Posted May 3, 2017 by Editorial Staff in Photo

[PHOTOS] Culture Shifting Awards Returns to Silicon Valley, Key Influencers Join Unique Mix of African American Power Players

3rd Annual Culture Shifting Weekend Awards Brunch
3rd Annual Culture Shifting Weekend Awards Brunch

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Event: Culture Shifting Weekend 2017 (Silicon Valley)
Pictured: Denmark West, Lloyd Carney, Pamela Joyner, Robin Washington, Issac Vaughn, Andrea Hoffman
Date: Sunday, April 23, 2017
Location: Rosewood Sand Hill Hotel, Menlo Park
Photos: Drew Altizer Photography

The invitation-only weekend convened more than 300 innovators, leaders and senior executives of color who care about growth and innovation through inclusion. Attendees tapped into the financing capital and business acumen of leading companies such as SAP, Ford and Gilead. The weekend presented a unique opportunity for corporations and top professionals to celebrate diversity’s achievements, collaborate on inclusion solutions – and make deals.

Sunday Brunch
Sunday’s awards ceremony honored Gilead CFO Robin Washington; Brocade CEO Lloyd Carney; businesswoman Pamela Joyner; and Ooyala CEO Issac Vaughn. The honorees shared intimate stories about their personal journey and their efforts to advance diversity and inclusion. Best-selling author and CSI: New York actor Hill Harper humorously hosted the awards ceremony, stating afterward, “I was proud to host the ceremony for the second-consecutive year because I share Culture Shifting’s commitment to a diverse workforce and its mission to promote an inclusive economy.” Harper’s Manifest Your Destiny Foundation is dedicated to empowering underserved youth through mentorship, scholarship and grant programs.

Sponsors and attendees included Aisha Oyebode Esq. (co-convener of the “Bring Back Our Girls” movement), Google SVP of Corporate Development David Drummond, Morehouse School of Medicine professor Hadiyah-Nicole Green, eBay CEO Devin Wenig, New York state assemblyman and new DNC Vice Chair Michael Blake, NFL Hall of Famer Ronnie Lott, Sphere 3D CEO Eric Kelly, MetricStream CEO Shellye Archembeau, and senior executives from a host of leading tech companies.

Featured speakers included Denmark West (a partner at Connectivity Capital Partners) interviewing venture capitalist David Hornik (August Capital), Marc Jones (Aeris CEO), Tiffany Stevenson (Sephora’s Vice President for Talent Management and Development), Nigerian philanthropist and Jazz at Lincoln Center board member Gbenga Oyebode, Esq.

The Rest of the Weekend At-A Glance
Business advisor and growth strategist Andrea Hoffman, CEO of management consulting firm Culture Shift Labs, hosted 316 executives and leaders of color for the third annual Culture Shifting: A Weekend of Innovation, Technology & Social Impact in venues throughout Silicon Valley.

Ms. Hoffman, a 20-year veteran of the D&I space, and an authority on inclusion-driven revenue growth and product innovation, stated, “What’s also unique about the weekend is that it actually changes belief systems and behaviors. And given the current political environment and challenges to our American ideals of inclusion and equality, it’s not surprising that this weekend we heard many executives renew their commitment to inclusion—and to leveraging inclusion to increase revenue growth—moving from conceptual thinking to measurable results: what I call ‘Inclusion 2.0.’ “

The weekend’s agenda featured interviews with world-class innovators such as CEO Mary Spio of Ceek, a state-of-the-art VR company, panel discussions with cutting-edge inventors such as Cabrice CEO Baratunde Cola (who has raised more than $1 million for his company), Think Tank sessions led by venture capitalist Kwame Anku, and a VIP dinner highlighted by a discussion on tech and West Africa.

Friday’s Breakfast (Millennial Tech Entrepreneurs and Influencers), sponsored by SAP and Vista Equity Partners, gathered 25 Latinx and African-American company founders and tech influencers to accelerate collaborations between Millennials and corporate America.

At Friday’s Fireside Chat on the Future of Black Hollywood and Tech, held at SAP, Luke Cage showrunner Cheo Coker, and The Virtual Reality Company CEO Guy Primus, delved into the ways business leaders and artists impact global media, reach new audiences and develop fresh revenue streams. Mr. Primus, a Georgia Tech alum and former COO of Will Smith’s production company, Overbrook Entertainment, has raised $25 million to-date, while Luke Cage has crushed Netflix records.

Saturday’s Social Innovation Think/Action Tank, produced in partnership with Babson College Social Innovation Lab, included a curated group of c-suite executives, entrepreneurs, innovators, investors and influencers of color, such as renowned CEEK CEO Mary Spio; neurosurgeon and Talamus Health CEO Dr. Murisiku Raifu; and serial entrepreneur Clarence Wooten, who demonstrated his new role model app, STEAMrole.

Romanieo Golphin Jr., the 7-year old physics genius featured on Jimmy Fallon for being both a CERN and NASA ambassador, was one of eight “Culture Shifters” who spoke on stage.

Andrea Hoffman Is Shifting Culture in Silicon Valley
As Nationalism Rises, SIlicon Valley’s Black Leaders Strengthen Their Resolve (April 2017)

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