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Jonathan  Kaufman

Jonathan Kaufman

Professor, Motivator & Consultant


Jonathan Kaufman is an innovative thought leader, business educator and strategist who recognizes the impact of personal development on organizational growth. As a storyteller, Professor Kaufman shares his own journey dealing with the obstacles of everyday life and provides audiences with a true understanding of what it means to be in the act of "becoming" when finding greater success. Born with Cerebral Palsy, Jonathan Kaufman’s disability has been a profound part of his personal, academic and professional life. Whether hiking in the Ecuadorian highlands with his family, skiing down a mountain or repelling down the side of a cliff in the Middle East, to the simplicity of tying his own shoes one handed, he has pushed the idea that anything is possible if given the will. Read More >

Building on his past experience as a former policy advisor to the White House on diversity and disability, Professor Kaufman has grown his work even further. Currently, he is a Forbes contributor, writing a regular column on the intersection of disability, business and leadership strategy. In addition, he is an innovative thinker and practitioner in the areas of diversity and inclusion, corporate health and wellness, and personal growth.

As an executive coach, licensed psychotherapist and strategist, Professor Kaufman works with C-Level Executives, Fortune 500 and 1000 companies, and non for profits through his company J Kaufman Consulting. He develops new strategies and initiatives by combining ideas from management theories and applications to entrepreneurial thinking to the knowledge of human capital through increasing motivation and skills to achieve greater success both personally and professionally. Read Less ^

Speaker Videos

Re-Imagining Disability for the 21st Century

Disability Creates Ingenuity - A Critical Business Tool

Jonathan Kaufman at Aktion Mensch

Speech Topics

A Smarter Workforce for the 21st Century

Business leaders are always looking for cutting edge solutions to develop a competitive advantage in their organization, while keeping the tried-and-true methods that defined their success in the first place. In this keynote Professor Kaufman draws upon his work to reveal a fresh approach, looking through a new lens to see how organizations can cultivate new leadership tactics and design tactics to cultivate a stronger workforce for the 21st Century. Read More >

The keynote will focus on: Read Less ^

  • How the “lived experience” of disability creates new options for design thinking around developing new strategies for increased productivity.
  • How technologies have created more and better ways of getting work done, regardless of the location or physical capabilities of your talent, and how leadership skills are lagging behind the technological tools.
  • How business leaders can draw upon Professor Kaufman’s “Adaptation Construct” to develop new skills in Leadership to tackle the challenges of a 21st Century workforce including issues of attracting and retaining talent, cross-generational issues including millennial’s and creating the right mindset in a people first economy.

Customized Speaking Engagements

In a world full of complexity and nuance organizations seek different things to enhance their goals and objectives. This is why Professor Kaufman offers a high level of custom designed speaking engagements to meet the needs of the client. One of the things Professor Kaufman has learned in his training, as a psychotherapist and anthropologist, is one must start where the client is. By designing a speech around the organization’s needs, this only reinforces the ability to reach the long-term objectives and goals. Read More >

Through this customized speaking model clients will have the ability to benefit by getting what is most needed and provide an optimal learning experience for the session:   

  • Strategizing Diversity & Inclusion
  • Identifying and Maximizing Underutilized Talent
  • Using Technologies Better
  • Shift to Design Thinking to Enhance Growth
  • Cultivating Greater Leadership

What is the process for Professor Kaufman to develop a customized speaking engagement? Starting with a basic opening questionnaire Professor Kaufman collects some essential information to understand your organization’s needs and objectives as well as some the key challenges you face. He talks with your key stakeholders to discuss and identify specific issues and ideas that they want to tackle. Read Less ^

Making Your Wound Into Your Bow: A Personal Approach to Leadership

Professor Kaufman's focus for this stirring keynote is to help leaders unlock their full potential for leadership. Read More >

By drawing on his own personal story of his own disability he provides the audience a greater understanding of: Read Less ^

  • How leaders can develop their own emotional competence and build strength that can be translated to serve the organization and drive greater success.
  • How leaders can become more self-aware by redefining their "weakness" into their greatest asset, which in turn allows them to better respond to the shifting needs of their organizations.
  • Professor Kaufman will motivate organizations to redefine their very understanding of the modern traits of leadership.

Re-Imagining Disability for the 21st Century

Persons with disabilities have now exceeded the size of China with over 1.1 billion people making it the largest minority in the world. With numerous social, cultural and demographic shifts, Professor Kaufman in this talk explores why it is so important to re-imagine disability for the 21st century. Using disability as a lens, Kaufman discusses how the ripple effect of the growth of this community will impact us all through the ever-changing environments of business, government and education.

Neurodiversity: From Stigma to Empowerment to Gain Greater Control of Ones Mental Health & Understanding if Invisible Disabilities

As a licensed psychotherapist, Jonathan Kaufman has worked with individuals, couples, families and groups focusing on a myriad of mental health issues from acute psychosis, depression, anxiety, PTSD, to work/life balance and stress management. Through his professional experience and seeing the media’s portrayal of those with invisible disabilities, he felt it was time to speak up and offer people a more comprehensive understanding of the nuances of neurodiversity and its impact on mental health and what that means in today’s society. This talk is designed for parents, advocates/mental health professionals, media and those dealing with everyday issues to inform, empower and engage in developing a greater understanding and embrace diversity.

Creating a Competitive Advantage in Your Business: Why Mental Health Matters

Leadership, innovation and management style are all important ingredients in developing a successful and thriving business. Yet, another key element that needs to be addressed that often doesn’t get enough attention is corporate health and wellness. Business at its core is always about people and understanding how to keep employees mentally engaged and productive is critical for the growth of any organization. Read More >

In this talk licensed psychotherapist, executive coach and consultant Jonathan Kaufman will offer audience members insight into some of the key challenges that are facing organizations today as it pertains to corporate health and wellness. Issues that will be explored will include (but not limited to) stress management, work/life balance as well job design concerns. Kaufman will discuss what types of organizational strategies are needed to assist in developing an innovative approach to corporate health and wellness. Through leveraging his background, audiences are given a unique multifaceted perspective from both a macro and micro point of view to illustrate the value add in cultivating long term success and the power that mental health has in business strategy. Read Less ^