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Smart City Inclusive Innovation

smart city pittsburgh inclusive innovation meeting
Inclusive Innovation Meetup at City Theatre

In 2017, 136 organizations hosted 79 free events across 20 neighborhoods in 8 days centered on 1 theme, Inclusive innovation. Inclusive Innovation Week is a platform for the City to support and promote organizations and businesses working towards equity in a transforming Pittsburgh. During the week, important conversations about equity and innovation are brought forward between organizations that may not have had the chance to collaborate or work together in the past. We aim to not only celebrate the work being done currently towards Inclusive Innovation, but also talk about what actions need to be taken in the upcoming year.

Last week, we started the conversation about what events, discussions, and topics community members and partners would want to see in Inclusive Innovation Week 2018. Several non-profits, community organizations, and businesses such as Black Tech Nation, All Star Code, BNY Mellon, and Southwestern Pennsylvania Partnership for Aging came together to brainstorm ideas, meet other partners, and create a platform for collaboration and conversation around equity and innovation.

The morning started early with networking amongst different partners and interested community members over coffee and bagels at the warm and welcoming City Theatre. Participants then moved to the main stage for presentations by Black Tech Nation, BNY Mellon, City Theatre, Diversame, Innovation Works, Inclusant, and Prototype PGH.

Coffee, bagels, and presentations at City Theatre

We opened the floor up to comments about what topics should be addressed in Inclusive Innovation Week 2018. Here’s what we heard from you.

Keep track of outcomes. For example, if someone were to find new job opportunities or long-term partnerships, we should know. This way we can measure how successful and impactful Inclusive Innovation Week is for Pittsburgh and what long-term influences it can have on the city’s growth.

Have a centralized method of organizing events, resources, and partners. There are so many events happening all over the city in a short amount of time. We should ensure that people can attend every event they want to attend by emphasizing collaboration and synchronized schedules, resources, and spaces.

Emphasize Intersectionality. There should be a focus on embracing diversity in identity and experience and more support for traditionally marginalized communities and minority groups. Many of you expressed interest in Women in Tech and Entrepreneurship events that partnered with local high schools.

Engage Local Youth. More events should be focused on getting local students and their parents involved in the different opportunities available in Pittsburgh from technology and higher education to government and non-profit work.

Encourage Collaboration. Working sessions, planning meetings, and public discussion events should be created for partners to meet and work on their ideas together.

Improve Cross-Cultural and Cross-Gender Communication. Conversations and events should be inclusive and bring different groups together to talk about the importance of diversity in thought and identity by sharing their own unique experiences.

Maintain Inclusivity. We should ensure EVERYONE is included in these events and discussions. There should be events centered around refugees and immigrant entrepreneurship and multilingual support. We also want to celebrate the achievements of the local disability community and raise awareness to the barriers that the disability community still face. Events should include interpreters, language-accessibility options, and child-care when possible.

Discuss Technology and Ethics. As the development of Artificial Intelligence technology continues, we should engage in conversations about the ethics involved with AI such as Algorithmic Bias, AI for Good, and how AI will affect the job market.

Everyone brought up important issues and great ideas for next year’s events. We want to continue the discussion online and help bring these ideas to life. Please go to the Inclusive Innovation Meetup page and tell us what you think about these topics. We encourage collaboration between partners and want to ensure everyone’s ideas are included in the planning and building of Inclusive Innovation Week 2018. Let’s get started!


Keep up with the Roadmap for Inclusive Innovation and more updates on Inclusive Innovation Week 2018 by following us on Pittsburgh I&P and signing up for events on Meetup!

Source: Smart City Inclusive Innovation

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