Silicon Valley Feels Tremors After 4th Annual Culture Shifting Weekend Shifts the Racial Divide in Tech, Finance and Healthcare

Underwritten by Lead Sponsor Morgan Stanley, Along with SAP, LinkedIn, Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, Dignity Health, Vista Equity Partners, Fenwick & West, Mercedes-Benz and Others,300+ Black Leaders Convened to #MakeShiftHappen at Weekend Summit on Diversity, Inclusion and Innovation

VIPS in Attendance Included: Dignity Health CEO Lloyd Dean, Former NASA Astronaut Dr. Mae Jemison, Comedian Chris Spencer (Awards MC), Cedars-Sinai Head of Neurosurgery, Dr. Keith Black, Peggy Abkemier Alford, CFO of the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative and Many More!

Press Release – San Francisco & Palo Alto, CA – April 27, 2018 – Silicon Valley’s notorious and much derided “brotopia” culture eroded this past weekend as 300+ C-Suite execs, financiers, tech and health entrepreneurs joined for a weekend of collaborating, deal-making and celebrating actions that make the upper reaches of America’s boardrooms and tech company corner offices more diverse. Known as the “Davos of Diversity,” Culture Shifting Weekend assembles a carefully curated group of black and latinx leaders who share a goal of diversity, inclusion and innovation.

Produced by business consultant Andrea Hoffman, CEO of Culture Shift Labs, Culture Shifting Weekend is a twice-yearly gathering of power players who can move the needle, impacting companies and industry sectors. The fall 2017 Culture Shifting Weekend in New York, hosted by SAP, convened the largest ever gathering of black VCs. Denmark West of Connectivity Ventures and former Booz Allen Partner Reginald Van Lee co-chair the event.

“We aim to close the racial divide in Silicon Valley and Culture Shifting Weekend is a firm step towards that goal,” said Andrea Hoffman. “People often say to me, ‘Where are the people of color who can lead America’s best companies?’ The answer is they’re right here—hiding in plain sight. We’ve built a 5,000 person network that is leadership and board ready, that include top subject matter experts and investors who want to be in the room because of the business deals and business opportunities they access.”

The weekend spanned activities including: A Millennial Tech Entrepreneurs Breakfast where founders of color with traction met corporate decision makers—led by Kwame Anku of the Black Angel Tech Fund; a Fireside Chat with Dr. Mae Jemison, pioneering astronaut, physician, engineer and entrepreneur led by Russlynn Ali, CEO of XQ Institute; a Think/Action Tank afternoon, focused on inclusive healthcare innovation led by Dr. Michael Penn, which was kicked off with a conversation between Caroline Clarke of Black Enterprise and Dr. Keith Black, head of neurosurgery at Los Angeles’ celebrated Cedars-Sinai Medical Center; and Sunday’s Culture Shifting Awards, held at The Rosewood, Sand Hill. Other event venues included SAP’s stunning San Francisco office and LinkedIn’s Sunnyvale campus.

The Culture Shifting Awards recognize leaders and pioneers of diversity and those who care about growth and innovation through diversity and inclusion. This year actor/producer/comedian Chris Spencer emceed the program honoring Peggy Abkemier Alford, CFO of the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative; Ime Archibong, VP of Partnerships, Facebook; Lloyd Dean, CEO of Dignity Health; and Denise Young Smith, Executive in Residence at Cornell Tech. The Culture Shifting Awards has honored more than 40 leaders to date that span technology, innovation and social impact.

A special appearance was made by 7-year old aspiring neuroscientist Amoy Antunet whose goal is to perform the first brain transplant. At the Culture Shifting Awards she had the opportunity to be on stage with actress Nichelle Nichols who played communications officer Lieutenant (later Commander) Uhura, aboard the USS Enterprise in the Star Trek TV series.

Luminaries attending Culture Shifting Weekend included:

  • Danny Allen, VP, Tech Diversity & Inclusion, SAP
  • Keith L. Black, MD, Head of Neurosurgery, Cedars-Sinai
  • Samuel Bright, Sr. Director, GM of Art & Collectibles, eBay
  • Michael Carter, Co-Head & Managing Director of Technology Investment Banking, RBC Capital Markets
  • Anddria Clack-Rogers Varnado, VP, Head of Strategy & Business Development, William Sonoma
  • John Dokes, CMO, Accuweather
  • Shaloo Garg, Global Innovation & Start Up Ecosystem, Oracle
  • David Ibnale, Managing Partner, Advance Venture Partners
  • Moses Ike, Director of Investments & Corporate Development, Blue Shield of CA
  • Alice Vilma, Managing Director, Morgan Stanley
  • Robin Washington, EVP and CFO, Gilead

A complete list of distinguished hosts, speakers and sponsors may be found here.

Praise for Culture Shifting Weekend includes:

“Culture Shifting Weekend presented a unique opportunity to network not only with entrepreneurs of color, but also with high profile investors and critical corporate partners who are dedicated to realizing the commercial impact of inclusive innovation and broadening the investment and acceleration pipeline for all entrepreneurs.” Alice S. Vilma, Managing Director, Morgan Stanley, Multicultural Client Strategy

“Attending the Culture Shifting Weekend Millennial Breakfast afforded me the opportunity to develop relationships with the future face of global business through what can only be described as the most incredible event I have ever been involved with,” said Landon Edmond, Cloud General Counsel, SAP. “Andrea and team are actively shifting culture. I cannot wait until next year’s event!”

“Culture Shift Labs has solidified its role as a mission-driven platform to elevate, empower and connect diverse leaders towards purposeful action in this community,” said Anddria Clack-Rogers Varnado, VP, Head of Strategy & Business Development at Williams-Sonoma, Inc.

“Culture Shifting Weekend was inspiring,” said Juanita Lott, Angel Investor. “The relationships and partnerships that come from the work of Culture Shift Labs will play an important role in advancing the great leaders and future leaders that will work to make this culture shift a reality.”

About Andrea Hoffman and Culture Shift Labs

Andrea Hoffman is an advisor, dealmaker, strategist, 2x author, and the founder and CEO of the management consulting firm Culture Shift Labs (CSL). CSL advises senior leaders, cities, large nonprofits and philanthropists on growth and innovation through diversity and inclusion. Andrea consults with C-suite executives across a wide range of industries on finding new growth opportunities. CSL has offices in New Jersey and San Francisco (where she expanded the business in 2015).

Andrea is also the founder of Culture Shifting Weekends, the largest bi-coastal annual gathering of Black leaders in technology, innovation and social impact to enable deals and collaborations (think Davos but for Black decision makers). She’s been producing this gathering of her knowledge and network for 9 years in NYC and 4 years in Silicon Valley. In addition, Andrea is developing SaaS platform called Katapult, which will help companies with 1,000+ employees assess, measure and improve their diversity efforts including impact on business and society.
Enable registration in settings - general
Shopping cart