Dan Goods Profile

  • As "Visual Strategist" at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Goods uses his artistic talents to translate abstract ideas and complex concepts into compelling stories that inspire and awe.

  • Goods' projects include putting the size of the galaxy into perspective by drilling a hole in a grain of sand and creating a light installation that captures just how difficult it is to discover planets behind stars through.

  • Goods is the co-founder of the Museum of Awe and Wonder, an interactive experience of art, theater, science, and surprise.

  • Ranked as "One of the Most Interesting People in Los Angeles," Goods' keynotes stretch audiences' minds, using breath-taking visuals to change not only how we see, but what we are capable of seeing.
  • Dan Goods explains his life and career in one sentence: “After doing the dishes, reading bedtime stories to my kids, and spending time with my wife, I work on other creative problem solving projects around the world.”

    Named “One of the Most Interesting People in Los Angeles” by LA Weekly, Dan Goods created his own dream position as “Visual Strategist” at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Dan, along with his team of developers, creates works that help transform complex concepts into something that can be universally understood. Their work can seen in public spaces, art museums, as well outer space.

    Using humor and an approachable style, Dan’s speaking engagements takes the audience on his journey from graduating valedictorian from the graphic design program at Art Center College of Design in 2002 to his current role at NASA. Using his unusual journey as a guide, Goods explains how innovation, passion, and creativity can be unleashed to understand what it means to be you and what it means to be human.

    • View Extended/Alternate Bio

      Drilling a hole into a grain of sand, creating a pipe organ out of soda pop bottles and coordinating people around the world to signal to a spacecraft flying past Earth on its way to Jupiter, is all in a day’s work.

      Despite low grades and little direction early in life, Dan Goods found his passion and created a dream position at one of the most prestigious science and engineering institutions in the world—NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). Between his work at JPL and his own large-scale art projects around the world, Dan creates experiences that are beautiful, meaningful and profound.

      He recently received an International Design Excellence Award and was named “One of the Most Interesting People in Los Angeles” by LA Weekly. A gifted speaker, he uses humor and an unpretentious and approachable style to share his unusual journey, giving insight into multidisciplinary collaborations, creativity, passion and what it means to be human.

    Dan Goods Speaking Videos

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    Dan Goods's Speech Descriptions

    Using his remarkable artwork as a base, Dan explains how to take things in the universe that cannot be seen by the human eye and make them real. He applies this concept to the physical world, whether it involves your business or your personal future.

    Dan created his own position at NASA using his passion and creativity. His speaking engagements, filled with humor and grace, help bring the audience closer to their goals by taking weighty concepts and bringing them down to a universal level.

    By creating moments in peoples lives where they can interact with something beautiful, meaningful, and/or possibly profound, Dan’s programs are fun, interactive and extremely popular.

    Seeing the Unseen

    There are many things in the universe that exist, but cannot be seen with human eyes. This applies to the physical world as well as it does to politics, your business or your personal future. These thoughts have made an impact on Dan Goods life and work. Dan will share his remarkable artwork that brings you closer to an invisible world you never knew, while at the same time sharing his personal story of creating a career that did not formerly exist. With humor and grace, Dan distills complex and weighty concepts into stories that can be universally understood. Through his presentation, you will see that sometimes new technology is needed to see the invisible, but sometimes you just need a new perspective.

    Dan Goods on Speaking

    I want people to feel inspired, laugh, cry, get goosebumps, and ultimately, see their existence in the universe in a new light.

    SPEAKING.COM: What do you want people to learn/take away from your presentations?

    GOODS: I want people to feel inspired, laugh, cry, get goosebumps, and ultimately, see their existence in the universe in a new light. I also hope to convey themes such as innovative thinking, collaboration, risk taking, problem solving, and that there is more to the world than what you can see.

    SPEAKING.COM: What kind of special prep work do you do prior to an event? How do you prepare for your speaking engagements?

    GOODS: I always want to talk to the organizers to understand their audience and major themes so I can tailor my stories to fit. I usually have a demonstration at the end of my talks so I like to go through all the logistics beforehand. It is not that complicated a process, but it gets everyone on the same page. I also like to know what is happening beyond my talk so that I can do everything I can to make my segment as worry free for the organizer as possible.

    SPEAKING.COM: Have you had any particularly memorable speaking engagements / unusual situations arise while on the road?

    GOODS: I recently spoke at the American Institute of Architects as the day two keynote; day one was Michelle Obama. My tech check was right after her talk, but I couldn’t get backstage because of all the security. Eventually everything cleared and we carried on with our day.

