Track: Optimize You


Day of week:

How can you maximize your impact as an engineer, as a leader, and as a person? Too frequently we don't realize that the things which limit our ability to grow technically or organizationally are often not themselves technical or organizational. It's usually not about mastering one more language idiom or learning one more new framework; it's almost always about bringing more energy, purpose, and focus to our work. It's not about working harder; it's about working smarter.

This track explores the critical personal force-multipliers that can help us all to Optimize Ourselves: mindfulness and meditation, communicating simply and effectively, empathy and emotional intelligence, overcoming overwhelm, etc. From topical experts to engineers speaking from personal experience, you will hear practical ways to achieve and maintain your edge.

Track Host:
Yingzhao Liu
Design Director, International @LinkedIn
Yingzhao is product design director for international markets at LinkedIn, as well as an experiential educator and facilitator on topics of communication and transformation. She is also a resident and board member at Jikoji Zen Center, in the hills close to the heart of Silicon Valley. Yingzhao is native to mainland China, has traveled to 30 countries, always finding inspiration in people's relationship with the environment they live in--their creativity and spirituality in everyday life.
10:35am - 11:25am

by Prakash Raman
Executive development @LinkedIn

We live in a world of constant change, where advances in technology have vastly benefited people around the world. This constant change has fundamentally changed the way people live, and has also created a paradoxical world. On the one hand, people are looking to be more successful and productive. One the other hand people want to feel less stressed, calmer and more energized, and more focused.

How do we solve for this paradox? One way to help drive more focus, get more done in less...

11:50am - 12:40pm

by Ronit Avni
Social Entrepreneur & Media Strategist

The success of any company hinges on its people. Effective leaders must persuade, inspire and enlist others to join them on a regular basis. Whether pitching to investors or speaking with colleagues in a more informal setting, an individual’s ability to influence others stems from a combination of confidence, passion, and emotional intelligence.

This 50-minute session will cover a range of concepts and skills critical to understanding the connection between leadership and presence,...

1:40pm - 2:30pm

by Vivienne Ming
Founder/Executive Chair @SocosLearning, Theoretical Neuroscientist, & previous Chief Scientist @Gilt

Ever-improving AI and stubbornly resistant systemic bias is quickly turning human capital into a toxic asset. Problem-solvers take a lifetime to "build", but technological change is outpacing the social and economic institutions entrusted with their future. Applying insights and algorithms from theoretical neuroscience, economics, and psychology to massive datasets, Dr. Vivienne Ming challenges ideas about bias and human potential in education and the workplace. Her research and tools...

2:55pm - 3:45pm

by Mitch Shepard
Leadership Development Expert, Founder of a Program for Female Leaders

Conventional advice on how to best manage people rarely addresses gender differences. Talking directly about gender in the workplace, and adjusting your management approach accordingly, can be tricky business. After all, aren’t we all supposed to be the same?

While men and women are equally capable as leaders, the latest brain science has shed new light on 7 distinct regions of the brain that differ between men and women. This hard-wiring has important implications for how we think,...

4:10pm - 5:00pm

by Ted DesMaisons
Founder and Principal Anima Learning

by Lisa Rowland
Lecturer @Stanford & Communication/Presence Coach with @Facebook, @Google, @JetBlue, & @Oracle Clients

You put in long hours to make your projects smoothly effective - working to find the cleanest code, the most elegant fix, or the best path to the desired outcome. But sometimes it’s hard to know who to get such results for ourselves rather than just for our products.

This session gives you a hands-on experience with the tools and mindsets of improvisation so you can rewire your own circuitry and open up new capabilities in the way you interact with your work, your partners, and the...

5:25pm - 6:15pm

by Angella Okawa
Psychotherapist & Integral Coach with a Design/Tech Background

by Kai Mantsch
Co-founder @DenkaiPeopleworks

Individuals cannot grow and companies cannot thrive when hard truths are hidden. Success is only possible when we engage tough problems and realities rather than avoid them. But difficult conversations are daunting and the stakes are often high. If not heard, those who generously give feedback may later withhold important information and hide problems from us. If they feel attacked, those who receive our feedback may carry resentment and refuse to help us in the future.

In just 50...



Monday Nov 7

Tuesday Nov 8

Wednesday Nov 9