SXSW 2016

Opening Keynote: Casey Gerald


“So there we were, staring at each other thru misty eyes as we watched our baby, our dream, our idea die before it even had a chance to live. But just before we pulled the plug…we decided to join the long procession of young kids, with crazy ideas who were told by some authority that they couldn’t do what they wanted. We said fuck it. We’ll do it anyway.”

And with that Casey Gerald became the co-founder and CEO of MBAs Across America, a national movement of MBAs and entrepreneurs working together to revitalize America. A native Texan, Gerald received an MBA from Harvard Business School, and a BA in Political Science from Yale College, where he was a finalist for the Rhodes Scholarship. Named one of the “Most Creative People in Business” by Fast Company he has emerged as an influential voice on the awakening that is changing business and society — making purpose the new bottom line in our lives and work.

Gerald began his career in economic policy and government innovation at the Center for American Progress, and has worked as a strategist with startup social ventures such as The Future Project, as well as companies like The Neiman Marcus Group. He serves on the advisory boards of the Aspen Institute’s Franklin Project and NPR’s Generation Listen while also being featured on MSNBC, in the New York Times, Financial Times and The Guardian.

His Harvard Business School commencement speech hit a nerve online and began a larger conversation around his ideas and work. Gerald argues that there is a new playbook for change. That doing good over doing well will wake a dying world from it’s slumber and bring about a recalibration driven by creativity and the people who practice it. In short, it’s time to give a damn.


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