Shifting The Tech Culture: Key Influencers Plan To Collaborate, Fix Longstanding Diversity Issues

Written by Dana Sanchez

More than 200 innovators and senior executives are set to meet in Silicon Valley this month for the Culture Shifting Weekend — an opportunity for key influencers to advance strategies for inclusion.

The invitation-only event, now in its third year in Palo Alto, California, brings together industry heavyweights and leading tech firms for high-level talks on the future of innovation, technology, and social impact.

Held at various venues throughout the valley including Googleplex, the event is expected to attract influential executives from Intel, Salesforce, Google, Twilio, LinkedIn, Vista Equity Partners, and other leading firms.

From UbanGeekz. Story by Kunbi Tinuoye.

Organized by Andrea Hoffman, CEO of management consultancy firm Culture Shift Labs (CSL), the exclusive three-day symposium April 21 to 23 is a unique chance for corporate brands and handpicked leaders to collaborate on ways to fix longstanding diversity issues – as well as make deals.

“We’re pleased to be hosting this important gathering of influencers of color for the eighth consecutive year, and the third year in Silicon Valley,” said Hoffman, a 20-year veteran of the diversity and inclusion space and an authority on inclusion-driven revenue growth and product innovation.

Hoffman is on a mission to catalyze business growth for corporations by designing strategies that enable them to access and engage with diverse influencers, tech innovators, social impact leaders, inventors, and investors. It’s an untapped market that she says is estimated to be worth $840 billion.

“Given the current political environment and challenges to the American ideals of inclusion, we are seeing a doubling down of support from corporations and business leaders to address inclusion issues, while increasing revenue growth, and moving from conceptual thinking to measurable results: what I call ‘Inclusion 2.0,’” Hoffman said. “Culture Shifting Weekend is the only event of its kind in the nation and it’s an urgent call to action, with a laser focus on generating even greater results, and getting deals done in real time.”

The long weekend culminates with an exclusive awards event to honor African-American leaders and pioneers who embody this year’s theme: Building Bridges Not Walls, Leveraging Diversity and Partnership to Drive Innovation and Growth.

Honorees include Lloyd Carney, CEO of Brocade Communications Systems; Pamela Joyner, businesswoman, and art collector; Issac Vaughn, CEO of Ooyala; and Robin Washington, CFO of Gilead Sciences, Inc.

Award-winning actor, best-selling author, and philanthropist Hill Harper will serve as master of ceremonies. Harper is also known for founding the Manifest Your Destiny Foundation, which is dedicated to empowering underserved youth through mentorship, scholarship, and grant programs.

Sponsors include Ford, Salesforce, Vista Equity Partners, Brocade, Hewlett-Packard Enterprise, Honeywell, Infor, Intel, The Joyner/Guiffrida Collection, Mercedes-Benz, Ooyala, RBC Royal Bank, Visa, The Williams Capital Group, Apple, Donnelley Financial Solutions, Google, Ernst & Young, HBO, SAP, Moët Hennessy USA, and Twilio.

Culture Shift Labs is a boutique consultancy firm that advises companies, senior leaders, and philanthropists on growth and innovation through inclusion. The Culture Shifting Weekend is an annual invite-only bicoastal event that takes place in Silicon Valley and Silicon Alley.

Hoffman is an entrepreneur, speaker, author, and founder and CEO of Culture Shift Labs. By helping clients see past long-held perceptions regarding the intersection of innovation, inclusion, and diversity, she guides them to insights that unlock growth.

Hoffman’s second book, “50 Billion Dollar Boss: African American Women Sharing Stories of Success in Entrepreneurship and Leadership,” (Palgrave Macmillan) was published in 2015 and nominated for a 2016 NAACP Image Award. She has been featured and quoted in a wide range of media outlets from Bloomberg and the Christian Science Monitor to Fast Company and Ebony.


Read more at UbanGeekz.

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About Dana Sanchez
Dana Sanchez is the editor of and She has worked in digital and print news media as a business writer and news editor. She has a master's degree in mass communications from the University of South Florida. Prior to working in news, Dana worked in advertising.

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