Join us on


for a day and a half of workshops and real talk on passion-filled careers.

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A full day of
workshops and
real talk on

You deserve a meaningful life.


We know it’s possible to do work that’s good for you, in a way that’s good for you, in a way that’s good for the world.

It’s time to create work on your own terms. On May 5th and 6th, Impact Hub Oakland will be hosting a full-day of workshops and real talk on passion-filled career. Learn from baddass leaders who’ve figured out how to pursue their passions with integrity, without going broke. From what you learn, create your roadmap of your key next steps and walk away with a community of champions rooting for your success.


May 5th, 2017 — 6:30 pm - 9:30 pm

First Friday Festival, our evening kickoff.  Evocative art, live music, customized craft cocktails, and delicious bites to kick-off to meet your SPARX tribe and get excited about the summit.

May 6th, 2017 — 9:00 am - 6:00 pm

All-day sessions.

Event schedule coming soon.


Impact Hub Oakland, 2323 Broadway, Oakland CA, 94612

You deserve more than empty work.

  • You’ve been been longing to do work that fulfills you but your bills keep you stuck in a job that doesn’t feel authentic to who you are. Or…
  • You’ve been working your butt off for some else’s idea but wonder how you can support yourself on own your ambitions...

When it comes to making a switch, however, you fear you’re being foolish or naive. You’ve heard people say “following your heart” is impractical and no one ever makes a living or difference doing what you love.

Honestly, we call bullshit on that. Passion and career are not oxymorons, no more “either / or” scenarios. We not only believe creating a career on your own terms is possible, we believe the world desperately needs you to. You can step into your vocation and we’ve asked 13 groundbreakers to show you how.


No panels. Are you kidding? When you’re not being inspired by keynotes, you’ll be in active conversation and intimate workshops.

Conversational. You’re the type of person who learns through talking it out, not being talked at. The environment and agenda is designed for you to connect meaningful, get a few things off your chest, and get to work charting a path you actually want.

Practical and dynamic. No matter where you are on your journey, you’ll have something to apply to right where you are.

Are you ready to learn…

  • How to pick a path that feels true and authentic to you…
  • How to find the time for side-projects or develop skills on your personal time…
  • How to make more money to finance your aspirations…
  • How to overcome your BIG fears, negativity, or limiting beliefs…
  • How to stop the stress and find balance in your life and work…
  • How to figure out when to create your dream job or find an organization hiring for it that skill…
  • How to build up a community of support to launch you and move you forward…?

If so, then we can’t wait to introduce you to the mentors you’ll have along the way.


Deborah Cullinan

Deborah Cullinan

CEO, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts

Deborah Cullinan joined Yerba Buena Center for the Arts as CEO in September 2013. With her stewardship, YBCA has sharpened its mission and vision; re-grounding the organization in its origins as a citizen institution and San Francisco’s premiere art center built by the community, for the community. Fostering a “culture of invitation”; Cullinan brings together creative citizens of all kinds to spur social change. Prior to joining YBCA, Deborah served as the Executive

Director of San Francisco’s Intersection for the Arts for 17 years. Under her leadership, Intersection became a powerful arts-focused community development organization committed to radical partnerships across sectors to achieve equitable community change. She is a cofounder of ArtsForum SF, and a member of the Board of California Arts Advocates, Californians for the Arts, MissionHub, and the Community Arts Stabilization Trust. She is on the Advisory Board of the Catalyst Initiative, Grey Area Foundation for the Arts, Howlround, the San Francisco Arts Education Project, and the Community Visions Project/Americas for the Arts. She is co-chair of the San Francisco Arts Alliance and is a Rockwood Fellow, a Gerbode Fellow and alumni of the National Arts Strategies’ Chief Executive Program.

Rha Goddess

RhaPubPhoto 3-2017 3

Artist, Coach, Transformational Speaker

Rha Goddess is the entrepreneurial soul coach behind hundreds of breakthrough changemakers, cultural visionaries and social entrepreneurs. From multiple NY Times Bestsellers to multi-million dollar social enterprises, Rha’s unique methodology has empowered a new generation of conscious entrepreneurs to stay true, get paid, and do good. From the onset of her more than 30-year career as a cultural innovator, social impact strategist and creative change agent, Rha has drawn on the power of creativity, culture and community to move hearts, minds and policy. Rha’s work has focused on issues of racial justice and equality, electoral politics, offender aid and restoration, mental health and youth and women’s empowerment and contributed to initiatives that have impacted millions of lives. As CEO of Move The Crowd, Rha is galvanizing a movement of 1 Million entrepreneurs dedicated to re-imagining “work” as a vehicle for creative expression, financial freedom and societal transformation.

