Pluralsight LIVE 2019: The ultimate recap

August 29, 2019

70+ expert-led breakout sessions 

25 songs played by Pluraltone 

4 rockstars

3 jam-packed days 

1 epic event connecting innovators from around the world

Pluralsight LIVE 2019 was so out-of-this-world, you may have asked yourself if you were living in a simulation. Us too. Whether you were wandering the neon halls, soaking up insights in sessions or challenging someone to the Game of Drones, it was impossible not to catch the LIVE buzz permeating the air. (Especially after one of our Weezer-themed cocktails!)

This year was bigger and better than ever before (...but really). We introduced new experiences to really take things up a notch, including our Thrive at LIVE track, Teams at LIVE and hands-on workshops. We also announced an exciting evolution in the Pluralsight product story: Skills and Flow

And thanks to our amazing attendees, speakers and sponsors, we have quite a few things to brag about. Attendees traveled to LIVE from over 20 countries, with the furthest coming from Hong Kong and Singapore. We’re proud to tout a speaker lineup with 100% gender parity, a feat we challenge other tech conferences to match (or beat!). And, we empowered two disruptive startups during our Create the Future Awards with a $50k investment. 

So without much further ado, here’s a look at LIVE 2019!

Day one

Alex Honnold

It took me a long time to look up at El Cap and think I could actually do that. The ability to do a climb like that was really predicated on the 15 years of experience leading up to it. To really master a skill, you need to have a broad foundation below it. –Alex Honnold, first and only person to free solo El Capitan


In our second annual Create the Future Awards, six startups pitched their big ideas for the chance to win $50k. All finalists demonstrated amazing products poised to make a big impact on their industries and the world at large. Two in particular totally blew us away. And the winners are…


Disruptive tech winner Seek (left) provides web-based 3D/augmented reality viewing of e-commerce products. Tech for good winner ROYBI (right) is an AI-powered companion robot for young children for language learning and STEM activities.


Day two

We kicked off day two in a major way with Pluralsight CEO Aaron Skonnard taking the stage. He addressed the changing role of the CIO, introduced Skills and Flow and announced Pluralsight One’s new partnership with Year Up.


We live in a culture that’s obsessed with the idea of a singular creator. This is a damaging myth. It’s not true. We all have to work together to get the things that we want to get done done. –Adam Savage, special effects extraordinaire


I hand draw charts because I want to remind people that a human created this, a human that is flawed. –Data editor Mona Chalabi


And then there was the Pluraltone, our one of a kind midi-based instrument.


When the sun went down, the dance floor lit up and it was time to party with Weezer!

Day three

After spending maybe a little too much time rocking out the night before, we got up bright and early to take in the final day of LIVE. And there’s no greater way to close out a conference than with three general sessions packed with mind-blowing speakers.


One of the things we learned during the Syrian crisis was that as soon as people land they ask two things: Have I reached Greece? And, where can I access wifi? Wifi was the connection to the ones who were left behind and to their peers who were also traveling. So now, we provide. hotspots that make information available. –Pietro Galli, CIO of the Norwegian Refugee Council

Laurene Powell Jobs

There’s nothing more compelling, invigorating and life giving than being part of that universal struggle for goodness and progress. –Laurene Powell Jobs, Founder and President of Emerson Collective


Thrive at LIVE is our new conference experience designed to help everyone become more effective allies, advocates and change-makers for diversity and inclusion. Featuring dedicated sessions on topics like breaking the “bro-code” and gender microaggressions in the workplace, Thrive is one of many ways we create space throughout LIVE to tackle some of the most important challenges facing the tech industry.

Pat Mitchell, Editorial Director of TEDWomen and author of Becoming a Dangerous Woman: Embracing Risk to Change the World, joined us for a Thrive luncheon and shared her experiences as a pioneer in the male-dominated media industry.


I served on four corporate boards and I see the difference when you have diversity in the board room. It’s important when you’re running a business to have a board room that looks more like your customers. When boards have more than four women, they all do better in every bottom line. –Pat Mitchell


Next up, Pluralsight CEO Aaron Skonnard sat down with the insanely impressive Trevor Noah. In between laughter and bashfulness about speaking six languages (his mom speaks nine, so it’s NBD), he got real about the challenges and opportunities technology presents, including tech leaders’ responsibility to consider the implications of their innovations. Whether he’s providing important commentary on The Daily Show or increasing the pathways to opportunity for vulnerable youth in South Africa through the Trevor Noah Foundation, we couldn’t be more proud to have hosted this incredible human at LIVE.


After a short break to sessions (and to stop fanning over Trevor), Pluralsight’s Chief Experience Officer Nate Walkingshaw took the stage to share the work we’re doing on our platform and what we’re committed to delivering for our customers.


We’re facing the largest learning curve of all time. When I talk to my fellow leaders, they all say the same thing: ‘We need to become more agile. We’re stuck in our old ways. We were first and now we’ve lost our position. –Nate Walkingshaw


There’s only one way to wrap up three of the most epic days of the year: with the one and only Ellen DeGeneres! And yes, she danced her way onto the stage. For the next 60 minutes, Ellen made us laugh, cry and clap until our hands hurt. She shared her story of coming out, stressed the importance of constantly challenging yourself, and in probably the most touching moment of LIVE 2019, she spoke directly to Utah’s LGBTQ community with words of encouragement and praise. Ellen left us feeling energized to use our skills to create good and lift others up—aka the perfect way to close out an utterly amazing week. 

Thanks for joining us for hands-down the best LIVE yet! Next year will be even bigger and better. (Don’t believe us? We’re even moving to a bigger venue!) Register now to get the best deal on your pass to LIVE 2020. We can’t wait to see you again soon!