Steve Robbins

Steve Robbins, Innovation Speaker

Speaker on Diversity, Inclusion & Cultural Competency

Keynote speaker Steve Robbins specializes in the areas of diversity, inclusion and cultural competency. Dr. Robbins has extensive experience working with organizations, large and small, for profit and not-for-profit, on these and myriad other issues that are increasingly impacting organizations in a global world and marketplace. Dr. Robbins’...    
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Speaking Topics
Business Culture, Creativity, Diversity, Innovation, International Speakers

Travels From: Michigan

Price: $15,000 - $20,000 Notes on Fees
This speaker's actual fee falls within this range. Fee ranges are presented as a guideline only for search purposes. Speaker fees are subject to change without notice. For an exact quote, please contact Executive Speakers Bureau at 800-754-9404.

Steve Robbins - Diversity & Inclusion

Steve Robbins - Stereotypes

Steve Robbins Video - Culture

Keynote speaker Steve Robbins specializes in the areas of diversity, inclusion and cultural competency. Dr. Robbins has extensive experience working with organizations, large and small, for profit and not-for-profit, on these and myriad other issues that are increasingly impacting organizations in a global world and marketplace.

Dr. Robbins’ unique concept of “unintentional intolerance” has captured wide acclaim from numerous audiences and organizations across the United States. An approach that does not blame or point fingers, it challenges individuals and organizations to be more open-minded, mindful and intentional about inclusion and valuing people for their unique gifts, abilities and experiences.

A powerful communicator, insightful facilitator and inspiring motivator, Dr. Robbins uniquely knows how to simultaneously challenge and encourage people with a dynamic use of story-telling, humor and extensive knowledge of pertinent issues and concepts.

His life experiences as a Vietnamese immigrant growing up in poverty to a passionate advocate of justice and inclusion create a rich foundation of insight and inspiration for those who hear Dr. Robbins.

  • He Works to Honor His Mom
    Dr. Robbins’ mom always told him, “You walk on a path cleared by others so it’s your responsibility to clear the path for others.” Watch this video to discover the inspiration and motivation behind his work, and why Dr. Robbins says that “doing diversity” is really about caring about others. Some of you might want to have a tissue on hand.
  • A Bad Accent
    Dr. Robbins often begins his keynotes and presentations with a bad Japanese accent (remember, he’s Vietnamese) to make a point about mental models and giving others a chance. Dr. Robbins coined the term “unintentional intolerance” to explain how nice, well-meaning people sometimes unconsciously do things that exclude others.
  • Mindlessness
    Recent work in neuroscience suggests that we live life rather mindlessly. Although mindless behavior allows us to use our body’s energy efficiently (good for survival long ago), it can also lead to mistakes. Dr. Robbins uses the idea of mindlessness as the first component of his unique concept of unintentional intolerance.
  • Thinking Outside the Box
    “This key concept will help some of you, and hurt many others of you,” says Dr. Robbins as he puts his audience through a mental exercise. With paper, dots, and lines, Dr. Robbins presents part of his business case for diversity, an argument that is foundational to inclusion & innovation. See how Dr. Robbins uses creative illustrations to make an elaborate point.
  • On Stereotypes
    Although the vast majority of us are nice, well-meaning people, human beings have an almost natural tendency to be closed-minded. By using Asian stereotypes as an illustration, Dr. Robbins explains how we should understand stereotypes, and how they are a sign of something much larger, something that relates to open-mindedness.
  • What is Culture?
    Without understanding culture, we will have a difficult time understanding open- and closed-mindedness. Dr. Robbins quotes a famous sociologist to explain how culture plays a key role in how humans behave in a world full of differences. Culture also ties into the pursuit of inclusion & innovation, and it has everything to do with teamwork and leadership.
  • Cognitive Dissonance
    Because he believes that the work of diversity is really about human behavior, Dr. Robbins draws constantly from the field of social psychology. Behind the science of unintentional intolerance is something called “cognitive dissonance.” Dr. Robbins explains this well-known scientific term with funny anecdotes, memorable stories, and insightful commentary.
  • Preparation is Key
    Dr. Robbins explains one of the most important points for every diversity initiative: preparation. With great preparation, diversity initiatives can dramatically increase their chances for success.
Emerson Process Management
"I just wanted to take a moment to thank you for helping me to better understand the need for diversity in the workplace. As the HR Manager for a division of Emerson, I am responsible for our site’s Affirmative Action plan. While I have always worked to meet the letter of the law, I never truly understood the real reasons we need to build a more diverse workplace. I have attended many workshops on diversity and Affirmative Action, but I never really got it… That is, I did not understand it until you explained it. I just wanted to let you know that you reached someone and made a difference. Keep up the great work!"

"I just wanted you to know how much I appreciated your presentation at the conference yesterday. Your strategy to both communicate the reality of human nature and function, and relate to your real and very personal experience, completely revolutionized the true meanings of perception and perspective for me. The impact will help fortify my trunk as I stand amongst the other “tall trees” in our community. Thank you so much for your powerful message."

American Cancer Society
"Wanted to take a moment to again thank you for a superb presentation at the 2008 American Cancer Society Staff Conference in State College, Pennsylvania. Your instructional techniques of weaving through pedagogy (how our mind learns), sociology, psychology, and communications; diversity concepts; story telling; and humor are truly second to none. We have received wonderful responses through our staff. Accordingly, we would like to leave the door open for further work with you. "



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