2024 AIN Global Conference Presenters Biographies

Within this page, you will find information about our wonderful Keynote Presenters and presenters! Right now, we have our Learning Journey presenters featured, our workshop and AINx Talk presenter information is coming soon.

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2024 AIN Global Conference Keynote Presenters: 

 

Learning Journey Presenters:

 

About our Keynotes:

Kateřina Lesch 

Keynote Talk - AI for AI: How to leverage Artificial Intelligence within Applied Improv

 

About: Kateřina Lesch is a data scientist with an AI expertise and an NLP background. Having previously worked as a product developer specialized on Text Analytics and a manager of a AI & Data team within Big Four, she now works as a Head of Data Science & Risk division of an IT company EmbedIT. Kateřina got her PhD. in Computational Linguistics. Her research concerns mainly Sentiment Analysis and Information Extraction. She also has expertise in Cognitive Automation and Forensic Linguistics. 

 

Tomáš Ervin

Keynote Talk - What can (labour market) data tell us about the future of education?

About: We are proud to introduce Tomáš Ervín Dombrovský, a leading labor market analyst at Alma Career (formerly LMC). With over 13 years of experience, Tomáš provides invaluable insights into the dynamics of education and employment. His research and analyses are crucial for HR professionals and organizational leaders, offering practical recommendations to enhance workplace collaboration.

As a member of the external advisory team to the Czech Minister of Labor and Social Affairs, Tomáš's expertise is widely recognized. Under his guidance, Alma Career has developed innovative online services, transforming how people find jobs and pursue education.

 

Láďa Karda

Keynote Performance - Where is the game? 

About: The artists are standing on the stage all alone. Without a task, without stage design, without boundaries. They are playing, cooperating, testing, acting and reacting. They are trying to decode what is going on. Here and now. Remarkable adventure of the improvisation, that is rising from zero point. Impro from scratch. Maybe you are familiar with improv with rules but this is something else. Our journey started 9 years ago at Theatre Faculty of Performing Arts and we were writing thesises, testing our limits and limits of improvisation until we became Czech National Improv Theatre. What we found during these 350 shows we will present at AIN to you, our dear guests. 

 

About our Learning Journey Presenters:

Tomas Andrasik

Session: IMPROving Spontaneity: Supporting mental health with applied improvisation - insights from Gestalt therapy

Bio: Ph.D., gestalt psychotherapist, and trainer working in private practice with individuals and groups and training internationally on the integration of applied improv and drama into psychotherapy - he is also the author and co-author of several scientific articles and chapters related to the theme. Tomas also works part-time as an assistant professor at the Department of Social Education, Masaryk University, Brno, CZ, where he co-advocated that a course of applied improvisation is a part of the compulsory curriculum for BA program for social educators. He is also an active improv theatre trainer and actor.

 

Brent Darnell

Session: EI and AI: An exploration of emotional intelligence and applied improvisation

Bio: Brent Darnell is an engineer, playwright, author, actor, improviser, musician, dramatist guild member, and certified yoga instructor. He is also a pioneer in bringing emotional intelligence to the construction industry and has taught people skills to technical people at 100 different companies in 20 different countries around the world. He also teaches these skills at illustrious universities in the US such as Auburn, Penn State, Northwestern, Clemson, Virginia Tech, and the University of Cincinnati.  He has published eight books on emotional intelligence and people skills for technical people.

 

Sarah Fisk

Session: How to Make Up a Game, Create Safety, and Give the Power to the People

Bio: Sarah Fisk, PhD is an organization development consultant specializing in design and facilitation of multi-stakeholder group processes, and collaborative systems change. Since 1992, her caseload has included a variety of public service organizations, consulting firms, and small and large businesses. Sarah is co-author of Facilitator’s Guide to Participatory Decision-Making, (Jossey-Bass, 3rd edition 2014).  She has taught the facilitation of collaboration to thousands of people and consulted on participatory initiatives in England, Germany, The Netherlands, Spain, France, The Philippines, Kenya, Fiji, and throughout the United States and Canada. She has served as adjunct professor at CIIS and has been a featured speaker at many professional conferences, including International Association of Facilitators, Organization Development Network, and the Applied Improvisation Network.  Sarah holds a PhD in Clinical Psychology. Sarah is the founder of Leading Collaboration, where she is Principal Consultant. In addition, she is a Senior Associate at Community at Work, a San Francisco-based consulting firm where she has worked since 1995.

