35th Annual Year 

2023 General Sessions

2023 General Sessions

The 2023 Forum on Workplace Inclusion® 35th Annual Conference:

Combining Forces(x): Fueling our Collective Capacity for Change.

Our General Sessions synthesized the theme of our 2023 program year on the conference’s biggest stage.

Day 1 – 35th Annual Celebration — Welcome Event + Following Reception was held at Orchestra Hall

Refueling Our Humanity

March 27, 2023 at 4pm CST

Minnesota Orchestra, Minnesota Public Radio, St. Paul & Minnesota Foundation, Augsburg University, and The Forum combined forces to showcase inclusion and the advancement of equity through the arts, media, philanthropy, and higher education, including conversation with Michelle Miller Burns, Duchesne Drew, Eric Jolly and Paul Pribbenow. Hosted by Angela Davis,

Sponsored by:

Day 2 General Session: GROUNDING HYBRID ENERGIES: Cross-Industry Design for Impact + Sustainability

March 28, 2023 10am CST

Cross-industry innovation expert and ideaDJ, Ramon Vullings, shared the power of reframing to unearth innovative DEI solutions. In his keynote Ramon set the stage for transformative thinking with a message about remixing cross-sector ideas cross-sector to inform smart strategy in this era. 

A moderated Q&A with industry leaders talked about about their most wicked challenges and teed up active participation collaborative cross-industry think tanks on Day 2 and Day 3.

Ramon Vullings

Keynote Speaker

Cross-Industry Expert
Idea DJ


Heidi Barker

Guest Speaker



Abe Demmaj

Guest Speaker

Real Estate Developer


Melissa Donaldson

Guest Speaker



Dr. Tonya Hampton

Guest Speaker

Hennepin Health


Todd Palmer

Guest Speaker

Diversity in Design


Think Tanks — New for 2023!

March 28 & 29, 2023

At times, the work of advancing DEI within organizations — and even within industries — can feel isolating. Many feel siloed in their efforts to find new solutions for decades-old challenges. It’s difficult to keep pace with constant and rapid change.

Think Tanks presented an exciting opportunity for professionals from across industries to come together and imagine the possibilities of combining forces to maximize DEI impact.

Following his keynote, Ramon Vullings, Idea DJ and Todd Palmer, director of Diversity in Design, facilitated highly interactive, two-day sessions. Think Tank sessions helped DEI professionals look beyond the borders of their proprietary domains and learn smarter business strategies — collaboratively.

Ramon and Todd framed the conversation for a healthy debate and helped contributors — at all levels, from all generations — feel comfortable to freely participate. 

Think Tank Leaders


Ramon Vullings

Todd Palmer

Day 3 Closing General Session: LEVERAGING OUR NET FORCE: Recognizing and Promoting DEI Superpowers

March 29, 2023

Three distinctly different influencers set the stage with moving messages and deeply personal conversation, challenging us to own and leverage superpowers others may perceive as limitations.

Ashton Applewhite

Guest Speaker

Against Agism

Nadya Okamoto

Guest Speaker

August Period Care

Joze Piranian

Guest Speaker

Yes Way Joze Inc.


The Forum on Workplace Inclusion®
2211 Riverside Ave, CB 54
Minneapolis, MN 55454
(612) 373-5994

Photos by Sarah Morreim Photography
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