We wanted to do something different. Typical conference events attract people with the food and not the content. But we wanted both. Being our hometown we had a little home court advantage. It didn’t hurt that our office space was walking distance from the convention center.
I called a friend and local chef to see if he was available to give our clients and users a taste of New Orleans. I contacted my favorite author to see if she would join us somewhat last minute, and while she couldn’t she offered to record some remarks on video to help us start the evening off right.
Our panelists came from Quartolio (an artificial intelligence company for surfacing research), University of Rhode Island Libraries, and the Offor-Walker Company (an executive search firm with a focus on creating diverse talent pipelines).
We wanted to have a dialog on the intersection of diversity/equity/inclusion and technology, discussing how DEI work can be impacted by design and software, for better or for worse.
Dr. Safiya Noble, in the video above, recently published a book titled Algorithms of Oppression which investigates the role social companies play in propagating racism and oppression through their business models and product design. Her research highlights the opportunity and responsibility we have as software companies to interrogate our decisions and the impact they have on everyday citizens.
At Skilltype, we ask ourselves on a regular basis, “Do people need what we have to offer?”, “Are we making the world better than how we found it?”, “Who receives the most benefit from our work: people or shareholders?”
We believe technology can play a positive role in the future of work, but not without a culture of honest and transparent conversations about the inequities that plague the workplace of today. If you’re interested in joining our next future of work meetup, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject #FOWM2.