Nat Irvin

Author, innovator, futurist, teacher, composer and commentator, Nat Irvin, II, is the Woodrow M. Strickler Executive in Residence, Professor of Management Practice, College of Business at the University of Louisville where he has taught change management, leadership, future studies and team dynamics since 2007. 

From 1996-2007, Irvin led Future Focus 2020, a think tank at the Babcock Graduate School of Management at Wake Forest University, dedicated to introducing futurist ideas to urban communities.  He created “N2 the Future” a new futurist thinking educational program aimed at urban audiences which debuted 2006 on “Syndication One,” produced by Radio One. The show could be heard in over 30 major urban cities in America. 

Irvin has engaged numerous groups and organizations, including leadership and management teams of several Fortune 100 companies in strategic conversations focused on the significant social, political, economic, technological and environmental trends events that will drive the mid to long term future.

Irvin has been quoted in the New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle, The BBC, Christian Science Monitor, ABC News, Essence Magazine, among many other news organizations. He was a columnist for the Winston-Salem Journal, distributed by Media General Newspapers for over 15 years, provided commentary for NPR’s Weekend Edition and was a regular member of the roundtable on NPR’s News and Notes.

Irvin is an advisor to a proprietary research study on consumer behavior and the emergence of identity among African American, Latino, Asian Indian, and LGBT groups conducted by Starcom MediaVest Group, one of the world’s largest brand communications groups. Advertisers and other media use Irvin’s findings to identify new demographic groups and target them with customized messages and opportunities. The Beyond Demographics™ initiative launched in 2007 under the direction of Esther "ET" Franklin, EVP, Director of Cultural Identities for Starcom MediaVest Group, to transcend demographics in order to uncover the unique communities that exist within each culture and their distinct media preferences and consumption habits.

Dr. Irvin is founder of “Thrivals @IdeaFestival” launched in 2010, the kick-off day of the IdeaFestival, an annual world-class event that attracts leading global innovators and thinkers to discuss and celebrate imagination, new perspectives and transformational ideas. 

Dr. Irvin served as an advisor to the “TED Challenge: A Mission to Build the Next Generation of Brains," sponsored by TED (Technology, Entertainment & Design) and the Bezos Family (Amazon) Foundation, a non-profit focused on education from birth through high school.

Irvin serves as a musical consultant and the Chief Learning Officer for Janelle Monáe and the Wondaland Arts Society, a two time Grammy nominated artistic group based in Atlanta, Ga.

Dr. Irvin is a graduate of the University of South Carolina with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy and a Masters degree in Media Arts. An accomplished composer, he also holds a Doctorate of Musical Arts degree in Music Composition from the University of North Texas and is a graduate of the Institute for Educational Management, Harvard University Graduate School of Education. 

Married to Chandra Goforth Irvin, the couple has three adult children.