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Karla Starr          

Thought Leader, Author of "Making Numbers Count and Can You Learn to Be Lucky?"

Karla Starr is a speaker, consultant, and best-selling author. She co-authored her most recent book, "Making Numbers Count: The Art and Science of Communicating Numbers", with Chip Heath (Made to Stick, Switch). Her first book, "Can You Learn to Be Lucky? Why Some People Seem to Win More Often Than Others" was a Fast Company best book of the year.

An award-winning behavioral science writer, she advises organizations worldwide on leadership and communication. Most recently, she has spoken at TEDxGateway in Mumbai and the World Domination Summit, and advised corporations including Hilton and Ecolab.

Speech Topics

The Value of Being Human: What Data and AI Can’t Replace

In an era dominated by artificial intelligence and data-driven systems, it's crucial to recognize and nurture the unique value that human skills and qualities offer. This thought-provoking talk will explore the irreplaceable aspects of human intelligence and how they complement technological advancements, fostering a more effective and harmonious future.

Key takeaways:

  • Investigate the limitations of data and AI in areas such as decision-making, creativity, and complex problem-solving, highlighting the importance of human intuition and critical thinking.
  • Understand the role of empathy, emotional intelligence, and interpersonal communication in the age of AI, and learn how to strengthen these essential human skills.
  • Examine case studies of successful human-AI collaborations and how they provide valuable insights into leveraging the best of both worlds.
  • Gain strategies for cultivating a workforce and organizational culture that embraces the unique value of human intelligence, emphasizing continuous learning, adaptability, and collaboration.
  • Discuss the ethical implications of AI and data-driven technologies, and the importance of human oversight and responsibility in ensuring fairness, privacy, and transparency.

Using Numbers to Nudge: How to Use Data to Influence Behavior

As data-driven decision-making becomes increasingly important, understanding the power of data to influence behavior is vital for leaders, marketers, and policymakers. This interactive presentation will delve into the psychology of human behavior and explore how data can be harnessed to create persuasive narratives that drive action.

Key takeaways:

  • Grasp the foundations of behavioral economics and its implications for data-driven decision-making.
  • Discover the importance of framing, anchoring, and loss aversion in presenting data effectively.
  • Examine case studies illustrating successful behavior change interventions using data-driven strategies, from public health campaigns to environmental conservation efforts.
  • Learn practical tips and techniques for incorporating data into your strategies for influencing behaviors, including data visualization best practices and storytelling techniques.
  • Discuss the ethical considerations of using data to influence behavior and how to balance persuasion with respect for individual autonomy.

The Limits of Data: Revealing the Invisible Insights of Holistic Decision-Making

This keynote presentation (that can be expanded into an interactive workshop) delves into the integration of human intuition and experience with traditional data-driven approaches. This session highlights the importance of holistic decision-making in today's data-centric world, demonstrating through case studies and interactive discussions how qualitative insights can complement quantitative data. The presentation aims to equip participants with strategies and tools to balance numerical data with human judgment for more effective decision-making.

Key Takeaways:

  • Understanding the essential elements of holistic decision-making.
  • Recognizing the limitations of relying solely on numerical data.
  • Integrating qualitative insights with quantitative analysis.
  • Developing intuitive and contextual skills for interpreting data.
  • Applying holistic decision-making principles through interactive exercises.

Making Numbers Count: The Art and Science of Communicating Numbers

This workshop will explore the challenges of communicating about numbers and data, and provide practical tips for simplifying, clarifying, captivating, and motivating audiences to engage with and act on data.

How to Be Perfect: What Thought Leaders Don’t Want You to Know

We’re drowning in messages from thought leaders who claim to know exactly how to optimize ourselves—and they all have the data from psychology studies to prove it. Why are we miserable when the answers seem so simple? Why are these life hacks more “hack” than “life-changing”? Part of it stems from the all-too-human hope for a quick fix. But we also need to look at the politics behind social science data, and the economics of the Self-Help Industrial Complex: biased studies, the replication crisis, privileged self-help authors, and a failure to consider context and life’s complexity.

If these answers are allegedly proven, but don’t always work for our individual needs, how can we know what’s right for us? In this talk, I’ll offer a framework to uncover the sticking points holding you back on your unique journey.

Design Thinking for Data: Applying Human-Centered Design to Improve Data Communication

Effective data communication is crucial for decision-making, problem-solving, and creating meaningful change. In this insightful presentation, we will discuss how applying human-centered design principles can enhance data communication, making it more accessible, understandable, and actionable.

Key takeaways:

  • Discover the fundamentals of human-centered design and its importance in data communication.
  • Learn how to apply design thinking to create data visualizations and presentations that resonate with your audience.
  • Understand the role of empathy in data communication and how to create a more user-friendly experience.
  • Gain practical tools and techniques to improve your data communication skills.

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The Value of Being Human: What Data and AI Can’t Replace

As artificial intelligence and data-driven systems become increasingly prevalent, it's essential to recognize the unique value that human skills and qualities bring to the table. In this thought-provoking talk, we will examine the irreplaceable aspects of human intelligence and how they complement technological advancements.

Key takeaways:

  • Explore the limitations of data and AI in decision-making, creativity, and interpersonal communication.
  • Understand the importance of human intuition, humor, design, ability to surprise, empathy, and adaptability in the age of AI.
  • Learn how to leverage human strengths to create more effective teams and organizations.
  • Gain insights on how to prepare for a future where humans and AI work collaboratively.

How to Be Perfect: Challenging the Self-Help Industrial Complex

The self-help industry promises quick fixes and life-changing transformations, but is the pursuit of perfection truly beneficial? In this eye-opening presentation, we will examine the pitfalls of the self-help industrial complex and discuss how to foster genuine personal growth and well-being.

Key takeaways:

  • Understand the limitations and potential harms of the self-help industry's focus on perfectionism.
  • Explore alternative approaches to personal development that prioritize self-compassion, authenticity, and resilience.
  • Learn how to cultivate a growth mindset that embraces imperfection and values progress over perfection.
  • Gain practical strategies for nurturing your mental health and well-being in a culture that often promotes unrealistic expectation

Preparing for an Unknown Future: Lessons from Evolution

How can we prepare for an uncertain future? We don’t have to guess. Organizations and people have billions of years of data on which species thrive during extreme, unpredictable change. What can we learn from the species that thrive and go extinct during sudden, random shifts?

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