Perspectives 21 - Unleashed
A free, two-day virtual experience to tackle
corporate learning and skills transformations
September 22-23, 2021
Our Perspectives 2021 speakers
Vice President of Fitness Programming and Head Instructor at Peloton, Best-Selling Author, and Ultramarathon Runner
New York Times best-selling author of Shut Up And Run, Robin discovered her passion for athletics after healing from a traumatic experience through movement. She fearlessly left behind a successful law career to embark on new adventures in the health and wellness space, and has since reinvented herself into an avid ultra-marathoner and renowned fitness coach. Greatness is simply the lens through which she operates. As Vice President of Fitness Programming and Head Instructor at Peloton, she believes that sweat transforms lives, and her story is living proof. Her life’s mission is to redefine, reform, and rethink possibility through movement.
Robin's unapologetic and inspirational ethos has led her to become a sought-after keynote speaker for several Fortune 500 company events. She successfully partners with major lifestyle and fitness brands, using her powerful influence to connect directly with consumers through social media. In 2020, she was named one of the most influential people on Fortune Magazine’s "40 Under 40" list.
Robin graduated magna cum laude from New York University and Villanova University School of Law. She is a RRCA certified running coach, NASM certified personal trainer, and Schwinn spin instructor.
NBA Hall of Famer, 15-Time NBA All Star Player, Entrepreneur, Philanthropist
Few individuals ever become iconic enough to be known by one name—Shaq. A revered cultural icon, Shaquille O’Neal is best known for an NBA career spanning nearly two decades and earning him the sport’s highest honors, including membership in the NBA Hall of Fame. The four-time NBA Champion, 15-time NBA All Star and three-time NBA Finals MVP has been named one of the most influential athletes byForbes magazine, in addition to being the highest ranked NBA athlete on Nielsen’s State of the Media: Year in Sports 2010 and Business Week’s Power Sports 100.
But Shaquille O’Neal isn’t only a legendary athlete; he has also established himself as a powerful media personality and businessman over the years. Ranked among ‘‘The 100 Most Creative People in Business’’ last year by Fast Company magazine, O’Neal is currently an NBA analyst on TNT’s Emmy-award winning show, Inside the NBA on TNT.
In addition to being an early investor in companies such as Google, O’Neal has managed an increasingly robust personal brand, which has included television shows, a shoe line and social media/tech products. The first verified celebrity account on Twitter, O’Neal announced his NBA retirement via Tout, a new social media app that allows users to tape 15-second video statuses.
Harvard Business Review author and Duke University Fuqua School of Business executive education professor
Dorie Clark has been named one of the Top 50 business thinkers in the world by Thinkers50, and was recognized as the #1 Communication Coach in the world by the Marshall Goldsmith Leading Global Coaches Awards. Clark, a consultant and keynote speaker, teaches executive education at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business and Columbia Business School.
Recognized as a “branding expert” by the Associated Press, Fortune, and Inc. magazine, she is the author of Entrepreneurial You (Harvard Business Review Press,), Reinventing You, and Stand Out, which was named the #1 Leadership Book of 2015 by Inc. magazine and one of the Top 10 Business Books of the Year by Forbes. It was also a Washington Post bestseller. Her books have been translated into Russian, Chinese, Arabic, French, Polish, Korean, Spanish, Italian, Vietnamese, and Thai.
Clark, whom the New York Times described as an “expert at self-reinvention and helping others make changes in their lives,” is a frequent contributor to the Harvard Business Review. She consults and speaks for a diverse range of clients, including Google, the World Bank, Microsoft, Morgan Stanley, the Ford Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and Yale University.
A former presidential campaign spokeswoman, Clark has also taught for Spain’s IE Business School, HEC-Paris, Babson College, Smith College Executive Education, UNC’s Kenan-Flagler School of Business, and more.
She has guest lectured at universities including Harvard Business School, the Harvard Kennedy School, Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business, the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business, the University of California-Berkeley’s Haas School of Business, Georgetown, NYU, the MIT Sloan School of Management, and the University of Michigan.
