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The 2024 TedxNorthwesternU conference date will be announced shortly.

For any urgent inquiries, please contact

2023 Conference Speaker Lineup 

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Steven Van Cohen - MSOD -  Author, Leadership Consultant, Executive Coach 

Steven Van Cohen is a Wall Street Journal bestselling author, internationally recognized leadership consultant, and executive coach. His latest book is Connectable – How Leaders Can Move Teams From Isolated To All In. For over a decade, Steven has helped leading organizations like Salesforce, Home Depot, Komatsu, Bank of America and Blackstone improve worker well-being, reduce employee disconnection and boost team belonging. Dubbed “The Leadership Whisperer,” Steven’s top-ranked insights have been featured in CNBC, Forbes, Fortune, Fast Company, and Inc. Steven holds a Master of Science in Organizational Development from Pepperdine University and a Bachelor of Arts from The University of Illinois. He is the CEO of SyncLX (a consultancy that works with many Fortune 500 companies) and Partner at, the world’s first resource to help lessen loneliness and strengthen team connection. He resides in sunny California with his wife and two daughters.

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Milena Berestko - BA - Posse Leadership Scholar, Behavioral Research Fellow

Milena Kinga Berestko is a Posse Leadership Scholar and an alumna from Lafayette College. She earned her B.A. in Psychology and Theatre, with a minor concentration in Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies. In her college years, Berestko was an active organizer with the Dear Lafayette Coalition, and held appointments as a President of Psi Chi Honor Society, Office of Intercultural Development Program Coordinator, Digital Humanities Teaching Fellow, and a Mentor Writing Associate in the College Writing Program, among others. She has organized the annual Migration Summit and AAPI Awareness Months, spearheading many DEI initiatives on campus and nationally, which then led her to becoming a Humanity in Action Fellow to Sarajevo. Berestko works toward social justice through applied behavioral research, education and creative writing. Some of her works were published through TDF, DeColores Collective, The Marquis Magazine, RISE Zine, and Vaclav Havel National Library Foundation. Berestko is a winner of the 2022 Vaclav Havel International Play Contest, and was a writer in residence at the Janacek Academy of Performing Arts and Music, in Czechia. Currently, Berestko works as a Behavioral Research Fellow at Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.

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Vivica E Lewis - Fourth Year Undergraduate Student
Vivica E Lewis (she/her) is a fourth-year student studying sociology and global health studies at Northwestern University. She is also a master's student with a concentration in community health research in the Program in Public Health at Feinberg School of Medicine. Vivica is currently a sexual health education intern in the Office of Student Health and Wellness for Chicago Public Schools. Vivica's years of experience as a health educator and reproductive justice advocate inspired her to pursue her international research project, "Birth Control Bans to Contraceptive Care," to understand past and present birth control policies that will impact our future.


Arthur Lebovitz - Student, Avid Composter, Passionate Worm Farmer, Steward of the Earth
Arthur Lebovitz is a life-long learner, dedicated Deadhead, and compulsive composter. Born and raised in Chattanooga, Tennessee, his recent passion for composting emerged while taking a gap year during COVID and led him to discover the incredible power of composting worms, which he is excited to share more about through his talk. Most days you can find Arthur throwing a frisbee, laughing with friends, or skateboarding around campus. 


Dr. Kate Compton - PhD - Assistant Professor of Instruction in Computer Science
Dr. Kate Compton (@galaxykate) is a long-time generative artist, inventor, programmer, and Assistant Professor of Instruction at Northwestern University.  She wrote the first paper on procedural platform-game levels, generated the planets for the video game Spore, created the language Tracery which runs over 10,000 community-made bots on Twitter and invented an early phone-based AR system. Her mission is to design artificial intelligence to augment human creativity, and to create tools that bring AI into the hands of poets, artists, kids, and weirdos.


Dr. Renee Engeln - PhD - Professor of Instruction in Psychology, Author
Renee Engeln is a psychology professor and director of the “Body and Media Lab” at Northwestern University. She is the author of Beauty Sick: How the Cultural Obsession with Appearance Hurts Girls and Women. Prof. Engeln’s research and writing focus on issues surrounding women’s body images. Her work has appeared in numerous academic journals and at academic conferences. She is regularly interviewed about body image-related topics by media outlets including the New York Times, The Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, BBC, The Atlantic, NPR, and NBC. An award-winning teacher, she was voted to the “faculty honor roll” for eight consecutive years and graduating Northwestern students have selected her for their “Last Lecture” multiple times.

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