder and CEO of Motivating the Masses, Inc., Lisa has used her life experience and inspiring message to transform the lives of individuals and the trajectory of many businesses. Lisa’s nonprofit, Motivating Teen Spirit, has successfully impacted 270,000 teens and supported over 2,500 teen dropouts in returning to school.  Lisa is also the best-selling author of seven books. Her most recent book, Abundance Now.


Trent Shelton

“The only person that has power to put boundaries on your dreams is you.

NFL star turned philanthropist and motivational speaker who has transformed countless lives with his messages of empowerment and self-love. He is the founder of RehabTime, a nonprofit committed to promoting, enabling and supporting change for the better.

Trent Shelton has always been a firm believer in “Life After Sports” and, despite his highly successful professional sports career, he considers founding the Rehab Time Organisation his greatest accolade. He finds his motivation in people and is passionate about transforming lives.


Vishen Lakhiani

“Before we colonize other planets, we need to fix our own.”

Entrepreneur and 3x bestselling author on a mission to raise human consciousness and reinvent education for the masses. He is the founder and CEO of Mindvalley – the no. 1 online transformational platform that continues to help millions – and he’s the host of the top rated Mindvalley podcast.

Vishen Lakhiani has been named one of the top 100 Most Influential Spiritual teachers in 2022 by Watkins’ spiritual 100 List. He is the founder of Mindvalley, the world’s most powerful life transformation platform that now boasts a following of 20 million people across 195 countries. He has three bestselling books, including, The Six Phase Meditation MethodThe Code Of The Extraordinary Mind, and The Buddha and The Badass. He was also named the “Most Strategic Entrepreneur” at the SME & Entrepreneurship Business Awards, and continues to hold household events like A-Fest and Mindvalley University that draw thousands of people all over the world to continue their journey of personal growth.  


Daymond John

“We all have the same 24-hours, but it’s about what you put into those 24-hours that makes a difference.”

Self-made millionaire who changes lives by investing in entrepreneurs that really need the money. He is a cancer-survivor, businessman, bestselling author, and television personality known for his appearance on the reality television series Shark Tank.

Daymond John is a famous investor and the founder of FUBU and The Shark Group. He serves on the Board of Overseers of NFTF, a nonprofit offers business education to people in low-income areas and enables them to become entrepreneurs.


Rich Roll

“The prize never goes to the fastest guy. It goes to the guy who slows down the least. True in endurance sports, and possible even truer in life.”

Vegan ultra-endurance athlete, bestselling author, plant-based nutrition advocate, and inspirational speaker. Over the course of 2 years he turned his life around from severely unhealthy to the picture of healthy living, completing near-impossible triathlon and endurance races.

Rich Roll is famous for completing the EPIC5 CHALLENGE in 2010 – a feat previously considered impossible. He fundraises for Charity: Water that supplies clean water to families in need. He is also the founder of Rich Roll Enterprises LLC., and hosts the Rich Roll Podcast.


Andrew Huberman

“Confidence is understanding how to control your internal real estate regardless of the external environment.

Neuroscientist, and tenured associate professor at the Stanford University School of Medicine. He is an award-winning scholar in the field of medicine and has made numerous contributions to the fields of brain development, brain function and neural plasticity.

Andrew Huberman, Ph.D., is the founder of the Huberman Lab and the host of the top-ranked Huberman Lab Podcast. He has received many accolades for conducting groundbreaking research and developing novel research methodologies.


Greta Thunberg

“When your house is on fire, you don’t sit down and talk. I want people to panic.”

Environmental activist, revolutionary, and the youngest person on our list. She is famous for boldly confronting world leaders, being the catalyst of a series of climate-protests, and her ability to impact her peers has come to be known as the “Greta Effect.”

Greta Thunberg holds the title of the youngest Time Person of the year. At the age of 15 she started a climate change awareness movement by holding signs in front of parliament. She famously sailed in a yacht to the U.S. to attend the 2019 UN Climate Action summit where she went on to confront world leaders with her iconic “how dare you” speech.


