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As our writers here at VentureBeat have emphasized, diversity is a long game. We recognize there’s no instant fix to the long-standing barriers people of color as well as women face, which include important challenges to those working in tech. At the same time, change will only happen with a committed focus on these issues, which is why at VentureBeat we continue to ensure they’re a prominent pillar of our events.

At Transform 2020, we’re building on the gains we made last year, and are thrilled again to offer several opportunities to dive into these issues, give ample opportunity for provocative discussion, as well as celebrate some outstanding successes.

Here’s a snapshot of our diversity program:

(Note: all times are in Pacific Daylight Time)


Transform 2023

Join us in San Francisco on July 11-12, where top executives will share how they have integrated and optimized AI investments for success and avoided common pitfalls.


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Women in AI Breakfast — July 15, 7:30 – 9:00 a.m.

The response to Transform’s first Women in AI Breakfast in 2019 totally blew away our expectations. We were forced to expand our space to accommodate the demand, and the discussions starting in the morning continued throughout the event — all of which underscores the immense appetite women in tech have to share their knowledge and experience with one another.

Above: Timnit Gebru

This year’s Women in AI program presented by Capital One and Intel will consist of a panel discussion and live Q&A, followed by networking breakout groups, and is centered on the theme “How Women are advancing AI and leading the trend of AI fairness, ethics & human centered AI.” There’s little question when it comes to applied AI, women leaders and practitioners are generally leading the thinking in areas of empathy, fairness, ethics, and human centricity. And we’re thrilled Google researcher Timnit Gebru will be one of our featured panelists. Gebru has emerged as one of the primary leaders of the effort to focus attention on diversity and inclusion in AI. One of our lead AI writers covered her tweet dialogue with Yann Lecun which resulted in Lecun actually putting a halt to his Twitter activity.

Other participants include: Carla Saavedra Kochalski, Director of Conversational AI & Messaging Products, Capital One; Kay Firth-Butterfield, Head of AI and Machine Learning and Member of the Executive Committee, World Economic Forum; Francesca Rossi, IBM Fellow and AI Ethics Global Leader, IBM Research; Jaime Fitzgibbon, Founder & CEO, Insights; and Huma Abidi, Senior Director of AI Software Products, Intel.

Please join a stellar panel of leading women in AI and peers to dig into the issues and challenges around this issue.

Request an invite here. 

Diversity and Inclusion Breakfast — July 16, 7:30 – 9:00 a.m.

You won’t find any business leader or consultant that doesn’t acknowledge that innovation thrives most when diverse teams representing different worldviews, cultures, and thought processes are brought together. This is especially so in AI, where models and algorithms are built by humans and can easily become skewed. But how can organizations build diverse AI teams and help make their AI more robust and fair?

Above: Justin Norman

Building on the success of last year’s Diversity workshop, this year’s program will focus on the theme “How AI can benefit from having a more diverse and inclusive team” and begin with a roundtable of all-Black participants including Justin Norman, Vice President, Data Science at Yelp.  The roundtable will be followed by a Q&A and networking breakout groups.

Other participants include: Will Griffin, Chief Ethics Officer, Hypergiant; Ayodele Odubela, Data Scientist, SambaSafety; Yakaira (Kai) and Núñez, Senior Director, Research & Insights, Platform Products, Salesforce.

Join this select group of leading industry execs to go beyond the surface and explore the issues and opportunities in building diverse teams.

Request an invite here

Women in AI Awards — July 17th (3:55 – 4:00 pm)

More than 230 exceptional women have been nominated for VentureBeat’s second annual Women in AI Awards. Once again, we’ll be honoring women who have made outstanding contributions in AI in five areas: Responsibility & Ethics of AI, AI Entrepreneur (2 Awards), AI Research, AI Mentorship, & Rising Star.

Winners will be announced at the Women in AI Breakfast. Don’t miss the chance to see these amazing women who will be chosen.

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