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The Science of Taking Action

After studying with psychologists, sociologists, neuroscientists, and drill sergeants, I shared at TEDxCarthage what sparks people to act or holds people back from taking action.

> Talk from TEDxCarthage


driving corporate grassroots innovation

Starting a grassroots community of innovators in a big company isn't easy. How can one go about doing it?

Talk from Inspire 925


how tedx can change a workplace

What is the potential impact of TEDx on driving corporate culture? How can it start a movement?

> Talk from TED



I was asked to speak at TEDxCarthage in Tunisia and TEDxVilnius in Lithuania to discuss the complex topic of borders.

> Talk from TEDxCarthage

Talk from TEDxVilnius

event hosting

I have hosted more than three dozen events around the world, from TEDxYouth@SantaMonica to BioTech Summits to the Front End of Innovation conference.

do's and don'ts for co-creation

The Milwaukee Business & Marketing Association asked me to speak about co-creation. Naturally, I co-created the talk on the back of a napkin.

> Talk from BMAMKE


design thinking & Action

As a leader at Stanford University's d.school bootcamps and co-founder of Action Surge, I do a lot of group facilitation for idea generation and action.

> Action Surge

Teaching & talk development

I have coached hundreds of speakers to develop effective, resonant talks. I currently have more than 5,000 students in my online Udemy course.

> Udemy Course: Presentation Skills Secrets

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executive coaching & panel moderating

I'm pictured here moderating a session with the Chairman & CEO of Johnson & Johnson, Alex Gorsky, discussing innovation.



I delivered the Commencement Speech at Penn State University in Spring 2017, ushering the graduates into a world of action!

> Commencement Speech


In this keynote, I share more of the science behind action, and help people to determine how they can take action on every idea, every time.

> Talk from Startup Week

Authentic, Resonant communication

What do leaders and marketers get wrong when they insist on scripted shouting vs. unbuttoned wonder? 

Talk from State of State

community instigation



I've created an adult summer camp to serve as a community for people who take action on ideas, and help them take even more action.

> Video

> Medium Article

Free problem solving

At SXSW 2013, a group of friends and I created a pop-up "Free Problem Solving" stand where we solved people's problems. It went viral.

> Storify


I started TEDxPSU which has driven conversation for the last seven years, and resulted in talks totaling more than 3 million views.

> Popular Talks: Sam Richards, Ali Carr-Chellman

> Article: Founding A Tradition

calorie Cloud

As part of a large community event, I led an initiative to have 1,500 people "donate" their calories, then led on-the-ground work in Rwanda, Ethiopia, South Sudan, and D.R. Congo.

> Video


I co-founded a social tech venture called WishVast, focused on quantifying social capital and facilitating trust among farmers and ad-hoc laborers in sub-Saharan Africa.

> The WishVast Venture

The gauntlet

As part of an effort to encourage people to take action on ideas, I served as Executive Producer for a show that gave people feedback on how to further advance their ideas.

> Promo Video


neighborhood watch idea protection

In an effort to try to create a nurturing culture where people embrace and support new ideas, we defined the "villain" that kills ideas, and set up a "Neighborhood Watch" to facilitate supportive behavior.

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I started the first global corporate TEDx program, and grew it into a community of more than 23,000 people. We received many accolades for this work.

> Documentary Video

> Serious Play (Case Study Doc)


organizational first-aid kits

Often leaders don't know the first step to take to "drive a culture of innovation" so we created Organizational First-Aid kits that included materials to walk them through the journey of how to start a transformation.

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council for hope & healing

In 2012, I led an art-contest-turned-non-profit focus on bringing together the State College, PA community to drive awareness of and support for victims of sexual violence.

> Council for Hope & Healing Website


the future waits for no one provocation

Sometimes the first step to compel a community to act is to provoke people and get them to take a step back and re-orient their mind. This provocation piece was for that purpose.


culture carriers program

In order to drive cultural change in a large organization, often one of the best ways is to find people who are carriers of the target state culture and amplify and support their abilities to up-skill others. This program makes that happen.

silly projects


The mongol rally

I traveled 20,000km across 23 countries and 3 breakaway states in a 1992 Fiat Panda with a 750 CC engine.

> Two Guys and an X Blog

> Two Guys and an X Video

independence day #willnotvanish

To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the film Independence Day, I put together a video of myself giving the President's iconic speech around the world.

> Video


jurassic park car

For a year, I owned a replica Jurassic Park Ford Explorer and took it on various adventures, all of which are chronicled in its Twitter account.

> @Jurassic_Car



A group of friends and I wrote a script for a pilot for a sitcom. We spent a weekend filming this trailer to bring the concept to life.

> Trailer

Thanksgiving table bingo

Every Thanksgiving, I release a bingo card of the conversation topics that no one wants to talk about at the Thanksgiving table, but inevitably are brought up.

> Bingo Card


national day calendar bad ideas committee

I serve as co-chair of the "Bad Ideas Committee" for National Day Calendar. Celebrate every day!

National Day Calendar