ace callwood

Ace Callwood is the Managing Partner of Equal Sons, a product and strategy agency responsible for companies such as Painless1099, a tax and finance platform for freelancers; and Coffitivity, an ambient sound app named one of TIME Magazine’s Top 50 Sites of 2013.

As an entrepreneur, consultant, and former educator, Ace is often asked to help groups think more creatively. In today’s shifting work landscape, his focus is typically on ideation, crafting narrative, and maximizing the greatest asset a company has; it’s people.

His past gigs include Entrepreneur in Residence at the VCU School of Business, Consultant & Facilitator at TMI Consulting, and member of the Virginia Governor’s Council for Youth Entrepreneurship. Ace writes on Medium, tweets at @acecallwood, and enjoys direct messaging in person on the rare occasion he's let out of his digital cage.


alan charles chipman

Organizer. Mentor. Healer.

Allan is a lifelong faith community activist, having started his work at the ripe age of six in his hometown of Baltimore, when he was inspired by a group of pastors working to connect their congregations to their communities through service. As Initiatives of Change USA’s Faith-Rooted Organizer, Allan runs programming for faith communities, equipping them with the tools to think theologically and logically about race and the history of America.

During college, Allan engaged with faith communities to change society through mentorship programs and helped to establish a faculty/student collaborative organization called Reconciliation and Conversation for Everyone (R.A.C.E.). Allan has also worked in the corporate world, where he advocated to build an African-American network to strive for racial equity at one of the country’s Fortune 500 companies. He also acted as liaison between minority employees and the human resources department when issues involving race arose.

Allan earned his bachelor’s degree in human development and family science from Messiah College. In his free time, Allan enjoys creating music and recording for his podcast dedicated to the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. called A Difference in Thought.

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Dr tiffany jana

Entrepreneur, technologist, research leader… Dr. Jana has been featured in numerous publications and media including Fast Company, Inc.com, and Forbes for TMI’s work on diversity, equity, empowerment, and inclusion. Dr Jana has published three books in the field, the latest being Erasing Institutional Bias: How to Create Systemic Change for Organizational Inclusion.

Dr. Jana serves as a strategic advisor on client engagements, and has deep expertise in diversity and inclusion, using metrics to gauge organizational equity and unconsious bias. Dr. Jana's vision is to help organizations optimize their workplace and community environments based on stated values.

Dr. Jana is the proud mother of three children, a quirky computer science major, a charismatic Harvard economics major, and a musically gifted middle schooler.

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danny lopez

Former British Consul-General to New York, CEO of the Mayor of London’s economic development agency, artificial intelligence tech executive. Dual national Anglo-Spanish, Danny’s accustomed to delivering messages to corporate, government, or royal, audiences in English or Spanish.

He talks across Europe and North America about international events and the intersection of market disrupting technologies and government policy.

A former banker, marketer, diplomat and tech exec, Danny has operated at the highest level in both the private and public sectors, building up a diverse skill set and wide-ranging leadership experience.

His perspectives on economic futures, and the keys to negotiating against the background of those futures, are drawn across tech, business, and government across the US and Europe.


Dr sionne rameah neely

Producer. Seer. Amplifier.

Sionne is a womanist researcher, writer, teacher and multimedia producer who spent eight years cultivating critical movements in the artist community of Ghana before returning to the United States and joining the Initiatives of Change team as Director of Marketing & Communications.

In Ghana, Sionne co-created ACCRA [dot] ALT, an independent community-based organization that promotes the socially transformative work of African creatives and artists to global audiences. As part of this work, she also co-founded and helped run the flagship CHALE WOTE Street Art Festival, the biggest festival of its kind in Africa. In addition to her work in the artist community, Sionne built upon her doctoral research on the rights of African women in her role leading the knowledge management division of the African Women’s Development Fund (AWDF), the largest continental fund supporting and sustaining more than 1,300 women’s rights organizations in Africa.

Sionne received a master’s degree and a doctoral degree from the University of Southern California in American studies and ethnicity. She completed work towards a masters in fine arts from Howard University, where she focused on film production and criticism, and a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Georgia. Her multimedia research revolves around independent arts organizing, African women’s rights, African feminism, the rights of artists, the history of music production in Ghana and pan-African recollections of the transatlantic enslaved trade. When she is not at work, Sionne loves to be at the beach, checking out trails, exploring new places, interacting with folks of different cultures, writing and working on her performance art.

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matt paxton

Matt might look familiar because he is one of the top extreme cleaning experts in the country, as featured on the hit television show HOARDERS. Paxton started cleaning out houses after his father and grandparents passed away in the same year. His first business focused on solving difficult living situations caused by extreme clutter. Matt’s latest enterprise was founded on his expertise in extreme cleaning and experience in managing his family’s estates. Matt appears regularly as a public speaker, television guest and radio personality, talking about our emotional attachment to items and how to manage successful downsizing. In an age of rampant consumerism Matt addresses the questions of “stuff” - what do we do with it, how do we handle emotions tied to it, and how do we handle the migration of those belongings and memories as family members age.

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scott wayne

Scott has built his career investigating opportunities, building partnerships, and negotiating outcomes. He learned his trade while working as a British diplomat. In the private sector, he has built award-winning firms that apply negotiation techniques to help clients understand their market, innovate, and build partnerships to fuel growth.

Scott's talks bring to life strategies and tactics that he and his teams use every day. He illustrates how to blend negotiation theory, behavioral economics, and diplomatic tradecraft to disrupt markets and deliver rapid growth.

Each talk is tailored to the audience and weaves in relevant and resonant examples from current events to reinforce concepts. Case studies cut across business trends, social issues, and economic challenges.


chelsea higgs wise

Activist. Translator. Influencer.

Chelsea is a clinical social worker and intercultural communicator who specializes in connecting underserved and misrepresented communities with policymakers to advocate against racism and misogyny. Dedicated to evolving narratives and policies, Chelsea’s role as Narrative Change Officer within Initatives of Change USA’s Truth, Racial Health, and Transformation program of the Kellogg Foundation is to help the community create a new narrative that will influence perspectives, perceptions and behaviors, transforming the historic and contemporary effects of racism in communities.

Chelsea holds a bachelor’s degree in social work from Longwood University and a master’s degree in clinical social work from Virginia Commonwealth University. Chelsea values genuine connection, authentic relationships and meaningful impact. She is fueled daily by her village of friends and family, especially her young daughter, Chloe.