REVEALED: Our Firestarter Speakers For The WXO Campfires Season 5

Question: What happens when a neuroscientist, two performers, several best-selling authors, and a professional manufacturer of wonder walk into a (Zoom) room?

Answer: Epiphanies, groundbreaking insights, a healthy dose of disagreement and debate, and the next season of the much-anticipated WXO Campfires, of course!

In case you haven’t yet attended a WXO Campfire, let us explain. They’re a playground for experience pioneers around the world to connect, inspire, and challenge each other.

They’re a weekly meeting point where we swap ideas and insights, and take a peek into the way leaders from across the experience sectors create paradigm-shifting work.

Attendees leave having forged new connections in the flames, as well as feeling fired up to build better experiences.

Last season we enjoyed sessions on employee experience in the post-pandemic workplace, accessibility in the immersive arts, designing for transformation, and how our biggest fails have paved the way for our ultimate success stories.

Now, it’s time to reveal who’s on the line-up for Season 5. Read on for the dates and deets you need to put in your diary.

If you’d like to join us, there’s still time to apply for WXO Membership – all Campfires are for registered WXO Members only.

Headline and above image; Alex Pang; Rest: Why you get more done when you work less by Alex Soojung-Kim Pang


Cassie Holmes is a Professor of Marketing and Behavioral Decision Making at UCLA Anderson School of Management. In her new book Happier Hour, she explains how to improve lives by changing how we perceive and invest our time. (Wednesday 30 November)

Alex Soojung-Kim Pang is the author of the bestselling books Rest and Shorter. He returns to argue for the 4-day week – and what a 3-day weekend might mean for experience designers when people have more hours to fill… (Wednesday 2 November)

Barbara Groth is the former SVP of Creative for Meow Wolf and the Founder & Creative Director of the Nomadic School of Wonder. She’ll induct you in the Art of Wondermaking: how to design experiences that bring people into a felt experience of wonder and awe. (Wednesday 7 December)

Joe Pine is the co-author of the book The Experience Economy and a WXO Co-Founder. Having previously hosted Campfires on the Money Value of Time, Employee Experience, and Transformation, he returns to fan the flames. (Wednesday 26 October)


Leah Ableson, NYC-based immersive entertainment creator and performer with Whisperlodge and BOTO

Leah Ableson is a NYC-based immersive entertainment creator and performer with Whisperlodge and BOTO. She’ll be talking about Field Data from the Front Lines: Using Performer Experience to Mind Read Your Audience. (Wednesday 21 September)

Paul Zak is a neuroscientist and Chief Immersion Officer, who previously enthralled our Campfire on measuring the value of experiences. He returns with insights from his new book, Immersion: The Science of the Extraordinary and Source of Happiness. (Wednesday 28 September)

Yannick Trapman O-Brien is the performer and theatre maker behind phone-based interactive experience The Telelibrary. He’ll be in conversation with experience creative and strategist Laura Hess on audio immersive and intimate audience interactions. (Wednesday 16 November)

Nick Moran was previously the Creative Director at Time Run and is currently Director at the just-launched Phantom Peak, an open-world immersive experience where theme parks meet gaming meet improvisational theatre. (Wednesday 19 October)


The Economy of Meaningful Experiences by Albert Boswijk & Ed Peelen & Steve Olthof

Mike Lai is Dean at Shanghai’s X Thinking Institute and the co-author of one of China’s best-selling books on the Experience Economy, X Thinking. He’ll be opening our Campfires on 14 September as he introduces his Holistic eXperience Model to analyse the dynamic relationships between customers and brands and how it has enabled eXperience innovation in China. (Wednesday 14 September)

Albert Boswijk is an expert in strategic change and the author of The Economy of Experiences. He’ll shed light on how society is currently searching for new forms of value creation, how businesses can avoid the downward escalation of commoditisation, and design principles that can be used to create truly meaningful experiences. (Wednesday 23 November)


Photo by Annie Lesser, courtesy of Secret Cinema

Jennifer Crook is the director of Dreamachine, an immersive experience that blends neuroscience, art, technology and music to question the very nature of perception. She’ll be delving into how to create rituals, measure consciousness and more in our season finale. (Wednesday 14 December)

Andrea Moccia is an immersive experiential producer who leads Secret Cinema shows around the world. He’ll be sharing how to turn visitors into repeat visitors, using insights gleaned from the recent Arcane experience in Los Angeles, which used multiple story endings to entice audiences back for more. (Wednesday 9 November)

Gen Cleary is the CEO of Make Some Noise, which bridges entertainment, the science of sound and wellness by creating immersive experiences with a purpose. She’ll explore how to use hypnagogic states and unexplored senses to have a positive impact on people and the world we live in. (Wednesday 12 October)

Bobby Kunta is the Co-Founder of Nonfungible (NonFun) Events, which crafts IRL and metaverse experiences through NFT community building and blockchain play-to-earn gaming and esports. He’ll explain how we can use crypto and NFTs to incentivise the kinds of behaviours we hope to see from our target audiences. (Wednesday 5 October)

Want to be part of the most inspiring experience conversations in the world? Apply to become a member of the World Experience Organization here – to come to Campfires, become a better experience designer, and be listed in the WXO Black Book.