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Keynote Speakers

 Alex Epstein, Center for Industrial Progress

Opening Keynote; Wednesday & Thursday, January 25-26, 2023

Alex Epstein is a philosopher who argues that “human flourishing” should be the guiding principle of industrial and environmental progress.

He founded Center for Industrial Progress (CIP) in 2011 to offer a positive, pro-human alternative to the Green movement.

Epstein is the author of The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels (Penguin, 2014), a New York Times bestseller arguing that if we look at the whole picture, human flourishing requires that humanity use more fossil fuels not less.  The book has been widely praised as the most persuasive argument ever made for our continuing use of fossil fuels, winning Epstein the “Most Original Thinker of 2014” award from The McLaughlin Group.

Epstein, known for his willingness to debate anyone, anytime, has publicly debated leading environmentalist organizations such Greenpeace, the Sierra Club, and over the morality of fossil fuel use.

He has made his moral case for fossil fuels at dozens of campuses, including Harvard, Yale, Stanford, and Duke (his alma mater). He has also spoken to employees and leaders at dozens of Fortune 500 energy companies, including ExxonMobil, Chevron, Phillips 66, Valero, Enbridge, and TransCanada.

In his speeches and consulting work he helps companies take his pro-human messaging and use it to neutralize attackers, turn non-supporters into supporters, and turn supporters into champions. One of his major goals is to teach millions of employees in the fossil fuel industry to understand the value of what they do and how to communicate it.

If you’re interested in having Alex Epstein speak to your audiences, you can learn more here.

Mark Johnson, Camouflage Communication

Closing Keynote
Wednesday & Thursday, January 25-26, 2023

Mark Johnson travels the world providing inspiration and motivation to a wide variety of international audiences. He speaks with passion of overcoming adversity and survival. Mark provides insight and initiative through motivational speaking, as well as Leadership and Team Building Training. His clients range from large corporations to small businesses across the globe, as well as high schools and universities.

Mark spent twenty years as a Special Forces, Green Beret officer in over fifty nations on four continents, much of this time in combat, remote locations, and other sensitive operations. He was decorated with the Bronze Star for his extraordinary actions during the Gulf War. Mark retired in the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in October 2000.

He has devoted much of his life to education and teaching. Mark taught at the U.S. Army Command & General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, KS for more than eight years and his last assignment in the Army was as Chairman and Professor of the Military Science Department at Pittsburg State University, in Pittsburg, Kansas. In his first year in this position, he recruited an unprecedented number of students to attend an introductory summer camp, more than doubling the existing national record! This serves as one small example of Mark's unique ability to excite, encourage and inspire people towards their individual goals. 

Since the events of September 11th, 2001, Colonel Johnson has played an important role in the global war on terror. Mark has been called upon to assist our Special Operations forces, in the role of consultant, instructor, and advisor, and has returned to the Middle East and Asia numerous times. Mark also continues to inspire audiences through his ongoing speaking engagements. In 2006, he spent four months in the Middle East training key allied battle staffs in leadership and command.

Mark is also the author of two books on leadership, team building, and motivation: "How To Get Anyone To Follow You Anywhere: Green Beret Secrets to Leadership and Team Building and "Lessons in Leadership: Straight Talk from a Green Beret. In these books, Mark details a wide range of leadership and team building techniques, as well as specialized advice applicable to a variety of individuals and groups.

In addition to his speaking career, Mark is an adjunct faculty member at Longview College in Lee's Summit, MO, where he teaches multiple leadership classes each semester, as well as the Cavalier Leadership Development Program of Johnson County (KS) C.C. He is often called upon to teach and guest lecture at the University of Kansas and other universities

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