Scott Dikkers

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The Founder, Creative Catalyst

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1 Video(s) By This Presenter

Scott Dikkers: The Creativity Catalyst, The Onion founder

4 Programs By This Presenter

In the age of AI, how can we still be creative?

It’s true, AI is THE disruption on everyone’s mind — teams in every industry wonder if they are safe from job extinction, while leaders explore how AI will generate and save money. In the midst of programming, automation, and data points, the art of human creativity (using brains and emotions) is still the key to innovation.

Scott’s talk ISN’T about AI expertise, it IS using a proven creativity method (with other humans or in conjunction with AI) that he used to make The Onion a multi-million dollar company. Scott is a creative catalyst who used a process that leads to constant innovation, improvisation, and adaptability.

While The Onion may be all humor, it is a serious business that has traveled through highways of disruption (from the fall of print media to the rise of the internet, and more). The future of work has always been here. Everything is changing around us — so many disruptive forces and so much change in the way we work, interact, and accomplish anything.

Creativity is how The Onion survived and thrived amid a market crash, digital transition, a hybrid office, and increased stealth competition. Scott’s talk provides attendees a clear method that teams and leaders can use while reminding them of their vital role in innovation.

Have you ever seen a story in your news feed from The Onion and thought it was real?

Nowadays, it’s hard to tell satire from real news. Scott Dikkers can help, He is the founding and longest serving editor of the onion the original fake newspaper.

Audiences at colleges universities and other educational organizations have a great time when he comes to speak on their campus.  He brings plenty of laughs, of course, and outrageous stories about the crazy characters, wild mix-ups, and legal troubles you might expect to hear about — from the onions storied history, all the way up to the present day. Scott shares an important message that’s uniquely relevant with three big takeaways:

  1. Read critically:
    How are we supposed to separate knowledge from conspiracy truth, from lies? It’s not easy anymore.  We live in a world where far too many people believe the Earth is flat, or that we didn’t land on the moon, or that Nanobots are going to turn us all into flesh-eating zombies. Scott will make a big impact with attendees, stressing the importance of approaching everything we read with questions and curiosity instead of blind acceptance.
  2. Check your sources:
    Since the day The Onion was founded, Scott has been compelling people to think about where they’re getting their information. Today, a lot of people are understandably confused about how to navigate this strange media landscape we find ourselves in. We have news feeds now instead of newspapers, and we all need to be more Discerning media consumers. This gets to the core of what education is all about.
  3. Spread the truth you know:
    We’re all in the media now, whether we like it or not. We distribute information to our friends, family, and to our broader followers, so we all need to be responsible journalists. We didn’t sign up for this, but that’s the price of living in the modern digital world.

Scott engages with students and community members who love asking him questions and getting into lively discussions about media literacy and other topics, from creative writing to entrepreneurship and marketing.

Attendees will walk away from his talk entertained for sure, but also clear-eyed about the importance of being an informed and just maybe, they’ll think twice next time they see something a little too crazy to be true in their news feed.

Scott Dikkers tells the tale of his beginnings in comedy and getting The Onion started, and shares funny stories about how he struggled in the early years, and then achieved great success. As a farm boy with no education, he’ll paint the picture of a starry-eyed kid who loved reading Mad Magazine and dreamt of one day getting his work published to improbably founding the world’s first humor website and heading up America’s longest-surviving humor publication. Dikkers connects his experience to the college audience’s lives by pointing out how much more opportunity they have to start something new like The Onion today, explaining that this is a magical time in their lives when they can make just about anything happen for themselves.


“I just wanted to say thank you so much for hosting our Leaders Connect program. It was great working with you throughout the process and the energy you brought to the event really kept everyone engaged and upbeat. The overall customer feedback we received on the event was incredible! We have already started thinking about what to do for next year and now there are talks about our leadership wanting to do another in just 6 months! “

— Zoom

“Our audiences love him… funny, insightful, and relevant. He has spoken for us 11 times across the US and never disappoints. We are looking forward to booking Scott for more events!”

— Digital Summit

“Our audiences love him … funny, insightful, and relevant.”

— TechMedia

“Scott Dikkers killed … his talk was amazing!”


“Scott’s lectures were entertaining, informative, and delivered with an articulate and personable flair. Additionally, his talks have sparked students’ interest to attend future extra-curricular lectures, which is the best possible outcome we could have attained.”

— Indiana University

“Inspiring and thought provoking … but also simply a good time. He cracked us all up!”

— Yale University

“Scott Dikkers did an AWESOME job as the keynote speaker for our Virtual Writers Weekend Saturday night. He was incredibly well prepared; his tech and studio setup were perfect, and he was just so easy to work with, it took a lot of weight off my shoulders. Moreover, the audience LOVED him, and we all had a great time.”

— The Mark Twain House

“They loved him! The turnout for this event was almost as many people as David Sedaris brought in — over 1,200 people.”

— St. Mary’s College of Maryland

“It was a blast! He kept the audience engaged, he was funny and so relatable to our students and community members. On top of all that he was so gracious with his time. We had good media coverage which is always awesome for the college.”

— Delta College
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