SHIFT U 2019 Logo

212 leaders. 5 innovators. 1 day.
Engage in real talk that makes real impact.

October 24, 2019 8:30am-5:30pm
Parkway Theatre · Baltimore, MD

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Real talk...

Experience the raw, uncaged environment you need to challenge your perspectives, explore human behavior and master communication. SHIFT U is a chance to take on life’s toughest conversations about mortality, morality, empathy and innovation with leading experts. Participate in vigorous debates, network with 200+ like-minded executives and access today’s most innovative communication strategies. The world is rife with challenges – let’s lessen the divide.

Real impact.


Our Challenges as Leaders

  • Navigating intense, crucial conversations within our own companies
  • Fighting the toxic tribalism spreading through our society
  • Pointing fingers and placing blame instead of considering other perspectives
  • Irrationally arguing about matters with no way back to common ground
  • An inability to discuss and disagree without fearing repercussions
  • The lack of actionable and strategic tools to help us find value in all situations


Our Solutions at SHIFT U

  • Skills to help you confront hard conversations with confidence and honesty
  • Strategies to seamlessly handle change and disruption
  • Tools to debate fiercely and achieve civil discourse
  • Tactics to navigate even the toughest moments
  • Conversations with top leaders to drive your success
  • And the right people to support, guide, and propel you forward
"Today’s SHIFT U session was great. It’s actually one of my favorite one’s that we’ve had so far. I just really enjoy throwing myself into something that’s uncomfortable; where I could fail and could learn.”

Ed Callahan
Co-Founder, Planit

“The amount of connections that you make here is just absolutely incredible. Everyone’s so enthusiastic, so helpful. Everybody is trying to grow each other's businesses or help accomplish each other's goals.”

Evan Lutz
CEO and Co-Founder, Hungry Harvest

“We have incredibly intelligent people [at SHIFT U] and the speeches that were given were phenomenal. These are people I can lean on, bounce ideas off of.”

Bill Atkinson
Partner, 212 Communications

“The things I learned at SHIFT U about the movement of technology into the future, how to plan for that, and projected forecasts has really given me something to think about in a way that could make all the difference in the world.”

Steve Pappas
Owner and CEO, Pappas Restaurants and Mark Pappas Foundation

“The opportunity to be in the room with so many others who, like me, think differently about their approach to technology, innovation, and business success and want to see that through in a way that has impact beyond just profit, is more than I could have hoped for. The level of honest and authentic engagements was priceless.”

Veronica Cool
Managing Partner, Cool & Associates, LLC

2019 Speakers


Richard Saul Wurman
Creator of TED

Richard Saul Wurman is an American architect, graphic designer, and creator of the TED conference. He has written, designed and published 91 books on topics ranging from football to healthcare to city guides, but he likes to say that they all spring from the same place—his ignorance. Described by Fortune magazine as an “intellectual hedonist” with a “hummingbird mind,” Richard Saul Wurman has always sought ways to make the complex clear. As our keynote speaker, Richard will share enlightened perspectives on mortality and why facing death is an important part of life. He’ll provide insights on the art of unconventional thought, strategic design, successful communication, and achieving a deeper level of understanding.

Headshot-Steven Kotler

Steven Kotler
Journalist and Author

Steven Kotler is an award winning journalist, one of the world's leading experts in human performance, and 3x New York Times bestselling author. His works, A Small Furry Prayer and Stealing Fire, were nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. His writing has been translated into over 40 languages and appeared in over 100 publications, including: The New York Times, Atlantic Monthly, Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Wired and TIME. Steven will explore the intricacies of morality and how our addictions to technology are reshaping human behavior. He’ll share ways in which innovation is masking our empathy and creating a reactive culture in a cyber-driven world.


Joe Mechlinski

Joe is the CEO of SHIFT and a New York Times bestselling author. He’ll mastermind a series of great debates that seek to answer questions about your mortality and morality. They’ll demand your full participation, stimulate new ideas and perspectives, and offer tools to transform your communication.

Chris Wilson

Chris Wilson

Chris is a serial social entrepreneur, storyteller, artist, social justice advocate, and author of The Master Plan. He’ll share his journey from life in prison to a life with purpose, one that gives back to the poverty-stricken communities he stemmed from in a major way.


Lola Manekin

Lola is the Founder/Owner of The Movement Lab, a licensed acupuncturist, and fitness teacher. Born and raised in Florianopolis, Brazil she learned from a young age to honor the body and its deep wisdom. She’ll offer a combination of movement, meditation, and healing practices to peel away barriers, open you up to infinite possibilities, and hone your focus on taking creative action.

Vendors & Exhibitors


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The Parkway Theatre

SHIFT U will unite the region's top entrepreneurs and executives for our third annual SHIFT U event at the historic Parkway Theatre. The Parkway has stood at the corner of Charles and North for over a century and has presented Baltimore cinema-lovers hundreds of thousands of films. Offering bold programming that showcases films from every era, region, and genre, the Parkway provides audiences with a fresh and immersive new window into the art form. With a rich history of life and architecture, the Parkway serves as the perfect backdrop for this year’s SHIFT U | Complicated Conversations. 

Presented by SHIFT Society

The third annual SHIFT U is presented by SHIFT Society. As the premier forward-thinking leadership community, SHIFT Society melds the brightest minds in business to deliver awe-inspiring experiences designed to inspire growth.


Thank you to our sponsors


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All-Inclusive Price at $695 Includes:

One (1) ticket to SHIFT U | Complicated Conversations
Access to all expert speakers and innovative content
Participation in two (2) vigorous great debates
Interaction with unique exhibitors to learn about their products and services
Opportunities to snag SHIFT U swag and other exclusive resources
Access to local food and drink vendors 
Complimentary coffee, tea, water, and soft drinks

Purchase Tickets

Where to Stay

The Ivy Hotel

205 E Biddle St, Baltimore, MD 21202
Visit Website
Reserve your room with Anna Connors to access our partner rate.
Anna's direct line: 410-528-8092
Anna's email: 

Hotel Indigo Baltimore Downtown

24 W Franklin St, Baltimore, MD 21201
Use the link above when booking to access our partner rate,
which will give you access to the lowest room price.

Hotel Revival

101 W Monument St, Baltimore, MD 21201
Get 20% off your room with code: 135683
From the "Special Rate" dropdown select "Corporate" then
enter the code provided above.

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