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Hildy Gottlieb

Keynote Speaker

Photo of Hildy Gottlieb smiling at the camera.

Hildy Gottlieb is a social scientist and asker of powerful questions. She is the co-founder of Creating the Future, a global nonprofit that teaches people how to create systems change via the questions they ask.

As a student of successful social movements, the questions that have driven Hildy’s work are these: What factors lead to successful social progress? Why do some change efforts succeed while others struggle? The answer she found was simple yet profound:

Successful movements for change all have the same set of questions at the heart of their work.

Hildy now shares those questions with audiences around the world. Through the Catalytic Thinking framework she developed, those questions have been infused into the mission of the nonprofit she founded, Creating the Future, where individuals and organizations are learning how to create systems change by changing the questions they ask.

Hildy is a TEDx speaker, as well as a contributor to the Stanford Social Innovation Review and a blogger at Medium.com. She was the creator and host of the Making Change podcast, where she interviewed dozens of leaders from around the world about the factors that create powerful, positive change.

Hildy has lectured at universities around the world, including the University of Waikato in Hamilton, New Zealand, and at both the Haas School of Business and the Masters in Development Practice program at UC Berkeley.

All Hildy’s work is rooted in a combination of research and practical experience, built upon her decades as a consultant, a social change researcher and theorist, and a serial social entrepreneur. Hildy helped develop (and then taught) the current Masters degree program in Community Leadership at Duquesne University (pron. Dew-cáyne). She and her partner, Dimitri Petropolis, also co-founded the world’s first Diaper Bank, sparking the diaper banking movement across North America, and garnering them a Points of Light Citation from President Bill Clinton.

Hildy’s best-selling books on the nuts and bolts of social change have all become industry standards and are used as texts in both undergraduate and graduate programs around the world.

When not working, Hildy can be found in the garden, at the movies, shooting photos, or traveling the world in search of a quiet cafe to write.

Read personal stories about the difference Hildy has made in people’s lives here.