Day one of the NTEN Leading Change Summit (follow on Twitter: #14LCS) began on Wednesday with hundreds of nonprofit professionals gathered to find out how they can leverage technology to become better agents of change. Or, as keynote speaker Deena Pierott, might refer to them: Impact Angels.
Pierott, is just that type of “angel.” Founder of iUrban Teen Tech , Pierott draws upon her vast personal experiences with organizations —and the stark comparison to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ findings that the future of the country’s workforce is changing. Even though the statistics show that nearly half of the workforce is going to be comprised of people of color, she found that time and time again the workforce in nonprofits were not reflecting that.
iUrban Teen Tech is a nonprofit organization with a mission of inspiring youth in underrepresented communities to become tomorrow’s technology leaders—and provide technology leaders for businesses of the future. In August 2013, named White House Champion of Change for Technology Inclusion recipient.
Pierott’s message to the ballroom full of impact change agents drove home the point that “inclusion” and “diversity” are important for the future of organizations that want to help lead impact. Conversely, she offered: “What happens when we leave others behind?”
This became the perfect jumping off point for facilitator, Lisa Heft, to get the “audience” in the room to become “participants” and share ideas on how to implement Pierott’s impassioned plea that “Diversity needs to be woven into the fabric of everything an organization does.”
Heft spent the better part of the afternoon getting the audience to shed mobile devices, spend time brainstorming and stepping outside of their own experiences in order to gain a better understanding of what being inclusive is and “is not.” As a result, participants stretched their imaginations and came up with some fabulous ideas on how better to reach people who need organizations’ help — and even a few fabulous inventions, like the Empathy App which allows its user to actually feel how someone who is hungry or homeless feels. A good place to start.
Are you at #14LCS? We’d love to hear your takeaways!