Ori Brafman


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Keynote Speaker

Ori Brafman

Leadership and Organizational Dynamics Expert; Multiple New York Times Best-Selling Author

A specialist in navigating change and achieving sustainable performance, Ori Brafman shares insight from his best-selling books and experiences working with Fortune 500 companies and the U.S. military on organizational dynamics, agile and adaptive leadership, accountability, and inclusion.

Ori Brafman Profile Photo


Ori Brafman is a multiple New York Times bestselling author. He specializes in organizational culture, leadership, conflict resolution, inclusion, change management, and non-kinetic warfare.

Brafman’s recent bestselling book, Radical Inclusion: What the Post–9/11 World Should Have Taught Us About Leadership, coauthored with 18th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Martin Dempsey, argues that inclusion is no longer a “nice-to-have”, but a strategic imperative in today’s rapidly changing world. His seminal work, The Starfish and the Spider: The Unstoppable Power of Leaderless Organizations, is cited by the U.S. military as the foundation for a successful campaign to counter Al Qaeda. Its concepts formed the basis of blockchain technologies and have been utilized by Amazon, Google, Netflix, Facebook, Cisco Systems, the Association for Financial Professionals, and the Family Business Network.

Brafman has advised Fortune 500 companies, all branches of the U.S. military, the Obama White House, the National Academy of Sciences, NASA, and NATO, among others. His media appearances include the New York Times, the Washington Post, Bloomberg TV, CBS, Fox News, MSNBC, ABC News, BBC, National Public Radio, CNBC, the Wall Street Journal, CNN, and C-SPAN. His published books include Radical Inclusion: What the Post-9/11 World Should Have Taught Us About Leadership; The Starfish and the Spider: The Unstoppable Power of Leaderless Organizations; Sway: The Irresistible Pull of Irrational Behavior; Click: The Forces Behind How We Fully Engage with People, Work, and Everything We Do; and The Chaos Imperative: How Chance and Disruption Increase Innovation, Effectiveness, and Success.

Brafman is a Distinguished Teaching Fellow at UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business where he lectures on improvisational leadership and the ethical use of artificial intelligence. He leads a strategic broadening seminar between UC Berkeley and the U.S. Army and created a first-of-its-kind partnership between the Haas School of Business and the U.S. military’s National Defense University. His continued work on bridging the military/civilian divide is focused on the national security threat created by the growing mistrust and misunderstanding between Silicon Valley and the Department of Defense.

Brafman is founder and president of Starfish Leadership and co-founder of the Fully Charged Institute, which combines his work with that of Tom Rath. The Institute focuses on improving the well-being and quality of life of leaders and business teams. Brafman is a founding member of Vegan Action which celebrates its 25th anniversary in 2019.

Brafman holds a BA in Peace and Conflict from UC Berkeley and an MBA from Stanford Graduate School of Business. He resides in San Francisco, California.

Featured Videos

Ori Brafman Profile Photo
Ori Brafman
Ori Brafman – Amazon HQ
Ori Brafman Profile Photo
Ori Brafman
Ori Brafman – DaVita Inc:
Ori Brafman Profile Photo
Ori Brafman
Ori Brafman – Edison Partners

Ori Brafman’s Speech Topics

  • From The Starfish and the Spider to Radical Inclusion: How Inclusive Networks Determine Agility, Adaptability, Power, and Success

    When organizations embrace decentralization and inclusion as a strategic imperatives, they hold the power to change the face of industry. Drawing on research from his best-selling books and examples from Big Tech to Fortune 500 companies and the U.S. military, Ori shows how organizations that embrace decentralization and inclusion function more effectively, with the agility and adaptability necessary in today’s rapidly changing world. He demonstrates how even the largest, most hierarchical organizations utilize Starfish principles to harness the power of distributed networks, and argues that leaders should develop an instinct for inclusion in order to build and maintain trust and power. Ori leaves the audience with practical takeaways for leveraging inclusive networks toward sustainable organizational success.

  • Inclusive Leadership and Teams

    Inclusion is no longer a “nice-to-have”; it’s a strategic imperative. In this presentation, Ori shares stories from his new best-selling book and beyond that bring to life the insightful and often amusing evidence that he and his Radical Inclusion co-author, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen.(R) Martin Dempsey, have nearly nothing in common—except a deep and unwavering belief that the hard problems we face in our businesses, at the national level, and internationally can be solved with better leadership.

    Drawing on examples from business, academia, government, and the military, Ori will show:

    • How the speed and accessibility of information create digital echoes that make facts vulnerable
    • How the fear of losing control is pushing us toward exclusion and why leaders should develop an instinct for inclusion
    • How to create networks of inclusion within the organization
    • How to leverage inclusion to improve communication and gain better knowledge from all edges of the organization
    • How to create ongoing processes to ensure inclusion continues to be leveraged toward organizational success

    Ori provides audiences with engaging stories, practical takeaways, and the leadership tools necessary to address today’s real leadership challenges.

  • Decentralized Networks

    When you cut off the head of a spider, it dies. But when you cut off the arm of a starfish, it grows one back. In this classic presentation, Ori leads the audience back in time to demonstrate how throughout history, organizations operating without a central head win out over centralized ones.

    Drawing on examples from the U.S. military to the Tea Party to Fortune 500 companies, Ori will show:

    • How decentralized organizations act and make decisions with greater agility and adaptability
    • How today’s business world is utilizing decentralization to increase effectiveness
    • What proven, simple methods can be adopted to introduce decentralized networks within top- down structures
    • How to create ongoing processes to ensure decentralization efforts continue over time and throughout the organization

    Ori provides audiences with an understanding of how even the most hierarchical organizations can introduce pockets of decentralization for better business results. Audiences leave with the practical tools and takeaways necessary for creating decentralized networks within their organizations.

What other organizations say about Ori Brafman

Ori is an exceptional thinker who has the unique ability to motivate people to envision their better selves. He is smart, witty, and someone who can imagine the future in a way people can relate to.

Financial Services

What other organizations say about Ori Brafman

Recently we had the pleasure of Ori speaking at several DaVita events to our senior leadership team. His very unique perspective left the audience with a lot of thoughtful questions and ideas to help us think about our organization differently. Ideas generated from his talk are already reverberating around our company… We couldn’t ask for more from a keynote speaker!

Health Care

What other organizations say about Ori Brafman

Ori delivered a presentation that resonated with every generation and group represented within our 6,500 person organization, and his talk has been referenced and reviewed repeatedly as we move forward with the vision of the Wing. We are proud to include Ori within our network and call him a member of the 4th Fighter Wing team. We are eternally grateful for his investment in our development as an organization.”


What other organizations say about Ori Brafman

Everyone should have the chance to listen to Ori speak at least once in their life. He’s one of the smartest, most knowledgeable, and most intellectually curious people I’ve ever met, and his ideas are changing the world as we know it.


What other organizations say about Ori Brafman

Ori has the ability to address complex and controversial topics with a great depth of understanding, while demonstrating a disarming and respectful grace that only comes when grounded in self-confidence and courage.

Executive Development/Coaching


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