Paul Polman

“Leadership is not just about giving energy. It’s unleashing other people’s energy.”

Business leader, campaigner, and co-author of “Net Positive.” He leads the UN Global Compact, is an Ambassador for the Race to Zero, and works to develop our next generation of leaders.

Paul Polman works to accelerate action by business to tackle climate change and inequality. As CEO of Unilever (2009-2019), he demonstrated that business can profit through purpose, delivering shareholder returns of 290% while the company consistently ranked 1st in the world for sustainability. Today he works across a range of organisations to deliver the UN Sustainable Development Goals, which he helped develop.


Rachel Hollis

“Decide that you care more about creating your magic and pushing it out into the world
than you do about how it will be received.”

Bestselling author of the famous Girl, Wash Your Face and Girl, Stop Apologizing books. She is the host of one of the most successful podcasts in the world, RISE, and the founder of The Hollis Company (HoCo).

Rachel Hollis started out as a food blogger where she found her passion for giving people the tools and advice to achieve their full potential. She went on to found her media company, HoCo, which produces content in every kind of media format.


Van Jones

“The unspoken imperative should be this: I want to understand you. And I want you to understand me – whether or not we ever agree.”

Business leader, author, and a leading proponent that business should be a force for good. He pushes for the business-world to tackle climate change and was named “a standout CEO of the past decade” by the Financial Times.

Van Jones is the host of the Van Jones Show and The Redemption Project. He gathered fame during the 2016 presidential campaign as an unscripted truth-teller. He co-founded several nonprofit organisations that focus on advocating for equality and community upliftment.


James Altucher

“Business is just a vehicle for transforming the ideas in your head into something real, something tangible, that actually improves the lives of others.”

National Chess Master, hedge-fund manager, investor, bestselling author and co-founder of over 20 companies. In his free time he performs stand-up comedy at Stand Up NY – which he co-owns.

James Altucher has published over 20 books and writes as a contributor for several publications including The Financial Times and The Wall Street Journal. He hosts The James Altucher Show podcast and offers advice on cryptocurrency investing.


Cristina Mittermeier

“Images and the stories they reveal have the power to create significant systemic change as we realize the urgent need to protect wild places.”

Marine biologist, conservationist, award-winning photographer, author and adventurer. She pioneered the field of conservation photography and is the co-founder SeaLegacy – a non-profit using strategic communications at the intersection of art, science, and conservation to protect and rewild the ocean for the benefit of biodiversity, humanity, and climate within our lifetimes.

Cristina Mittermeier founded the International League of Conservation Photographers that provides a platform to photographers working on environmental issues. She is a National Geographic contributing photographer and continues to be praised with awards yearly for the impact her work has on inspiring and supporting conservation actions. She is a Sony Artisan of Imagery and an ambassador for Rolex’s Perpetual Planet.


Amanda Gorman

“I don’t want to just speak words; I want to
turn them into realities and actions.”

Critically acclaimed poet and activist known for delivering her poem “The Hill We Climb” at the inauguration of U.S. President Joe Biden in 2021. She is the U.S.’s first National Youth Poet Laureate and, in 2021, she was highlighted in the Time100 Next list under the “Phenom” category.

Amanda Gorman overcame a childhood speech impediment and regards it as a driving force behind her advanced writing skills. She is the founder of the One Pen One Page nonprofit youth writing and leadership program and was named on The Root’s “Young Futurists” list.


Turia Pitt

“Some people think that to be strong is to never feel pain. In reality, the strongest
people are the ones who feel it,
understand it, and accept it.”

Bestselling author, digital coach, athlete, and burn-survivor. While competing in a 100km ultra-marathon, she was caught in a grassfire. The journey to recovery was brutal but Turia persisted and is now a walking inspiration.

