Former White House Chief of Staff, Marine Four-Star Gen. John F.Kelly for 2020 NaplesNEXT

Former White House Chief of Staff and Marine four-star Gen. John F. Kelly, USMC  (Ret.) will be the keynote speaker at the 2020 NaplesNEXT Ideas Festival, which will take place March 2-3 at the Naples Grande Beach Resort.

The second annual event elevates traditional thought leadership gatherings by bringing together world-renowned innovators, policy makers, trendsetters, influencers and philanthropists. By integrating luxury hospitality, culinary and cultural experiences against the backdrop of the exclusive Naples Grande Beach Resort, the event will once                                                                              again offer “Big Thinking. Big Fun.” to attendees in Southwest Florida.

Registration for NaplesNEXT 2020 is now open at Each registrant receives access to both days of the festival including a midday luncheon and opening eveningreception with fellow attendees and speakers on March 2, and breakfast on March 3. A portion of each registration fee is tax-deductible and benefits the Community Foundation of Collier County and Naples Children & Education Foundation, which is partnering with the festival to present the State of the Community Summit on March 3.

General Kelly is among a group of global and national experts that will deliver their expertise and insights at the festival. David Rubenstein, co-founder and co-executive chairman of The Carlyle Group; Nick Schifrin, foreign affairs and defense correspondent for PBS Newshour; Maye Musk, model and dietician; Allan Golston, President, U.S. Program for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; and Susan Goldberg, Editor in Chief of National Geographicare just a few of the many influential thought leaders that will share their perspectives on relevant issues impacting society today.

“Building off a successful first year, the 2020 NaplesNEXT Ideas Festival will again feature an incredibly diverse schedule of programming that will resonate with festival-goers and inspire them to innovate in their own lives and communities,” said NaplesNEXT executive director Stacey Vollman Warwick. “The assembled speakers have such impressive backgrounds, making them highly respected global, national and local experts and trendsetters in their fields. Their wealth of knowledge across private, public, military and non-profit sectors will be invaluable to the Southwest Florida community as they share “What’s NEXT?” at this year’s festival.”

A highly decorated officer with nearly 50 years of service in the United States military and government administration, General Kelly will deliver Tuesday morning’s keynote address that will focus on government, geopolitics and his real-world perspective on the current global landscape. Prior to his role as White House Chief of Staff, General Kelly served as Secretary of Homeland Security (Jan.-July, 2017) and Commander of the United States Southern Command (2012-2016) among many other distinguished roles in the Marine Corps.

Other festival highlights include:

  • NASA astronaut and photographer Terry Virts shares his experiences and photographs from his travels during the space program.
  • Bridgeway Foundation CEO and author Shannon Sedgwick Davis provides the inside story of her mission to end a murderous warlord who terrorized countries across Central and East Africa in her highly-acclaimed book “To Stop a Warlord.”
  • An exclusive evening reception with conference attendees and speakers, featuring a menu developed by Top Chef Star and James Beard Award Nominee Chef Lindsay Autry (The Regional Kitchen & Public House City Place) and a wine tasting menu curated by Jon McDaniel, named Food + Wine Magazine’s 2018 Sommelier of the Year. Other local chefs to offer their culinary expertise include Jason Goddard (Sea Salt), Vincenzo Betulla (The French) and Asif Syed (21 Spices).
  • Christine Brennan, sports columnist and commentator with ABC News, CNN, PBS Newshour, NPR and USA Today, will serve as the event’s Master of Ceremonies.

For more information on NaplesNEXT 2020 and to register for this year’s event, please visit or follow us on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn at @NaplesNEXT.NaplesNEXT is produced by the Leadership division of Intersport, a 20-time Emmy Award-winning innovator and event producer.

The current panel and speaker schedule can be found below:

Monday, March 2

Session and Speakers

Global Foreign Policy and Markets: 2020 and Beyond

About the Session: An unplugged discussion about the factors influencing market valuations, consumer sentiment and financial stability.

Speaker: David Rubenstein, Co-Founder & Co-Executive Chairman, The Carlyle Group

Speaker: Nick Schifrin, Foreign Affairs and Defense Correspondent, PBS Newshour

A Celebration of Women: 100 Years Since the 19th Amendment

About the Session: Susan Goldberg will review a special exhibit of the National Geographic WOMEN Image Collection followed by in-depth discussions with female leaders who are blazing trails in various industries.

Moderator: Susan Goldberg, Editor-in-Chief, National Geographic

Speaker: Maye Musk, model and dietitian

Speaker: Olasimbo Sojinrin, Nigeria Country Director, Solar Sister

Healthcare Innovation: Scientific Advances Enabling A Longer & Better Life

About the Session: Experts and innovators share new technologies, improvements and longevity wisdom for our bodies, minds and lifestyles.

Panelist: S. Jay Olshansky, Professor, School of Public Health, University of Illinois at Chicago

Panelist: Dr. Malú Tansey, Director, Center for Translational Research in Neurodegenerative Disease, University of Florida

Panelist: Dr. Nir Barzilai, Director, Institute for Aging Research, Albert Einstein College of Medicine



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