You’ll be a part of every Hot Topic Discussion!

Connect with experts in small groups of no more than 10 participants during six rounds of 45 minutes each. Sharing experiences in these small executive-level groups provides an excellent opportunity for knowledge exchange on specific topics in leadership development, strategic planning and growth, talent management, employee engagement, information technology security, and more.


Dive in and explore a deeper understanding of what Intelligent Failure means and how embracing it could provide valuable new knowledge that can help an organization leap ahead in performance. Through hands-on, interactive activities, participants engage with one another to foster ideas for dealing with failure productively in ways that align with organizational needs, resources, and values. With tangible skills, insights, and actions, participants walk away ready to help organizations fail forward.


According to IBM, 95% of breaches are due to human error, yet over 99% of security budgets are spent on technology to stop the breaches, and very little on cyber education.

Talent Management

Talent management used to be just a fancy name for standard human resource practices, policies and resource management. Since the early 2000’s, organizations have realized that managing and leading the “whole” human resource cycle is critical for recruiting and retaining talented employees. This is a discussion for leaders, managers and anyone who manages and leads people and processes. During this interactive roundtable discussion, participants will discuss successful talent management best practices and will share their own experiences leading employees.

Strategic Planning & Growth


This session is highly interactive, audiences will first uncover the psychology behind the 3 stages of the buyer’s journey, with real-life stories and descriptive examples that illustrate each stage. Through experiential learning, the audience will create their own examples to implement how they can do this in their own business or sales cycle before they leave.

Three key takeaways for the audience
Understanding the 3 stages of The Buyer’s Journey Connect, Engage and Convert your audience will know:

  • How to trigger a sensory experience for your customer before inviting the close
  • How to build/navigate a custom journey based sale for your product/market
  • How to customer’s to convert themselves

Quantifiable Results/Case Study

  • Consistent KPI’s of 90%+
  • Improving non-profit major gifts from $96M to over $126M in 12 months

We will explain the fundamentals of search engine optimization, how it works and why it is crucial for growing your business. You will learn the history of SEO, the key ranking factors and some of the best tools available in the market in 2019 to improve your online presence.

There are three key features of SEO that you must understand in order to be successful:

  • Content Creation, Curation and Promotion
  • Search Engine’s Algorithms
  • On and Off Website Optimization

We have helped businesses grow through several digital marketing strategies. Whether you are a beginner or not, understanding and applying SEO techniques can drastically increase your website traffic hence it’s importance on today’s highly competitive marketplace.


Most organizations conduct security awareness training on an annual basis as a “check the box” exercise, using lecture based materials that employees don’t connect with.  The threat landscape has changed dramatically.  In this session, we will discuss the psychological components that need to be woven into a security awareness program for it to have the best chance of changing employee behavior.

AR/MR experiences will change how people shop, eat and view data. Are you ready?
Participants will learn what GIS is and how it helps agencies analyze and share their data visually by using maps. By showcasing three GIS projects from the Child Care Resource Center (CCRC), participants will learn how online maps make it easier to share data, how story maps help engage and inspire audiences, and how a network analyst helps solve intricate routing problems (like finding the nearest child care center near a home). Participants will depart knowing which GIS software in the market is best suited for their personal and agency needs.

Putting your business online can be a tricky, well, business. In this session, we’ll discuss overcoming the most common obstacles, from the essentials of presenting your business on the web to creating advanced tailor-made solutions without investing in huge and costly developer teams.


How much attention do you pay your middle managers? There is a surprising hole in the middle of most organizations – one that you might not even be aware of. Middle managers are the glue of your business, yet they are often an overlooked asset. Middle management probably has a greater impact on performance than almost any other part of the organization. Middle managers are often the ones with their ‘finger on the pulse’ and the ones who know how to navigate a range of relationships up and down the organization. Think of the middle of an Oreo cookie – it is what holds things together and brings out the flavor in base ingredients. The middle is full of value!

Some leaders are too harsh. Some are too lenient. Others are completely disengaged from employee performance management. Striking a delicate balance between supportive leadership and accountability is the key to ensuring employees are as effective and productive as possible.

Learn from Sylvia Melena — 25-year social services veteran, management consultant, and author of “Supportive Accountability: How to Inspire People and Improve Performance” — how to equip your leadership team to engage employees and improve performance. Book sample available at

Even the most driven and visionary among us sometimes struggle to shift our way. Learn concrete tools for creating lasting change in 20 minutes a day.

Every business and nonprofits needs a road map to plan its activities to reach its annual (and longer term) goals. This program will teach you the basic building blocks to create a working business plan and how to dispense resources among the functions optimize results.

