2023 Leadership Summit sessions will be linked to one of the themes that new Scholars have explored through the Leadership Development Institute, which welcomes them into the Scholar Network:

EMPATHY | We strive to be aware of others’ feelings and circumstances so that we can better understand, influence, and connect meaningfully with them.

VISION | We are continuously committed to defining a compelling vision for ourselves and our work.

INSPIRATION | We seek to move and inspire ourselves and those around us through our actions, words, and example.

Main Stage

Led by Dr. Laurie Santos
Host, The Happiness Lab Podcast

In this session, Laurie Santos explores what new results in psychological science teach us about how to happier, how to feel less stressed, how to flourish more and how to put these scientific findings into practice by building the sorts of habits that will allow us to live a happier and more fulfilling life.
Led by Daron K. Roberts (1997)

Do you believe in "purpose?" And, if so, have you found it?

In this talk, 1997 Scholar Daron K. Roberts takes a deep dive into the illusion of purpose and offers a new approach that will help you reimagine your life's work.
Led by Ben Kaplan (1995)

For most of our lives, we’ve been taught that to get the results we want, we need to take individual action.

But what if the key to solving our most challenging problems was to tap into the creative energy and collective wisdom of those around you? What if your hardest personal and professional challenges weren’t something that you had to go at alone?

Ben will draw upon examples from the worlds of business, politics, science, and more to suggest one simple truth: instead of working harder, we need to work together.
Led by Pamela Stewart (CCSF Board) & Angela Harrell (1991) & Sue Suh (1992)

All of us are on a continuous journey to learn who we each are and what we stand for, and how to create joy, strength and meaning for ourselves and those around us.

How can we honor our personal truth and also achieve business success?

Our panelists can't wait to share examples from their own lives and careers, and the choices they've made to stay true to their values while helping to lead some of the most well-known brands in the world.
Led by Steven Olikara (2008) and Kaitlyn Chana (2009)

Jazz is a call-and-response artform, just as democracy at its best is a call-and-response political system. However, today our democracy has descended into a call-and-shutdown culture. At a time of rising polarization and distrust in our political system, how can we reinvent democracy for the 21st century?

In this talk, Steven draws on his 15-year journey as a nationally recognized democracy reformer and musician to share how each of us can show up and be part of the solution at this historic crossroads. Steven will discuss how to be an effective political bridge-builder across lines of difference, the most impactful systemic reforms to incentivize better leadership, and concrete steps to get involved and help build a new, inclusive model of civic action. As Steven reminds us, “If you think someone ought to do something, that person is probably you.”
Led by Bea Perez (CCSF Board) and JT Batson (2001)

Bea Perez (The Coca-Cola Company) and JT Batson (2001, U.S. Soccer Federation) will have a fireside chat focused on career stories and advice. They will inspire with personal anecdotes about their unique paths to success.


Led by Katori Hall (1999) and Kevin Shen (2000)

Join us for an inspiring pre-conference fireside chat with award-winning Playwright, Creator, and Television Producer Katori Hall moderated by actor and storyteller Kevin Shen.

Immerse yourself in an exploration of the enchanting world of storytelling as Katori takes you on a captivating journey through her career.

From her unique perspectives to personal experiences, she will shed light on how narratives shape our understanding of the world and the power they hold to inspire, provoke, and transform.

Discover the secrets behind Katori's creative process, gain insights into her remarkable journey from budding writer to internationally renowned playwright and producer, and learn how you too can harness the power of storytelling to drive change and connect with audiences on a profound level.

Come with questions as there will be time for Q&A.

Town Halls

Stephen Massey (1993)
& Julie Gehrki (1998)

According to a recent article in the Harvard Business Review, tying work to what we’re passionate about can deprive us of the many benefits that come with engaging in outside activities and hobbies.

Though the desire to pursue passion at work is a modern phenomenon, many professionals have discovered their sweet spot by merging their civic passion with their professional ambition. Let’s discuss how you are leaning into what inspires you.

