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Keynote Session

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Presentation Details

Having a "Hack-a-thon" program does not make an Innovation Culture. Having a community kitchen space or even Diversity Training does not make an Inclusion Culture. The secret to building (and sustaining!) either culture is – Leadership.


Christy’s experience with Innovation research and Inclusion research reveals an eye-opening discovery - the characteristics of a Leader who effectively builds an Innovation Culture, and those of a Leader who effectively builds an Inclusion Culture, are essentially the same. Instead of disconnected strategies that place the full responsibility for Inclusion on the DEI function…Senior Leadership, Talent Development leaders and DEI practitioners can all join hands in a united effort to develop leaders with the necessary characteristics.


Can we get there? Yes, if we disrupt our approach. We’ve promoted for skill, intelligence and drive, but missed the critical piece – Authentic presence. The emerging field of Character Science is proving that through an “inside out process,” authentic leadership can be developed.


Hear real-time stories and examples from corporate DEI leaders at progressive companies who are forging an Inclusive Culture through authentic leaders & cross-org partnership…


Including an Interview with Valerie Jackson, Chief Diversity Officer & Head of Future Work at Zuora, the leading monetization platform for the world’s most innovative businesses – on a mission to create an economy that is inclusive, sustainable, and accessible.


In this session, you will:

  • Learn org-wide Culture transformation strategies for achieving both Innovation and Inclusion/DE&I…and the surprising overlap between the two.

  • Discover the leadership character strengths that drive innovation and inclusion (and which can be developed, according to the emerging field of Character Science) so you can help your company (and yourself) grow in effectiveness.

  • Hear how frontrunner companies are making Inclusion strides through leadership, and with partnerships between Talent, DEI and Senior leaders.


Speaker Bio:

Christy Tonge...

  • Is the Founder & Producer of the Leaders Get Real podcast, hosting best-selling authors & experts and spotlighting business leaders who model authenticity & impact. 

  • Is the Leader of the SF Bay Area “Culture First” community, a global movement of people who believe a better world of work is possible and are willing to take action to make it real

  • Is the VP of Coaching & Strategic Design for Slate Advisers, whose mission is to democratize leadership coaching, making it accessible beyond the executive suite to mid-level and under-presented leaders who are the secret to culture-change

  • Was lead designer, Product Manager and Senior Consultant for the Global Consulting firm, GP Strategies and for the epic Tom Peters Company where she partnered with a series of bestselling authors and led the design of products and tools based on their books: (The Circle of Innovation, The Leadership Challenge, Credibility, etc)


Christy’s career expanded from Product Development to 20+ years as a strategic, high-energy and thoughtful executive coach, facilitator, speaker, and culture strategist. Her clients have included: LinkedIn, ebay, Visa, Salesforce, LucasFilm, PG&E, Gilead, Charles Schwab, Dropbox, Dolby and GoPro.


Christy founded the Leaders Get Real Podcast after journeying as Coach with hundreds of leaders who had the courage to pursue authenticity and discover deeper impact. Her podcast grew from a vision to bring forth honest conversations about leadership and culture to equip and inspire. 


Christy is an adventurer. She and her husband and 2 kids unplugged from school and work in Silicon Valley for half a year for a global service venture, volunteering with organizations in remote villages in India, Thailand, Kenya, Uganda and Honduras. Christy holds passionately that people in any role, at any age, can bring about transformational change, and together we can solve global challenges by innovating for good.

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