Andrea Hoffman is a behind-the-scenes mover and shaker in the business world.
The petite redhead, who spent the early part of her career in advertising, has a bulging contacts book as well as an innate ability to facilitate impactful professional relationships between high-level influencers. For the better part of a decade, she has been connecting bigwig brands with off-the-radar leaders and innovators of color.
The New York native is motivated by a deep-rooted passion to change the narrative and debunk one-dimensional stereotypes about minority populations.
She says she’s on a mission to catalyze business growth for corporations by designing strategies that enable them to access and engage diverse influencers, tech innovators, and inventors and investors. It’s an untapped market that Hoffman says is estimated to be worth $840 billion.
Today Hoffman is rushed off her feet. Final prepping for her firms Culture Shifting Weekend; where some of the most powerful black leaders meet for two days of brunching, deal making, and collaborating.
This weekend’s uniquely tailored event at an upscale venue in the Hamptons, hosted by Hoffman and moderated by CNN contributor and #YesWeCode co-founder Van Jones, aims to recognize pioneers of diversity who have achieved success within their industries or individuals who have progressed inclusivity in America.
“It’s a way to consistently raise the profile of the vast number of highly accomplished executives and entrepreneurs of color in technology, innovation and social impact and those that advocate for inclusion driven innovation. Many of whom have been flying under the radar for years,” says Hoffman, founder and CEO of Culture Shift Labs, a boutique New York consulting firm. “We want to curate a room of business leaders and influencers of color at the most senior levels and be a facilitator of unique deals and collaborations.”
“First of all it’s hard to have black power, if you don’t have black people where the power is,” said Van Jones, during last year’s soiree. “We focus on politics… but it turns out there are other places where there is power. The future is not being written in law in Washington D.C. The future is being written in code, computer code, in Silicon Valley.”
Now in its sixth year, the annual invite-only, two-day convening comprises a Saturday Social Innovation Think Tank and Sunday Awards Brunch.
On Saturday, 75 handpicked thought leaders will gather to collaborate and discuss the role of innovation and social impact on business and society. There is also an opportunity for deal making.
Brunch VIP guests include Chinedu Echeruo, inventor of HopStop; Daisy Dominguez, Global Head of Diversity Staffing, Google; Hugh Molotsi, VP at Intuit and Michael Robinson, VP, US Health and Life Sciences, Microsoft.
Three influencers will be honored during the brunch: Clive Gillinson, who is accepting the award on behalf of Carnegie Hall; Bonita Stewart, Vice President, Americas, Partner Business Solutions at Google and Ted Colbert, Chief Information Officer of The Boeing Company and vice president of Information Technology.
Note: The video footage is from the Culture Shift Labs Brunch at Palo Alto in 2014. The annual event takes place in the Hamptons and Silicon Valley.
Follow Kunbi Tinuoye on Twitter@Kunbiti