We are so excited to present June’s speaker, Kevin Carroll who is speaking on the topic of “Insecure”. Please join us.Kevin Carroll
Raised by his grandparents in the greater Philadelphia area, Kevin spent endless hours at the neighborhood playground where he found his “calling” – a red rubber ball. His subsequent pursuit of sport and play (aka his “red rubber ball”) plus his love of learning has led Kevin to becoming an author, a speaker and a social change agent.
Kevin is an author of four highly successful books published by ESPN, Disney Press, McGraw-Hill and A Kids Book About. He has helped turn creative ideas into reality for organizations such as Nike, Starbucks, adidas, Walt Disney, Target, Proctor & Gamble, Columbia Sportswear, Mattel, the National Basketball Association and many others.
Kevin has dedicated his life to advancing education, sports and play as a vehicle for social change and success. He was honored to address the United Nations as part of the UN Year of Sports for Development and Peace in 2005 and is an ongoing advisor and active supporter for many global social innovation organizations. Kevin was named by SUCCESS magazine as one of 19 “SEERS – changing the world!”
“The master in the art of living makes little distinction between his work and his play…”
- James Michener
I think the words of James Michener truly summarize my personal and professional journey. My pursuit of what I like to call “blurring the line between work and play” started in 1977 with my high school graduation and led to: a short stint at college in Tennessee (Tennessee Wesleyan College) playing soccer and half-heartedly pursuing my collegiate education; enlisting in the military and my foreign language ability is discovered via military career aptitude testing in 1980; honorably serving ten years in the United States Air Force (USAF) as a Interpreter and Translator in Serbo-Croatian and working as a Technical Training Instructor for Czech, earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in Speech Communication with a minor in Athletic Training studies in 1989; a 1990 Honorable Discharge from the USAF was followed-up by teaching at two elite private schools on the Main Line of Philadelphia, PA and leading the athletic training efforts for the student-athletes at those schools; which led to me being hired as Head Athletic Trainer at basketball power St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia from 1992; finding time for continuing my scholarly pursuits and earning a Master of Science degree in Health Education in 1995; that collegiate hire created a leap to the National Basketball Association (NBA) and the Philadelphia 76ers - notably as only the third African-American Head Athletic Trainer in the history of the league - in 1995; that NBA work and my language training in the Air Force created a unique opportunity, in the Summer of 1996, to join the Yugoslavian National Basketball Team as a sports medicine liaison for their competition at the Atlanta Olympic Games; at the Atlanta Games, an NBA media feature story of my work and a curious executive at Nike prompted my transition in 1997 from the NBA to the sports industry giant; over the next seven years I carved out a unique role and legacy; that role (official title: Katalyst) presents opportunities to share my plethora of personal and professional stories on global stages and I’m approached by the lecture/speaking circuit and a book publisher; a personal brand is launched in 2004, Kevin Carroll Katalyst/LLC, focused on espousing the role and value of sport in play in our lives, via a global speaking calendar, publishing three books, and a dedicated effort to advance the work of organizations and individuals around the world using storytelling, curiosity, grit, mindfulness, high performance coaching and sports/play as a competitive advantage.
FOUR CORE Qs
How do you define creativity and apply it in your life and career?
Writer Steven B. Johnson defines the adjacent possible as - “a kind of shadow future, hovering on the edges of the present state of things, a map of all the ways in which the present can reinvent itself…” I have been in constant pursuit of the “adjacent possible” in all of my creative endeavors - tirelessly looking for ways to reinvent an idea, insight, notion or project in clever and unexpected way.
Where do you find your best creative inspiration or energy?
During physical activities - a workout via the FREELETICS app, running, jumping rope, walking our dog. When my body is in motion, my mind is free. Movement is my creative MOJO!
What’s one piece of creative advice or a tip you wish you’d known as a young person?
Be willing to discard the first “idea” that you get (no matter how amazing it might seem to be!) & trust that there’s an even better one beyond that first idea.
Who (living or dead) would you most enjoy hearing speak at CreativeMornings?
Cas Holman/Designer of Playthings at Rigamajig
Paulo Coelho, Author of The Alchemist + many other books
Maya Angelou/Poet Extraordinaire
What are you reading these days?
The Shape of Design by Frank Chimero
What’s the most recent thing you learned (big or small)?
This global pandemic has shown me that…Humanity IS stronger than divisiveness! #humanityFTW
What music are you listening to these days?
If you had fifteen extra minutes each day, what would you do with them?
What is the one movie or book every creative must see/read?
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
What is the one question we haven’t asked that you want to answer?
Q: What’s your Quarantine “Go To” comfort food(s)?
A: TWIX(left or right!) + Garden of Eatin’ Blue Chips + Topo Chico Sparkling Water