Speaker Showcase

Tuesday, November 17, 11:00 a.m. - 11:45 a.m.

FICP’s Speaker Showcase remains one of the most anticipated features of the Annual Conference. This unique program offers access to world-class speakers in one venue. First, Elatia Abate will explore the future of work and the power of collaboration. Next, Lisa Sun will help us persevere the tough times with gravitas. Dr. Hakeem Oluseyi bookends the Showcase with his inspiring story of determination and chasing the impossible. Each speaker will follow their short keynote with a 45-minute breakout session to continue their story.

The Future of Work & the Future of Now: The Path From Where You Are to Where We Are Going

Elatia Abate, Entrepreneur and Chief Explorer

Represented by Washington Speakers Bureau

How we work, how we live, how we are has changed. The disruption of the pandemic has accelerated societal transformations that were already in motion, and is inviting us to create a world that is more collaborative, more inclusive, and more empowering. This dynamic talk explores the shifts, structures and strategies that will help us move forward together.


About Elatia

Elatia Abate is the CEO of a start-up that matches advisors with innovation projects. She is an expert on the future of work, blockchain applications and building cultures of creativity. She works with organizations that range in size from Fortune 500 to early-stage start-ups. She coaches the Scaling Social Innovation Lab at The University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

She is a sought-after speaker and lecturer, having delivered a TEDx titled, “Pioneering The Future of Work.” Other recent speaking engagements include “The Future of Work” at the Illinois Hispanic Chamber of Commerce’s Annual Convention (August 2017), “Design Your Dream Career” at University of Chicago Booth School of Business (February 2018) and keynoting Fundación RAP’s Seminar on Employment and Inclusion with a talk entitled “Preparing For The Fourth Industrial Revolution” at Tulane University (March 2018). She is also the voice of "Good Evening," Brazil's Gazeta do Povo English language nightly news briefing.

Managing Through Adversity With Gravitas

Lisa Sun, Founder & CEO, GRAVITAS, Former Associate Principal in McKinsey’s Global Fashion Practice

Represented by Leading Authorities, Inc.

After a professional review left Lisa devastated, she threw herself into reversing the comment from a superior of “lacking gravitas.” Decades later, Lisa has come to understand that discovering her gravitas pushed her to survive and thrive. In this program, Lisa gives a gravitas guidebook to persevere through tough times and come out the other side stronger—not only to survive but thrive in adversity.


About Lisa

What would happen if you let go of fear, got off the sidelines and jumped boldly into the game of life? Lisa Sun, founder and CEO of GRAVITAS, electrifies audiences as she unpacks this vital question in her moving, motivating and empowering talks. Catalyzing confidence and inspiring innovation, Sun seamlessly blends stories from her personal journey with data and experience-driven insights from her 11 years at McKinsey & Company to offer talks that encourage audiences to choose self-confidence, work to harness their “superpower,” and use gravitas to advance personally and professionally.

Sun founded GRAVITAS in 2012, and its origin story dates to her first professional review. The feedback that changed her life? Being told that she “comes across as young and overly enthusiastic at times,” that she “lacked gravitas,” and “should go buy a new dress, big jewelry and great shoes.” With those words in mind, an understanding of the transformative power of clothing, and a determination to create a game-changing company, Sun filed for a global patent to build shapewear directly into dresses. She launched GRAVITAS as a “confidence company” that offers innovative apparel and styling solutions designed to makeover women from the inside-out. Two months after launch, her first collection was featured in O, The Oprah magazine, PEOPLE and The TODAY Show in the same month. Sun and GRAVITAS have not slowed down since; she has been featured on CNN and in Forbes, Fast Company, New York magazine, Elle, Marie Claire, InStyle and more.

The Stars in My Soul: My Unlikely Journey Through Space & Time

Dr. Hakeem Oluseyi, Astrophysicist, Space Science Education Lead for NASA

Represented by Leading Authorities, Inc.

Dr. Hakeem Oluseyi grew up in some of the roughest neighborhoods in the country. As a result, he spent a lot of time inside, reading encyclopedias and watching PBS nature shows. At a young age, he discovered a love of science and space that was inspired by his role model, Albert Einstein. Throughout his childhood and into young adulthood, he was repeatedly faced with circumstances that would make most people give up—a lack of supervision at home, attending his state’s lowest rated school, falling in with the wrong crowd, and failing physics exams when he ultimately made his way to Stanford. But Hakeem never gave up.

Today, as a world-renowned astrophysicist and the Space Science Education Lead at NASA, Hakeem inspires audiences around the world to chase impossible dreams, fight for what they want, refuse to listen to naysayers, and reach out and lend a hand up to those around them. Hilarious, honest and inspiring, Hakeem wows audiences with a look at his mind-bending scientific research while motivating them with his personal life story.

About Hakeem 

Dr. Hakeem Oluseyi, author of a highly-anticipated upcoming memoir, The Stars in My Soul: My Unlikely Journey through Space and Time, is an internationally-recognized astrophysicist, science TV personality and global education advocate who has had a long, distinguished career in academia and scientific research. Since 2007, he has been a professor of Aerospace, Physics, and Space Sciences at the Florida Institute of Technology. Currently, he is stationed at NASA Headquarters, where he serves as an Astrophysicist and Space Science Education Lead for NASA's Science Mission Directorate.

A former TED fellow, Dr. Oluseyi holds three degrees, eight U.S. patents, four E.U. patents, and co-hosts several shows on Science Channel and Discovery International, including Outrageous Acts of Science, How the Universe Works, Space's Deepest Secrets, Strange Evidence, You Have Been Warned and Strip the Cosmos. Dr. Oluseyi’s success is even more impressive given his incredible personal background and story. Motivating audiences globally with his message of persevering past naysayers, self-doubt and seemingly immovable obstacles, he is exclusively represented by Leading Authorities speakers bureau.