Big Ideas with Megan McArdle, David McRaney & Clive Thompson

Friday, March 14, 8:15–9:15 AM

Indiana Convention Center — Exhibit Halls F&G

Because our goal is to send you home from Conference bursting with new ideas and knowledge, we thought we’d add something special to each day—a BIG idea. These are ideas and messages that can impact and empower the way you think, the way you act, the way you work.

Big Ideas Friday speaker Megan McArdle (photo by Lara Shipley)

Photo by Lara Shipley

Megan McArdle is a special correspondent for Newsweek/The Daily Beast and the author of The Up Side of Down: Why Failing Well Is the Key to Success. Drawing on cutting-edge research in science, psychology, economics, and business, and taking insights from turnaround experts, emergency room doctors, venture capitalists, child psychologists, bankruptcy judges, and mountaineers, McArdle argues that America is unique in its willingness to let people and companies fail, but also in its determination to let them pick up after the fall. Failure is how people and businesses learn. So how do you reinvent yourself when you are down? If you want to succeed in business and in life, McArdle proposes, you have to learn how to harness the power of failure. She is a graduate of the Booth School of Business at the University of Chicago and has been a finance and economics correspondent for The Economist and a business columnist and blogger for The Atlantic. She lives with her husband, Peter, in Washington, D.C.


Big Ideas Friday speaker David McRaney (photo by Mon Mussiett)

Photo by Mon Mussiett

David McRaney, the author of the bestselling You Are Not So Smart and You Are Now Less Dumb: How to Conquer Mob Mentality, How to Buy Happiness, and All the Other Ways to Outsmart Yourself shares discoveries about self-delusion and irrational thinking, and gives readers a fighting chance at outsmarting their not-so-smart brains. We all believe ourselves to be objective observers of reality, except…we’re not. But that’s okay, because our delusions keep us sane. McRaney provides eye-opening analyses of fifteen more ways we fool ourselves every day. McRaney also reveals the true price of happiness, why Benjamin Franklin was such a badass, and how to avoid falling for our own lies. McRaney is two-time winner of the William Randolph Hearst Award and a self-described psychology nerd. He lives in Hattiesburg, Mississippi.


Big Ideas Friday speaker Clive Thompson (photo by Tom Igoe)

Photo by Tom Igoe

Clive Thompson is the author of Smarter Than You Think: How Technology is Changing Our Minds for the Better, a book that posits that technology is boosting our cognitive power—making us smarter, more productive, and more creative. Thompson acknowledges that many feel apprehension about the increasing reliance on digital tools and their ubiquity in our lives, but he debunks the idea that the Internet, search engines, and social media are negatively impacting our ability to think for ourselves, communicate clearly, and socialize with others. He argues that the opposite is true: modern technology is actually making us smarter, better at solving problems, and more personally connected than ever. Thompson is a contributing writer for the New York Times Magazine and Wired. He also writes for Fast Company and Mother Jones, and he appears regularly on radio and television news programs.

Pre-order books for the signing following this author event. Your books will be available to pick up at the onsite Barnes & Noble store next to registration.

PLA thanks Penguin Group (USA) for its support of this event.

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