Culturati Summit 2021

We just wrapped up another successful Culturati Summit. Forty speakers during 15 sessions over 3 days — it was packed. Nearly 700 unique by day registrants watched & participated in Double A Labs’ Phygital World, in Culturati House and on YouTube. Voltage Control managed a mural board for the posting of takeaways during the Summit. Post- Summit, they even provided facilitated debriefings for sponsoring companies’ attendees.

Our keynotes included Arianna Huffington, Tristan Walker, Mark McClain, Shellye Archambeau , Moran DeBaun, Michael Smerklo, Jeremy Hunter, Caroline Wanga, Kimberly Strong, Aubrey Blanche and Cotter Cunningham.

Josh Jones-Dilworth’s ( Culturati co-founder) big takeaway was the number of times he heard the word “love.” He plans to ramp up his use of the term and expression.

Common themes we heard during the Summit are reflected in a few phrases:

  • The mental health crisis was here before the pandemic; the pandemic has accentuated it. We now need to deal with it better;
  • The collision of work life and home life hasn’t been all bad (though in too many cases physiologically and psychologically exhausting), we’ve gotten to know each other in a different way;
  • The trauma of COVID that too many had to live with and that too many still live with is real. We’ve got to provide for this reality as we plan returning to our workplaces;
  • DEI leadership — we’re beyond making the case for it. We’re effecting inclusion and belonging at all levels, including the boardroom;
  • Tristan Walker and Morgan DeBaun offer examples of entrepreneurs filling a gap, seizing on a DEI oversight and turning this problem into a multi-million dollar businesses;
  • Empathy — emerging as a most critical leadership skill.

We closed expressing our solidarity against Asian Hate. And, we noted how Brands are Taking a Stand, with hundreds of US corporations standing against voter suppression and for voter rights in states across this country.

Josh & I send major thanks & kudos to our co-chairs this year: Albert Swantner & Janice Omadeke and members of our steering committee including Matthew Duncan, Prof. Dave Altounian, Prof. Ethan Burris, Anne Hebert, Lori Knowlton and Jamie Carpenter. Reta Hendricksen and Maria Brown-Spence from EF’s staff were awesome — as were our Culturati Fellows: Caitlyn Conner, Suraj Hinduja, Mitch McKay, Jamie Catanach, Vaishali Jadhav and Leo Ramirez. A special shout out to our emcees: Savannah Barker, Roman Gonzalez and Steven Tomlinson.

Finally, major appreciation to our sponsors: Aduro, NI, DLA Piper, Capital Factory, Double A Labs, Spring Health, Sailpoint, Atlassian, Google, Hagerty, Silicon Labs, JDI, Voltage Control, On the Dot, Kona Made, XI Media, Remix, HEB, Pelotonia, iRestart, & the Drucker School of Management at Claremont Graduate University.

Originally published at on April 20, 2021.

Eugene Sepulveda is the co-founder of Culturati® as well as the CEO of the Entrepreneurs Foundation, an advisor to Capital Factory & Notley Ventures, and Treasurer & a Sr. Advisor for Austin Mayor Steve Adler. Eugene’s long played at the intersection of business, politics, and community in Austin and nationally. He can be reached at

Culturati is a community of CEOs, entrepreneurs, investors and other c-suite leaders who practice & study culture building and share our play books.

Culturati is a community of CEOs, entrepreneurs, investors and other c-suite leaders who practice & study culture building and share our play books.