 

Chris Esparza

Session: The Facilitation Advantage: How to Maximize the Impact of Applied Improvisation for the Future (with Kat Koppett)

Bio: Currently serving as Secretary on AIN’s Board of Directors, Chris is VP for Leadership and Culture at Koppett—a consultancy that uses improvisation and storytelling to build leadership, communication, teamwork, and creativity.  Prior to this role, Chris was the Director for Diversity, Inclusion, & Leadership Development at the University of Oregon’s School of Law.  Among the many highlights of his work, he particularly enjoys conversations with clients, peers, and colleagues that focus on ways we each can contribute to co-creating possibility.  Chris is constantly striving to embody his vision for a world that plays well together—learning and growing in ways that incite shared laughter, curiosity, flow, synergy, and the co-creation of something better.

 

Dominika Kadeřábková

Session: The Power of Sketchnoting

Bio: I am Dominika and I have been working as a development and training specialist in corporations for more than 10 years , but I also pass on my knowledge at the University of Economics and Management in Prague.

I like to come up with creative ways to learn new things, but mainly how to start living and using them in everyday life.

As part of coaching, I am not afraid to go to the edge and ask you lots of inquisitive questions so that you can find your own path to happiness or your own dream.

 

Burgert Kirsten

Session: Playing with Polarity - An embodied exploration of polarity thinking through forum theater

Bio: I was born in South Africa and was in relationship with the land and her people for 40 years. Currently I’m growing a new relationship with the Netherlands and her people, while still maintaining a long distance relationship with my motherland.  My current working relationship is with Bol.com, a large online retailer based in Utrecht, where I play the role of Transition Expert. I’m educated as an Organizational Psychologist, trained as a relationship systems coach and have some experience as an Agile/Team Coach. I love improv Theatre and it is probably where I developed most of my coaching skills and agile mindset. I also have an estranged relationship with nature, like most humans, but I try to work on it by listening to her more.  Last but not least I’m in close relationship with my wife Lucille,  and our 4  children, Lila, Khari, Joah and Kai.

 


Kat Koppett

Session: The Facilitation Advantage: How to Maximize the Impact of Applied Improvisation for the Future (with Chris Esparza)

Bio: Kat Koppett, is  the President and eponymous founder of Koppett & Company. She holds a B.F.A. in Drama from New York University and an M.A. in Organizational Psychology from Columbia University. In addition, Kat is a Certified Professional Co-Active Coach, and the co-director of The Mopco Improv Theatre. Her book Training to Imagine: Practical Improvisational Theatre Techniques to Enhance Creativity, Teamwork, Leadership, and Learning, is considered a seminal work in the field of Applied Improvisation and is used by professionals around the world. In 2019, Kat was awarded NASAGA’s Ifill-Raynolds Lifetime Achievement Award for her work furthering experiential learning. She is a founding member and current Vice-President of the Applied Improvisation Network and the host of the podcast “Performance Shift: The Art of Successfully Navigating Change”.

 


Jeanne Lambin

Session: The Quest: Improvisation for Transformation | Prague Edition

Bio: Jeanne is a facilitator, storyteller, coach, and artist who wholeheartedly believes in the power of applied improvisation and storytelling as powerful tools for personal, organizational, and social change. She is the founder of the Human Imagination Project and the Museum of the Ordinary Extraordinary, a virtual space that exists to help people align their time and attention, access their intention, reclaim their imagination, and reconnect to what matters, so that they can live a life of presence, purpose, and possibility. Jeanne uses applied improvisation, storytelling, timefulness practices, and other creative interventions to create transformative experiences that help people reconnect to the magic of the ordinary, extraordinary, and everything in-between. She has performed, presented, and conducted workshops in the US, Europe, and Asia. Her workshops have been described as “amazing,” “powerful,” and “great fun.” She is the creator of Eleven Minutes to Mars and The Something. She is the former Vice President of the Applied Improvisation Network, the co-founder of Improv for Humanity, and a Certified Designing Your Life Certified Coach. Recently, she started training to become a death doula and has drawn something just about every day since January 1, 2020. Jeanne has also worked as a tour guide, archaeologist, preservation planner, curator, tarot-card reader, busker, and college professor. She holds a B.S. in Anthropology for Loyola University Chicago and an M.S. in Historic Preservation from the School of the Art Institute Chicago.

