2016 has been an interesting year… to say the least. We’re still recovering from the fallout here at Change Catalyst, but we’re also reflecting on the wins — there is still a great deal of work to be proud of.
In 2016, Change Catalyst extended beyond our expectations with our diversity and inclusion in tech work. Our consulting and training work expanded. We convened five conferences, three career fairs and two startup showcases across America: in San Francisco, New York, Berkeley and Austin. Over 75 tech companies attended our Career Fairs. Our flagship San Francisco Tech Inclusion Conference grew three times its size from 1,000 attendees in 2015 to over 3,500 attendees in 2016.
This year, we established partnerships across the tech ecosystem — tech companies, foundations, educators, investors and entrepreneurs — and we cultivated solutions for change together. We worked hard to change our industry. And now it’s time to work even harder. Now more than ever we must partner together to create an inclusive world.
Our Post-Election Plans
Like many organizations and individuals who were planning for 2017, there were pre-election plans and post-elections plans. Initially, Change Catalyst planned to expand Tech Inclusion to nine different tech hubs across the world with a theme of Global Inclusion.
Post-election, we took time to reevaluate our strategy. We held several meetings to reflect on how we can learn, listen and make an impact in America and globally to create not just an inclusive tech ecosystem but an inclusive, educated, innovative and thriving world.
We are based in what many people have called a bubble: San Francisco, the innovation capital of the world. The election showed us that clearly there’s a disconnect between coastal cities, the rust belts, and the Bible Belt. People have voiced their concerns about jobs, values and education. All which are connected to diversity and inclusion in tech as tech impacts all of our lives.
Exclusion Is The Problem
“Most of the world’s problems boils down to exclusion,” says Melinda Briana Epler, Change Catalyst Founder and CEO. It doesn’t matter if you’re in Raleigh, North Carolina; Detroit, Michigan; Kansas City, Missouri; or San Francisco, CA — exclusion is destroying the fabric of basic humanity that constrains opportunity for success.
We can no longer sit on the sidelines while people are excluded. We can no longer live in our geographic, education, access and information bubbles. More listening is needed, more healthy, respectful debates are needed, more knowledge sharing and leadership development is needed, more empathy and allyship building are needed.
It’s time to listen, to communicate, to learn, to share. And to take action.
Our new strategy now compels us to expand our impact to 14 communities: 4 Tech Inclusion Conferences and 10 Tech Inclusion Forums.
Join Us On Our 2017 Journey
Today, Change Catalyst is excited to announce the 2017 Tech Inclusion Impact Tour. The tour consists of 4 conferences and 10 forums across North America and beyond.
We’ll also be continuing to develop robust toolkits and training, and piloting a new certification program.
Tech Inclusion 2017 Conferences, Career Fairs & Startup Showcases
Four Tech Inclusion Conferences will take place in San Francisco, New York, Sydney and London. Each conference will include a Startup Showcase to provide underrepresented entrepreneurs access to capital and mentorship opportunities. Each conference will also include a Career Fair, as well as workshops, keynote talks and panels focused on creating an inclusive tech ecosystem.
Tech Inclusion Conference Cities:
New York, NY
San Francisco, CA
Tech Inclusion 2017 Forums
Ten Tech Inclusion Forums will have a slightly different format and be held at various tech hubs across America. The Forums will consist of morning workshops on empathy, allyship and inclusion with a keynote on the state of diversity and inclusion in tech. Closing out the evening, attendees will participate in a panel discussion on what makes an inclusive tech hub and gather for informal networking to build connections and collaborations.
Tech Inclusion Forum Cities:
Kansas City, MO
Sao Paulo, Brazil
Tech Inclusion Is for Everyone
Everyone is welcome at Tech Inclusion — of every gender, age, sexual orientation, ability, race, ethnicity, veteran status, physical appearance, body size, religion (or lack thereof), socioeconomic status, age…. Including CEOs, engineers, marketers, human resources, entrepreneurs, investors, project managers, attorneys, media, policy makers, educators, advocates, allies, and truly… Everyone.
Join Us in 2017!
We can’t do this work alone. We need allies, partners, mentors, sponsors, volunteers, speakers, and friends. At Change Catalyst, we are financially supported by our corporate and foundation partners. You can also help with your time, your networks and your knowledge.
Welcome to the Tech Inclusion Impact Tour!
Get Involved Today:
Let’s create a worldwide community of change!
Today we’re excited to announce our 2017 plans not only for an inclusive tech ecosystem but an inclusive world with our 2017 Tech Inclusion Impact Tour.
About Change Catalyst:
Change Catalyst empowers diverse, inclusive and sustainable tech innovation — through education, community engagement and mentorship. Change Catalyst is a Certified B Corp, winning the “Best for the World” award for community impact in 2014 and “Best in the World” overall in 2015