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Melanie Ho, keynote speaker

Dr. Melanie Ho

    • Multi-Media Creator
    • Organizational consultant who has been described by Film Daily as “one of the most empowering authors and visual artists right now”
    • Inspiring Leaders to Bolder Transformation
Full Bio
In Person-Fee 🛈

$7,500 - $10,000

Virtual Fee:

$7,500 and Under

Travels From

District of Columbia

Generational differences (3 min. Micro Book Talk, BEYOND LEANING IN)

Generational differences (3 min. Micro Book Talk, BEYOND LEANING IN)

Tired of being told to lean in (3 min. Micro Book Talk, BEYOND LEANING IN)

Tired of being told to lean in (3 min. Micro Book Talk, BEYOND LEANING IN)

Why DEI discussions often fail (3 min. Micro Book Talk - BEYOND LEANING IN)

Why DEI discussions often fail (3 min. Micro Book Talk - BEYOND LEANING IN)

Melanie Ho Speaker Biography


Melanie Ho (she/her/hers) is a speaker, multi-media creator, and organizational consultant who has been described by Film Daily as “one of the most empowering authors and visual artists right now.”

Her award-winning debut book Beyond Leaning In: Gender Equity & What Organizations are Up Against has been acclaimed by Kirkus Reviews as “an engaging evolution of Sheryl Sandberg’s ‘Lean In’ mantra.” As a visual artist, Melanie has also drawn dozens of comics based on scenes in her book.

Across the past 20+ years, Melanie has delivered over a thousand presentations to a wide range of audience sizes and types. Her experience includes facilitating retreats for chief executives; addressing 1000+-person audiences; and appearing on NPR, CBS, and NBC. She speaks on a variety of topics, including women in leadership; diversity, equity, and inclusion; the future of education; and the use of creativity and the arts in business.

She is also the founder of Strategic Imagination, a firm dedicated to drawing on the power of the imaginative arts (i.e., comics, theater, fiction) to help businesses and non-profits achieve transformational change. She’s worked with organizations ranging from small start-ups to multi-billion-dollar global conglomerates to leading universities.

Melanie previously served as SVP and GM of Research at EAB Global, an education technology and services firm headquartered in Washington, DC. She led a team of 100+ consultants that provided management advice to 1500+ universities worldwide, including 90% of the US News Top 100. Her responsibilities included portfolio management and product strategy for 11 discrete business lines ($55M revenues) in both publicly-traded and private-equity-owned fast-growth environments.

As one of EAB's primary spokespeople, Melanie has presented to campus leadership teams at dozens of universities including Harvard, Columbia, Cornell, Georgetown, NYU, UCLA, UC Berkeley, McGill, Rutgers, Case Western, Auburn, Penn State, and more. She continues select consulting work in higher education.

Prior to her twelve years at EAB, Melanie taught literature, visual culture, and leadership courses at UCLA while earning her Ph.D. in English. She received UCLA's Distinguished Teaching Award for her innovations in using technology in the classroom and experiential education. Her doctoral dissertation, USEFUL FICTION, looked at the practical applications of novels in a changing world.

She grew up in California and currently lives in Washington, DC.

Taking DEI to the Next Level
Research shows that reading fiction helps develop empathy, and that looking at — and creating — drawings can unlock different parts of our brain.

We use stories and comics to help team members walk in each others’ shoes, have candid discussions around emotionally-charged topics, and design innovative solutions to entrenched problems.

“Design Fiction” for Future Visioning
Did you know that Jeff Bezos was inspired to create the Kindle after reading Neal Stephenson’s science-fiction-classic The Diamond Age?

Taking a page from Fortune 500 companies who hire sci-fi writers to get ahead of the competition, we use the tools of science fiction and world-building to create more aspirational future plans and coalesce stakeholders around bolder visions.

Leading through Ambiguity
Many leaders today feel fatigued by a world that won’t stand still. How do we provide transparency about uncertainty without fueling anxiety? How do we ensure silos are aligned when there are so many moving parts? What new muscles do leaders need to build for greater organizational agility?

We’ll learn how principles of narrative storytelling & improv can help us manage ambiguity and rally stakeholders around complex change.

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