Turia Pitt is an in-demand motivational
speaker and ambassador for ReSurge
International – a humanitarian organization that provides free reconstructive surgery in developing countries. She raises money through her many trekking adventures and is a living testament that the worst things that
happen to us don’t need to slow us down.


Pete Vargas

“One of the easiest and most reliable ways to build anything – a business, a movement, a brand, even a ministry – comes from speaking on stages.”

Platform expert and super connector. Not only has he worked with some of the world’s top speakers and influencers, he’s also booked over 25,000 stages worldwide and supported his clients in generating tens of millions of dollars in revenue and millions of dollars for charitable causes.

Pete Vargas founded Advance Your Reach, a company with a mission to impact one billion lives through one million states across every sphere of influence. He is most widely regarded for his ability to teach people how to grow their businesses through stages. Having booked over 25,000 stages worldwide–and generated tens of millions of dollars of revenue through those stages, he has becomes known as the platform expert. Pete has worked with legendary speakers including: Grant Cardone, Ed Mylett and Shark Tank’s Daymond John. He’s also shared stages with titans such as Michael Phelps, Tim Tebow and Brendon Burchard.


Carla Harris

“I learned that when you can turn a presentation into a conversation, you have won the battle of converting a client.”

Wall Street veteran, business expert and bestselling author of books on how to achieve business success. She is one of the few black women to rise to the top echelons of Wall Street. She stepped down as Morgan Stanley’s vice chair and now serves as a senior client advisor.

Carla Harris was appointed in 2013 to chair the National Women’s Business Council by President Barack Obama. She is a board-member of the St. Charles Gospelites, the Mark Howell Singers, and the Harvard University’s overseers, and on he board of directors of the Walmart Corporation, Cummins Corporation, and MetLife.


Ben Newman

“When you believe in yourself and consistently drive the right action, the byproduct is winning at a very high level.”

Powerhouse storyteller. Ben was featured in ESPN’s “Rolling with the Tide” for his renowned work with the National Champion Alabama Crimson Tide Football Team.

Ben Newman is considered one of the top mental toughness experts, he has published several books on professional success and how to drive positive life changes. His most recent release is “Uncommon Leadership”. As a speaker and performance coach, he connects purpose and drives accountability for elite companies around the globe. He can be found working with Top Fortune 500 companies, in boardrooms and stages around the world, and with some of the world’s elite sports teams. You can also find him speaking and giving back to the military.


Yassmin Abdel

“You don’t have to do huge crazy things to make a difference.”

Co-Founder of Youth Without Borders, named LinkedIn 2020 #Changemakers and Tiktok 2022 #Teammates, and an award-winning social advocate for transformative justice. Her internationally acclaimed TED talk, What does my headscarf mean to you, has been viewed over 2.5 million times and was chosen as one of TED’s top ten ideas in 2015.

Yasmin Abel-Magied is a mechanical engineer, media presenter and published author that has spent her career focused on the intersections of race, gender and faith. As a proud Sudanese-born Muslim who grew up in Australia, Yasmin has received numerous awards for her advocacy, including: the Young Voltaire Award for Free Speech and Queensland Young Australian of the Year. She co- wrote the sold-out immersive theatre production at Kensington Palace, United Queendom and her critically acclaimed essays have also been published widely, including in the best-selling It’s Not About The Burqa and The New Daughters of Africa.


Dambisa Moyo

“The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago. The second best time is now.”

Economist, bestselling author, and preeminent thinker who influences key decisionmakers in public policy and investments. She is known for her analyses of macroeconomics and global affairs, and her exceptional ability to turn economic insights into investible ideas.

Dambisa Moyo, Ph.D., is a member of the  Bretton Woods Committee and the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Global Economic Imbalances. She is known for boldly criticising economic flaws, shedding
light on injustices, and confronting political evils.


Naomi Osaka

“I don’t feel like I’m being brave. I just feel like I’m doing what I should be doing.”