Charlie Hallowell

Charlie Hallowell

Owner, Boot & Shoe, Piazziolo, & Penrose Restaurants

I came to Berkeley many years ago, from the East Coast. Through some completely inexplicable, miraculous twist of fate, I found myself working in the kitchen at Chez Panisse. I never actually decided to be a cook, or dreamed of having a restaurant. I got into cooking by accident; it found me, this crazy, amazing, passionate job, years before I found it. And, what I realized is that I loved being in the kitchen more than the dining room——nothing makes me happier than being part of the production of an experience.

When the possibility of being truly responsible for the creation of a space, my own space, became a reality I was filled with a huge desire to make it real. I started to imagine it, the way it would feel, the quality of the light, the way music would fill it, and as is the case with me, the dream of the space started to take on a life of its own. I wanted to take all that I had learned at Chez Panisse, the commitment to all local, organic meat and produce, to supporting farmers, to setting a beautiful table, to serving the people I love, and the community around me——and to make it more accessible.

And this vision and commitment carries over in into each of my restaurants. I want my friends and family to feel at home. I want strangers to feel like they are guests in my house. I want to create a space that is able to put people at ease, to help them feel that they can let their guards down. I want to help people feel connected to the land around them, and to each other. I want to help honor the ritual of food and the way it creates connection between us and to the world around us. I see how developing a relationship with food——cooking food, eating food, and serving food——has opened my life to a larger, deeper world. Mostly, I have learned how to serve with an open heart, with love and care. I am proud to call Oakland home and live with my son, daughter, and dopey Bernese Mountain dog.

Brett Cook

Brett Cook

Internationally Acclaimed Artist, Professor, & Public Speaker

Brett Cook is an interdisciplinary artist, educator, and healer who uses creative practices to transform outer and inner worlds of being. Cook’s objects feature painting, drawing, photography, and elaborate installations to share pluralistic stories that reinvent representation. His public projects typically involve community workshops featuring arts-integrated pedagogy, along with music, performance, and food to create a fluid boundary between art making, daily life, and healing. He has received numerous awards, including the Lehman Brady Visiting Professorship at Duke University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the Richard C. Diebenkorn Fellowship at the San Francisco Art Institute. Recognized for a history of socially relevant, community engaged projects, Brett was selected as cultural ambassador to Nigeria as part of the U.S. Department of State's 2012 smARTpower Initiative and was a 2014 A Blade of Grass Fellow for Socially Engaged Art. His work is in private and public collections including the Smithsonian/National Portrait Gallery, the Walker Art Center, the Studio Museum of Harlem, and Harvard University. He is a University of California, Berkeley Institute of Urban and Regional Development Community Fellow and Visiting Professor in Diversity Studies, Community Arts, and Social Practice at California College for the Arts

Aimee Allison


President, Democracy in Color & NPR Commentator

Aimee Allison is President of Democracy in Color and host of the “Democracy in Color” podcast that has featured New Jersey Senator Cory Booker, former Ohio State Senator Nina Turner, Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs, and writer Rebecca Solnit. She hosted the first Democratic National Committee chair candidate forum on race and politics in DC. A political and communications strategist, she was a director at the San Francisco Department on the Status of Women and led several sessions at the United Nations Commission on the status of women NGO conference.

She is a commentator on NPR and co-author of Army of None. Her new book She the People: The New Politics of Women of Color is due out in the Fall. She holds a BA and MA from Stanford University where she was student body president. She was awarded the Stanford University Award of Merit for her work on a "Falling Up," an innovative program for alumni that embraces failure and renewal in the path to creating a career and a life that matters. Aimee lives in Oakland, CA.

Blessing Horowytz


Founder & President, Alive & Radiant Foods

Blessing Horowytz, innovator, natural foods expert, entrepreneur, originator of the “Quite Cheezy” Kale Chip

A serial entrepreneur, Blessing brings 23 years of experience running her own businesses. Her spiritual path is in business.

As founder of Alive and Radiant Foods, Blessing’s intention was to bring to the market a product that would bring attention to mother earth and the bounty of nature. She realized her dream of creating a socially conscious company in the organic foods space and making it profitable. Her irresistibly delicious, award winning kale chip helped to open up a whole new trend in the market for plant based innovation in organic snacks. Through a serendipitous recommendation from a friend and focused meditation Blessing developed creative ways to season dehydrated kale. The kale chip was born! Despite the nay-sayers, Blessing worked tirelessly to make a profitable margin without compromising the quality and taste of the product .She started without hundreds of millions of dollars, but after bringing on a partner in 2011 was able to grow Alive and Radiant into a multi-million dollar company, all through the course of 15 years. She sold her shares in the company, and now spends her time mentoring business leaders and helping companies to develop new paradigms of business.

