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Walter Isaacson
Walter Isaacson's Speaking Fee Over $70,000
Exclusively available through WSB

Walter Isaacson

“Smart people are a dime a dozen. What matters is the ability to think different... to think out of the box.”

Best-Selling Author; Acclaimed Historian and Journalist; Professor of History, Tulane University

Expertise In:

  • Creativity
  • Innovation and Technology
  • Leadership
  • Business Growth and Trends
  • Media and Journalism

Audience & Industry

  • Corporations
  • Board Meetings and Executive Briefings
  • Senior Management Groups
  • The Technology Industry
  • Associations

As the former President/CEO of the Aspen Institute, former chairman/CEO of CNN and former managing editor of TIME magazine, Walter Isaacson’s passion goes well beyond the news. His latest book, Leonardo da Vinci (2017) brings history's most creative genius at the crossroads of the humanities and the arts to life, and highlights and teaches the importance of creativity and challenging the status quo. Isaacson's book The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution (October 2014), is a biographical tale of the people who invented the computer, Internet, and the other great innovations of our time, and will be a must-read from Wall Street to Silicon Valley to Main Street. Kirkus Reviews says of The Innovators, “A panoramic history of technological revolution….Isaacson weaves prodigious research and deftly crafted anecdotes into a vigorous, gripping narrative about the visionaries whose imaginations and zeal continue to transform our lives.” Isaacson is also the author of the only authorized biography of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, titled Steve Jobs (2011), which was at the top of The New York Times best sellers list for months. Based on more than 40 interviews with Jobs—as well as interviews with more than a 100 family members, friends, adversaries, competitors and colleagues—Isaacson tells a riveting story of the roller-coaster life and intense personality of a creative entrepreneur whose passion for perfection and ferocious drive revolutionized six industries: personal computers, animated movies, music, phones, tablet computing and digital publishing. The movie, Steve Jobs, based on Isaacson’s biography and written by legendary Oscar-winning screenwriter Aaron Sorkin was released to theatres on October 9, 2015.

Isaacson is known for giving voice to America’s historical figures and how the lessons they imparted still apply today. His other best-selling books include Einstein: His Life and Universe; Benjamin Franklin: An American Life, in which he analyzes the events that shaped American history and shows how their ripple effects continue to transform the world today; Kissinger: A Biography; and co-author of The Wise Men: Six Friends and the World They Made. In 2012, TIME named Isaacson as one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World. He shares with audiences the fascinating stories and anecdotes from The Innovators, the amazing life of Steve Jobs and others, and how they changed the worlds of technology and business. He will also discuss current global events within the framework of history’s valuable lessons and offers a wealth of insight culled from more than two decades of journalistic experience—both in the field and as head of two of the world’s most influential news organizations.

Featured Videos

Walter Isaacson's Speech Topics

Additional Speech Topics

Black Lives That Mattered: The Long Fight for Racial Justice 

Sick: Divisiveness, Gridlock, Stalemate, and Hyper-partisanship in the Time of COVID

What’s Wrong with Washington?

Vote! The Fight Against Voter Suppression and Election Interference 2020

Lessons Learned—How to Avoid the Mistakes of 2016 and Defeat Donald Trump in 2020

One Nation: Healing America in the Post-Trump Era

Post Election Analysis - Whether Your Party Won or Lost, Where Do We Go from Here? 

Us, Too: Why America Needs Women Leadership More than Ever

Women in American Politics: Are We There Yet?

Black Leadership: Past, Present and Future

The Innovators: How a Group of Inventors, Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution

In this presentation from his book, The Innovators, which is destined to be the standard history of the digital revolution and a guide to how innovation really works, Walter Isaacson tells the story of the people who created the computer and the Internet.  What talents allowed certain inventors and entrepreneurs to turn their disruptive ideas into realities? What led to their creative leaps? Why did some succeed and others fail? Isaacson begins with Ada Lovelace, Lord Byron’s daughter, who pioneered computer programming in the 1840s and explores the fascinating personalities that created our current digital revolution, such as Vannevar Bush, Alan Turing, John von Neumann, J.C.R. Licklider, Doug Engelbart, Robert Noyce, Bill Gates, Steve Wozniak, Steve Jobs, Tim Berners-Lee, and Larry Page. He tells the story of how their minds worked, what made them so creative and how their ability to collaborate and master the art of teamwork made them even more creative.  For an era that seeks to foster innovation, creativity, and teamwork, Isaacson reveals to audiences how these renowned figures actually made it happen.

Timeless Leadership

What secrets do history’s luminaries share?  Esteemed author Walter Isaacson—who was given exclusive and unprecedented access to the Steve Jobs—is widely considered to be one of today’s most insightful biographers. Isaacson’s ability to brilliantly capture the unique cultural currents surrounding America’s greatest leaders and creative thinkers is showcased in his best-selling books on Steve Jobs, Albert Einstein, Ben Franklin and Henry Kissinger. Bringing audiences closer to these remarkable figures, Isaacson discusses the vital information that can be learned from them—including the common traits they share and how those traits can be used to empower today’s business leaders.  Sharing fascinating details of how success came to each of these men through the questioning of conventional wisdom and a willingness to explore new ideas, he provides an astute analysis of timeless leadership principles and the lessons they can teach us on fostering the creativity necessary to compete in a new century of globalization.

Steve Jobs: A Life

Based on his best-selling book, Steve Jobs, Isaacson shares with audiences the riveting story of the roller-coaster life and intense personality of a creative entrepreneur whose passion for perfection and ferocious drive revolutionized six industries: personal computers, animated movies, music, phones, tablet computing and digital publishing. At a time when America is seeking ways to sustain its innovative edge, and when societies around the world are trying to build digital-age economies, Jobs stands as the ultimate icon of inventiveness and applied imagination. He knew that the best way to create value in the 21st century was to connect creativity with technology. He built a company where leaps of the imagination were combined with remarkable feats of engineering. Isaacson takes audiences on the journey over the past two years in writing the book and the story about the man himself which is instructive and cautionary, filled with lessons about innovation, character, leadership and values. Jobs put nothing off limits for Isaacson when working on the book, encouraging the people he knew to speak honestly, and  speaks candidly himself, sometimes brutally so, about the people he worked with and competed against. His friends, foes and colleagues provided Isaacson an unvarnished view of the passions, perfectionism, obsessions, artistry, devilry and compulsion for control that shaped Jobs’ approach to business and the innovative products that resulted.

Leonardo da Vinci

Art, engineering, and technology. Anatomy, geology, and weaponry. What do these subjects have in common? They were studied with passion and imagination by Leonardo da Vinci. At the crossroads of the humanities and the sciences, he is history’s most creative genius. Walter Isaacson brings Leonardo to life, highlighting all we have to learn from him. His myriad interests remain an enduring recipe for creativity. So, too, does his ease at being a misfit: illegitimate, gay, vegetarian, left-handed, easily distracted, at times heretical. His relentless curiosity demonstrates the importance of not just receiving knowledge but being willing to question it—to be imaginative and, like talented rebels from any era, to think differently. Isaacson draws from the original Renaissance man to teach audiences the importance of creativity and challenging the status quo.

Works by Walter Isaacson

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Walter Isaacson

Steve Jobs (opens in a new tab)

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Walter Isaacson

The Innovators (opens in a new tab)