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Lunch Dialogs: Debate, Discuss, Lead.

Tuesday, February 27th - Delegate Lunch

The Shift Forum Lunch Dialogs draw on the collective knowledge of the event’s attendees to inspire and educate one another. Peer-led, with a cross-section of topics as diverse and multi-disciplinary as the audience itself, these free-form, “unconference” conversations allow everyone in attendance to participate in the program. Click on a lunch topic for more information about your moderator as well as questions to consider, discussion points and optional reading materials.

We’d like to thank sponsor Perkins Coie for underwriting this program.


Table #1 Topic

Table moderator: Troy Foster, Perkins Coie

Statement: Regulatory authorities are expressing increasing skepticism as it relates to the status of utility tokens.  Though utility tokens aren’t currently subject to the same rigor as securities, if utility tokens are re-classified as securities by regulators post-sale material liability is possible.

Table #2 Topic

Table Moderator: David Bank, Founder, Impact Alpha

Statement: Entrepreneurship is all the rage in Silicon Valley and coastal hubs but, across the country, new business starts are at a 40-year low. Making entrepreneurship work as a way to drive real job-creation and bottom-up prosperity across the country requires new business strategies and new financing structures. A growing cohort of what ImpactAlpha calls “The New Revivalists” are building entrepreneurial ecosystems and savvy investors are awakening to opportunities in cities and towns underserved by traditional VC and other sources of capital.

“As’s Bryce Roberts says, it’s not about how much you can raise, it’s about how little. It’s not about how fast you grow, but whether you can grow sustainably”.

Table #3 Topic

Table moderator: Peter Leyden, Founder & CEO, Reinvent

Statement: Trump is turning the Republican brand toxic with all the growing constituencies of the 21st century. The Republican party and the conservative movement are poised to suffer historic losses in 2018 and 2020 that will have repercussions for a generation or more. California went through this exact political transformation 15 years ago. Now, CA is well into its next political era – a progressive one, which is all about how to create new systems that work better for everyone over the long haul – in a truly sustainable, equitable way. Republicans in California are completely marginalized from the current political conversation while a new breed of progressive Democrats are swinging for the fences with big, bold new ideas.

Table #4 Topic

Table Moderator: Matt Ranen, Ranen Consulting

Statement: As someone who studies the intersection of social, political, and economic forces, I have seen a rise in the information consumers have access to about the internal workings of the companies they buy from, and how this has begun to influence their perception of the companies’ products and services and their loyalty to them. This new criteria extends beyond typical product brand attributes or emotional cues promoted by companies. Topics of concern to the buying public range from the political donations of senior executives, to the bathroom policies for transgender employees, to the types of healthcare coverage they do or do not provide. Historically, many of these attributes were either hidden from view or not a concern. However, we now live in an age where who the company is and how it operates is on daily display, making it harder for them to a) be “neutral” money making entities and b) separate these attributes from their product brand image. This has been the niche of many purpose-led brands by choice. However, I believe we are entering a period where everyone will be judged and forced to declare on policies that would not have been seen as relevant in the past.  This could lead to an explosion of the purpose-led organization and/or extreme fragmentation in the economy.

Table #5 Topic

Table Moderator: Kelcey Gosserand, Founder, Trellis

Statement: Innovation is at the heart of the future of work and technologies such as blockchains and its role in the creation of a decentralized internet can have positive impacts on the labor market. We often talk of the future of work as “robots replacing workers” but there exists technology that opens new opportunity in the workforce – is blockchain one of these?


Table #6 Topic

Table Moderator: Julia Freeland, CEO, REvolve YOU

Statement: Technology has impacted the way we do everything and is changing the way we operate day to day as a result. When we talk about being relevant in the future, most minds focus on the need to learn tech skills and more tech skills. I believe our extreme focus is blinding us from seeing the real challenge of learning to be relevant tomorrow. My work and experience suggest that the biggest hurdles to successfully “reskilling for the future” has less to do with tech skill development and more to do with mindset and our willingness to let go of what we know, be curious, and start again.

Table #7 Topic

Table Moderator: Melissa Anderson, Founder, Public Good

Statement: People are using their wallets, voices, and talent to stand by brands that align with their social and environmental concerns and reject or even attack those that do not. It’s increasingly difficult for big companies to take a neutral stand on issues ranging from immigration to the environment, and issuing a statement may not be enough. Customers are looking for brand authenticity through companies’ actions, deployment of resources, and their positioning and even their voices. To compete, they must restructure themselves to own their positions on key social issues before they are overtaken by events or rejected by customers.

Table #8 Topic

Table Moderator: Jana Rich, Founder, Rich Talent Group

Statement: California recently enacted the Equal Pay and Fair Pay Acts, allowing employees to openly discuss compensation and require equal pay for employees who perform “substantially similar work,” among other provisions. In addition, California and New York recently passed a ban on salary history inquiry, prohibiting employers from asking about or seeking previous salary history. Though these new laws are intended to help level the “pay playing field” over time, there’s still an immediate responsibility on the individual to know what the competitive compensation landscape is so that they can effectively negotiate with their existing/potential employer. To do this, people need to have easy access to compensation-related data.  Both men and women should embrace– not shy away from– talking about their total compensation with their peers.  Doing so, will give both men and women access to the data needed to be in the driver seat during compensation negotiations.

