Keynote Titles & Descriptions

I deliver keynotes at conferences and events all around the world.

To book me for your event, reach out to my manager Chum Mapa (cmapa [at] novlmgmt [dot] com).

Below (in no particular order) are the keynotes I’m currently delivering. Consider these my go-to talks for the 2016 – 2017 speaking season, but know that under the right circumstances I’ll craft something special.

Speaking of Identity…

Identity is becoming front and center in many conversations — locally and globally — yet so many of us don’t know how to talk about it. In this keynote, Sam will explain a framework for talking about the many intersections of identity and some general purpose dos and don’ts, in the hopes that we can all become a bit more comfortable with the discomfort of talking about identity.


  • Identify the intersection of socially and culturally constructed identities based on (but not limited to) race, ethnicity, gender and gender expression, sexuality, and class.
  • Recognize how prejudice and discrimination based on identity is perpetuated
  • Understand the impact of power and privilege, both on our individual self and society at large

Applying a Social Justice Lens to Your Work & Life

If someone said “don’t think about the color red,” what’s the first thing you’d think of? In that same way, when we’re made aware of the lenses through which we see the world, it’s hard not to think about them. In this keynote, Sam will provide you with a social justice lens (or sharpen yours, if you bring it with you), and other tools that will help you identify injustice, and advocate for justice, in all aspects of your life.


  • Understand what a “social justice lens” is, and how it can be applied to your life and work
  • Recognize the privileges cisgender, gender conforming, and straight folks benefit from in your work
  • Strategies for applying a social justice lens to create a workplace where everyone can best contribute

Understanding the Complexities of Gender

Gender is a tough cookie. We apply it to everything and it bends, stretches, gets redefined, and reworked — and yet, we never question it. Yet, we have a hard time understanding what gender is. In this keynote, Sam will present the components of gender, how they fit together, and how we can be more aware of them to create spaces that are comfier for folks of all genders.


  • Understand the difference between gender and sex
  • Gain awareness of gender identities beyond man and woman
  • Recognize the social construction, fluidity, and complexity of gender identity
  • Identify at least one concrete step to create environments that are more gender inclusive

100 Common Mistakes: Gender & Sexuality

Most of us are well-intentioned folks who don’t want to offend people. But as culture changes, language evolves, and trends come and go, it can be hard to keep up, and to know what to say, when, in order to make people feel comfiest around you. In this lightning-round talk, Sam will attempt to present 100 common mistakes people make when talking about gender and sexuality: a crash course in what to say, how to say it, and why.


  • Identify at least three previously-used harmful behaviors, phrases, or words
  • Learn at least three new terms and the definitions for them
  • Gain awareness of areas to grow and learn when it comes to being inclusive of folks of all genders and sexualities
  • Become familiar with at least one new resource to continue learning

Meeting Your People Where They Are

For several years, Sam has taken an unorthodox approach to social justice, advocacy, and non-profit creativity — all guided by responding to the needs of the populations and causes he’s working with. With shoestring budgets and a grassroots approach, his creations have reached hundreds of millions of folks around the world. In this keynote, Sam will present the principles of why he works this way, and explain how it works (both in concept and reality).


  • Become aware of at least two different theoretical models for guiding one’s work to better connect with the intended audience
  • Identify three accessible technology platforms for creating and publishing work with little-to-no cost
  • Recognize a variety of non-typical approaches that can be effective in reaching an audience

These talks are always updated, tweaked to appeal more directly to whatever audience I’m addressing, and may be withdrawn, or added to throughout the year. They do not represent the full breadth or depth about which I’m happy to speak.