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"A force of nature."

Meet human explorer and globally acclaimed keynote speaker Shane Snow, award-winning business and science journalist, and bestselling author of Dream Teams


"A force of nature."

Meet human explorer and globally acclaimed keynote speaker Shane Snow, award-winning business and science journalist, and bestselling author of Dream Teams

Award-winning journalist and innovator Shane Snow has helped expose gun traffickers, explored abandoned buildings around the world, eaten only ice cream for weeks in the name of science, and helped hundreds of thousands of people work better through his bestselling books about human behavior and business: Smartcuts, The Storytelling Edge, and Dream Teams.

A dynamic storyteller and internationally acclaimed keynote speaker, Snow has been called a “Wunderkind" by The New York Times, a “Maverick” by Details, and his work “Insanely addicting” by GQ. He's consistently rated the top speaker at global conferences and private events—with an uncanny ability to get people to drop their phones—leaving audiences with new ways to approach problems and teamwork. After hearing Snow speak, people never look at work the same way.

Snow's writing has appeared in WiredThe New YorkerFast CompanyThe Washington Post, and Time. He’s a Fellow of The Royal Society of the Arts, an exclusive club co-founded by Benjamin Franklin to enrich society through ideas and action; a recipient of Columbia University’s prestigious Innovator Award, for furthering the cause of journalism; and the co-founder of the technology firm Contently, which has been repeatedly named to Inc. and Deloitte's lists of fastest growing private companies, and Crain's and Ad Age's best places to work in America.

In his entertaining and provocative keynote presentations, Snow shatters common wisdom through gripping stories and surprising research on innovation and human behavior. The BBC says that his ideas, "could change your life," and Maxim adds, "Snow is not telling you how to succeed; he's daring you to do it."

Shane Snow, bestselling business & science journalist and innovator

Shane Snow, bestselling business & science journalist and innovator


What Shane Speaks About

What Shane Speaks About

Shane Snow speaks globally about teamwork, storytelling, innovation, and thinking differently—customizing his keynotes and interactive sessions to each audience's unique challenges and opportunities.

Book Shane Snow and leave your people energized and with concrete ways to implement new ideas!


Keynote TOPIC:

Dream Teams and The Science of Breakthrough Collaboration

Based on the #1 Business Bestseller, Dream Teams

Based on the #1 Business Bestseller, Dream Teams

This brilliant and entertaining keynote performance will change the way you think about people, progress, and collaboration. Shane takes audiences on a rollicking adventure, revealing the secrets of the world’s most successful teams and coalitions in history.

You’ll learn about the surprising factor behind most failed mergers and marriages; how a certain method of fighting is more useful than brainstorming; how leveraging “cognitive diversity” helps groups outmatch competitors; the science of becoming open-minded—and the outsize effect it has on group success; and the counter-intuitive truths about becoming better team players ourselves.

Book this keynote if you’re Aiming to:

"They were literally coming over to me before he was finished with jaws dropped."

–VMWARE event organizer

  • Create high functioning, hyper efficient, and highly effective teams

  • Deal with people more effectively, saving time and solving problems in more innovative ways

  • Debate smarter, influence better, and help your team get the most out of those around them

  • Get “diversity” right—and learn to leverage differences instead of keeping diversity superficial

  • Turn conflict into fuel for progress—neutralizing negativity, minimizing ego, and learning how to harness “cognitive friction”

  • Develop intellectual humility, the #1 skill that will set apart innovators, leaders, and workers in tomorrow’s workplace


Interactive session:

Human Chemistry and the Science of making Breakthroughs together

A scene from the Dream Teams interactive chemistry experience

A scene from the Dream Teams interactive chemistry experience

In this session, Shane Snow teams up with biochemist Alex Ott (NASA, Tom Ford) for a hands-on, immersive sensory experience you'll never forget. In it, Snow and Ott dazzle the crowd in circus-showman-style, teaching the surprising science of breakthrough teamwork while tickling the audience's senses with creative elixirs, edible foam, and more—with both the message and concoctions customized to the audience and the occasion.

