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OTA Sessions to support originality, action on March 23

Hugh Weber, founder of OTA Sessions, addresses the crowd at the event in 2011.

Back for its third year, the 2012 OTA Sessions will be held on Friday, March 23 in Sioux Falls. The inspirational and aspirational event has captivated more than 600 attendees and introduced more than 15 thought-provoking speakers to the Midwest.

Originally founded to highlight the Midwest as a hub of leadership and innovation, OTA represents the -OTA states: South DakOTA, North DakOTA and MinnesOTA. As it also stands for “Originality + Action,” the goal of the OTA Sessions is to bring people of the region together to develop a community that encourages and supports itself. This year’s event has changed its venue from the downtown Orpheum Theater to the Mortenson Theatre on the campus of Augustana College in Sioux Falls.

Since its inaugural year in 2010, OTA Sessions has hosted a list of dynamic speakers, including Spike Jones, Jonathan Harris, Sally Hogshead, C.C. Chapman, Rod Arnold (left, speaking at OTA Sessions 2011) and our very own Jeff Slobotski and Dusty Davidson. This year’s speakers cover a range of creativity, and they specialize in everything from story-telling to social media, from branding to community building.

“I am both amazed and humbled that we’re able to bring a speaker lineup of this caliber to the region,” said Hugh Weber, OTA Sessions founder and curator. “The men and women presenting at OTA 2012 bring a wealth of diversity, expertise and flat-out brilliance that should expand the horizons of all our attendees.”

This year’s OTA Sessions lineup features:

  • Stefan Sagmeister, founder of Sagmeister, Inc. and a New York-based graphic designer and typographer. He is often considered one of the most important living creative mind in the world today.
  • Paul Adams, a global brand experience and product manager at Facebook.
  • Simon Mainwaring, an award-winning branding consultant, best-selling author, influential blogger and international speaker. Check out his book, “We First.
  • Jay O’Callahan, a master storyteller fluent in turning an empty stage into a dynamic scene full of character and emotion.
  • Eric Pakurar, an executive director and head of strategy for G2, a top-five global marketing services agency.
  • Eric Le Brecque, president of Applied Storytelling and an expert in combining narrative traditions with marketplace dynamics.
  • Meagan Bennett, an associate art director for Abrams Books Young Readers’ new 0-5 program.
  • Tim Ogilvie, CEO and chief inspiration officer of Peer Insight, a firm that can boast consulting assignments for 16 Fortune 200 firms and six global governments.
  • Peter Sims, a best-selling author and entrepreneur. Check out his book, “Little Bets.”

The third annual event is just over three weeks away and tickets are said to be sold out, but you can register ($200) for the waiting list at otasessions.com. Weber told me they still expect to release a handful of tickets to the waiting list.


Credits: Photos from OTA Sessions on Facebook, by PJ Anderson Photography.

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