Raz Kennedy

Raz Kennedy

International Vocal Coach, Performer & Producer

In the realms of vocal performance and singing instruction, Raz Kennedy has created a legacy for over 40 years that rivals the music industry’s finest. Acknowledged as “the premiere vocal coach in the Bay Area” by Narada Michael Walden (multi-platinum Grammy and Emmy winning producer and musician), Raz Kennedy is a veteran music educator, producer, and vocalist devoted to the pursuit of excellence. His eclectic performance credits include serving as a founding member of the internationally acclaimed Bobby McFerrin’s Voicestra and performing as a background vocalist on recordings for many legendary artists, including Whitney Houston and Al Jarreau, as well as on stage for Sting, Santana, Mickey Hart, and Rebeca Mauleón. As an accomplished vocal coach and producer with numerous Gold and Platinum records to his credit, Raz Kennedy has gained the rich experience of working well with thousands of singers, including members of Metallica, to Adam Duritz of Counting Crows, Hilary Duff, Davey Havok of AFI, members of Los Tigres Del Norte, the late Clarence Clemons from Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band, and many more.  Above all, Raz Kennedy’s mission is to advocate for and assist anyone who desires to experience the liberating power that can be attained through singing as artistic expression.

Alexander Zwissler

Alexander Zwissler

Principal, Einstellung Labs, LLC

Alexander Zwissler is the Principal at Einstellung Labs, a consultancy working at the intersection of the nonprofit and for profit sectors. Previously as CEO of Chabot Space & Science Center, he led the development of new programs in climate change education including Bill Nye’s Climate Lab and the Climate Change Teachers Institute. Prior to Chabot, Zwissler was the Executive Director of the Fort Mason Foundation in San Francisco which he joined after a 17-year career as a senior executive in the cable television and telecommunications industry in the US and the UK. Zwissler serves on the leadership of several non-profits including Cool the Earth, the Climate Readiness Institute and is a Commissioner on the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission.

Zwissler earned a BA (Hons) in Political Science from the University of California at Berkeley

Nambi Gardner

Nambi Gardner

Design Whisperer, Gensler, Los Angeles

Nambi Gardner brings a choreographer’s approach to her work as a Design Strategist with Gensler Los Angeles. Her interest in the way people dynamically occupy space began after watching Judith Jamison perform with the Ailey Company in the early 90s. Since then, dance and movement have been a major part of her life, and an endless source of inspiration for her professional work in design.

While studying architecture at Yale and Columbia Universities, Nambi explored the way space facilitates our movement over time, passively choreographing the way we engage with our environments. Her explorations continue with projects like Impact Hub Oakland and Museum of the African Diaspora Galleries Renovations, where people flow and aesthetic rhythm were tools for organizing the space.

Evan Steiner

Evan Steiner

Founder, Whole Person Economy

I believe it is imminently possible for our economic system to provide for all aspects of the individual and society. Not only through financial stability, but also by engendering purpose in people's lives, promoting healthy lifestyles, and enabling individuals to pursue lives that are fully expressed. Business, finance, and philanthropy can, and should, work together to create opportunities for those who need it most.

My current project is The Whole Person Economy, which explores economics from the lens of values, ethics, and spirituality. I recently completed an MBA at the University of Oxford Saïd Business School where I focused on market-based solutions to global challenges. Previously, I worked at several leading social enterprise and impact investing organizations in the Bay Area, including The Impact Hub and Social Capital Markets (SOCAP). My time there focused on supporting early-stage social entrepreneurs, impact investors, and mission-driven companies to better achieve their goals. My experience is in taking burgeoning ideas and developing them into successful projects or companies. I thrive on collaboration and enjoy working with teams that are dynamic and outcome-driven.

Zakiya Harris

Zakiya Harris

Impact Strategist, Educator, Public Speaker

Zakiya Harris is a Cultural Architect, Artist and Educator working at the intersections of social entrepreneurship, 21st century education and creative transformation.Zakiya is a co-founder of nationally recognized projects Impact Hub Oakland and Hack The Hood and a past Fellow of Green For All and Bold Food. As a sought-after musician, Zakiya has shared the stage with artists such as Talib Kweli, Digable Planets, Gil Scott-Heron, and Tatiana Ali. Her style can be compared to Erykah Badu meets Radiohead. When she is “off the clock” you can find her being a hermit, reading Octavia Butler or watching 90’s tv shows with her daughter.

