Force for Good VMworld 2021

Inspiring Change with a VMworld 2021 “SET List”

If you’ve ever been to a concert, you understand the importance of the “setlist,” wherein musicians organize the songs they’re going to play, in order to make the show experience memorable. They create a specific mood or setting by alternating the tone and tempo of the songs. The idea is that the setlist creates a positive experience and leaves a lasting impression with concertgoers. 

With VMworld 2021 around the corner, I started drawing parallels between concerts and conferences and how those experiences are shaped. One unique advantage of a conference is that you can shape your own ideal experience by selecting the sessions that best suit your needs and interests. That is especially true at VMworld, which has eight different tracks and more than 1,200 sessions to choose from. 

In my role at VMware leading the Environmental, Social, and Governance Office, the ability to drive and inspire change is paramount. When the VMworld team announced its “Inspire Change” track, I knew where my focus would be. VMware’s ESG-focused 2030 Agenda is ultimately about three outcomes: sustainability, equity, and trust … or “SET.” So that gave my team the idea to curate our own “SET list” of change-inspired sessions at VMworld to share with those who would like to deepen their understanding of the connection between digital transformation, technology, and business imperatives of sustainability, equity, and trust.  

The Inspire Change track is about “learning new skills and ways of thinking to build your career; be an ally for diversity, equity, and inclusion; and be a change agent for a better planet.” Below I’ve curated an extended list of sessions that promise memorable learning experiences that can help you drive sustainability, equity, and trust at your company. 

Nicola Acutt’s Inspire Change “SET list” for VMworld 2021 

  • How to Master Engagement with Your Audience in a Remote World [IC1017]  
  • Reduce the Carbon Footprint by Moving Your Workloads to VMware Cloud on AWS [IC1067] 
  • Any App, Any Cloud, Any Device Is Not Enough — We Need to Add Any User [IC1351
  • The Tweet That Launched a Fleet of Inclusive Language at VMware [IC1476] 
  • Achieving Happiness: The Quest for Something New [IC1484] 
  • Connect Humanity — Broadband for All [IC1924] 
  • How VMware Drives Innovation Through Diverse Collaborative Teams [IC2070] 
  • Data Center Sustainability Strategies: A Win for Your Budget and the Planet [IC2217] 
  • From Customer, to Partner, to VMware — I Did It and You Can Too! [IC2254] 
  • Support Carbon-Neutral Growth with Sustainable Data Centers [IC2257] 
  • Sustainability as a Strategic Differentiator for Organizations [IC2792] 
  • Make Sustainable Choices for Product Innovation, Operations: What Can I Do? [IC2794] 
  • Discover How OVHcloud Sustainability Contributes Net Positive Value [IC2820S] 

Now I would be remiss if I didn’t recommend any sessions outside of the “Inspire Change” track. The other seven tracks (Vision & Innovation, Multi-Cloud, App Modernization, Security, Networking, Edge, and End User Services) also offer a closer look into the technology and business processes that enable VMware to lead in the ESG space. As such, I sorted through the 1,200+ catalog of sessions and curated another “SET list” — this one primarily focused on VMware solutions and their ESG impact.

Nicola Acutt’s ESG-Focused “SET list” for VMworld 2021 

  • Build an Inclusive Talent Pipeline: From New College Graduate to Future CEO [IC1113]  
  • Becoming a Force for Good: A Panel on Adapting to a Changing Tech Community [IC1352] 
  • How Technology Can Protect Businesses and Be a Force for Good [IC1413] 
  • Bridging the Gap: How VMware Helps Veterans Transition from the Military [IC1494] 
  • My Journey in STEM: Struggle, Accomplishment and the Future [IC2785] 
  • Discover How OVHcloud Sustainability Contributes Net Positive Value [IC2820S] 
  • Learn More about VMUG, VMware, and … Turtles? [IC2828S] 
  • Retaining Diverse Talent: Fostering Development and Work-Critical Skills [IC3039S] 
  • Why Diversity Matters: Engaging the Next Generation of Talent [IC3042] 
  • DEI Matters: Executives Discuss How DEI Drives Business Impact [IC3111] 
  • Special Guest Keynote Speaker Dr. Moogega Cooper [IC3146] 
  • VMware Zero Carbon Committed as a Cloud Provider Differentiator for Growth [MCL2340] 
  • Multi-Cloud: Can It Solve Future Business Challenges? [MCL3016S] 
  • Digital Transformation for Impact: A Digital Assessment Tool for Nonprofits [3165] 
  • The Evolution of Intelligent Edge and Electrical Grid Modernization [VI1455] 
  • Achieve Your Sustainability Goals Through VM Desired State Configuration [VI2644] 
  • Track Sustainability Goals in Datacenter with vRealize Operations [VMTN2802] 
  • Voices of VMworld: A Conversation with Sama’s Wendy Gonzalez and VMware’s Nicola Acutt [IC3417] 
  • Voices of VMworld: A Conversation with Will Smith and Sumit Dhawan [VI3565] 
  • The Last Line at VMware — The Security AI in Our Pocket [SEC2103] 
  • VMware on VMware: Zero Trust Security Story [SEC2715] 
  • A Practical Approach for End-to-End Zero Trust [SEC2733] 
  • How Government is Transforming Security to Deliver Mission Outcomes & Better Citizen Experiences [SEC2657] 
  • Resources for Accelerating Your Zero Trust Journey [SEC3267S] 


Whether you strictly follow these “SET lists” or use them to augment your own, I would love to hear about your own VMworld 2021 experience. How did those sessions impact you? What gems did you extract? What actions did you take as a result? And perhaps most importantly, what are you inspired to change? Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments below. 

I am proud to work for a company that is so deeply committed to fostering a sustainable, equitable, and more secure digital world. And though we’ve made some incredible progress since first announcing the 2030 Agenda, we still have much more work to do. The path forward requires rethinking the way things were done in the past and a strong vision for the changes still to come. VMworld is the perfect place to recharge our collective batteries and gain the inspiration needed to push this important work forward.


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