Professional tennis player, investor and human right activist. She made headlines when she wore face masks with the names of racial violence victims while playing in the US Open tennis tournament and she co-founded the Play Academy that encourages girls to participate and stay in sports.

Naomi Osaka is ranked the #1 singles player by the Women’s Tennis Association and is the first Asian to hold the top rank in singles’ tennis. She is a 4x Grand Slam champion with 2 Australian Open and U.S. Open titles. She is the founder and CEO of Kinlò – a sunscreen brand – and the owner of the North Carolina professional soccer team.


Jenn Lim

“Nurture your greenhouse as you grow others.

CEO, cofounder, international public speaker and bestselling author who teaches businesses how to prioritize purpose and people for growth and impact.

Jenn Lim is a global workplace expert, bestselling author and the CEO and Cofounder of Delivering Happiness (listed on the 2020 Inc. 5000 fastest-growing private companies in America), a company that grows organizations by prioritizing people and purpose with a more profitable and sustainable approach to business. Jenn launched two bestselling books—Delivering Happiness in 2010 and authored Beyond Happiness: How Authentic Leaders Prioritize Purpose and People for Growth and Impact in 2021. Together they’ve sold over a million copies and have been translated into 30+ languages, impacting people and workplaces worldwide. She speaks internationally on the current state of happiness and humanity at work, with “real-talk” and practical how-to frameworks to modernize the way we work. She lives in the Bay Area and can be found starting spontaneous dance parties.


Mike Horn

“The impossible exists only until we find a way to make it possible.”

Celebrated as one of the world’s greatest modern day adventurer-explorers. He embodies the best of the human spirit with his determination and courage, and pushes our understanding of human boundaries with his exceptional feats of endurance.

Mike Horn has an exceptional list of accomplishments racked up over the span of 20+ years of expeditions. He is a survival expert on several television shows and famously completed a year-and-a-half solo journey around the equator without any motorised transport.


Jamie Kern Lima

“While authenticity alone doesn’t automatically guarantee success, inauthenticity guarantees failure.”

Self-made entrepreneur, champion of women, philanthropist, and co-founder of IT Cosmetics. She started her company in her living room and went on to become
L’Oreal’s first female CEO and is on the Forbes Richest Self-Made Women List.

Jamie Kern Lima is an active investor in more than 15 companies and works to turn every “no” into an eventual “yes.” She worked 100+ hours a week until she achieved her dream of making her company successful. She is passionate about inspiring and mentoring entrepreneurs and making a difference in the lives of women and girls.


Jim VandeHei

“The greatest gift you can give yourself and others – in this cluttered world – is their time back and is your time back.”

CEO, Chairman and co-founder of Axios – the leading media company in offering accurate and efficient news coverage on topics that really matter. He is also known as the co-founder and former CEO of Politico – the media company that revolutionised journalism.

Jim VandeHei is a journalist, political expert and entrepreneur who serves on the Pulitzer Prize Board. He has been listed as one of the 100 most powerful “Information Age” thinkers by Vanity Fair and he sets the global standard for quality journalism.


Sonia Nassery Cole

“I don’t want to be equal to a man. I think I have certain strengths that men don’t.”

Former war refugee from Afghanistan, turned humans right activist, turn award-winning filmmaker and author. Sonia is the Founder of the Afghanistan World Foundation and has dedicated her life to improving the living conditions of women and children in Afghanistan and supporting initiatives that help vulnerable groups.

Sonia Nasser Cole embarked on her life-long journey of human rights advocacy as a teen, shortly after fleeing Afghanistan. As a teenage refugee, she wrote a nine-page letter to President Ronald Reagan who in return invited her to the White House and then to testify in front of the Congress. Since then, she has been a permanent fixture in the world of philanthropy. Her leadership and charitable work was recognized with US Congress Recognition Award, UN Women Together Award and a Peace Medal by the UN. In 2013, she received the prestigious Freedom to Write Award by the PEN Center USA.