Her work has been published in the Harvard Business Review Guide to Getting the Right Job and the Harvard Business Review Guide to Networking, and she is quoted frequently in the worldwide media, including NPR, the BBC, and MSNBC. She has been a regular commentator on Canada’s CTV and was named one of Inc. magazine’s “100 Great Leadership Speakers for Your Next Conference.”
A former New England Press Association award-winning journalist, Clark directed the environmental documentary film The Work of 1000, and was a producer for a multiple-Grammy-winning jazz album. She is a Broadway investor, as well as a participant in BMI’s Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop, widely considered the premiere training ground for musical theater lyricists and composers.
At age 14, Clark entered Mary Baldwin College’s Program for the Exceptionally Gifted. At 18, she graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Smith College, and two years later received a Master of Theological Studies from Harvard Divinity School. You can download her Entrepreneurial You self-assessment at dorieclark.com/entrepreneur.
Global Research Analyst and CEO of The Josh Bersin Company
Josh Bersin founded Bersin & Associates in 2001 to provide research and advisory services focused on corporate learning. He expanded the company’s coverage to encompass HR, talent management, talent acquisition, and leadership and became a recognized expert in the talent market. Bersin sold the company to Deloitte in 2012 and was a partner in Bersin by Deloitte up until 2018.
In 2019, Bersin founded the Josh Bersin Academy, a professional development academy which has become the “home for HR.” In 2020, he put together a team of analysts and advisors who are now working with him to support and guide HR organizations from around the world under the umbrella of The Josh Bersin Company. Recently published research covers topics such as hybrid work, HR technology market trends, employee experience, and diversity, equity, and inclusion. He is frequently featured in publications such as Forbes, Harvard Business Review, HR Executive, The Wall Street Journal, and CLO Magazine. He is a popular blogger and has more than 800,000 followers on LinkedIn.
Special Advisor, United Nations World Food Programme (WFP)
Elizabeth Nyamayaro is an award-winning humanitarian and Special Advisor for United Nations World Food Programme. Born in Zimbabwe, Elizabeth has worked at the forefront of global development for over two decades improving the lives of underserved populations and has been instrumental in fighting global inequalities, advancing social justice, and challenging the status quo to accelerate women’s rights around the world – through her leadership roles at the World Bank, World Health Organization, UNAIDS, and UN Women. Elizabeth wrote a memoir about her life and experiences, I Am A Girl From Africa.
Chief Marketing Officer, Skillsoft
As Chief Marketing Officer, Michelle is responsible for the leading global marketing strategy for the Skillsoft group of companies, focused on driving growth, generating brand awareness and increasing demand for Skillsoft’s solutions among learners, customers and partners. Since joining the company in 2019, she has overseen customer marketing, corporate communications, demand generation, marketing operations and business development.
Michelle brings more than 25 years of marketing, branding and strategy experience to her role. Prior to Skillsoft, she held several executive positions of increasing responsibility in the high-tech sector, including as Chief Marketing Officer of IBM Watson, where she was responsible for marketing the company's artificial intelligence (AI) products and solutions. Michelle also served as the Global Head of Marketing for The Weather Company, an IBM Business, where she helped companies understand how to anticipate, plan for and ultimately make better decisions – with greater confidence - in the face of weather.
Michelle holds a Master's of Science from Simmons University.
Chief Content Officer, Skillsoft
Since becoming Chief Content Officer in 2018, Mark has been responsible for leading all aspects of Skillsoft’s content catalogue, including strategic direction, roadmap and development.
Mark previously served SVP of Skillsoft Books, successfully launching the company’s book summary product, increasing the audiobook collection by more than 60% and creating the largest collection of audiobooks in the corporate learning market. Prior to Skillsoft Books, Mark led Skillsoft’s strategic business development, where he worked on cross-functional projects and services teams to deliver integrated learning experiences with key clients.
Mark became Skillsoft’s VP, Content Production after the company acquired Element K in 2011. His career with Element K spanned 15 years, where he was responsible for product strategy, content development and operational execution.
