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Industry Heavyweights Talk Culture Shifting Weekend

The Culture Shifting Weekend is an annual, invite only, two-day symposium that takes place in NYC and Silicon Valley. It includes a Saturday Social Innovation Action Tank and Sunday Culture Shift Awards.

These are the only events of their kind in the U.S. that bring together accomplished African and African-American tech bosses, entrepreneurs, innovators, influencers, and social impact leaders to celebrate, collaborate, and make deals. The bicoastal event is organized by New York native, Andrea Hoffman, CEO of the management consultancy Culture Shift Labs (CSL).

In sit down on-air interviews, attendees and honorees at this year’s 2017 Silicon Valley Culture Shifting Weekend (CSW) talked about the growing significance of CSW to disrupt and diversify the tech and innovation economy.

Robin Washington, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Gilead Sciences, said the signature event does more than just create ideas: it is a way to share stories. “It provides a platform for others to hear about people’s works in these areas and to see what’s truly happening and how people are making a difference,” said Washington, who was an honoree at Culture Shifting Awards.

“[Culture Shifting Weekend] feels like I’m sitting around the table with family,” said Kesha Cash, Founder and General Partner at Impact America Fund. “It’s definitely an environment that is a welcoming, warm environment.”

One of Nigeria’s most renowned commercial lawyers, Gbenga Oyebode, flew in from Lagos specifically for the weekend. Oyebode, a veteran entrepreneur and partner at Aluko & Oyebode, explains that Culture Shifting Weekends provide the “role models that [young people in Africa] can look forward to being like and really that for me is a message of hope.”

In fact, the Culture Shifting Weekends are a catalyst to disrupt the beliefs, behaviors, and outcomes of tech firms. Issac Vaughn, the former acting CEO of Ooyala, said this is an incredible opportunity to make an impact. The University of Michigan graduate said, “bold change can take time but with each of us staying committed, staying focused and advancing the effort, great things happen.”

The upcoming Culture Shifting Weekend is scheduled to take place in NYC in November. This year’s conference will focus on advancing investments for black venture capitalists. The event is the largest gathering for this sizable and growing VC ecosystem.

Video Editor: Kennedy Crenshaw, Video Footage: Culture Shift Labs

Interviewees in order of appearance: Les Matthews, MasterCard; Hill Harper, actor and entrepreneur, Pamela Joyner, business woman and art collector, Gbenga Oyebode, Aluko & Oyebode; Tiffany Stevenson, Sephora; Kesha Cash, Impact America Fund; Caretha Coleman, Advisor & board member; Robin Washington, Gilead Sciences; and Issac Vaughn, Ooyala

Follow Kennedy Crenshaw on Twitter@kennedy_crensha