Kristin Ekkens, MA, is a cultural strategist, solutions partner, and global speaker. Her passion and area of expertise is helping organizations drive culturally intelligent innovation. Following her passion, Kristin joined Singularity University (SU), a global learning and innovation community using exponential technologies to tackle the world’s biggest challenges and build a better future for all. As Director of Strategic Relations, Kristin supports enterprises on their transformational journey for positive change, leveraging an exponential mindset, innovative tools and resources, and global networks.
Kristin is also a master trainer and strategic adviser at the Cultural Intelligence Center. Previously, Kristin led the Corporate Partnerships segment providing solutions to Fortune 1000 businesses, healthcare, non-profits, and governments around the world. Kristin partnered globally with enterprise leadership, consultants, and thought leaders to integrate cultural intelligence into the various organizations’ DNA, ultimately creating a more inclusive and equitable culture that produced business results. Kristin’s career experience also includes Inclusion & Diversity leader in healthcare, TEDx speaker (2014), business owner, corporate trainer, executive director of a national non-profit, and workplace language and literacy program director. Kristin has been recognized as a “cultural entrepreneur” and has won numerous awards and international recognition including 2017 Top Women-Owned Business finalist and 2015 40 Under Forty Business Leader by the Grand Rapids Business Journal, and 2016 Building Bridges Award by the West Michigan Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.
Passionate about language, culture, and human connection, Kristin earned a master’s degree in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) from Michigan State University and bachelor degrees in Spanish and Linguistics from Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Kristin is an Advanced Cultural Intelligence Certified Facilitator through the Cultural Intelligence Center and a Certified Diversity Executive (CDE) through the Institute for Diversity Certification. Kristin is fluent in Spanish and English and serves on the Board of the Hispanic Center of Western Michigan. Her international experience includes living in Spain, Mexico and Costa Rica, and traveling extensively throughout the United States, United Kingdom, Western Europe, and New Zealand.
Kristin’s life motto comes from an African principle – Ubuntu – I am who I am because of you. Her two boys and husband remind her of that every day.