June 20, 2019

University of Washington | Husky Union Building (The HUB)

Directions & Parking Information

Registration opens at 9:45 am in the North Ballroom


Statistically we are healthier, wealthier, wiser, and more connected than ever before. As our organizations and industries adapt to continuous advancements in technology, we are beginning to meet the up-and-coming talent of Generation Z. These digital natives will influence their workplaces - are you ready to welcome them in? We invite you to the Project Ascendance Summit focused on preparing for the future of competition as we approach the 2020s.

This event offers you the opportunity to come together with a diverse group of influencers including CEO’s, CTO’s, CMO’s, CHRO’s, technologists, consultants, Gen Z leaders, renowned futurists, and policy experts to discuss successful strategies, solutions, best practices, and partnerships that can keep your organization ahead of the curve through the 2020s.




Join us for a day dedicated to the future of competition with talks and panels from experts across industries on how they’re preparing to stay ahead of the curve. The Project Ascendance Summit is made up of keynotes, fireside chats, panels, and lightning talks to keep you engaged and learning. Speakers will share their predictions for the future of work and real-world examples for how companies are implementing strategies to keep them competitive over the next 5-10 years as Gen Z enters the workforce.


9:45 AM - North Ballroom

Registration Opens

10:25 AM - North Ballroom

Welcome + Project Ascendance Report Results

Christy Johnson, Founder & CEO Artemis Connection

10:40 AM - North Ballroom

The Real Data on Gen  Z: A review of the inherent Gen Z traits

Anne Boysen, Futurist & Strategic Foresight Consultant

85% of the jobs that will exist 10 years from now are unknown today. Strategic Foresight Consultant Anne Boysen will weigh in on the ever-shifting jobs landscape and debunk some Gen Z career expectation myths so you can begin preparing for the future now.

11:10 AM - North Ballroom

The Future of Recruiting and Retaining Talent: What you need to know to attract, engage, and retain top GenZ talent

  • Dr. Marisa Herrera, VP Student Equity & Success, Shoreline Community College

  • Nicole Krantz, Human Resources Director, Zumiez

  • Devi Sandhu, HR & Equity Manager, Enviroissues

  • Aparna Rae, Co-Founder Moving Beyond & Co-Founder Future  For Us

Gen Z makes up a quarter of the U.S. population and they're more diverse than any other generation before them. Understanding how to work with diverse teams and creating inclusive environments will be crucial for recruiting and retaining top talent. This panel will explore the value Gen Z is projected to bring to the workforce and what employers can do to attract, hire, develop, engage and retain talent.

12:00 PM - North Ballroom

Developing Millennials to Attract Gen Z Talent

  • Amy Posey, Founder & CEO, SUPER*MEGA*BOSS

  • Himaja Ganti, Software Engineer, Mercedes-Benz Research & Development North America

  • Martha Segovia, Senior Analyst Reserve & Roastery Logistics, Starbucks

  • Danylo Kurgan, Co-Founder, Obsidian Bot & Analyst, Artemis Connection

According to a recent survey conducted by EY, 77% of Gen Z say they prefer to have a Millennial manager over a Generation X or Baby Boomer manager. What are the new needs Gen Z are bringing to the workplace and how do we equip Millennials to be effective leaders? How can Gen X and Boomers re-tool their capabilities to meet the changing talent needs?

1:00 PM - North Ballroom

The Future of Diversity Through the Lens of Mobility: A prediction from Mercedes-Benz Research & Development North America

Mike Dosenbach, Director Of Cloud & Connectivity, Mercedes-Benz Research & Development North America

Mercedes-Benz sees diversity as its key strategy for staying competitive in the next 5-10 years as the luxury car brand revolutionizes how we think about driving, luxury, and experiences today to attract a growingly diverse consumer. Learn how Mercedes-Benz is building diverse teams to develop innovative new technologies and business models that will change the way we commute and think about mobility forever.