Sh8peshift Your Life (SYL) is the culmination of Zakiya’s experiences: An innovative leadership program that combines in-person workshops, online courses and individual coaching to creative entrepreneurs of all backgrounds who are looking to find alignment while working building their businesses. Unlike the Lean In movement, SYL offers an actionable path to achieving work-life balance.

Kat Nouri

Kat Nouri

Founder and CEO, Stasher

An entrepreneur to the core, Kat Nouri is the Founder and CEO of Modern Twist, the first company to use pure silicone to create elegant, innovative, sustainable products for home, baby and kids and stasher, which has introduced the world’s first and only self-sealing, air-tight, non-plastic bag that can safely go from the freezer to the microwave to the dishwasher.

Driven by a unique combination of contagious passion, clear vision, trust in her partners and team, transparency at every turn and positive energy, Kat set out to develop products that answered to three core consumer product beliefs:

  • They should be aesthetically beautiful
  • They need to be ridiculously functional
  • And, they must be environmentally sustainable

Kat didn’t set out to become an entrepreneur—but it was in her and it evolved naturally. Prior to modern-twist and stasher, she was on the pre-law track at the University of California at Berkeley, she got her degree in History in 1989 and shortly afterwards went to work for IBM. At IBM, she supported sales and marketing, eventually working her way up to regional sales for South San Francisco. However, it did not fulfill Kat’s creative side, so she left IBM to explore her artistic talents by starting a floral design business in San Francisco, and becoming an apprentice to a ceramic artist. In 1995, the entrepreneurial bug bit, and together with her family, she helped launch Contech Solutions to manufacture interface products for the semiconductor industry. This path, her upbringing and business values ultimately inspired both modern-twist and stasher.

A wife, mother of three and resident of Northern California, Kat uncompromisingly walks the talk, instilling the same values that have made her a business success into her personal life.

Justin Randall


Owner, Randall Writes Writing Services & Gigantazon

With over 20 years of professional writing experience, he has worked in training, corporate communications, and coaching, Justin Randall wants to live in a world of free-thinking people who work collaboratively for the common good, portals to make world travel easier (and better for the environment!), and incredible opportunities for his kids to grow into awesome adults.

His philosophy on successful writing is to keep it both clear and simple. He is empowering social entrepreneurs in finding their narrative, which gives them control of their story, builds confidence, and cultivates passion. After all, Nathaniel Hawthorne is right, "Easy reading is damn hard writing."

He launched Randall Writes Writing Services although he continues working on Gigantazon, a startup intended for users to co-create innovative solutions. When he's not coaching or writing communications plans, you can find him being Queen Dad, cooking delicious eats, or high-fiving his beautiful wife.

Kisha Richardson


Founder & Software Engineer

Kisha is an inner-city kid turned investment banker, turned entrepreneur & engineer. She quit her cushy corporate job and moved across the country from New York City to San Francisco Bay to fully devote time to sharpening her engineering skills and “becoming her own technical co-founder”.

Kisha built the Seed It Project, a crowd funding application for bootstrapping entrepreneurs, as a way to learn to code. As a result of its success, she was invited to attend and is a proud Fall'12 cohort of Hacker School.

Post Hacker School, Kisha has transformed into a successful Senior Software Engineer, Educator and Entrepreneur. She is currently a Software Engineer at Habit and the Founder & Chief Instructor of Open Mind Academy launching in September 2017.

Larissa Conte

Larissa Conte
Founder, Wayfinding
Larissa is a coach, culture designer, and rites of passage guide who helps leaders navigate from their deep listening into greater alignment through her business, Wayfinding. She creates the training ground for Wayfinders by blending ten years of experience in leadership coaching, culture consulting, ecosystems science, ceremony design and facilitation, and holistic healing into uniquely transformative experiences.Larissa’s offerings range from 1:1 coaching and leadership circles, to rites of passage, culture transformation, and leadership qigong. All of her work is designed to help leaders foster integrity through inner listening, embody their authentic leadership style, and navigate from their center, so they can more skillfully serve as stewards of creative energy. She's worked with hundreds of leaders across startups and the Fortune 100 from companies like Box, Deloitte, Genentech, Google, and the Wikimedia Foundation.


Impact Hub Oakland
2323 Broadway Oakland, CA 94612