Overcoming innovation barriers with diversity of thought

11 February 2021

5:00 – 6:30pm London

Virtual roundtable

Meeting Overview

What do a former felon, a software as a service CEO and a SWAT team leader all have in common? It’s not what you think! In this exciting discussion Lt Col JJ Snow, the CTO of AFWERX, the Innovation Team of the U.S. Air Force, shares a set of insightful innovation narratives to illustrate the power that diversity of perspective can bring to individuals and organizations as they seek to overcome innovation barriers and transform themselves and their business.

As protests against police violence and racism convulsed America’s streets in 2020 after the killing by a policeman of George Floyd, a black man, firms rushed to announce plans to tackle racial inequality. Pepsi vowed to double spending with black-owned suppliers. Facebook and Estée Lauder pledged to hire more non-white candidates. JPMorgan Chase promised to extend $30bn in loans over five years to minority households and businesses. Diversity is not just the right thing to do. It is good for business.


JJ Snow

CTO @ US Air Force


Lt Col Jennifer “JJ” Snow is the Chief Technology Officer for AFWERX the innovation division of the U.S. Air Force.

She serves as the military representative for total force innovation and technology outreach and engagement bridging the gap between government and various private sector, academic and non traditional communities. Her focus areas are to improve collaboration and communications, identify smart solutions to wicked problems and guide the development of future technology strategies to benefit the US Air Force, Department of Defense, Interagency and Allied partners.

Prior to her current assignment, Lt Col Snow was the Donovan Group Innovation Officer for U.S. Special Operations Command and the SOFWERX Innovation Team. She is a Distinguished Graduate of the Naval Postgraduate School. Her work has been presented to members of the National Security Council, the White House and key seniors across the DoD, IC and Interagency to inform and highlight emergent risks and opportunities involving technology and technology influenced environments. JJ also serves as the CTO for The Mentor Project and Innovation Advisor for MoonMark Space.

Sophie Ruddock

VP,GM North America @ Multiverse


Sophie Ruddock is the VP and General Manager of Multiverse North America. Multiverse (formerly WhiteHat) is a tech company building an outstanding alternative to college. Multiverse matches high school leavers to career-focused apprenticeships at some of the world’s most exciting companies, from Google and Facebook, to BP and Warner Bros. Multiverse’s mission is to accelerate incredible careers and develop a diverse group of future leaders through their innovative apprenticeship programs. Sophie founded Multiverse’s operations and delivery organisation, growing the team tenfold in four years.

Prior to joining Multiverse, Sophie was an early pioneer of impact investment at Social Finance, bringing together business, investors and the government to generate meaningful social change and capital returns. She is passionate about social justice reform, and sits on the board of the prison coaching non-profit, Spark Inside. As a Brit in NYC, she’s always on the hunt for a good cup of English breakfast tea!

Christopher Kenna

CEO @ Brand Advance


Christopher Kenna is CEO and Founder of Brand Advance, a startup 100 2020 company which connects brands with diverse audiences globally, through Insights, Media and Creative that more authentically engages these communities.

Chris is also the Director of Diversity and Inclusion at OUTvertising, the Advertising industry Lobbying Group and as a mixed race, out gay father – is a strong advocate for diversity and representation within the Media and Advertising industry as a member of the WFA Diversity Advisory Board and is also on the advisory board for the V&A Museums.

An award winning entrepreneur having received the Innovator of the Year Award at the second annual Ex-Forces in Business Awards and was recently named on EMPower’s 100 Ethnic Minority Executives 2020.

This meeting is open to Innovation Partnership members and partners. If you wish to apply to join please email hello@innovationpartnership.co.uk