Author and journalist Walter Isaacson, the official biographer of Apple’s Steve Jobs, will be the keynote speaker at the fifth annual WEX Leadership and Creativity Event Series, to be held Nov. 5.

Isaacson, CEO of The Aspen Institute, the nonprofit policy and educational organization that runs the annual Aspen Ideas Festival, is also a former chief executive of CNN and former editor of Time magazine. Besides his best-selling book on Jobs, the deceased founder of Apple, Isaacson has also penned biographies of Albert Einstein, Benjamin Franklin and Henry Kissinger.

Isaacson’s talk will draw heavily from a new book he has coming out in early October titled “The Innovators: How a Group of Inventors, Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution.” He plans to discuss the history of the innovators who created the computer and Internet, and what talents in general allow certain inventors and entrepreneurs to turn their disruptive ideas into realities. He’ll also share his perspectives on creativity and other characteristics, such as teamwork, that allow leaders to succeed.

“Technology has developed at an extraordinarily fast rate in such a short amount of time, and continues to do so, making this topic extremely relevant in today’s world,” said WEX CEO Melissa Smith said in a written statement.

WEX, a South Portland-based provider of corporate payments technology, created the speaker series in 2010. Proceeds of the event support the WEX Scholarship Fund at the University of Southern Maine . Last year’s event raised $20,000 for the fund.

Past speakers for the leadership series have included Sen. George Mitchell, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Bob Woodward and Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Doris Kearns Goodwin.

The event is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Nov. 5 in USM’s Hannaford Hall at Abromson Community Education Center on Bedford Street in Portland.

Tickets are $35 and go on sale Oct. 1. For more information, check out USM’s website, usm.maine.edu.


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