This session has been known to leave audiences chanting, with reviewers frequently calling it the most unique and memorable session they've experienced at a conference or off-site.

Book this session if you’re Aiming to:

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  • Get your audience off their feet and hands 0n with something truly unique

  • Create an incredibly memorable, multi-sensory experience

  • Nerd out and have fun while teaching about the science of great teamwork

(Experience can be done with or without alcohol.)

Keynote TOPIC:

The Storytelling Edge, and How to Transform the Way You Work and Do Business Through Story

In this fast-paced keynote, Snow shares the secrets to powerful storytelling, with compelling (and often hilarious) stories and behind-the-scenes insights from his award-winning content company and hit book The Storytelling Edge.

With his signature blend of dramatic narrative and rigorous science, Snow shows not only how each member of the audience can use storytelling to supercharge their jobs, but how stories work at a neurological level, and how our organizations can harness their power to build relationships, make people care, and spur change.

Book This Keynote If You’re Aiming To:

  • Teach your audience the brain-science of stories, and the key elements of world-class storytelling

  • Help your organization master the art of storytelling for marketing, branding, or recruiting

  • Help your group to leverage the power of stories for building relationships—and to use storytelling more effectively in their everyday work

  • Kick off a conference or offsite with energizing and actionable food-for-thought

Keynote Topic

Smartcuts: Accelerating Innovation, Managing Change, & Thinking Differently


Breakthrough innovation happens when we rethink conventional wisdom. But how do you train yourself—or your organization—to think differently? How do you foster an environment where it’s safe to do so, where innovation can thrive without destroying your business?

How do the world’s most clever companies manage to not only endure change, but harness it to climb to new heights? How do rocket makers and children’s hospitals stay alive in the face of market shifts and competitive challenges? What can established businesses learn from revolutionaries, crazy geniuses, and crackpot comedians to help manage changes big and small?

In this clever and surprising keynote, Snow debunks myths of success, shares unforgettable research and stories, and fires audiences up to 11. You will never think the same.

Book This Keynote If You’re Aiming To:

  • Inspire intrapreneurship, and spur your audience to think differently about their current challenges

  • Get your group to work more innovatively—and to get the naysayers on board with new ideas

  • Teach your audience a framework for breakthrough problem solving

  • Kick off a conference or offsite by getting people in a more open-minded place

"One of the best presentations I've ever seen. It will change my way of attacking problem-solving!" –From ADOBE MAX


"Shane is charismatic and insightful on stage, and puts the audience at ease with his confident presence and deep and thoughtful knowledge."




Shane Snow in action


Shane Snow in action

Keynote Speaking Highlight reel:


Who shane speaks to

Who shane speaks to


  • Managers & Execs
  • Front-line Employees
  • Entrepreneurs
  • User Conferences & Associations
  • Functional:
    • Marketing
    • HR
    • Sales
    • Design and development
    • Internal all-hands


  • HR / Human Capital
  • Technology
  • Financial Services
  • Healthcare
  • Agriculture/Industrial/Manufacturing
  • Aerospace/Defense/Energy/Utilities
  • Advertising/Marketing/Creative
  • Auto and Transportation
  • Consumer/Food/Retail
  • Sports & Lifestyle

Past clients include

ADP, 99u, BizFit, CLSA, Club Industry, EMD, EO, ExactTarget, Frito, GSN, IBM, NAFCU, Penton Media, Rapid7, VSP Global, xAD, Dassault Systems, DialogTech, EmergingHR, Experticity, Lockheed, Point72, Youtube, Google, Lippincott, NEEA, Reebok, TreanorHL, UL, NBCU, Cyient, Gallo Wineries, VMWare, Western Energy Alliance, Lennox, DLD, FleishmanHilliard, Content Marketing World, Inbound, Adobe...

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See what happens when you book Shane


See what happens when you book Shane

"Shane's ability to reduce complex concepts into easily applicable life lessons is truly a mark of a brilliant and phenomenal speaker."


"He was excellent!! Our team loved him and left inspired. The talk was engaging and memorable. Thank you!!"