William McDonough

“If we think about things having multiple lives, cradle to cradle, we could design things that can go back to either nature or back to industry forever.”

Architect who is globally recognized as the leader in sustainable development and design. He is known for pioneering the concept of “Cradle to Cradle Design” – the biomimetic approach to design that views and applies materials as ever-reusable.

William McDonough is an author, consulting professor and innovator who had made great strides in developing restorative and sustainable design practices. He is the Chair of the World Economic Forum’s Meta-Council on Circular Energy and served as a presidential advisor on sustainable development.


Halima Aden

“Always stay true to who you are – barriers can and will be broken!”

The fashion industry’s first hijab-wearing supermodel. She is famous as as the first woman to wear a hijab in the Miss Minnesota USA pageant and advocates for Muslim inclusivity.

Halima Aden is a UNICEF ambassador and her work focusses on children’s rights. She uses the platform she built through her modelling career to advocate for acceptance and to shine a light on ongoing unfair treatments within the fashion industry.


Janet Mock

“Sometimes people try to destroy you, precisely because they recognize your power – not because they don’t see it, but because they see it and don’t want it to exist. “

Film director and producer, magazine editor, bestselling author, and transgender rights activist. She is on the board of directors of the Arcus Foundation – a charity focused on great ape conservation and LGBTQ+ rights.

Janet Mock is credited with starting the Twitter hashtag #Girls LikeUs – a trans feminist tag. In 2019 she became the first trans person to sign a production pact with a major studio when she signed a historic deal with Netflix.


Ritu Bhasin

“When we show up authentically, we invite others to do the same.”

Inclusion and Leadership expert. Belonging advocate. Author of The Authenticity Principle and upcoming We’ve Got This: Unlocking the Beauty of Belonging (6/13/2023). On a mission to disrupt through empowerment.

Ritu is the CEO and Founder of bhasin consulting inc., a global diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) leadership consulting firm founded in 2010 that has worked with hundreds of world-renowned organizations. She is an award-winning DEI expert. Ritu’s mission in life is to help create a more empowered, inclusive, and inspired world by unlocking belonging for all.


Jen Gottlieb

“Start before you’re ready. Don’t prepare, begin.”

Co-founder and Chief Mindset Officer of Super Connector Media – acclaimed PR company. She helps entrepreneurs to connect with the media and helps industry leaders to navigate the ever-evolving mainstream media.

Jen Gottlieb is a former Broadway actress and VH1 host. She uses her first hand experience as an entertainer to help businesses to thrive in that space. She is a sought-after public speaker and makes regular appearances on television talkshows and podcasts.


Pocket Sun

“I invest in the change I want to see in the world.”

A Venture capital investor and advocate for equal opportunities for women in business and minority groups. She Co-Founded SoGal and So-Gal Foundation, a non-profit aimed at funding and training first generation entrepreneurs and providing grants for underserved populations, including: non-binary founders. One of the youngest women ever to be featured on the cover of Forbes Magazine.

Pocket Sun is the Co-founder and Managing Partner at SoGal Ventures, a next-gen early stage venture capital firm backing world-class diverse entrepreneurs outside of Silicon Valley. SoGal has built a track record of picking $1B+ category leaders from seed stage (Everly Health, Function of Beauty, Lovevery), and a powerful network in its core sectors – consumer tech, digital health & wellness, future of work, and sustainability. As a disruptor in VC and advocate for DEI, she is frequently invited for keynotes and panels by Fortune 500 companies and high-profile conferences including the Microsoft CEO Summit. She has been recognized with awards and features including Entrepreneur Magazine 100 Most Powerful Women, Forbes Under 30 in VC, Singapore 100 Women In Tech, LinkedIn Top Voices, and now the Real Leaders Top 50 Keynote Speakers.

Real Leaders brings you its 2023 Summer edition packed full with the most inspiring leadership stories, the world’s top 50 keynote speakers, and solutions to today’s most challenging problems.