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Ozan Varol      

Bestselling author of "Think Like a Rocket Scientist"

Ozan Varol is a rocket scientist turned award-winning professor and author.

A native of Istanbul, Turkey, Ozan grew up in a family of no English speakers. He learned English as a second language and moved to the United States by himself at 17 to attend Cornell University and major in astrophysics.

While there, he served on the operations team for the 2003 Mars Exploration Rovers project that sent two rovers–Spirit and Opportunity–to Mars. He built stuff that went to the red planet and wrote code that snaps photos of the Martian surface.

Ozan then pivoted and went to law school. He graduated first in his class, earning the highest grade point average in his law school’s history.

Ozan has been called a “true original” by Adam Grant and dubbed a “superhero” by Dan Pink. His work has been described as “must read” by Susan Cain and featured in the Wall Street Journal, Time, BBC, CNN, Washington Post, and more.

He’s the author of Think Like a Rocket Scientist: Simple Strategies You Can Use to Make Giant Leaps in Work and Life. The book is: - One of Inc.com’s “6 Business Books You Need to Read in 2020 (according to Bill Gates, Satya Nadella, and Adam Grant)” - One of Amazon’s Top 20 business books of 2020 - Adam Grant’s # 1 pick of his top 20 leadership books of 2020 - One of 6 Groundbreaking Books of Spring 2020 (according to Malcolm Gladwell, Susan Cain, Dan Pink, and Adam Grant).

Ozan is a sought-after speaker. He’s given countless radio and television interviews, and delivered keynote speeches both to small and large crowds at major corporations, nonprofits, and government institutions.

Videos


Speech Topics


Think Different: The Power of Cognitive Diversity

Many businesses strive to promote a diverse and inclusive workplace. But an often-overlooked aspect of the issue is cognitive diversity—which is based on differences in viewpoint or perspective. According to cutting-edge research, cognitive diversity can promote problem-solving and increase innovation by bringing a wide variety of perspectives to the table.

Most businesses stifle cognitive diversity. As a result, groupthink and conformity pop up even in institutions whose lifeblood is creativity. Employees hide their best selves rather than go against the grain.

In this keynote, Ozan will share a lively, anecdote-filled roadmap that business leaders can use to promote a thriving corporate culture that harnesses cognitive diversity. You’ll learn:

  • The two reasons why most modern workplaces stifle cognitive diversity and undermine creativity
  • How conformity led to the biggest disasters in rocket-science history (and what businesses can learn from these disasters)
  • Why the best ideas come from great teams, not great individuals
  • How to harness the power of diversity while maintaining team unity
  • How businesses can promote psychological safety where employees feel free to speak up

Future Proof: How Businesses Can Fly in the Face of Uncertainty

The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed what has always been true: The world around us is evolving at dizzying speed, and the ground we stand on is never solid. Business leaders of all kinds are trying to keep the train on the tracks, while reacting to a multitude of new frontiers: remote work, declined demand, and disrupted consumer behavior.

In this keynote, Ozan will reveal how your business can fly in the face of uncertainty and thrive in a world of constant change. You will:

  • Discover how to leave behind the baggage of history and reinvent yourself.
  • Cultivate agility, which is the business superpower that will enable you to define the future.
  • Learn strategies from rocket science where people routinely tackle seemingly insurmountable challenges while the clock is ticking.
  • Understand how the world’s elite companies not only endure market shifts and global changes, but leverage them to their advantage.

Reimagine the Status Quo with Moonshot Thinking

A child who was 6 years old when the Wright brothers took their first flight would have been 72 when flight became powerful enough to put a man on the Moon. This giant leap, taken within a human lifespan, is the triumph of moonshot thinking.

Moonshot thinking is a way to imagine the unimaginable and solve the unsolvable. It’s the marriage of idealism and pragmatism, a mindset that combines extraordinary thinking with a practical, proven moonshot process for achieving extraordinary results. In this time of unrelenting change and uncertainty, it’s moonshot thinking that sets apart industry-leading businesses from the rest.

In this keynote, Ozan will reveal his 4-step moonshot process to help businesses launch their own moonshot, spot opportunities they couldn’t see before, and create an extraordinary advantage to shape the future of their industry. You’ll learn:

  • The single principle Elon Musk used to revolutionize the aerospace industry (and how you can use the same principle to transform your business)
  • What sets apart top performers when it comes to solving complex problems
  • How invisible rules constrain your business (and what to do about it)
  • How to reframe questions to generate better answers
  • What George Costanza and rocket scientists have in common, and what you can learn from both in starting your next project
  • How to nail your next product launch using an unstoppable astronaut training strategy When you learn how to apply moonshot thinking, you won’t just change the way you view the world. You’ll be empowered to change the world itself.

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