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African American Leaders in Tech & Innovation Rub Shoulders at the Hamptons

Last week more than 150 African American executives, innovators, entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, and private equity leaders  gathered at Harlow East in Sag Harbor for the 6th Annual Culture Shifting Weekend hosted by Andrea Hoffman, Founder of Culture Shift Labs and moderated by Van Jones, Social Entrepreneur and CNN Commentator.

The two-day convening consisted of a Social Innovation Think Tank on Saturday and an Awards Brunch on Sunday, which celebrated two individuals and one organization that are examples of what’s possible for current and future generations in tech, business, and society.

This year’s Awards Brunch, sponsored by Ernst & Young, Google (lead sponsor), HBO, Infor, Microsoft, Moet Hennessy USA, and Robert F. Smith, HBO and The Huffington Post honored Carnegie Hall (accepted by Clive Gillinson, Executive and Artistic Director); Bonita Coleman Stewart, VP of Americas Partner Business Solutions at Google; and Ted Colbert, Chief Information Officer at The Boeing Company & VP of Information Technology.



Guests heard from innovators that are positively disrupting business, financially and for society. They also had the opportunity to get access to business collaborations and business deals.

“My events are known for deal flow and collaboration opportunities among senior leaders,” said Andrea Hoffman, founder and CEO of Culture Shift Labs. “For example, you will find the treasurer of the Hearst Corporation in conversation with the person who runs Boston Consulting Groups venture fund and innovation lab.”

“This is not just about a theoretical exercise,” said Assemblyman Michael Blake. “This was about meeting people who can help you take those dreams to scale. Culture Shift Labs is connecting us to the opportunity and to each other.”


“Sometimes it takes someone on the edge of a system (Andrea Hoffman) to see it clearly and make the change that is needed,” said Jones.

Special guest Mabou Loiseau, a nine-year-old genius who speaks seven languages and plays six musical instruments, performed at the Brunch in honor of Carnegie Hall. Her rendition of “Empire State of Mind” received a standing ovation.



Photos courtesy of Culture Shift Labs



    UrbanGeekz Staff
    UrbanGeekz Staff
    UrbanGeekz is the first to market tech blog focused on covering content from a diverse and multicultural perspective. The groundbreaking videocentric multimedia platform covers technology, business, science, and startups.