The times they are a-changin’.
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The “Challenging the Divide, Perceptions, Stereotypes, Myths, Misconceptions and Realities as to the “lack of minority-owned businesses in today’s Tech Sector! ” Presentation doc is online at http://goo.gl/Kl4MhO
Is the issue of a divide really one of perception…
above video of Wright: ‘Closing the Divide: Perception Problem’ from Open Society Foundations and The American Values Institute on FORA.tv
or is it lack of an adequate Platform… as a discussion in The Linked in Black Enterprise group would suggest;-
“African Americans are in need of a platform in which their ideas are allowed to flow freely”. http://goo.gl/UgGvQ9
Or as some in local discussions have countered is it a matter of culture;- how we do things and how we raise our children.
Are these discussions on Target
Yes and no…we’ve conducted workshops, exploration session with some of the most “Creative” black individuals around… They have come forth with Brilliant ideas, Have had access to great resources.
- Family responsibility- Too many have conflicts with family responsibility …
- Fear of lack of “RELEVANCE”- So they only adopt AFTER it is accepted.
- Me MY and Mine… Cultural fear & reluctance to form Partnerships
We take great pains to reduce Illiteracy but have had to deal with Arrogance ( I have a degree… I Know) and Ignorance… deliberately ignoring signs and information…
still I try to broadly handle the topic and truly believe that there should be a “fierce Urgency of Now” as to addressing solutions
See my notes originally presented as BDPA NY chapters June meeting
“Challenging the Divide, Perceptions, Stereotypes, Myths, Misconceptions and Realities as to the “lack of minority-owned businesses in today’s tech sector! see notes and updates at http://goo.gl/xcbZd2
here are some of my thought on these discussions …
Somehow as always the narrative went from a “platform in which their ideas are allowed to flow freely,” to that of funding… and business.. while all are relevant, they are NOT the same issues. A ‘Platform for innovation” could be a physical space or a virtual one. At the core though it is simply a system that allows for new “thought” and exploration and testing of new ideas” it can be open… available for all or closed available. Conceptualizing needs only paper and pen and the belief that you can. testing testing one’s theories does not cost anything when we delve into the concept of collaboration or ‘Village”. You will be surprised how far one can go without funding. These explorations and subsequent discoveries then allow for Product development, It is at That point that funding methods often come in… along with restrictive “rules that subsequently kill great ideas’
What propels innovation are questions “why” “what if”, The Wright brothers were not the only ones investigating flight… nor were they funded or followed by press. They were not “relevant” to the discussion of the day when they fact took flight. they i am sure were not the only ones making progress.
In 2003 I began a project exploring the a method to teach entrepreneurship to creative By 2005 I took that project outside the support of a local group. the static from individuals who could NOT comprehend what they had not been thought was my first lesson…
Innovation needs the correct environment. we actually started “projects- based thinking”, and the lead planners would meet lay out the concept then reach into our network and draw in open minded individuals… Physical “space” meant libraries, lounges, homes, parks that were free and low cost… Our goal was to design a format others could follow.
At that point we set up central communication space;- we tried emails, project management, groups, blogs self hosted sites;- Today Google drive and Google communities is one of the best. we used Skype for group call we can now use Google hangouts.
The current formula
- 1) discuss the problem,
- 2) Explore the current solutions, and emerging technology and tools.
- 2) Identify the “hole/s that needs to be plugged”,
- 3) create theories on solving that problem
- 4) recruit vested interest partners-
- 5)explore/discuss concepts and Methodology with others making room for their input
- 6) run a dry test , reconfigure solution,
- 7) Run actual “innovation test”.
- 8) run a debrief and create formula, Identify what new equipment, services needed
- 9)lather Rinse repeat
From this point all participants were free to create relevant products services and merchandise whether bootstrapped or fully funded. The key we then realized is more difficult it is ‘cultural”. Our present education system advocates coloring within the lines.. encouraging “innovative thought’ even in the way we raise children is NOT culturally favored.
The result On November 2011 we lifestreamed, connectingdancers in Ghana, New York, St Lucia and Vermont who danced in improve pieces to a simultaneously stream compilation via Skype
Out of Pocket budget a couple hundred bucks.
In our last such test “Dancehackit” I partnered with Marlies Yearby the original Choreographer of the broadway show Rent.- “The question what would you do with technology if you can?” https://www.bonniesandy.com/?s=dancehackit
That said the next step, post exploration, is shaping those concepts into businesses that scale and trickle down… which is the point at which many of the solutions mentioned come in. My concern is the number of business plans i see that have not properly thought out there theories nor simply done basic testing. funding such businesses is ultimately money that eventually is wasted.
So yes Innovation is possible in the barest of circumstance… But we created www.Tibiaetech.com in 2012 and have since come to a decision that creating local “space” will help any online efforts. While we have a plan developed. we recommend looking at the www.NYCResistor.com did a couple years back… a group of friend committed to the monthly rent for a NY loft space that allowed them to explore their concepts. they give classes have a weekly open night and a membership program. The space has been the home of many innovations including the Makerbot 3D printing machine. Simple “scalable”