Diversity, Inclusion & Cultural Competency Expert
and Unintentional Intolerance Thought Leader
A powerful storyteller with a powerful story to tell, Dr. Steve L. Robbins has an uncanny ability to inspire people even in the midst of disrupting and challenging the way they think about the world.
Born in Vietnam, Dr. Robbins immigrated with his mother to the United States where they faced many challenges during a time when there was much anti-war and anti-Vietnamese sentiment. Working through and rising out of the challenges of poverty, discrimination and the tough streets of Los Angeles, Dr. Robbins now brings insightful perspectives on issues of leadership, inclusion & innovation, and the power of caring.
Drawing upon a compelling life journey, his talks and workshops are filled with intriguing stories, laugh-out-loud humor and a keen understanding of human behavior. Dr. Robbins uniquely knows how to simultaneously challenge and motivate people with a dynamic use of storytelling, humor and extensive knowledge of pertinent issues and concepts.
The inclusive power of his message are why organizations like NASA, Caterpillar, Boeing Disney, Paypal, Microsoft, Gap Inc., McDonald’s, HSBC Bank, Toyota, WestJet, Northrop Grumman, Kraft Foods, Transamerica, Autozone, AMC Theatres, The National Guard, Department of the Treasury, US Navy, Marathon Oil, and numerous others call on Dr. Robbins to inspire, educate and prepare their people for the exciting challenges of a 21st century world.
A thought leader and innovator, Dr. Robbins’ unique concept of “Unintentional Intolerance” has captured wide acclaim from numerous audiences and organizations across the United States. His approach does NOT blame or point fingers. It uses neuroscience and the science of human behavior to challenge individuals and organizations to be more open-minded, mindful and intentional about inclusion and valuing people for their unique gifts, abilities and experiences.
His recently released “anti-training training” video training series called “What If? Factory” is already being heralded as a groundbreaking approach in corporate training. He describes its “laugh and learn” style as a mix of Saturday Night Live, Bill Nye the Science Guy and Big Bang Theory.
His book, What If? Short Stories to Spark Diversity Dialogue, is used by numerous organizations and schools to invite people into deeper conversations about diversity, inclusion and the power of caring.
Dr. Robbins earned an undergraduate degree in Communication from Calvin College, and his masters and doctorate in Communication Science from Michigan State University. His background in communication, socio-psychology and cognitive neuroscience drive his work with individuals and organizations – the core of the work is about understanding human behavior and leveraging human differences in an ever-changing, dynamic world.
Understanding Systemic Racism: A Framework for Positive Action (virtual workshop)
Systemic racism is a complex phenomenon that relatively few people understand well. Indeed, many people believe they have a fairly good grasp of the issues and yet would be hard-pressed to provide much information, data or knowledge that would indicate a more than a surface-level understanding. What the general public often sees and understands are the symptoms of systemic racism, the proverbial 10% tip of the iceberg. What most miss is the remaining 90% of the iceberg, hidden from their experiential viewpoint. The invisible system hidden beneath the surface, how it operates and its effects, can be made more visible however if one is willing and motivated to take a deep dive of discovery, with a curious and open mind. Developed from a similar workshop he created in 2008 for NASA (and still conducts for NASA), Dr. Steve L. Robbins facilitates the “Understanding Systemic Racism: A Framework for Positive Action” workshop with passion and deep content knowledge. The workshop offers participants a powerful spotlight on the subtle, hidden aspects of racism and systemic racial bias. helps participants escape the handcuffs of superficial knowledge, freeing them to a deeper understanding of the how, what and why of systemic racism. To address systemic racism in any effective manner requires an accurate understanding of the problem. Such an understanding is required to develop a strategy and next steps that will have a greater chance of producing desired results. The Understanding Systemic Racism: A Framework for Positive Action workshop will better inform and prepare participants to battle a powerful foe like systemic racism.