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INSPIRE 2024: Visionary Speakers Illuminate the Path to a Bold Future in Healthcare, Inclusive Leadership, Sustainability, Innovation, and AI Advancements

Katherine Harrington

From Katherine Harrington, President & CEO | West Des Moines Chamber of Commerce

The INSPIRE 2024 event presented by the West Des Moines Chamber of Commerce and held on January 11, featured a diverse lineup of speakers who shared valuable insights on various crucial topics. Nearly 130 people showed up during subzero weather at the West Des Moines Mariott. We learned a lot and here is a summary of what expert speakers highlighted:

Dr. Angela Franklin – Shaping the Future of Healthcare:

Dr. Angela Franklin, President & CEO of Des Moines University, delivered an insightful presentation on the future of healthcare. She emphasized the multifaceted challenges facing the healthcare industry, including the need to attract a skilled workforce, address healthcare disparities, prioritize students’ emotional well-being, adapt to new knowledge, and leverage advancements in technology and AI. Dr. Franklin highlighted Des Moines University’s commitment to preparing for a bold future, impacting communities of all ages, and promoting innovative programs such as the BROS and GEMS initiatives. She emphasized the importance of partnerships and building a healthcare pipeline throughout the Greater Des Moines region. Their new facility was presented as a gamechanger, re-imagining healthcare careers and encouraging innovative approaches to local and national healthcare challenges.

Claudia Schabel – The Power of Inclusive Leadership:

Claudia Schabel, President & CEO of Schabel Solutions had an engaging presentation revolving around the significance of inclusive leadership. She stressed the importance of fostering an environment where everyone feels welcome and valued. Claudia challenged the audience to reflect on personal experiences of feeling welcomed and the positive impact it had. She expanded the concept of diversity beyond just race, encompassing various aspects such as religion, political views, career choices, age, disabilities, language, and more. Claudia underlined that the tone for inclusivity is set by leaders and affects the entire organization. By embracing diversity of thought, companies can become stronger, more productive, and ultimately more profitable.

Hannah Inman – Sustainability and Social Responsibility:

Hannah Inman, CEO of the Great Outdoors Foundation, delivered a compelling talk on sustainability and its profound connection to social responsibility. She argued that businesses can increase profits by adopting value-driven leadership and transparent business values. Hannah emphasized the importance of “radical collaboration” and shared insights into advancing conservation efforts. She also addressed the critical issue of attracting a workforce in the Greater Des Moines region. In her view, sustainability and social responsibility are not just buzzwords; they are essential drivers of success in today’s business landscape.

Dan Keough – Nurturing Innovation and Partnerships:

Dan Keough, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer at Holmes Murphy & Associates and Co-CEO/Co-Founder at BrokerTech Venture’s presentation centered on the concept of innovation as a continuous journey rather than a destination. He highlighted the importance of helping others reach their full potential and fostering partnerships, particularly in the insurance InsurTech space. Dan discussed their role in elevating, funding, providing ideas, resources, and advice to partner companies, many of which have experienced significant success. He encouraged entrepreneurial thinking and a global search for innovative partners, emphasizing the importance of embracing the unknown and the potential for radical success.

Zaydoon Munir – Exploring the Boundless Potential of AI:

Zaydoon Munir, Founder, Entrepreneur and Global Operating Executive and FinTech Leader, provided an enlightening perspective on investing and AI. He debunked the misconception that AI would take jobs, stressing that it is often overestimated in this regard. Zaydoon delved into the complex topic of “The Moral Machines” and how AI will increasingly need to make moral decisions in the future. He expressed optimism about AI propelling humanity into a new era with endless possibilities for advancement in various sectors. Additionally, Zaydoon introduced his entrepreneurial endeavor, Rainy Day Pal, which offers a safety net to employees during unexpected life challenges, providing financial support when they need it most.

These speakers covered a wide array of topics, from the future of healthcare and inclusive leadership to sustainability, innovation, and the transformative potential of AI. Their presentations offered valuable insights into crucial aspects of business and societal development. Thank you to those who attended INSPIRE 2024 and we hope it helped to inform and excite you at the start of a great year!


Katherine Harrington – President & CEO / West Des Moines Chamber of Commerce

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