Presenting: The Shift Forum Ignite Series


NewCo Shift Forum 2018

Four remarkable and unique voices on the future we all share.

If you’ve never heard of Ignite talks, you’re in for a treat, as they’ve spread to hundreds of cities around the world and range across a heady set of topics. They’ve been called “TED talks on speed,” and feature a unique creative box: each presenter gets 20 slides, which automatically advance every 15 seconds. The result is a fast and impactful experience. At this years Shift Forum, as we did the year before, we partnered with the founder of Ignite, Brady Forrest, who curated four of the best Ignite talks around the theme of “the future of work.” We’ve now published each one, and curated them here as well. Each is worth your time and attention. Special thanks to Ignite founder Brady Forrest for curating these extraordinary talks.

Susan Mernitt — Hack the Hood

Karla Monterroso — CODE2040

Jen McClure — Consultants Collective

Brandon Santiago

It’s Time to Desegregate the Tech Industry


NewCo Shift Forum 2018/Ignite Series

Blacks and Latinos will soon be 40% of the US population. Why are they only 5% of the tech workforce?

Karla Monterroso, CEO of CODE2040, is committed to closing the opportunity gap for Blacks and Latinos in the United States. Monterroso spoke at the annual Shift Forum earlier this year, in the Shift Ignite series (full overview is here).

Karla Monterroso: Hello. I was visiting my family in Guatemala this last year. My uncle was able to recall the most salacious details of our very embarrassing American election. I said to him, “Tío, how do you know all of this stuff?” He says to me, “Mija, what happens to you all over there impacts what happens to us over here.”

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A Radical Idea For Fixing the Talent Gap In Tech


NewCo Shift Forum 2018/Ignite Series

The gap between skills and opportunity is widening beyond resolution. Susan Mernit at Hack The Hood has a new plan to fix that.

Susan Mernit is co-founder and CEO of Hack the Hood, a Bay-area non-profit organization that works to address the needs of low-income young people of color disconnected from the economic mainstream of tech-informed jobs in the Bay Area and across the region. Mernit spoke at the annual Shift Forum earlier this year, in the Shift Ignite series (full overview is here).

Susan Mernit: Hey, everybody. It’s a pleasure to be here. I’m Susan Mernit. I’m the co-founder and CEO of an organization called Hack the Hood. We work with low-income 18 to 25 year olds of color in the Bay Area. We introduce young people to careers in tech, the skills they need, and how to get on a pathway for that training.

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Is Snapchat’s Culture As Sexist and Toxic As Uber’s?


What truly matters is how leadership responds. And time isn’t Snap’s friend.

There is a bottom line when it comes to what’s acceptable in the workplace and Snap just crossed it.

Yesterday, an email written by a former Snap female developer, Shannon Lubetich, emerged. The email was written back in November, on Lubetich’s last day of work. In it, she accused Snap, the makers of Snapchat, of having a toxic and sexist culture.

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The Power of Community


NewCo Shift Forum 2018 — P&G Signal Talks

Aaron Walker’s Camelback fund uses community to level the playing field for entrepreneurs of color

Aaron Walker is founder and CEO of Camelback Ventures.

Aaron Walker runs Camelback Ventures, a new kind of fund based on the insight that “genius is equally distributed, but opportunity is not.” Below is the transcript and short video of his Signal P&G talk at Shift Forum this past February.

Aaron Walker: Thank you. Good afternoon. The question that I’ve been asking myself is, what do entrepreneurs of color need to be successful? This is the question I’ve been asking myself for the last five years.

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How to Succeed at Being a Crypto & Blockchain Influencer Without Really Trying


A photo of me (center) in Bay Area Musical’s “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying” 🎭🎶Photo by Ben Krantz.

In July of 2017, I wrote a post on Medium titled What It’s Like to Be a Woman at a Tech Conference. The article has since been viewed ~64k times, and has become the piece of writing I am most recognized for. Usually if someone says “hey you look familiar” at a conference, I do the pose (😐👍pictured below) mimicking me in a wine cave full of dudes, and they figure it out.

It me.
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Good Companies Can Change the World. Here’s Proof.


Smart, young, talented, and very much not bro-tastic.

Image Helena Ronis Twitter.

Business news these days is overwhelmingly depressing. But yesterday I had a chance to speak with five leaders of extraordinary NewCos, the kinds of companies that restore your faith in the role business can play in the world. For today’s column, I thought I’d introduce them to you as well.

Sean Duffy runs Omada Health, a late stage digital therapeutics company focused on addressing our nation’s obesity and diabetes crisis. The company has raised more than $135 million and is a standout in a complex and crowded digital healthcare space. I interviewed Duffy, along with four other entrepreneurs, at Comcast’s Millennial Tech and Change Summit in San Francisco yesterday. Omada is Duffy’s first startup, and as with every new company, it’s had its challenges. But Omada is now charting its own course, and helping hundreds of thousands of people change their lifestyle and beat chronic disease. The concept behind the platform scales to the size of the problem — which is massive.

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When You Realize How Much You Don’t Know.


I thought I understood sexism in the Valley. I don’t.

Ellen Pao (image Wikimedia)

Pao lost her suit, which concluded just two years ago. But her loss could in fact become a larger victory for women overall. In the following two years, scores of women have found the courage to come forward, and the “bro” culture of Silicon Valley, a culture very much on display in Pao’s book, is now ostracized and, I hope, well in decline.

Further, Pao has turned what for anyone would be a scarring experience into a positive platform for change called Project Include. Check it out. I certainly will be.

The FT is on a roll

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The Best Of NewCo Shift: V. 1.0


We know our readers like yourself have busy schedules and can’t read every NewCo Shift story each day.

From time to time, we’ll summarize our best content for you, starting today. Our goal is to highlight recent stories like the Google memo, and to showcase our writers’ best contributions like Shane Greenup’s take on Censorship. Without further ado, here is our weekly newsletter.

No. This Cannot Stand.

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