Anjali Kumar: Transform The Norm | TEDxTimesSquare
Former Google Executive and Former Head of Social Innovation at Warby Parker
- Shares takeaways learned over almost a decade with two of today’s most innovative companies
- Adjunct Professor at Columbia Business School and Fordham University
- Co-creator and host of the forthcoming podcast "Unsearchable"
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Anjali Kumar is a Brooklyn born, first generation Indian American author, advisor, attorney, and “idea acupuncturist”. During her career as an attorney, she was the Founding General Counsel and Head of Social Innovation at Warby Parker, a transformative lifestyle brand offering designer eyewear at affordable prices while leading the way for socially-conscious businesses. Prior to joining Warby Parker, Anjali was senior counsel at Google where she was a commercial and product attorney on areas ranging from Google X to YouTube. Anjali curated and hosted the @Google Speaker Series on campus in New York City, bringing Googlers from around the globe face-to-face with today’s most prominent and innovative thought leaders including Anthony Bourdain, Marcus Samuelsson, Garance Doré, Questlove, and Jacques Pépin. From this speaker series, Anjali hosted a YouTube interview series “Lunchtime at Google”.
Anjali has taught for several years as an adjunct professor at Columbia Business School and Fordham University. She has served as an advisor to prominent technology companies, luxury fashion brands, consumer products, and non-profit organizations, including Malala Fund, IDEO.org, and organize.org. Anjali recently joined the board of Happy Money, the only financial company to combine psychology and money to help people live happy lives.
Anjali’s lectures often deal with questions around innovation and diversity. As an “idea acupuncturist”, Anjali brings a spiritual approach to the business world. She doesn’t give black or white answers to businesses or problems, she looks at a set of issues and works on pressure points using unique interventions to help keep the energy flowing into an idea or business. Anjali has been featured as a keynote speaker at TEDX, Seattle Interactive Conference, The Connecticut Forum, and Diane von Furstenberg’s International Women’s Day Speaker Series. She has participated in fireside chats with Danny Meyer (Union Square Hospitality Forum), Ezra Klein (The Washington Post), and Neil Blumenthal (the co-founder and CEO of Warby Parker). In November 2017, she spoke at TEDWomen. Her “beautiful inspiring, and funny” talk, entitled My Failed Mission To Find God—And What I Found Instead, based on her book, Stalking God: My Unorthodox Search For Something To Believe In, has been watched by over two million people from around the world and translated into over a dozen languages.
Anjali’s talks also deal with redirecting the conversation around diversity and gender equality in the workplace by embracing ideas of non-absolutism. Anjali wants to stop framing diversity in business from a moral obligation to start thinking about diversity as an untapped and proven means for businesses to increase creativity, jumpstart innovation, and produce higher revenues. Anjali’s work in social innovation has been featured in Inc. magazine, Forbes, and The New York Times. Her book has been featured in Harper’s Bazaar India and Vanity Fair.
Anjali earned her BA in Biomedical Ethics from Brown University and a JD from Boston University School of Law. In 2016, she was appointed by Mayor Bill de Blasio to join the NYC Children’s Cabinet Advisory Board and GrowNYC. She currently serves on the board of directors of Happy Money, GloScience Professional, Amplifier Foundation, Edible Schoolyard NYC, and American Documentary (AmDoc), a national non-profit media arts organization. Anjali also serves on the Guggenheim Museum’s Global Innovation Council.
Anjali released her first book, Stalking God; My Unorthodox Search For Something To Believe In, in January 2018 via publisher Hachette. She is at work on a book, called From Google to God. She is also the co-creator and host of the forthcoming podcast Unsearchable and the web series, “Questlove Presents: Slightly Reserved with Anjali Kumar.”
Transform The Norm: Lessons Learned From Warby Parker & Google. Anjali Kumar is the former founding general counsel and head of social innovation at Warby Parker and a former Google executive. An innovation enthusiast who is passionate about social responsibility, Kumar discusses the takeaways she learned over almost a decade spent working at two of the more innovative companies operating in the retail and tech spaces today.
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