November Culturati: Magazine

(Nov. 1, 2018) With only 5 days until the midterm elections and after a devastating week of violence and spotlights on the dirty underbelly of America, writing about culture and being excited about the upcoming Culturati Summit feels cavalier. It isn’t only national, even statewide politics that feel so overwhelming, we are now seeing dark money, accusations and threats in local elections. We’re seeing neighbors who identify as progressives and liberals deploying Trump-like tactics to keep out others. Liberal icons are partnering with Koch Brother-like organizations, in my mind as a last ditch effort to retain political relevance as Austin has gone from at-large representation to council members by district, diluting the previous power of special interests.

being busy at work, producing our wares, and promoting culture-building practices may be more important than ever.

theme of this year’s PopTech conference

I’m writing this from Camden, Maine, while attending the PopTech Conference, a gathering of leaders committed to taking bold actions, leading by example and helping shape the future. Our theme this year is Courage.

So far we’ve already heard from a Nobel Peace Prize winner Beatrice Fihn, Maurie Mitchell who’s helping Black Lives Matter move forward, from my friend Chris Lynch who founded the Defense Digital Services, Harvard Law Professor Bob Bordone, and I’ve enjoyed getting to know Hadiya Masieh who was born Hindu, received her early education in a Christian school, then in college converted to Islam and joined a radical Islamic group. Today she works within the field of international conflict resolution, peace building and interfaith communities. I’ll invite her to Culturati — Chris too.

On Tuesday, we released the first round of Culturati Summit 2019 speakers.

There are even more to be released soon. We chose to start with a few of our keynotes plus some of our featured sessions & core conversation speakers. Past attendees are familiar with our panel keynotes. We’re designing the breakouts so that 80% of the sessions are more expert led, intimate conversations and the rest are more traditional presentation — yet interactiveness is still key.

I’ve promised not to attribute content to the speaker announcement, though some parings and titles should give you clues. The first round of speakers include · Candi Castleberry Singleton (VP, Intersectionality, Culture and Diversity, Twitter), Mayerland Harris (Group VP of HR at H-E-B), Tim League (Founder & CEO of Alamo Drafthouse Cinema) with Kelly White (Co-CEO of The SAFE Alliance), Mark McClain (Founder and CEO of SailPoint), Kelly McGinnis (SVP & Chief Communications Officer of Levi Strauss & Co.), Rajkumari Neogy (Executive Coach of iRestart), Saneel Radia (EVP Global Head of Business Transformation at R/GA) with Tyson Tuttle (President & CEO of Silicon Labs).

Kelli Newman Mason & Matt Mason (Culturati National Advisory Board Members from Los Angeles) hosted a Culturati Connect dinner last weekend. Joined by executives from an AR startup, a medical software company and a business to consumer internet company — as well as a consumer fitness brand company and an innovation lab for Sony Pictures — we discussed intimate culture issues facing each of the companies. The promise for a cone of silence prevents me from naming the issues but we’ve exchanged referrals, recommendations and followed up in other ways since Sunday night’s dinner.

Tuesday night, Ben Lamm hosted the last of our summer/fall Culturati dinner series in Austin. Again, crowdsourcing of several challenges at companies represented around the table. It was one of our most intimate dinners. They are always inspiring and impactful.

Culturati, we’re a community — CEOs, entrepreneurs, investors and other c-suite leaders who practice & study culture building and share our playbooks. We’re committed to expanding the community to additional cities. So far we’ve hosted Culturati Connect events in Austin, New York and Los Angeles with plans to host events in San Francisco and Dallas in the coming months.

Our next annual Summit takes place January 27–28, 2019. It’s an invitation only event. If you’re CEO, c-suite leader, investor or someone with unique and significant experience to share on culture building, send us an email at info@culturatisummit.com to apply.

Eugene Sepulveda is the co-founder of Culturati as well as the CEO of the Entrepreneurs Foundation and a director & partner in Capital Factory. Eugene’s played at the intersection of business, politics and community in Austin and nationally for many years. He can be reached at Eugene@ABPorter.org

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