Town halls are conversations between Scholars that are designed to foster connection, audience participation, and action.
Panel: TJ Abrams (2001, Moderator), Vice President, Global Wellbeing Experiences, Hyatt

Rosanna Catalano (1990), Partner at Anfield Consulting, Attorney, Adjunct Professor at Florida State, & Author

Mary Karthryn Covert Steel (2003), Executive Director of Leadership Communications, Bristol Myers Squibb

Aaron Chadbourne (2002), Broker-Owner, The Real Estate Group

Post-pandemic addressing mental health and wellbeing is more relevant across generations than ever before in work and life. Join us for an engaging discussion on how to combat the status quo and prioritize mental wellbeing for a better you and a better world.

Town halls are conversations between Scholars that are designed to foster connection, audience participation, and action.
Panel: Heidi Koester Oliveira (Moderator) – Senior Director, Global Sustainability at Mars Pet Nutrition David Akinin – Chief Executive Officer, Jabu Marc Eichenbaum – Special Assistant to the Mayor for Homeless Initiatives, City of Houston Torarie Durden – Head of Marketing Walmart Business, Walmart

Some days, it feels like we’re living in a world on fire – literally. Scholars are already driving change across businesses, governments and NGOs – what’s working? What’s not?

This discussion will explore how we’re building a more sustainable world from the seats we’re in, and what else we can do.

We’ll tap into tips for leading change collectively & as individuals – from small steps to transforming systems. Let’s share experiences, discuss challenges, and spark new ideas to inspire action.

Town halls are conversations between Scholars that are designed to foster connection, audience participation, and action.

Breakouts: Empathy

Led by Lillian D. Singh (2000)

Using emerging research, interactive role-playing, and small breakout discussions, this session will address ways to put empathy into action in the workplace while centering diversity, equity, and inclusion. Diversity, equity, and inclusion are three closely linked values held by many organizations that are working to be supportive of different groups of individuals, including people of different races, ethnicities, religions, abilities, genders, and sexual orientations.

This session is for emerging leaders and seasoned professionals as it will ignite and cultivate competencies and vital interpersonal skills necessary to ensure your actions create and contribute to a universal culture of belonging.

We will focus on three major forms of empathy: cognitive - the ability to understand, emotional - the ability to feel; and; active- the ability to take supportive action. You will walk away with concrete tips and techniques for fostering inclusive, diverse, and equitable workplaces.
Led by Elizabeth M. Howell (1996) & Jarvis Sam (2009)

There is an ever-increasing call for authenticity from leaders at all organizational levels across every institution of society. An authentic leadership style has proven particularly beneficial during times of change and transformation when trust, collaboration and engagement are acutely important. Coca-Cola Scholars carry the magic to make a positive impact on the world through our lives and work.

During this workshop, we will journey through a series of interactive conversations and activities that enable each participant to unleash your magic as an authentic, inclusive, effective leader.

Key topics and activities:
  • Explore the meaning, characteristics, and benefits of authentic leadership for individuals and organizations.
  • Identify personal values, (your story); and how these integrate into your leadership style.
  • Demonstrate the roles authenticity and empathy play in building strong, cohesive teams.
  • Share strategies for increasing emotional intelligence and self-awareness.
  • Build skills in active listening and empathy through group exercises.
  • Review habits of effective leaders.
  • Highlight common challenges or barriers to authenticity and empathy, while providing strategies for overcoming them.
  • Share examples of effective leaders who lead authentically, inclusively, with empathy.
Led by Iman Cooper (2011)

Have you ever asked yourself which feelings assist you in being your best self at work? Do you know which exact feelings hinder you from being successful in the workplace?

Neither had I, until I discovered the Emotional Culture Deck!

The Emotional Culture Deck (ECD) is the #1 tool for creating human-connection in the workplace, used by 200,000+ people globally at organizations like KPMG, IBM, and Panasonic. It’s a game/toolkit that helps leaders create thriving, human-centered cultures in their teams.

