Who will you meet at Giant Steps?


In addition to a whole room full creative entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial creatives, we’ve lined up some amazing path-forgers to share their ideas and insights with you in 2019. We’ll be updating this page soon, but you can get an idea of the mix of speakers by our 2018 speakers shown here.


Keynote Conversation


Jay Smooth is a veteran hip-hop DJ, cultural commentator and videoblogger at illdoctrine.com. Jay started his career at WBAI radio, where in 1991 he founded New York’s longest running hip-hop radio show, the Underground Railroad. The Railroad helped break artists including the Wu Tang Clan, Naughty by Nature, Jean Grae and Natural Elements, and was recently cited by Chuck D as home of “the best hip-hop conversations.” Jay founded his website hiphopmusic.com in 1997 and was pivotal in launching the hip-hop blog scene. Since 2007, Jay is best known for his social commentary in the Illdoctrine.com video series. Jay’s mix of humor and incisive analysis has garnered millions of views and been featured by NPR, CNN and MSNBC, where Rachel Maddow hailed him as a “genius.” Ill Doctrine videos including “How to Tell Someone They Sound Racist” have become part of the curriculum in many schools and universities, and Jay’s TEDx talk, “How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Talking About Race” among the most widely viewed on the TEDx website. Jay also hosted a lecture series on media literacy on YouTube's Crash Course channel.




One-on-One ”Truth-Teller” Sessions


Past and present Giant Steps speakers (aka Truth-Tellers) will be available for one-on-one sessions


Performances by:


Blackout is an all-black improv group based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Their monthly shows at Mixed Blood Theater sell out nearly every month, but you can see them perform at Giant Steps 2018!