inspiration keeps good company: highlights of Platform.org

We at the Kapor Center have been busy in the offline world.

leading edge techtrepeneurs

Recently, a delegation of Kapor Center staff and partners attended the inaugural Platform Summit. Hosted at the MIT Media Lab in Cambridge, MA,

Platform.Org

Platform creates a brain trust with a difference.

the conference brought together about 150 of today’s most provocative thought-leaders for three days of deep dialogue and exploration into the issues of creating a vibrant technology sector that draws from the nation’s full spectrum of diversity. Behind conference creator Hank Williams’ vision to spotlight talent from underrepresented groups is a desire to inspire and support the next generation of more diverse innovators.

geek vision 

For Nicole Sanchez, one of Kapor Center’s Managing Partners, “geeking out” with Mae Jemison was one of the big highlights.  “Her clear vision of what it takes for a society to thrive inspired me but made me see how and reinforced my belief that diversity creates better content and better products.”

The opportunity to tour the Media Lab and see first-hand the latest in data visualization and othercool applications of science had Nicole feeling “like Charlie Bucket in Willie Wonka’s Chocolate Factory,” tasting the future.

examining assumptions through healthy debate

Platform also coincided with the announcement of the verdict in the Trayvon Martin case. Both Mitch Kapor and Freada Kapor Klein used this sobering backdrop to make a case for the relevancy of diversifying the information economy. Mitch blasted the lid off the myth of the Silicon Valley meritocracy in a debate with a fellow Silicon Valley VC while Freada laid out the vision of the Kapor Center and the role of LPFI’s SMASH program in creating a vibrant pipeline of diverse talent for today and tomorrow’s tech work force and leadership.

maintaining a sense of humor

Given the social panorama,  Baratunde Thurston’s assertion that ultimately, “we are all Dominican” provided a humorous look into our country’s ever-shifting demographics and complicated relationship with race.

fuel forward

As the Investment Associate for the Kapor Social Impact Fund, Brian Dixon attends a good number of tech events. “It’s rare to have all the folks who were at Platform in the same room at the same time,” Brian said. “This conference was different – we had a chance to speak to the same issues and talk about what progress has been made and where we still have work to do.”

Kapor Center is proud to help underwrite the first edition of Platform, fired up by the overwhelming evidence that the future is already here, and privileged to share the inspiration with you.

How do you stay inspired in your efforts to bring diversity into tech?

What signs do you see of motion forward?

Stay tuned for soon coming media peeks into the conference, including video clips of Mitch and Freada’s remarks.

 

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