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Keynote Speakers

Christine Carter, Ph.D.

Christine Carter, Ph.D., is an author, speaker, and coach dedicated to redesigning how we live and work—so that we can lead our most joyful, productive, and fulfilling lives. She’s a the Vice President of Transformation Science and Coaching Innovation at BetterUp, where she designs one-to-many coaching experiences. 


As a sociologist, she’s sought to inspire large-scale, systemic change in our most common and influential social structures: corporations, families, and schools. She is particularly interested in how cultures and institutions foster certain behaviors, beliefs, and emotions while inhibiting others.


For many years, Dr. Christine Carter was the executive director of UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center (GGSC), where she remains a sociologist and Senior Fellow. She wrote an advice column for Greater Good magazine syndicated on and many other websites. Combining scientific research and practical application, she offers her clients, readers, and audiences a way to cope with modern pressures and tactics to truly thrive.

Dr. Carter has given three TedTalks, the most recent of which was in the top 5 most viewed in 2021. She has appeared on dozens of television and radio shows, including the “Oprah Winfrey Show,” the “Dr. Oz Show”, the “TODAY” show, the “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart,” “CBS Sunday Morning,” PBS, NPR and BBC Radio. She has been quoted or featured in every major newspaper in the US, including The New York Times, USA Today, the Chicago Tribune, the San Francisco Chronicle, The Washington Post, the Boston Globe, and The Wall Street Journal. In addition, she is often quoted in lifestyle magazines such as Real Simple and in dozens of other online news sources. 


Her books include The New Adolescence: Raising Happy and Successful Teens in an Age of Anxiety and Distraction (2020), The Sweet Spot: How to Achieve More by Doing Less  (2017), and Raising Happiness: 10 Simple Steps for More Joyful Kids and Happier Parents (2011). A summa cum laude graduate of Dartmouth College and the recipient of multiple honors and awards, Dr. Carter earned her master’s and doctoral degrees in sociology at UC Berkeley (Go Bears!).


She and her husband have four college-age children. They live in Northern California with their two dogs and four hens.

Mary Helen Immordino-Yang, Ed.D.

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Mary Helen Immordino-Yang (Ed.D., Harvard University), Fahmy and Donna Attallah Professor of Humanistic Psychology, is a professor of education, psychology, and neuroscience at the University of Southern California and founding director of the USC Center for Affective Neuroscience, Development, Learning and Education ( Her work pairs in-depth qualitative interviews with longitudinal brain imaging and psychophysiological recording to reveal coordinated mental, neural, and bodily processes by which adolescents and their teachers build meaning—deliberating on the abstract, systems-level, and ethical implications of complex information, social situations, and identities. Her research underscores the active role youth play in their own brain and psychosocial development through the narratives they construct, and capacities teachers cultivate to support student belonging and deep learning.


She conducts her work in partnership with expert educators and diverse youth from the lowSES communities where she works. She writes and speaks extensively on the implications for redesigning schools around curiosity and civic reasoning to promote intellectual vibrance and thriving. She has received numerous awards for her research and impact on society, including from the AAAS, the PNAS editorial board, the AERA, APS, FABBS, IMBES, the US Army, and others. She served on the National Academies committee writing How People Learn II, as a distinguished scientist on the Aspen Institute’s National Commission on Social, Emotional, and Academic Development, and was a Spencer Foundation midcareer fellow. She was elected to the National Academy of Education in 2023.

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