Tech and Venture Firms Pushing for Systemic Change Attended Culture Shifting Weekend Silicon Valley 2020

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Titans of Innovation, Technology & Social Impact Gathered to Solve the “S” in ESG

Focused on innovation, technology, and social impact, Culture Shifting Weekend (CSW) is an annual, invite-only summit of Culture Shift Labs (CSL), a diversity and innovation management consultancy. CSL aims to change Silicon’s Valley’s mantra from “Move fast and break things” to “Move fast and fix things” ̶ in this case fixing systemic inequities in the technology and venture capital industries. This year’s virtual summit introduced more than 300 senior executives from leading tech, healthcare, media, and venture companies to over 400 Black and Latinx technologists, entrepreneurs, executives, and social impact leaders, all of whom are working to narrow the inequality gap. The gathering also helped to increase attendee’s understanding of structural problems, e.g., inequity in the tech, healthcare and venture industries, entrepreneurship, and c-suite and corporate board representation. From Sasan Goodarzi (CEO, Intuit) and Hayden Brown (CEO, Upwork) to Ken Chenault (former CEO, American Express), Mark Tatum (Deputy Commissioner of the NBA), and Lloyd Dean (CEO, CommonSpirit Health), the scores of industry luminaries in attendance shared a common goal: increase structural “social” change in their organizations’ ESG initiatives.

  • Morgan Stanley was the title sponsor for this summit, which was conducted at different forums during the summer and fall.
  • Additional sponsors included Intuit, SAP, Verizon, Genentech, Salesforce Ventures, Walmart, Vista Equity Partners, Comcast, and many others. Visit Culture Shifting Weekend Silicon Valley 2020 for the complete list of sponsors and agenda.
  • Event Chair Reginald Van Lee, Chief Transformation Officer, Carlyle Group (former Booz Allen EVP) observed: “Culture Shifting Weekend continues to provide an action-oriented forum for driving impact in racial equity and social justice. This well-curated assemblage of prominent technology leaders, corporate luminaries, and Hollywood influencers ‘makes shift happen’ at every CSW in a unique and compelling way. Over the course of my career, I've attended myriad convenings, but the CSW events are among the most outcome-oriented and impactful.”
  • Lloyd Dean, CEO, CommonSpirit, noted: “Culture Shift Labs is one of our nation’s premier organizations. It’s uniquely positioned to advise CEOs and other leaders on how to best navigate today’s social and business challenges. Capturing the essence of our modern day societal imperatives are CSL’s gifts to achieving cultural excellence.”
  • Kerry Kennedy, President, Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights, stated, “Culture Shifting Weekend should be mandatory attendance for any leader in business, politics, and entertainment who cares about social, racial or economic justice. Each time I have participated, I've walked away feeling inspired and with a new group of allies for the cause. At CSW, I met both Dan Springer CEO of Docusign, and Dan Schulman, CEO of PayPal, and both are receiving the RFK Ripple of Hope Award this year, alongside Dolores Huerta, Dr. Anthony Fauci, and Colin Kaepernick. That wouldn't have happened but for Andrea's work via Culture Shift Labs, and her determination to bring people together with a bias towards outcomes.”
  • As a lead-up to CSW Silicon Valley 2020, CSL held a virtual discussion on May 14 with Ken Chenault, the former Chairman and CEO of American Express. The business and branding expert Fortune magazine named as one of the “World’s 50 Greatest Leaders” discussed leadership in times of crisis, innovation, reinvention, and achieving diversity and inclusion in the c-suite.
  • At the upcoming CSW New York 2020 (11/6-7) the keynote speakers will be Dan Schulman, President and CEO, PayPal, and chairman of Symantec; and Marcelo Claure, CEO, SoftBank Group International
  • More than 300 representatives ̶ from companies such as Google X, RBC Capital Markets, Samsung Next, Hearst, PayPal, Fenwick & West, Standard Chartered, and nonprofit organizations such as the Silicon Valley Community Foundation ̶ attended Culture Shifting Weekend Silicon Valley 2020.
  • For quotes from any of the attendees, or detailed descriptions of the six CSW forums, please email the PR contact: mmills@innovativemar.com.

“The unfortunate reality is that there is a very limited pool of Black talent to recruit from with this specific experience.” That viewpoint, from the CEO of Wells Fargo, is perhaps one shared by leaders in diverse industries, such as technology, where there is a dearth of diversity, especially in the c-suite and on corporate boards. The Culture Shifting Weekends in New York and Silicon Valley have already helped to address those disparities by providing decision-makers with introductions to highly accomplished Black and Latinx executives, venture investors, entrepreneurs, and other leaders. The mission of these “Weekends” in Silicon Valley and Silicon Alley are to enable deals and collaborations with professionals who these corporate leaders might otherwise not have the opportunity to meet.

How does CSL plan to help CEOs and other leaders fix long-standing disparities?

Culture Shift Labs CEO and Founder Andrea Hoffman explained: “The Culture Shifting Weekends are just one lever we use to fix these chronic inequities; and unlike other convenings, ‘the Weekends’ are result-driven. This year’s Silicon Valley Weekend featured a variety of forums designed to shift Silicon Valley’s culture and eviscerate persistent D&I problems. For example: The ‘Diverse Talent Development Pipeline Day,’ enabled talent acquisition leaders from 10 premier Silicon Valley companies to meet with 45 mid- to senior-level, highly accomplished, Black and Latinx executives to build relationships and interview them for current and future roles. A number of candidates from this activation have already been hired.

“And at the ‘Tech Entrepreneurs of Color,’ forum” Ms. Hoffman continued, “more than 100 investors, potential customers, and tech company representatives heard from 18 leading Black and Latinx founders on how tech companies can partner with them, invest in their startups, and think about the future of technology from diverse vantage points. This CSW forum was co-produced by Terell Sterling, CEO, Go Paladin; and Randolph Frazier Wiggins, VP, Growth Partnerships and Operations, Reading Tree China. The forum featured fireside chats with Ben Horowitz, Co-founder and General Partner, Andreessen Horowitz, and pioneering technologist Ben Coleman, Chairman, EIS Group, Ltd. As a result of this CSW forum, a variety of deals are presently in process.

Oddly, most people have never heard of Culture Shift Labs (CSL).

“We’ve been under the radar,” Ms. Hoffman explained, “because much of our advising of CEOs is confidential. Those leaders demand tangible outcomes. They recognize that it’s not just the “Knowledge” they need about creating more inclusive cultures, but the “Network” to support the “S” in their ESG results. There is a reason our mantra is ‘Powering the nation’s diversity outcomes.’ But being the best kept secret isn’t what the world needs right now. That’s why 92 of America’s most important leaders attended our private CSW kick-off forum on September 10, which was hosted by Sasan Goodarzi, CEO of Intuit.

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