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Maryam  Banikarim

Maryam Banikarim

Co-Founder, NYCNext & MaryamB LLC, Award-Winning Chief Marketing Officer, Fortune Managing Director, Most Powerful Women

Maryam Banikarim

Co-Founder, NYCNext & MaryamB LLC, Award-Winning Chief Marketing Officer, Fortune Managing Director, Most Powerful Women


Maryam Banikarim captured national attention with her TED talk: “How to Turn Obstacles into Opportunities.” Maryam is a C-suite executive turned community builder. As a marketing professional, she led five major businesses (Nextdoor, Hyatt, Gannett, NBC Universal, Univision) through sweeping transformations. During the pandemic, she turned her attention to driving civic participation, co-founding NYCNext, a volunteer army of 700 passionate New Yorkers. They produced 14 pop-up events including “A Moment for Broadway” and an Emmy-winning video version of Billy Joel’s “NY State of Mind.” Maryam then went on to create the award-winning WE(LOVE)NYC campaign. Currently she is working to scale The Longest Table, a free-to-all potluck that connects neighbors, builds community and spreads joy – building a movement that crosses the country.

Maryam is a sought-after speaker having keynoted for a range of clients: Pfizer, Disney, Points of Light, Ally Financial, Cognizant, Ciena to name a few. She was also the Columbia Business School’s commencement speaker in 2021. She is frequently recognized for her achievements on industry lists including Marketers that Matter’s “Visionaries,” New York Post’s “50 Most Powerful Women in NYC,” Fast Company’s “Top 10 Disrupters,” and Advertising Age’s “Women to Watch.” Committed to serving the broader community, Maryam has received the prestigious Ellis Island Medal, the Columbia Alumni Medal, as well as being recognized by the League of Women Voters and The Girl Scouts Council of Greater NY.  

Maryam is a graduate of Barnard College, Columbia Business School, and Columbia’s School of International Affairs. She proudly resides in New York City with her family and dog, Charlie.

Speaker Videos

Finding Your Why

Maryam Banikarim's Hot Takes on New York, Career, and Community in 2023

The Recovering CMO Purpose Driven Change Agent

Chase Your Ideas Sometimes it's the Journey

The Longest Table The Table Can Always Get Longer

NYCNext: Why does Maryam Love New York

Go For It! And Other Advice for Young Marketers

We ♡ NYC

Simply Doing

The Genie's Out of the Bottle with Remote Work

Maryam's Hot Take on HBOMax vs. Max

Interview with Forbes

Columbia Business School Graduation 2021 Distinguished Speaker Remarks

Life is a Series of Choices

Great Marketing Begins with Purpose | Salesforce

Chaos & Curiosity

Make a Difference Day With Maryam Banikarim

You Have to Care About the Customer Experience

Communities Built on Connections

Speech Topics

Building an Organization Through the Lens of Purpose

In her presentation "Building an Organization Through the Lens of Purpose," Maryam Banikarim explores the growing importance of purpose-driven organizations in inspiring employee commitment and customer engagement. She emphasizes that it's not just about what an organization makes, but what it stands for, and how leadership embeds this belief into its operations. By sharing case studies from companies such as Southwest Airlines, Hyatt, and Gannett, Maryam provides actionable steps for building an organization through the lens of purpose, leading to outperformance in the market. The presentation offers a compelling and energizing purpose-driven playbook that can be applied to any brand in any industry.

Community is the New Cool

In her talk "Community is the New Cool," Maryam delves into the concept of community and its growing significance for companies aiming to connect with today's consumers. She discusses how modern brands are increasingly seeking to engage their most loyal customers and build "sticky" communities, providing valuable insights through best-in-class examples and case studies. The talk explores the role of companies in supporting and connecting with their communities, emphasizing the potential for business growth along the way. Maryam also offers a guide on how to create a successful community marketing strategy, highlighting the importance of identifying brand topics, developing effective community marketing strategies, and engaging in active customer conversations.

Life is an Obstacle Course: A Story of Perseverance & Community

In this compelling talk, the speaker shares her personal journey of navigating life's unexpected challenges, from the Iranian revolution to the sudden loss of her father and the global pandemic. She explores the concept of viewing life's hurdles not as obstacles, but as an obstacle course, a series of tests that can be overcome with determination, resilience, and a sense of community. The speaker's experiences serve as a testament to the power of perseverance and the potential for adversity to be transformed into opportunity. This talk is a must-watch for anyone seeking inspiration on how to turn life's challenges into stepping stones towards success.

Embracing the Unexpected: Finding Joy & Purpose in Life's Journey

Maryam Banikarim shared a personal and insightful journey reflecting on her experiences, from her childhood in Iran to her professional career, and the valuable lessons she has learned along the way. Maryam's narrative is interwoven with practical tips for finding meaning, community, and joy. She emphasizes the importance of being true to oneself, taking action, and embracing the journey of self-discovery. Through her engaging storytelling, Maryam offers a compelling and relatable perspective on navigating life's challenges and finding purpose. Her journey serves as a source of motivation for those navigating their own paths and seeking to cultivate a sense of community, purpose, and joy in their personal and professional lives.