 


Jonathan Pitts

Session: Coaching The Coaches; Training The Trainers

Bio: Jonathan Pitts is an award-winning international improv theatre artist and storyteller. He's performed and/or taught in 26 countries and 104 cities. He's the former Executive Director of Chicago Improv Productions; Co-Founder/Producer - Chicago Improv Festival; Creator/Producer - College Improv Tournament; Founder/Producer - Teen Comedy Fest; Founder/Producer - Chicago Podcast Festival; Creator/Director of improv theatre productions The Oracle; The Silent Movie; and Storybox Theatre. He taught, coached, and directed at The Second City Training Center for 16 years. He’s a contributing writer to Anne Libera's book, "The Second City Improv Almanac''. He’s written the forward to two books on improv: Improv Shaman and On Directing Improv. He’s been interviewed for several improv books and been a guest on many podcasts. 

 


Pavla Sedláčková

Session: Challenge me!

Bio: I am a lecturer, improviser and gestalt coach. I'm a child of improv. I've been doing it for more than 20 years. And I am still so in love with it. I played on many stages in our country and in Europe. By time applied improvisation naturally came to my life. I've been a lecture for more than 10 years now. And guess what. Still so in love with it. I have taught countless workshops for corporate clients, the non-profit sector and freelancers. I have training in Gestalt coaching, which I chose because of its creativity and so many common principles as improv has. I believe that where there is safety, there is space for cooperation and sharing. And my own mantra is: Sharing is more than advices. So let's sharing together!

 


Michaela Puchalkova

Session: L.I.F.T. the FutureLeading Improvisation with total Football and Ted Lasso (with Henk van der Steen)

Bio: Michaela has more than 20+ years of professional experience in learning & development, internal communications and employee experience. She is an accredited adult education trainer and a passionate advocate of using applied improvisation in the corporate world to help create more collaborative, creative and psychologically safe workplaces. As a corporate trainer and facilitator, she uses improv to help build high-performing teams and develop future-ready leaders. Michaela loves sharing and teaching her experience on intimate and self-development improvisation style with adults and children in her own improv school: improspace.com. She loves good movies, series and strong stories on the screen as on the stage.

 


Henk van der Steen

Session: L.I.F.T. the FutureLeading Improvisation with total Football and Ted Lasso (with Michaela Puchalkova)

Bio: Henk is the co-founder of Troje (www.troje.nl), a Netherlands based company that started in 1998 and is all about applied improvisation. We firmly believe that the world will be a better place if more people know how to and dare to improvise. With Troje we do three things: organizational development, design and deliver meetings/workshops and teaching improvisation in a non-theatrical environment. In all the work we do, we use improvisation principles. A few examples of our work: -for the last 6 years we’ve been part of the change and innovation team of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs,- we run programs about ‘the improvising civil servant’,-we help a primary school foundation with a highly interactive (and fun!) process to formulate their new vision on learning. Henk has been a member of AIN since 2004, presented at several conferences, organized two (the first European and the first global one outside of the US) and co-wrote the first Dutch book on applied improvisation. He is also a father of three, a husband and an improviser on stage.

 


Lukas Zenk

Session: Radical Collaboration - Beyond our egos

Bio: Lukas Zenk ([email protected]) is Professor of Innovation and Network Research and Deputy Head of Research at the Department for Knowledge and Communication Management at the Danube University Krems, Austria. In his applied research projects, he investigates how people collaboratively solve complex problems and how creative and innovative processes can be supported. He lead research projects on Organizational Improvisation and Meta-Competences and developed the university modules on "Business Improvisation" and "Cognition and Creativity". His innovative lectures, research projects, and improvisational theater performances have earned him several awards.

 

Questions?

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Need to reach out to the conference team directly? Contact us via email - [email protected]. We will be checking this mail about twice a week. 


(Last Updated: Tuesday, June 11th, 2024 - 12pm EDT)