–HR Business Partner, YouTube

"So many people said he inspired them. Sincerely enjoyed both his presentation and getting to know him while he was on site."

–Outdoor Advertising Association

"Shane. Is. Amazing. His presentation to our employee audience was extremely well-received. Then, he took the time to fine-tune it even more for our client audience! Such a delightful person."

–SVP, Marketing, Experticity

"I wouldn't have wanted anyone else up there!"

–Manager, Client Experience, Opower


"Shane was great.  We got lots of good feedback about the power of stories and the also the bits about lateral thinking and borrowing from industries/functions. We always aim to get energized and inspired by external speakers."

-Marketing Manager, Frito-Lay

"He was fantastic!!!! People really seemed to connect with his messages, and his style worked very well with our team. Overall, he was a huge success for us."

–Chief People Officer, Rapid7

"Seriously, there was not one person who didn't love [his] session. Everyone couldn’t stop talking about it."

–xAd, Inc.

"Other presenters and attendees alike were referring to his keynote all day. He certainly had an impact on everyone—and made those who missed him jealous!"

–EVP, ARMA Metro NYC Chapter

"Simply said, Shane Snow is an amazing speaker. Not only is he knowledgeable and articulate, he skillfully crafted his message to each of the different audiences we put him in front of—from c-suite executives, to business students, to our own employees. Our clients walked away with a different perspective on the world and thanked us profusely for including them. Best of all, he's flexible and down to earth."

–BBVA Compass

Shane was rated one of the top speakers out of over 150 speakers. The audience LOVED him.

–FROM Adobe speaker team

"He was amazing! Our attendees LOVED him. One attendee said he changed her life, if that tells you how well he did. And he was a delight to work with which makes my job even better!"

–NTl Association of Federal Credit Unions

"Shane was a delight and a wonderful speaker.  The attendees had great reviews of his session. "

–Manager of Global Learning, Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO)

"He engaged and was able to tie back to our event and key messages in the end.  I heard several people comment on his presentation and that they were prepared to go back into the practices and have discussions about lateral thinking."

-VSP Global

"He was our highest rated speaker and I think there was even some interest from some attendees in hiring him for their events as well. He was a pleasure to work with, super nice guy."

–Marketing, Photizo Group

"Fascinating insights. The feedback was positive all around—both on the stimulating content and on the enthusiastic and note-free delivery."

–CEO, Leadership Philadelphia

"Shane's speeches are engaging, thought-provoking and actionable. At Content Marketing World, he was one of our top speakers. A crowd pleaser for sure."

–Founder, Content Marketing Institute

"Faced with the unenviable job of opening our event, Shane Snow brought such conviction and energy to the stage that it helped set the tone for the rest of the show. Shane is charismatic and insightful on stage, and puts the audience at ease with his confident presence and deep and thoughtful knowledge. He was one of the standout speakers of the entire show and I hope to work with him again soon."

–Direct Marketing Association

"One of the best presentations I've ever seen. It will change my way of attacking problem-solving!"

–From Adobe MAX


"They were literally coming over to me before he was finished with jaws dropped."

-Event producer for VMware

Tweets during Shane Snow’s keynote speeches showcase the impact he has on audiences in real time:


Further recognition:

  • In Journalism and writing:

    • Fellow, Royal Society of The Arts

    • Recipient of the Columbia Innovator Award For Furthering The Cause of Journalism

    • Author of three bestselling books: Smartcuts, The Storytelling Edge, and Dream Teams

    • Founder of The Hatch Institute for Investigative Journalism

  • As Founder of the hyper-growth media technology company Contently:

    • Inc 100 Fastest Growing Private Companies in America

    • Crain’s Best Places to Work in New York

    • Ad Age’s Best Places to Work in Marketing & Media

    • Details “Digital Maverick” Award

    • Business Insider’s Coolest People In Tech




Inquire About Booking Shane Snow to Speak

Inquire here, and we'll be in touch ASAP!

Inquire About Booking Shane Snow to Speak

Inquire here, and we'll be in touch ASAP!

Your name *
Your name

my story


my story


Hello! I'm Shane.

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I grew up tearing apart car engines with my dad in bonneville county, idaho.

