Innovation from Diversity: Thursday, August 26th at 7:00 EDT / 4:00 PDT
This event is co-sponsored by WSUAA and the Organization of Black Alumni.
Join the WSU Alumni Association for a virtual event series exploring the synergy between Detroit and Silicon Valley. Diversity leaders and business investors will discuss opportunities and challenges for diversity, equity and inclusion in the industries of Silicon Valley.
Many industries were unstoppable until innovation went global. There’s still time for the U.S. tech industry and Silicon Valley to adjust for these times. Silicon Valley is known for disrupting existing but inefficient industries with new software-based tools, but according to Fast Company and other industry experts, future opportunities will come from creating solutions for the mass market and particularly for the underserved.
This change will require several shifts including greater diversity in hiring and capital distribution. Companies will have to change hiring practices to include a more diverse range of talent for positions of all levels since the talent and perspective from these groups will be imperative in capturing a unique understanding of new opportunities. Additionally, venture capitalists have to become more conscious of their bias to invest in talent that looks like them. They need to expand their vision to be more inclusive of upcoming businesses led by diverse populations. Speakers include:
Marlo Rencher, PhD, CDE
Director, Technology-Based Programs, TechTown Detroit
Managing Director, Techstars Equitech -and-
Executive Director/Co-Founder, Venture Catalysts
Web Services Senior Business Development, Amazon
Manager and President of the Amazon Black Employee Network -and-
Founder of Technology Diversity Leaders
Toni Somers, PhD
Associate Dean, Professor of Information Sciences -and-
Faculty Co-Director of the Institute for Leadership and Diversity
Mike Ilitch School of Business, Wayne State University