5 Growth Conferences Where You Can Get Some Wisdom 2.0

The Primacy of Face-to-Face

When over 19,000 people come together from 30 countries to attend a single conference, you know that something exciting is happening there. In this age where online seems to be taking over many aspects of our lives, millions of people will travel thousands of miles, to meet complete strangers. Why? Because nothing can replace the value of face-to-face. So whether you’re a Growth Hacker, entrepreneur or a seeker of inspiration, these events, seminars and festivals, offer energy and ideas to deeply develop. People gain insight into themselves and their goals, form friendships, access Champions and even close business deals.

Our Choice Growth Conferences

We put this list together so you can know what each is about and match yourself to the conference that makes the most sense for you. Our list of top 5 conferences are based on:

  • the keynote speaker’s reputation
  • diversity of offerings
  • feedback from attendees
  • organic or social buzz

You’ll see many Champions of all types at these events connecting and exploring the big issues of our time.

Wisdom 2.0

Wisdom 2.0 Banner

The Wisdom 2.0 Conference challenges attendees to re-assess their entire relationship to technology.  The gathering poses that the great challenges of our age are to not only live connected to one another through technology, but to do so in ways that are effective in our work, beneficial to our own well-being and useful to the world.

Through their series of conferences, workshops and meetups, they strive to bring this conversation to the world in an accessible, inclusive and innovative way.

Who goes, where and when

Each February the Wisdom 2.0 Conference in the Bay Area typically brings together over 2,500 people from dozens of countries. People come from many sectors, including coaches; technology staff from Apple, Google, and Twitter; as well as entrepreneurs and venture capitalists. It’s a potent mix of people.

Wisdom 2.0 participants share a common interest: “to live with greater wisdom, purpose and meaning, while using technology in ways that create a more open and healthy culture.” Here is where self-awareness and compassion are taught as core and strategic qualities and not just as “soft” or afterthoughts.

Notable speakers

Wisdom 2.0 brings speakers together that intersection the boundaries of wisdom in the digital age. Past speakers included founders of some of the biggest digital companies today, Facebook, Twitter and eBay. For 2017 the lineup includes a diverse offering: Jon Kabat Zin, mindfulness teacher, Eileen Fisher, founder of Eileen Fisher fashion company, Tami Simon, owner of Sounds True, and Dolores Barnardo, Head of Leadership Development at Airbnb.


Inbound Conference Banner Image

Organized by HubSpot, Inbound celebrates the human, helpful side of business. They see their purpose as to “provide the education, inspiration and connections you need to grow and transform your business.” The founders, friends from MIT, built their entire business around the idea that providing helpful and value-added content that enriches the lives of their customers, and the customers of their customers, is a better way to drive goodness with the internet. They feel passionately that success is making customers and those that believed in you look brilliant.

Who goes, where and when

Thousands of marketing and sales professionals from any and all industries around the globe gather annually in Boston (this year it’s in September) to hear innovative talks, key-note addresses, hands-on lessons and plenty of networking opportunities. Content is what they promise, and with past attendees reaching almost 20,000, it holds that there is deep benefit in this marketing-focused event.

Notable speakers

Past speakers as diverse as Arianna Huffington, Alec Baldwin and Serena Williams addressed the attendees. For 2017, Michelle Obama and author Elizabeth Gilbert are the top draw, with chef Mario Batali and author Adam Grant also on the menu.

Growth Hackers

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A brainchild of Sean Ellis, founder of GrowthHackers, he coined the term "growth hacker" in 2010 with a watershed blog post entitled, “Find a Growth Hacker for Your Startup.” Simply defined, a growth hacker is a hacker whose objective is to grow the number of users for a specific product. Though sharing some similarities with traditional marketing, in this age of technology start ups needed a new way to grow their products—fast. After using it to ignite growth for Dropbox, Eventbrite, LogMeIn and Lookout— each now worth billions of dollars, he started his own company GrowthHackers.

The conference is divided into 2 parts of Growth Leverage, with the talks lasting 20 minutes each.  Talks scheduled for this year include: “Growth Models : How to Build One to Predict Growth” from Chris More at Mozilla and “Patterns of Fast Growing Startups” with Morgan Brown of InMan News & Coauthor of Hacking Growth.

Powerful and relevant speakers in 2017 offer descriptive discussions such as Dan Vallej from Google’s Growth Lab addressing “Using In-app Growth Patterns to Drive Engagement and Retention Across Consumer Apps” and Instagram’s Bangaly Kaba on “Focusing on User Growth — How Instagram Activates New People.”  

Who goes, where and when

The GrowthHackers Conference brings today's growth leaders under one roof for a single impactful day. Offered May 24 in Los Angeles, they teach practicalities on what is takes to develop a high-performance growth team. The program crosses the disciplines of product, design and marketing.

Notable speakers

Interestingly not only founders and CEOs are speakers, the industry titles that shine here are Head of Growth and Marketing.  Cat Lee from Pinterest, Ed Baker from Uber and Facebook, Chris More of Mozilla, Lisa Sullivan-Cross from Pandora and Mayur Gupta of Spotify are all Growth Champions for 2017.


Thrive Conference Banner Image

Brava Magazine offers a one day conference for women to learn, connect and grow. Women choose one of the 4 impactful E’s to investigate: empowered, enriched, educated and entrepreneurial. In their chosen track, the main topics of personal enrichment and professional development topics promise to “inspire women to nurture themselves, cultivate their personal potential and thrive in all aspects of life!”

Who goes, where and when

Offered every April in Madison, Wisconsin, they are already planning 2018.

Notable speakers

A keynote presentation for 2017 entitled “Forget Work/Life Balance and Create Flow” with Shilagh Mirgain, PhD offers solutions to real issues that challenge women in business today.

Champions at the conference lead discussions, teachings and coaching sessions on diverse subjects such as “Harness Your Authentic Power,” with Adrianne Machina, “Holistic Stress Management and Self Care,” with Sheba McCants and “Personal Branding for Professional Growth” with Ellen Bartkowiak.

Global Leadership Summit

Global Leadership Summit Banner Image

There is something powerful that happens when people gather to become empowered as leaders. With the core belief that everyone has influence and leads in some aspect of their lives, this growth conference offers the vision, inspiration and practical skills for people to lead in their community, their church and their lives.

Willowcreek is the company behind the summit. They have an unapologetically Christ-centered mission— to create effective leaders for churches around the world. With their top-notch keynote speakers and whole heart and mind philosophy, they are creating effective leaders in every industry. The stated intention of their Global Leadership Summit is to “engage not just the leader’s mind, but also their heart.”

Who goes, where and when

With over 2 million leaders trained to date, this August join 400,000 of your friends for a live HD simulcast to 1375 locations around the world. Offered in 60 languages, Global Leadership Summit is one of the truly global growth conferences.

Notable speakers

Champions are activists, human rights lawyers and technology entrepreneurs. Keynote speakers include Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook, Marcus Lemonis, star of CNBC’s “The Profit”, and Gary Haugen, the founder and CEO of International Justice Mission, recognized for its anti-slavery mission. Past speaker Angela Duckworth, a MacArthur “genius” grant winner, researcher, and author of “Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance,” lead attendees to see how motivation and stamina are leading determining factors for success.

The Time is Now to Get Inspired and Grow

There is a reason that growth conferences have mushroomed in the last few years. The transformational energy raised when people meet face-to-face and create relationship can not be underestimated. As past keynote speaker at INBOUND Gary Vaynerchuk wisely tweeted, “What are you waiting for? Whose permission do you seek? Time flies when you aren't doing.”

OK, it’s time to choose your next growth conference. And let you and your business fly.