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Now live! Explore the program for the upcoming 2024 Global Conference, taking place May 5-8, 2024.

Closing Plenary | The Case for Optimism

Closing Plenary | The Case for Optimism

October 21 at 1:00 pm PDT/4:00 pm EDT

The world is better than ever—despite the confluence of a global pandemic, economic downturns, and systemic racism. Frightening headlines, natural disasters, and incidents of mass terror notwithstanding, the proportion of the world's population living in extreme poverty has been halved in the last 25 years; almost all children across the globe have some access to basic modern healthcare, including immunizations; and global life expectancy is higher than ever before. We can't allow challenges still unsolved to blind us to the progress we've made thus far. In meeting this moment, we can also reimagine, rebuild, and recreate a world that is healthier, more inclusive, and more hopeful. These thinkers make the case for why, in midst of pain, dislocation, and sorrow, we are still on a steady path of human progress fueled by optimism.


Michael Klowden
CEO, Milken Institute


Francis Collins
Director, National Institutes of Health

Arianna Huffington
Founder and CEO, Thrive Global; Founder, The Huffington Post

John Mackey
Co-Founder and CEO of Whole Foods Market; Author, “Conscious Leadership: Elevating Humanity Through Business”

Matt Ridley
Journalist and Author; Member, House of Lords; "The Rational Optimist: How Prosperity Evolves"



Nicholas Kristof
Columnist, The New York Times; Author, Tightrope: Americas Reaching for Hope