Table #9 Topic

Table moderator: Susan MacDermid, Ascendant Networks

Statement: Technology is the catalyst shaping the future of work allowing for new and expansive changes to when, where, how, and why we toil. As technology unleashes new opportunities, society, politics, education, and culture need to evolve to determine the shape of human productivity. Automation tech like Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning have tremendous impact on jobs, skills, and wages – changing how we work, where we work, and the businesses we work for. It’s time to look disrupted organizations, disrupted managers along with augmented employees and augmented workplaces.

Table #10 Topic

Table Moderator: Derek McCarty, CMO, Dosist

Statement: Consumers have more power than ever before. Can we harness this power to be in more control of our health, less dependent on doctors and drugs and find personal solutions in a one-size-fits all healthcare world? Eventually, can consumerism and new behaviors even change the healthcare system?

Table #11 Topic

Table Moderator: Jessica Federer, CEO, Innovayte

Statement: Across industries in the US today, individuals rise to meet, and exceed certain standards of competency..  But there is no competency standard to be an elected representative in the United States. We have suitability tests for other roles in our society (bus drivers, pilots, engineers, teachers, surgeons, etc.) that at some point or another hold our lives in their hands.  Why not take the same approach for the individuals that are responsible for our opportunity, our independence, and our livelihood?  We cannot change the system overnight, but we can take steps today to prioritize competency through endorsement and funding incentives.

Table #12 Topic

Table Moderator: Kaliya Young, Identity Woman

Statement: Self-sovereign identity, the concept that people and businesses can store their own identity data on their own devices, and provide it efficiently to those who need to validate it, without relying on a central repository of identity data) is closer than people think, and will have material impact on business, society and the global economy. Understanding the technology and its implications are imperative as is will drive material disruption AND opportunity.

Table #13 Topic

Table Moderators: Kim Kraemer, Founder, CEO and Amy Aines,  Chief Culture Strategist. Waterhouse Brands

Statement: Companies are stepping up to the call to contribute to society and use purpose as the North Star that guides corporate decisions. Matt Damon’s Super Bowl appeal to buy a Stella Artois chalice to support, Unilever’s sustainability efforts launched in 2010 and WalMart’s Project Gigaton to reduce their supply chain emissions are notable examples. Smaller scale yet similarly impactful, are the local community and supplier benefits that criminal defense lawyer, turned chocolate maker, Shawn Askinosie has delivered. He founded Askinosie Chocolate with a commitment to fairness, sustainability, minimal environmental impact and community enhancement.  Given the state of government programs, problems in the world, and the altruistic expectations of millennials, we think it’s time for more companies to follow their lead. Can tax savings provide a new funding source with the potential to inspire a movement? We believe that BlackRock’s CEO Larry Fink is right “to prosper over time, every company must not only deliver financial performance, but also show how it makes a positive contribution to society.”

Table #14 Topic

Table Moderators: Deanna Brown & Steve Oh, President and Chief Business Officer, TYT Networks

Statement: The role of media has changed as a result of, and reaction to, the information age and the parties involved. There is both opportunity and threat around these changes- issues like  journalist transparency and subjectivity v. objectivity; new business models & content economics are all in play. If there are biases that differentiate brands bringing us news, shouldn’t they be transparent? Or is the news media supposed to just “report”? Is that even possible? And, as media is figuring this all out, shouldn’t wrestling with these issues be transparent as well? We believe audiences are owed this level of insight & inclusion.

Table #15 Topic

Table Moderator: Diane Tate, Program Manager, Mozilla

Statement:  An increasingly global workforce coupled with communications advances (goodbye Telepresence, hello Zoom!) has led to a movement away from traditional 9-5 office work arrangements and towards greater flexibility of both working hours and locations.

I work on internal communications, programs and events for Mozilla, supporting about 1100 staff: roughly half work in 10 different offices across 3 continents, and the other half work from homes or coworking spaces. Our very thorough representation of both timezones and cultures is rooted in our open source roots (open source projects tend to assemble folks remotely around the world). And it brings some challenges in how we work. Meeting these challenges is not easy, but it means we can work with a broader pool of more diverse talent.

Table #16 Topic

Table Moderator: Cris Turner, Dell

Statement: Emerging technologies like augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR), artificial intelligence/machine learning (AI), big data, cloud computing and the Internet of Things (IoT) will completely transform the workplace by 2030. This change is coming so fast that an estimated 85% of the jobs that will make up the 2030 workforce have not yet been invented. Government, business and our educational systems must prepare for the massive societal and economic shifts to come as entire industries are disrupted by technology.

This program is underwritten by Sustaining Sponsor Perkins Coie.


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