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Leadership Institute Columbus State University The Forum

Erik Wahl

Erik Wahl

Groundbreaking artist, author and expert on creativity and innovation

Erik Wahl is an internationally recognized artist, TED speaker and best-selling author. His breakthrough experience as an artist and entrepreneur has translated into making him into one of the most sought-after corporate speakers on the circuit today.

On stage, Walh’s keynote experience creates a dynamic multidimensional metaphor for how to systematically embrace innovation and risk. His message: disruption is the new normal and businesses must embrace creativity in a wholesale fashion, or risk being left behind. His presentation inspires organizations to be increasingly agile and outlines how to use disruption as a competitive advantage. Some companies will be disrupted, others will choose to be the disruptor. Choose wisely.

His new book, The Spark and the Grind, activates the essential components, translating ideas into action. The book rose to CEO Reads best-seller list within the first week of its launch. Forbes Magazine hailed his previous book, Unthink, as the blueprint to actionable creativity, and Fast Company Magazine said it was “provocative with a purpose.”

His breakthrough thinking has earned praise from top influencers in the realms of art and business. Wahl discovered an alarming truth early in his career as a partner in a corporate firm: organizations that encouraged creative thought did better than those that did not put innovation as a priority mission. So he set out to challenge companies to change their way of thinking.

In the meantime, inspired by street art, he became an acclaimed graffiti artist—though he has since stopped selling his works for personal gain, and instead uses his art to raise money for charities. His keynote is where his passion for business growth and art dovetail.

His list of clients includes AT&T, Disney, London School of Business, Microsoft, FedEx, Exxon Mobil, Ernst & Young and XPrize.