What happens to teams when individuals focus only on strengths and stays within their comfort zone?

Building the bench will discuss why having staff strong in 10 key traits, builds infrastructure and an all-around skilled team allowing you to put anyone from the bench in the game!


Designing survey questions can be hard. Poorly constructed questions might not get the answers you need, but they can also deceptively lead your participants to answer in a certain way or be too confusing for them to interpret correctly. This session will teach you how to avoid common pitfalls in creating survey questions, best practices for designing survey questions, and how to get the most out of your surveys.

This presentation will discuss how to create reports and data visualizations that clearly communicate findings. During this presentation, participants will identify good and bad data visualizations, how to create more effective visualizations in excel, and how to present data to tell a story using free and low cost tools.

The Real Cost Measure is a poverty measure by United Ways of California that conveys the real cost of living for California households. In contrast to the official poverty measure, the Real Cost Measure takes into account the costs of housing, child care, health care, transportation and other basic needs the official poverty measure ignores.

In this presentation, Henry Gascon will present findings from the latest study, including a broad overview on what the Real Cost Measure looks like throughout California, including its counties and neighborhoods. We will also discuss the measure’s impact on vulnerable populations, and demonstrate new interactive tools such as our household budgets module which reveals what it cost to live in California based upon household size and geography. Following the presentation, we will engage in a conversation on how the cost of child care is impacting family well-being. Join us for this engaging conversation.

Fund/Business Development

In the age of ubiquitous disruption and unpredictable job evolution, it’s imperative that businesses and organizations focus on establishing a culture of creativity. This hands-on workshop guides you in exercises to boost your creative output and learn how to produce more innovative ideas, with relevance and novelty, while also establishing a creative culture at your workplace.

The goals of this workshop is to increase your ability to initiate, problem solve, collaborate, take risks, generate innovative ideas and increase adaptability through the creative process. Creativity is skill that can be exercised every day. Join us!

This workshop is designed for nonprofit organizations looking to diversify their funding base while still providing a positive impact in the community by selling goods or services. Learn how to identify, plan and build revenue earning programs to meet growing client needs and to help organizations better sustain their operations over the long term.


Organizations constantly find both requirements and opportunities to collaborate, one on one or in larger groups. Collaborations may range from serving on a task force to long-term partnerships with shared goals and resources. Effective leaders set the tone for collaborations, and help them succeed. Often collaborations are offered as quick-fix, cost-saving solutions to complex problems. The reality is that they’re hard work, and involve both practical and psychological challenges.

That’s why paying attention to what we know from science and from common sense about collaborations is so important. This presentation will share eight strategies for effective collaboration, based on scientific research. And it will identify five challenges to success – such as insufficient attention to power differentials between collaborating organizations. Methods for evaluating the success of collaborations also will be discussed briefly. The session will include time for dialogue with the participants – to share their experiences and surface questions about organizational collaborations.

Driving the conversation as well as being responsive to the needs of policy-makers is at the heart of making large-scale change. This interactive session will provide an overview of connecting with legislators and policy-makers on topics that can have great impact on your customers, clients, and business. Specific examples of policy-relevant issues will be presented along with the data, and data format used to educate people on the issue. Audience members are invited to bring topics and data as we begin to craft impactful messages.

Elected officials develop their policy platforms in the context of political campaigns (i.e. before they are elected), but frequently, nonprofit advocates and philanthropy only engage with elected officials after an election. But, nonprofit advocates and philanthropy can play a key role to ensure candidates for elected office are educated on issues affecting their communities and commit to addressing those issues once elected.

This session will highlight Choose Children 2018, an ambitious candidate education effort that sought to make early childhood a key issue in the race for California governor. The session will dive into specific strategies and lessons learned from Choose Children 2018, as well as focus on the tools available to nonprofit advocates and philanthropy to influence the policy agendas of candidates for elected office.

Amy Malin, Partner at the creative agency Trueheart, will share how a powerful PSA (public service announcement) campaign can help increase donations and raise awareness for your non-profit. Over the last two decades, Amy has worked at the intersection of Hollywood and philanthropy and has been renowned for her parties with a purpose. Amy is an expert at connecting celebrities with great causes to raise millions of dollars for deserving non-profits and she creates global media campaigns that help shine a spotlight on their incredible work. Amy will discuss the importance of storytelling and creating an emotional connection with your audience, how to secure celebrities to star in your spot and current trends in PSA campaigns. Amy will also share how to capture millions of traditional media and social media impressions with a creative public relations strategy.