The WOW Dinner
The WOW Dinner is part of an inspirational global series of networking events aimed at promoting diversity and the empowerment of women in tech and related industries. The dinner is taking place on May 21, 2019 at the Gladstone Hotel, and coincides with the Collision Conference held just blocks away. The event welcomes people of all genders and orientation. Expect an evening of great conversation with a vibrant group and an eclectic mix of innovators, amazing food and inspiring speakers!
The first WOW Dinner (Worldwide Network of Women) was organized in Lisbon, Portugal at the onset of the Web Summit 2017. Since then the dinner has been held three more times, and the idea has spread globally to seven countries, including now in Canada. We have set up an international network to forge valuable relationships that promote women and men to speak about the challenges and opportunities more diversity in our workplace have presented. Our team of ambassadors and founder, Isabel van der Kolk, have arranged media interviews for event speakers and are continuing to work on new programming. On some occasions WOW Dinner has also extended to university students to hold networking breakfasts and speakers that support their entrance to the tech industry.
The WOW Dinner exists because of incredible support from sponsors around the world who understand the value that diversity and inclusion bring to not just society, but the success of each person within the industry and the larger success of the tech sector.
Meet our fantastic speakers. We’ll have an exciting program waiting for you in Toronto. Buy your tickets now!
Skawennati, Multi-media Artist
Skawennati makes art that addresses history, the future, and change. Her pioneering new media projects include the online gallery/chat-space and mixed-reality event, CyberPowWow (1997-2004); a paper doll/time-travel journal, Imagining Indians in the 25th Century (2001); and TimeTravelle™ (2008-2013), a multi-platform project featuring nine machinima episodes. These have been widely presented across North America in major exhibitions such as “Now? Now!” at the Biennale of the Americas; and “Looking Forward (L’Avenir)” at the Montreal Biennale. She has been honored to win imagineNative’s 2009 Best New Media Award as well as a 2011 Eiteljorg Contemporary Art Fellowship. Her work is included in both public and private collections. Born in Kahnawà:keMohawk Territory, Skawennati graduated with a BFA from Concordia University in Montreal, where she is based. She is Co-Director of Aboriginal Territories in Cyberspace (AbTeC), a research network of artists and academics who investigate and create Indigenous virtual environments. Their Skins workshops in Aboriginal Storytelling and Experimental Digital Media are aimed at empowering youth. In 2015 they launched IIF, the Initiative for Indigenous Futures. www.skawennati.com
Sarah Saska, Co-Founder & CEO, Feminuity
Feminuity is a global strategy firm that partners with leading technology startups through to Fortune 500 companies to build diverse teams, design equitable processes, inclusive products, and company cultures where people belong. Before co-founding Feminuity, Saska led pioneering doctoral research at the intersection of diversity, inclusion, and innovation. Sarah has twice been named amongst the Women’s Executive Network’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women in Canada and amongst Culture Amp’s list of “21 Diversity and Inclusion Leaders You Should Know.” She speaks internationally, is a TEDx speaker, and she’s been featured on CBC’s The National, as well as in Fast Company and The New York Times, to name a few. LinkedIn
Jeff Burton, Co-Founder, Electric Arts & CEO, Woodside Creek Ventures
Jeff was the third employee of Atari’s International Home Computer Division. Then he joined former Stanford classmates as a founding team member of Electronic Arts in 1982. There he led the company’s international expansion from inception until its IPO seven years later. For its first 3 years he served as Executive Director at Skydeck Berkeley, the University’s only cross-discipline startup accelerator, and today he sits on Boards and is a Partner/Associate at the Copenhagen Institute for Futures Studies. He was a co-founder of HolodeckVR in Munich, and is a major advisor to BitDegree in addition to being Head of Global Programs for Startup Division by Civitta in Vilnius, Lithuania, plus he is a member of the Board of Advisors for Startup Europe under the European Commission. LinkedIn
Jackie Celestin-André, Director Marketing & Communications, D&I, L’Oréal
Since 2011, Celestin-André has developed a new strategic axe, “Diversity and Marketing”, to work on the importance of leveraging the diversity of consumers for sustainable growth. She works with brands L’Oréal Paris, Maybelline, Lancôme, La Roche Posay and across different geographic markets. Jackie develops programs to gain consumer knowledge, to detect trends and market changes, product and service innovation, with a strong focus on digital. Prior to L’Oréal, Jackie held marketing positions with Colgate-Palmolive in New York, Brussels and Paris. She worked for Warner Lambert and Geer DuBois advertising. Born and raised in Brooklyn, Jackie holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Cornell University, and a M.B.A. from Kellogg School of Management. Her professional experiences have exposed her to many countries and cultures throughout the world. LinkedIn
Katie Doherty, Co-Director, Runway Innovation Hub & Co-Founder, Female Founder School
Before launching the Female Founder School in San Francisco, CA, Katie led incubator Runway through an acquisition by a Fortune 500 company in 2017. During her time at Runway she managed 83 early-stage startups and 15 corporate partners. She grew a strategic innovation and marketing partnership program from <$100K to >$1MM ARR with partners including Lenovo, IBM, ADT, NRI, and AT&T. Before that, she launched the Corporate Innovation Program at Singularity University. Katie holds a BA in Government from Harvard University. LinkedIn
Past Speaker: WOW Dinner Lisbon
The WOW Dinners are not-for-profit events. They are financed through ticket sales and sponsorships. We thank all of our sponsors for their commitment to diversity and inclusion in tech.