It starts first with you as the leader. Taking time to name the feelings that help make you successful (and those that don’t), will transform how you lead and show up—at work, in your business, and in life!

Empathetic leaders must first be able to recognize and name emotions for themselves, before they can champion healthy emotional culture that creates high-performance for everyone on their team.

So why do emotions matter at work? Science shows emotions drive human behaviors. Emotions are simply data points, giving you insight into the overall health of your organization.

In this highly interactive workshop, Iman will lead you through a series of exercises using the ECD, that combines self-reflection for personal breakthroughs, small group discussions, and keys to jumpstart emotional culture conversations in your organization.

Walk away knowing:
  • The top 5 things you personally need to experience to be successful & how to cultivate this.
  • Weekly rituals you can do in your meetings to build empathy, connection, and trust amongst your people.
Join us if you want clarity on how to build a thriving, connected, and people-first workplace culture!
Led by Juliana Tafur (2003)

Listening is an act of love, especially when engaging with people who we don't understand, either socio-culturally, or politically. It's also a necessity. If we are to prosper as a society, we must learn to get along, to be each other's neighbors, and to sit at each other's dinner tables -- despite our differences.

During this session, we understand our listening blocks, and learn to share vulnerably, so we can be listened to. In doing this work, we challenge the status quo of division and take back our narrative, because we aren't as different as we think we are, and because the burden of hatred and othering is heavy to carry.
Led by Dr. Nina Vasan (2002)

Let's face it. Most of us are addicted to social media. The average user spends 2.5 hours *per day* on social media. The average teenager spends almost 6 hours per day. This is time we could be engaged in the real world, building IRL relationships, strengthening IRL hobbies, sleeping better, and more. Social media use has been linked to many concerning issues, including worsening depression, anxiety, body image disorders, and even self-harm and suicidal thoughts. At the same time, there are some benefits we get from social media, especially around community, connection, inspiration, and education.

Our team of psychiatrists and design experts at Stanford University School of Medicine developed The New York Times featured Stanford Social Media Safety Plan, a set of questions to help you better understand your behaviors on social media and make changes so that you're living a healthier, more intentional life. It can also be used to help your kids, and help you figure out what behaviors are okay vs. concerning for them, and what works (and what doesn't) to help them make changes.

In this session, you will make concrete changes to your social media accounts, starting with who you follow and your screen time settings. You'll work with others to discuss your social media use, what comes up - both positive and negative - and how to change your account and behaviors to have less of the bad and more of the good. By the end of the session, you will have multiple actionable steps personalized to your specific needs around social media. We'll also discuss the issues that come up for your kids and how to help them make similar changes.

You will leave thinking about joy, and how to have more of it both online and IRL.

Breakouts: Vision

Led by Joel Martin (1996)

Games and fun can help employees, customers, and more think outside the box to solve problems in an innovative way!

Why did the US Marines award their new Virtual Reality contract to a small startup out of Orlando that has never done Military business? Why are Chick-fil-A and Walmart working with a drone startup?

Hear from Kyle Moorand, CEO of 302 Interactive and one of the VR designers behind the Mario Kart VR ride (Universal Japan / LA / Orlando), who focuses on “turning everyday life into a playful experience," and Ritukar Vijay, CEO of Ottonomy, who solves problems with fun, interactive robots (THEY TALK! THEY GIGGLE! THEY MAKE FUNNY NOISES!) like R2-D2, who will bring you food at the airport or the mall.
Led by Kristina Ellis (2005)

Let’s flip the script on personal finance. Here, budgeting isn't a burden; it's your personal roadmap to aligning resources with dreams. Investing isn't a risky venture; it's a rewarding journey you're in control of. And retirement planning? It's not a distant obligation, but an exciting opportunity to design your future years.

We'll delve into the essentials of budgeting, providing a clear, easy-to-understand overview that will help you navigate your financial landscape with confidence. Expect to learn strategies that balance today's needs with tomorrow's aspirations, all packaged in a way that fits neatly into your busy life.

