Natalie Nixon

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Natalie Nixon, PhD is "the creativity whisperer for the C-Suite". She is a creativity strategist who advises leaders on achieving transformative business results by applying wonder & rigor. She is a highly sought-after global keynote speaker, valued for her accessible expertise on creativity, the future of work, and innovation.


Natalie was selected for Real Leaders' "Top 50 Keynote Speakers in the World for 2022" list; and has been featured in Forbes, Fast Company, and INC. She is the author of the award-winning The Creativity Leap- an honoree in the creativity category of Fast Company's 2021 World Changing Ideas Awards. Her firm, Figure 8 Thinking, was named among the top 20 women-led innovation firms in 2021 by Core 77. In 2022, LinkedIn launched Natalie’s course “Lead with Inquiry, Improvisation & Intuition". Clients have included Microsoft, Salesforce, Comcast, Citrix, Morrison & Foerster, Living Cities, VaynerMedia and Bloomberg.

A hybrid thinker, Natalie consistently applies her background in cultural anthropology, fashion, design thinking, and dance. She is an early-stage investor at two social impact ventures, valued for her ability to work at the intersection of commercial value and stakeholder equity. Natalie is a trustee of the Smithsonian's Cooper Hewitt Design Museum; Vassar College; and Leadership+Design. She has lived in Germany, Brazil, Portugal, Israel, and Sri Lanka and is proficient in Portuguese and Spanish. She is certified as a Foresight Practitioner by the Institute for the Future.


She received her BA (honors) from Vassar College, and her Ph.D. from the University of Westminster in London. When she's not dancing up a storm in hip-hop class, Natalie is fine-tuning her salsa, foxtrot, and tango on the ballroom floor. She lives in her hometown of Philadelphia with her husband, John Nixon, and is the proud stepmother of Sydney.


Speaking Topics - 


The New I in AI: Imagination, Inquiry and Intuition


Worried about how you’ll find your edge in AI? At its BEST, AI enhances human qualities at work. Natalie Nixon, a renowned creativity strategist, advocates for leveraging curiosity, imagination, and intuition to navigate this evolving landscape. Her keynote offers practical insights to redesign work and thrive in the changing paradigm.


L.E.A.P: Boosting Productivity and Navigating Uncertainty


When ambiguity arises, you can either flee, pause, or charge ahead blindly. Natalie Nixon, a creativity strategist, presents the L.E.A.P Method™, a straightforward approach to confront uncertainty. By Leveraging, Envisioning, Asking, and Prototyping, attendees gain clarity and actionable strategies to move forward. Remember, progress only happens in one direction: forward!


Adapt and Disrupt: Build Creativity's Business ROI in the Imagination Era


In the age of AI dominance, creativity is not optional—it's essential. Natalie Nixon, a creativity expert, reveals how imagination drives business success. Learn from pioneering leaders, adopt dynamic methods, and unleash creativity to secure your organization's strategic edge. Embrace innovation, wield imagination, and thrive in disruption.


AI is Your Co-Creator


Just as we have IQ and EQ, we also have a CQ- or a creativity quotient. This talk explores the links between creativity and leadership and how leaders with a high CQ behave, interact with stakeholders, and co-create a strategic vision.


The Future of Work is Jazz - Applying Improvisation, Collaboration and Foresight


Embrace business improvisation for success. Join creativity strategist Natalie Nixon for a keynote that envisions work as a jazz ensemble—dynamic and harmonious. Discover the parallels between jazz improvisation and agile collaboration, fostering innovation and team synergy. Gain strategic foresight tools for proactive planning. Let's orchestrate a unified business future!


Curiosity is the Currency of the Future: Building a Culture of Inquiry


Do you know how to ask really, great, provocative questions? That matters not just for the increasingly basic ways we interact with AI technologies like ChatGPT, but also for executing on a compelling strategy. Natalie Nixon emphasizes the significance of questions in driving innovation and fostering dynamic cultures. Learn various question types, how to ask them effectively, and normalize a culture of inquiry.

Natalie Nixon's Experiences

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“Natalie’s presentation on creativity was engaging, inspiring, and practical! Her framework and practical suggestions for creativity were incredibly valuable.”


“Natalie had us all on the edge of our seats for her entire presentation! My attendees loved her set of insights and anecdotes punctuated with references to her research & to hyper-relevant themes.”


“Natalie facilitated a learning session with the Affirm legal and compliance teams. She was stimulating and engaging. The entire team found her concepts easy to implement. Rave reviews!”


"Natalie’s positive energy, expertise, and practiced facilitation helped us zero in on priority areas and build trust by having honest conversations about tough challenges we need to tackle."


“The design sprint process Natalie curated was transformative on both the individual and institutional levels. None of the outcomes would have been possible without Natalie’s stewardship.”


“Natalie is amazing! Her energy is absolutely infectious! Her 3i framework resonates in a practical way, giving leaders straightforward suggestions on how to build their creativity competence and create a culture of inquiry.”


“We invited Natalie Nixon, PhD as a keynote speaker for our extended leader conference. If you want to challenge your traditional thinking about creativity, I would highly recommend inviting Natalie to engage with your team. Natalie did an excellent job helping our team think about how to toggle between “wonder & rigor” to solve problems.”