    SPEAKING.COM: What types of audiences would most benefit from your message?

    GOODS: I’ve had the privilege of speaking to all kinds of audiences: old, young, business, tech, art, liberal, conservative, national, international, and so forth.

    Who is impacted most? Perhaps people who are in need of permission in some aspect of their business or lives – for example, permission to think differently, permission to try new things, or permission to acknowledge that their uniqueness matters.

    I don’t think of myself as anything but an ordinary person with some unusual ideas, so it has been so strange (and humbling) having so many people tell me how much they have been touched after one of my talks.

    SPEAKING.COM: What inspired you to start doing speaking engagements?

    GOODS: When I realized that my story impacts people. I don’t think of myself as anything but an ordinary person with some unusual ideas, so it has been so strange (and humbling) having so many people tell me how much they have been touched after one of my talks. Traveling is tiring and I don’t like to be away from my family, but my wife and I decided that it’s worth it because there are people out there who will be influenced forever. I have had those experiences myself and treasure them, so if I can do the same for someone else I want to be there for them.

    SPEAKING.COM: How much do case studies, personal stories and/or humor factor into your keynote speech content?

    GOODS: All three are integral to my talks.

    SPEAKING.COM: What are some of the successes you’ve helped clients achieve?

    GOODS: I am usually at an event to expand people’s minds at the beginning or to bring the whole thing to a powerful close. Based on the feedback I get, my presentations are effective at doing just that. Exclusive Interview with Dan Goods
    Bringing Rocket Science Down to Earth, with Innovation Speaker Dan Goods
    In this interview, innovation keynote speaker Dan Goods discusses:
  • How he turns rocket science into a thrilling and comprehensive artistic experience for the general public.
  • His self-made path to a position in NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
  • How his latest project is waking people up to the wonders of our universe. Read the Full Interview
  • "What I always try to do is look for the essence in a product, a place, or a person and let that essence help me tell their story in a unique and powerful way that people will remember."
    - Dan Goods

    What People are Saying about Seeing Dan Speak

    Rating Entries

    “Dan Goods recently keynoted a COCAbiz premier event. Our audience is challenging because of its diversity, including corporate leaders from technology, finance and consumer goods as well as engineers, educators, and creatives from a wide variety of organizations. Business leaders are often skeptical about the value of talks by artists.

    Dan’s presentation was an absolute home run, reaching across disciplines and industries to fully engage our audience of over 400. We could have continued Q & A for another hour! COCAbiz received a large number of comments remarking on Dan’s powerful story telling, especially the way he wove his personal story as an artist with the romance and science of space exploration. He brilliantly illuminated the challenges of creative work within any large organization.

    The audience was moved and inspired by his authenticity, humor and memorable examples. He brought home the essential role of creative vision and a playful spirit in shaping the highest business, scientific and technical achievements of our time.

    I would unreservedly recommend Dan Goods as a speaker for any group exploring the deep connection between art, technology and business.”

    Steve Knight
    Director COCAbiz

    “I flew Dan out to be the closing keynote for Australia’s largest digital innovation event, and I have to say I’ve rarely seen anyone change an audience’s state so quickly. His delivery, his passion, and his way of telling a story that engages and enthralls an audience are second to none. I’ve subsequently flown Dan out to speak at other events and have been equally impressed. I can’t recommend him enough!”

    Chris Edwards, Content & Program Director, ad:tech and iMedia
    Australia / Thailand

    “The thing that inspires every member of every audience to keep creating, keep growing, and keep pushing and innovating is awe and wonder. When wonder dies, so does everything else. Dan is one the best communicators in the world at inspiring audiences to keep that awe and wonder alive. I’d have a hard time thinking of someone more gifted and qualified to recommend for such a purpose. He totally crushed his talk at STORY Conference for a room full of cynical artists and creators and received rave reviews. Get him while you still can.”

    Harris III, Director of STORY Conference
    Nashville, TN

    “Dan Goods took the audience to another world, although our audience were from all over the Middle East and the world, Dan still made us feel we’re in this world all together going on this journey to discover the universe with its limitless possibilities. We felt as one.”

    Ramy Alawssy, Director -ING Creatives
    Dubai, UAE

    You were an AWESOME speaker and truly inspired our students, teachers and principals! Thank you!!!

    Vanessa Wilkins, Director, Nike School Innovation
    Beaverton, OR

    “When you started I wondered what your talk had to do with anything, by the end I realized that it had to do with everything.”

    Attendee at REMIX
    New York, NY

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