We'll demystify the basics of investing, giving you a crash course on how to transform it from an intimidating chore to an accessible tool for wealth building. And when it comes to retirement planning, we'll show you how it's never too early or too late to start sketching out your post-career dreams.

This session is about embracing the power of financial literacy to create a lifestyle that fits your dreams and goals. With a practical approach, we'll make finance not just manageable, but truly exciting!
Led by Jared McCluskey (2012)

Raising venture capital is challenging and the process contains many unwritten rules. Join us for a conversation about tips to navigate the VC landscape, how to pitch, macro factors, investor expectations, funding stages, angel investors, software to use, and more.
Led by Mike Doughty (1993) & Nilofer Rajpurkar (2013)

It’s hard not to see a mention of Artificial Intelligence or ChatGPT when you’re on the internet these days.

In this interactive workshop we will talk about trends in AI. We will unpack the potential opportunities for and threats to the way we do business. Beyond a brief overview of the AI landscape, this conversation will focus on the implications for policy and practices, not the technology behind how AI works.

During this session, participants will:

- Identify current trends in AI.
- Analyze the opportunities and threats presented by AI and discuss strategies for leveraging opportunities and mitigating threats.
- Evaluate the implications of AI for policy and practice including ethical considerations.
- Explore several ways to use AI, specifically large language models, to enhance your own productivity and work.

Breakouts: Inspiration

Led by Alice Park (1997)

"Unleash Your Brand: 5 Culture-Leading Strategies to Elevate your Social Media Presence," presented by small business expert and Coke Scholar, Alice Park, is a dynamic and transformative course designed for businesses and individuals striving to make a substantial impact and build a lasting legacy in today's digital world. Alice's mission is to provide you with the essential tools needed to convey your brand's story in a captivating and authentic way.

This breakout course unfolds in two unique sections, each focusing on innovative strategies to elevate your social media presence. Alice will guide participants in creating a gripping reel that captures viewers' attention and immerses them into the narrative core of their brand. Further, through the lens of mobile photography, we will explore techniques to capture, edit, and share visually striking images that not only captivate but also encapsulate your brand's story.

Alice will underscore the significance of producing consistent content with achievable objectives, designed to engage your audience and drive conversions. She will also share her secrets on mastering the art of brand storytelling, narrating your brand's journey and its enduring values in a manner that resonates with your audience.

Whether you're an emerging brand aiming to establish your expertise, an existing business seeking to revitalize your digital presence, or an individual aspiring to build a resilient personal brand, this course offers the indispensable techniques and guidance to amplify your social media presence.

Led by Dr. Laura Froyen, PhD (2002)

If we want to raise the next generation of changemakers; kids who are kind and respectful yet will stand up for what’s right, then we need an approach that is in line with those goals.

Conscious parenting is about learning to see your child clearly through a deeper understanding of yourself while allowing unhelpful cultural conditioning and perfectionism to fall away. In doing so you can develop a deeper, more authentic relationship while supporting your children in living authentically themselves.

In this workshop you will learn the Five C’s of Conscious Parenting, and how to use them to support your children in developing the skills and tools they need to be “successful.” A critical part of this discussion will focus on redefining success, both for ourselves, as parents, and for our children. We will also explore how some more traditional approaches to parenting can actually undermine your long term goals for your children.

You will come away with several tools you can put into practice immediately, as well as important mindset shifts that will allow you to approach your children and yourself with more grace and compassion.
Led by Che Miller, M.D. (1994)

In the fast-paced world of work, infusing happiness is an art that requires creativity and fuels productivity. For many companies, the workplace is a complex network of relationships and priorities that need a common thread of purpose and passion.

This session reveals the key ingredients to foster creative energy and meaningful purpose within your team. Discover real ideas to revitalize your workplace and leverage critical moments for unforgettable experiences.

Join us on this transformative journey to orchestrate a harmonious masterpiece of thriving teamwork and unparalleled success!
Led by Santoria Sawyer (2010)

Don’t just tell your story, sell your story.

