Inclusion and the Growth Mindset

About This Episode

Inclusion and the Growth Mindset

Special Olympics athlete Emanuelle Dutra Fernandes de Souza and Chief of Organizational Excellence Denis Doolan chat about maintaining international community and inclusion during the pandemic.

The views expressed by guests are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of Skillsoft.

About Our Guest

Emanuelle Dutra Fernandes de Souza

Emanuelle Dutra Fernandes de Souza is a 23-year old Brazilian Special Olympics athlete, winner of numerous medals, and a newly-elected Sargent Shriver International Global Messenger.

When Emanuelle (or Manu, as she likes to be called) was 2 years old, she had seizure which left her in a coma for a week. This led to therapy and her family relocating. She became involved in sports, and discovered her love for soccer and beach volleyball, training almost daily. This led to her discovery by Special Olympics in 2013, during the development of soccer programs and competitions in Brazil and Rio de Janeiro.

Manu became deeply involved in Special Olympics initiatives; she participated in the 2015 World Games in Los Angeles, where she won a bronze medal in soccer and in 2018 she played in the Unified World Cup in Chicago, where she got a silver medal. Manu qualified to compete in beach volleyball for the 2019 World Games in Abu Dhabi but instead she participated representing the Latin American Region a Sargent Shriver International Global Messenger.

Denis Doolan

Denis Doolan, Chief of Organizational Excellence, oversees strategic planning, operational excellence and leadership development, including the Special Olympics Leadership Academy, the Athlete Leadership program and Unified Leadership, Special Olympics’ pioneering approach to achieving inclusive leadership practices.

Denis has served in a variety of roles within Special Olympics, including Director of Venues for the 2003 Special Olympics World Summer Games in Ireland, the first Special Olympics World Summer Games outside of the United States. He is also a Special Olympics family member and volunteer.

Denis’ background includes public relations consultancy, event management and delivery of strategic planning, learning & development and business improvement projects in the private sector. He received a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication Studies from Dublin City University and a Master’s in Public Relations from the University of Stirling. He also has a Certificate in Sustainable Business from the University of Cambridge and a Certificate in Nonprofit Leadership from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.

About Our Host

Michelle Boockoff-Bajdek

As Chief Marketing Officer, Michelle leads a global marketing organization, focused on transforming today’s workforce for tomorrow’s economy. Since joining the company, she has been responsible for Skillsoft’s global marketing strategy, which includes generating awareness, driving preference, and building affinity for Skillsoft. Additionally – and perhaps most importantly – Michelle serves as the company's brand evangelist, helping to build a vibrant community of passionate learners.

With more than 25 years of marketing, branding, and strategy experience, Michelle has made it her personal mission to support the advancement of women in business. Prior to Skillsoft, she served as Chief Marketing Officer of IBM Watson, where she was instrumental in developing the first “Women Leaders in AI” program, which honors women who put AI to work across industries and around the globe. She also served as the global head of marketing for The Weather Company, an IBM Business, helping companies understand how to anticipate, plan for, and ultimately make better decisions – with greater confidence – in the face of weather.

Michelle is a prolific speaker on a range of topics, including the war for talent, digital transformation, and marketing in a post-pandemic world. She covers these topics and more as the host of Skillsoft's podcast, The Edge, now in its second season. She has authored countless papers covering a range of business and marketing topics, was at the center of Skillsoft’s leadership role in DEI through free “Leadercamps,” and has taught two Percipio courses on the Pink Pandemic and Public Speaking.

Michelle is also a founding member of CMO Huddles, a group dedicated to bringing together and empowering highly effective B2B CMOs to share, care, and dare each other to greatness. Michelle holds a Master’s degree from Simmons University and sits on the pro side of the Oxford comma debate.