Mark holds an MBA from the Rochester Institute of Technology and Bachelors of Science in Finance and Economics from State University of New York, College at Brockport.
Apratim Purakayastha (AP)
Chief Technology Officer, Skillsoft
As Skillsoft’s Chief Technology Officer, AP is responsible for engineering, product management, cloud operations and IT across all products in the Skillsoft group of companies, a role he has held since 2016.
AP has extensive experience supporting rapidly growing technology companies, including as General Manager and SVP of SaaS at SevOne, where he was responsible for the on-demand / SaaS business segment. He previously served as Group President at ACI Worldwide and as Director of Software at IBM.
AP holds a Ph.D. in Computer Science from Duke University, Masters of Science in Computer Science from Washington State University and a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from Jadavpur University in India.
David Meerman Scott
Bestselling Author, Marketing Strategist, Entrepreneur, Investor and Advisor to emerging companies
David Meerman Scott spotted the real-time marketing revolution in its infancy and wrote five books about it including The New Rules of Marketing and PR, now in a 7th edition, with more than 400,000 copies sold in English and available in 29 languages from Albanian to Vietnamese.
Now David says the pendulum has swung too far in the direction of superficial online communications. Tech-weary and bot-wary people are hungry for true human connection. Organizations have learned to win by developing what David calls a “Fanocracy” - (the subject of his Wall Street Journal bestseller) - tapping into the mindset that relationships with customers are more important than the products they sell to them.
He is a massive live music fan, having been to 804 live shows since he was 15 years old, is passionate about the Apollo lunar program, and he loves to surf but isn't very good at it.
Chief Revenue Officer, Skillsoft
A global technology executive with extensive strategy and growth experience, Eric joined Skillsoft as Chief Revenue Officer in 2021.
He previously served as Chief of Staff for the President of Global Sales, Services and Customer Engagement at SAP, where he supported global go-to-market strategy and operations. Prior to that, he was Chief Revenue Officer at Qualtrics and Chief Innovation Officer for SAP America.
Earlier in his career, Eric held positions of increasing seniority at SAP, Ciber, Virtustream and Blackboard.
Eric is a member of the Dean’s Advisory Board at Boston University School of Law and founder of the Eric & Neil Stine-Markman Scholarship, the first permanent endowment to dedicate scholarship funds to the LGBTQ+ community. He also plays active board and fundraising roles for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, Yale Pediatrics and Northwestern University.
Eric holds a Juris Doctorate from the Boston University School of Law and Bachelors of Arts in Political Science and History from Northwestern University.
Chief Executive Officer, Skillsoft
Jeff Tarr is Chief Executive Officer of Skillsoft and brings a successful track record of building tech-enabled services companies into trusted industry leaders.
Over the last two decades, he has built three publicly traded, tech-enabled information companies into industry leaders. He previously served as Chief Executive Officer and a director of DigitalGlobe, the world leader in satellite imagery and geospatial intelligence, from 2011 until the sale of the company to MDA (now Maxar Technologies) in 2017. Subsequently, Jeff served as an advisor to TPG, other leading private equity firms and corporate clients. From June through October 2019, he served as Chief Executive Officer of Solera Holdings. Prior to DigitalGlobe, Jeff was President and Chief Operating Officer of IHS (now IHS Markit) and Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the publicly-traded business information company, Hoover’s, Inc. (now a division of D&B). He began his career with Bain & Company.
Jeff currently serves on the board of EchoStar and is Chairman Emeritus of the Stanford Graduate School of Business Management Board. He also serves on the board of DSST Public Schools, one of the leading open enrollment school systems in the United States. He previously served on the board of CEB (The Corporate Executive Board Company) until the sale of the company to Gartner in 2017. Jeff also served as co-Chair of the World Economic Forum Council on the Future of Space Technologies and co-Chair of the Annual Meeting of New Champions in Dalian China. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.
Jeff holds an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business and a Bachelor of Arts from Princeton University’s School of Public and International Affairs.