We’ve all heard it said that there is power in your story. But what if I told you that there is also a profit in it?

In this interactive and inspiring breakout session, you will not only gain insight on how to tell your story, but how to sell it! Whether you are a startup applying for a grant, an artist looking to grow your audience, a business owner looking to expand, or a writer aspiring to publish your first book, you will walk away from this breakout session with the motivation and tools to do so.



“The Leadership Summit is by far the most affirming, insightful, and inspiring development conference any of us could ever attend. Connecting with our community of shared values, passions, and leadership drive – producing lasting growth and development.”  – Martel Neville, 1999 Scholar

“I loved the variety offered and it was WELL worth my money to come back and be re-inspired! Can’t wait to attend next time!”  – 1996 Scholar

“This was the best conference I have ever attended. High energy in everything done, high production value, variety of topics and speakers, something for everyone.”  – 1991 Scholar

I’ve been part of the Coke Family for nearly 20 years, and I have never seen any other organization dedicated towards the growth and success of its own community. It’s a humbling experience to be around such accomplished and diverse individuals.”  – Sandeep Shah, 2006 Scholar

“Every attendee at the conference is of value, representing leadership and vision of their field in a variety of ways. I paid out-of-pocket to attend this conference including the hotel, transportation, and food. Most conferences I am covered through my job, a nonprofit organization, university, or private donor. However, this was the first time I fully funded myself to attend a conference and I feel proud. I cherish the conversations and experiences a lot more.”  – 2015 Scholar

“I am so excited for another Leadership Summit! This will be my third time attending and each experience has been absolutely amazing! I leave inspired, more deeply connected to this phenomenal community, and with my cup so full that I feel like I can do anything. I can’t wait to experience the summit again.”  – Erica Tuggle, 2001 Scholar

“I can’t wait to reconnect with the innovators and industry disruptors in the Scholars family.”  – TJ Abrams, 2001 Scholar

“The Leadership Summit…it’s just not optional! It’s a chance to pour into myself surrounded by incredible Scholars, hearing from inspirational speakers. Who doesn’t want to return home refreshed – a better person for their family, friends, and co-workers!?!”  – Ben Nicol, 1999 Scholar

“By far the best conference I have attended. Absolutely amazing speakers, attendees, and group buy-in.”  – 2008 Scholar

“I’m coming to network with brilliant humans that care about leadership, service, and community.”  – Nicole Knott, 2003 Scholar (coming from London!)

“It’s magical to be in a room with Coke Scholars; the energy is infectious and brings out the spirit of unconditional happiness to engage with other thought leaders.”  – Kaitlyn Chana, 2009 Scholar

“A room full of Coke Scholars is the definition of extraordinary. Each Summit creates the opportunity to connect with other scholars and expand our capacity as a human to do more, give more, and be more. The summits are pure magic!”  – Kristina Gisonde, 1999 Scholar

“Once every five years we get to recalibrate with fellow Scholars. Not to be missed!”  – David Akinin, 2008 Scholar (coming all the way from Namibia!)

“This will be my second Summit. The first was five years ago and pre-pandemic. It was uplifting and rejuvenating for me and I look forward to the same energy and vibe!”  – Molly Uhlenhake, 1998 Scholar

“Leadership Summits are so much more than the most inspiring speakers and educational sessions… It is professional development that truly moves the needle and personal development alongside the greatest humans I know. I’m overflowing with anticipation for all that this year’s event has to offer and the opportunity to (re)connect with all of my Coca-Cola Scholar Family!”  – Krystal Kappeler, 2009 Scholar

“This is where I come to get a rejuvenated sense of purpose and to enjoy a fun trip down memory lane with some great friends and mentors.”  – Victor Agbafe, 2015 Scholar

“The last Summit was just the right cocktail of camaraderie, inspiration and laughter that I needed to double-down on my career. I can’t wait to get back to Atlanta and reconnect with this incredible band of changemakers.”  – Daron K. Roberts, 1997 Scholar