1:55 PM
Rooms 145 & 250

Lightning Talks: Quick conversations around the future of work and technology from leading industry executives

These brief presentations will inspire and guide table discussions on relevant emerging topics related to the Future of Work. Attendees will choose a track to follow for the hour.

Track 1: What matters most to Gen Z: Strategies for a future-proof workplace
Room 145

1:55 PM

The Future of D&I and How to Act Now: An interview with CBS Diversity and Limeade

  • Lauren Franklin, Limeade Brand Manager

  • Jeanne Mau, SVP of Diversity Entertainment

72% of working Americans today state that they would leave their current organization for one that is more inclusive (Deloitte 2017). But what about the next generation of workers? With Generation Z entering the workforce, are organizations prepared to provide the employee experience they expect? Through an interview led by Lauren Franklin, Brand Manager at Limeade, Jeanne Mau – SVP of Diversity and Inclusion at CBS Corporation – will share her thoughts on how the current workforce has shaped the Diversity and Inclusion agenda in today’s workplace, what to expect from tomorrow’s leaders, and what organizations can do now to build and sustain inclusive workplaces into the future. Bring your pressing questions as we’ll turn it over to the audience to ask what’s top of mind for your organization in preparing for Generation Z and the future of Diversity and Inclusion.

2:15 PM

How to build high-performing teams to ensure success for the future

  • Mamtha Banerjee, Expedia Senior Director of Technology

  • Nicole Buchanan, Former ADA Developers Academy Executive Director

  • Lakshmi Nidamartha, Amazon director of product and technology

A conversation between Mamtha Banerjee and Nicole Buchanan on their success and failures in building high performing teams. What are the gaps companies aren't getting right and how can executives to entry-level employees make an impact?

2:35 PM

The future of mentorship for a competitive advantage

  • Anna Robinson, Ceresa CEO & Founder

  • Beth Yehaskel, Ceresa professional training and coaching

Mentorship is broken for half of the population. Women are not receiving the mentorship needed to thrive and accelerate in their careers and companies will ultimately suffer for it. Millennials and Gen Z are actively seeking companies with women in leadership and organizations proactively encouraging mentorship opportunities. Learn how companies are staying competitive by developing mentorship programs specifically targeted at women.

Track 2: Evolving for the Future: Emerging fields and technologies
Room 250

1:55 PM

Empowering Gen Z to change the system

Lorraine Bardeen, Microsoft GM engineering

Entrepreneurialism isn’t just a Gen Z trait, it’s in their DNA. Seventy-two percent of Gen Zers in high school want to start their own company and 61 percent plan to start their business right after college. This entrepreneurial mindset enables Gen Z to not only be comfortable working in a space without rules-- but thrive! This mindset is particularly advantageous for technology development and innovation. This session will focus on how to empower Gen Z and their entrepreneurial spirit for optimal competitive advantages through the lens of technology and innovation.

2:15 PM

Fourth industrial revolution

Harini Gokul, Technology Leader & Investor

The 4th industrial revolution is technology-driven and human-centered. The culture of work is changing now more than ever. How do companies, employees and societies harness this disruption to realize competitive advantage? For leaders, this is a critical time to set the right tone at the top and invest in big bets that help your businesses and employees thrive in the future of work. Let us discuss the opportunity ahead, what causes anxiety and how do we get ahead of it.

2:35 PM

Emerging Technologies: Gen Z's influence on the Federal Reserve Bank

Donna Leung, Federal Reserve Bank San Francisco IT Director

Every generation has different views and experiences with money. As Gen Z enters the workforce they will affect the macroeconomincal ecosystem of the future. Join us for a insider perspective from a leader at one of the most influential banks on the West Coast.

3:15 PM - North Ballroom

The Future Workforce: A conversation with Gen Z leaders

Christy Johnson, Founder & CEO, Artemis Connection & Gen Z Leaders

Fireside Chat about the future workplace and the next generation.

4:00 PM - North Ballroom

Happy Hour


This year, the Project Ascendance Summit is generously sponsored by:




Check out our Project Ascendance research findings + highlights from the 2018 Summit here.