There were seven of us kids and one bread winner. So even though my father had a super cool job as an engineer at a nuclear test facility (in the middle of the desert!), we wore hand-me-downs and fixed junky cars and houses in order to make all the ends meet. 

My brothers and I learned how to repair alternators and replace head gaskets. One time we drove 100 miles in a broken down van by circumventing a busted fuel pump using a Super Soaker. We learned how to pour concrete foundations and restore antique roofs. We toured the nuclear test site and learned about how different particles smashing together created heat, which turned turbines and made electricity.

And I developed an obsession with taking things apart to understand how they work.

Meanwhile, my mother orchestrated (as I remember it) a clever way to get my younger brother and I to channel our competitiveness into something productive: a reading competition, via our local library. Every summer we fought to out-read each other.

And thus I developed my love for words and stories. I also developed a curiosity about people who weren't like me, and places I hadn't seen. This curiosity led to a habit of climbing drain pipes and crawling under fences to explore abandoned buildings and old railroad bridges in my town (a habit I've kept up in New York as an adult!).

At some point, someone told me that writing was not a real career. So I put myself through a business degree, writing code and building websites for local businesses (and for myself, including an e-commerce site where I sold horse saddles) to pay for tuition. But after a couple of years I ended up rooming with the guy who ran the school newspaper, and joined the staff as a reporter—then an editor—at his suggestion.

And that's when the radioactive spider bit me.

It occurred to me that I could combine the engineering mindset my dad inspired with the writing passion and curiosity that my mom inspired. I could break down business, science, computers, and human behavior—all these things that fascinated me—and put them back together. Then I could write about them in ways that helped people live and work better. I realized that this was what I was meant to do.

Southeast Idaho didn't have much of a journalism scene, so I moved to Hawaii (why not?), kept coding to pay for rent, and started riding a bicycle around Oahu interviewing homeless people. I wanted to break down and understand their life stories. The resulting blog helped get me into journalism school at Columbia in New York City, where I hacked my way into writing about business and tech for Mashable and WIRED and Fast Company magazines—and eventually The New Yorker, The Washington Post, Time, and others.

As I worked my way up the journalism ladder as a freelancer, I noticed that many of my colleagues—including those who were more talented than me at 0ur craft—struggled in a job market where creative workers were increasingly on their own.

So I partnered with two friends and created Contently—which was initially a marketplace for freelance journalists to advertise themselves and get work. Over the better part of a decade, we turned that company into a suite of software tools that powered much of the Fortune 500's content marketing (providing talent and tools and strategy services to businesses that wanted to create content to build relationships with customers). We won all sorts of awards for our industry and for being a great place to work.

Finding myself suddenly co-running a large business, I once again started breaking things down and writing about them—this time to learn for myself how to run a better business, how to create a culture of innovation, and how to build and lead a great team. That pop-business journalism work—done largely during my nights and weekends—turned into my three books over the years: Smartcuts, which is about innovation and lateral thinking; The Storytelling Edge, which is about growing a business and recruiting talent through the power of stories; and Dream Teams, which is about the science of breakthrough collaboration and how we can work better together in business, our communities, and society. Dream Teams became a #1 business bestseller and won a humbling amount of praise from some pretty amazing thinkers and leaders.

While I was doing this, I co-founded a nonprofit for investigative journalism called The Hatch Institute. We applied innovative thinking to journalism in the public interest and won accolades for outing gun traffickers, investigated the government's gender pay gap and other injustices, and more.

After years at work on Contently, I took a step back to become "Founder At Large"—essentially a very-involved adviser—so I could focus more on exploring humanity and business. My books and the great work we'd done at Contently and Hatch put me on the global speaking circuit.

At some point I plan to restore an old El Camino and drive to Central America and explore ruins. But until then, I'm going to keep tearing apart the engine of the human brain, climbing metaphorical fences and drainpipes, and making things out of what I find.

If you've gotten this far, let me thank you for joining in on this journey! You can keep up with my adventures via my Snow Report, or hit me up about sharing my research and stories with your organization sometime.

Much love,