Denis DoolanDenis Doolan

Chief of Organizational Excellence at Special Olympics International

Denis is the Chief of Organizational Excellence at Special Olympics International, the world’s largest organization working with people with intellectual disabilities with over 6 million athletes in 194 countries. A highly versatile leader, his track record spans:

Denis has worked for over 20 years in international roles. In his current role, he oversees leadership development, sustainability, strategic planning, project management and operational excellence. Denis is currently spearheading roll-out of a Diversity, Equity & Inclusion implementation approach called Unified Leadership, designed to enable people from diverse backgrounds to succeed in meaningful community and work roles.

He founded the Special Olympics Leadership Academy, which provides high quality developmental opportunities for Special Olympics country and state leaders. The Academy has worked with 450 leaders from 108 countries and a wide variety of partners, focusing on topics such as enterprise leadership and sustainability. It has won awards from the Association for Talent Development (ATD), Constellation Research and His previous leadership development experience includes delivering programs for Allianz Care, Credit Agricole, ITAA, Amrop and Fexco.

Takes part in

May, 20 10:00 AM CEST
Visionary Stage

Why Inclusion is Often an Illusion: D&I Lessons from the World of Special Olympics

In our keynote, we will address why diversity can be mistaken for inclusion, how situations that seem inclusive may not be, and ways we can combat the issue. First, we will discuss how we define what we mean by the illusion of inclusion, and how current measures can often be misleading. We will follow that up with personal anecdotes and experiences from within the world of Special Olympics. We will then provide insights on what we see as critical to creating inclusive environments.

Benjamin Haack Athlete Representative Director at Special Olympics Australia Board
Denis Doolan Chief of Organizational Excellence at Special Olympics International
Kostiantyn Gridin Partner at CFC Big Ideas