Inclusive Innovation: Why now is the time
Challenge #25 – Inclusive Innovation: Why now is the time
My name is Jerome Morgan and I stand on the shoulders of giants of West African and Caribbean ancestry. I am a Griot (pronounced Gri- ooh) a West African storyteller. I am the founder of Wood Buffalo Strategy Group, a design, research and innovation consulting firm that helps leaders get to better solutions. I am a brother, uncle, community facilitator and positive deviant. I work as a Senior Innovation Manager in the technology and innovation sector in Western Canada.
I care about thie topic of inclusive innovation because inclusion matters. I truly believe we must invite people who are from or living and working in marginalized communities to be part of the innovation that will impact them. The world is changing and the skills and resources that are needed to participate in the technology and innovation economy are not always accessible. There is a lot of lost talent, experience and knowledge that is left behind if we do not create doors for equity seeking populations to participate and share their gifts, ideas, cultural offerings and social capital.
A rising tide does not lift all boats
A rising tide does not lift all boats, especially if the boat is already sinking. Inclusive innovation takes into consideration the state of the communities that are not doing well. That has been historically marginalized and faces significant barriers to participation and the ability to foster success.
What’s the problem? Let’s break down the issues;
- Low levels of representation of Black, Indigenous and people of colour, low income and rural groups in the entrepreneurship, technology and innovation sectors
- Low levels of race and equity based data thats capturing their experience
- Low commitment to reconciliation priorities within the innovation economy
- Decisions about equity seeking groups without equity seeking groups in the solution development process
- Maintaining the current status quo around who participates and gets access to resources and supports
- BIPOC, rural and low income communities continuing to have low levels of funding, employment, education and access to resources around the innovation economy
How do I want things to change?
I would like to see more intentional collaboration with an equity lens.
I want more resources flowing to diverse groups so they can fully participate in the innovation economy where they are not surviving but thriving.
I would like Black, Indigenous, People of colour, low income and rural communities to have more representation and relationships with coworking networks around the world.
In addition, more innovation conversations with equity seeking groups and how we can work together for more positive social impact.
What am I asking people to do?
The coworking community is and has proven to be a crucial network in the world of social and economic development. I would like to see this community diagnose what the problem looks like in your community by asking questions like;
- Who are the groups that are missing?
- Which groups don’t have access to power in these spaces?
- How can we support them to participate?
- How can we support them to co-design solutions centred on community experience and voice?
- How can we organize resources to and with these groups?
- How can we be allies, and support them to achieve success on their own terms?
- What systems and structures cause these barriers and outcomes?
How might we as a coworking community facilitate innovative initiatives that will open doors for BIPOC, low income and rural communities to participate fully in the innovation economy?
- Include equity seeking groups in the process of generating and developing new ideas and solutions that will change and improve their lives.
- Partner and collaborate with grassroots groups, equity leaders and change agents fostering positive impact in their communities as well at a systems level.
- Amplify their work and leverage your resources and networks to support their goals and social impact.
- Advocate for disaggregated race based data, and more inclusive policy.
- Measure the number of equity seeking groups worked with, your learnings with diverse groups, funds allocated or resources shared, and the impact achieved.
You will know you are making a difference when you see more equity seeking groups engaging with your organisations in positive ways, when equity seeking groups are looking to partner and collaborate with you. We will know we are making change when there are real policy changes, more access to funding, relationships, expertise, and skillbuilding to equity seeking populations.
Take the IDEA Challenge within your organization or alliance and and then join us at the IDEA Conversation on February 22nd, 2023.
Jerome Morgan is the Lead Strategist and Innovation Consultant at Wood Buffalo Strategy Group, and is a Senior Innovation Manager at Innovate Calgary’s Social Innovation Hub. Jerome will also be speaking at the upcoming Coworking Alliance Summit.
The February 2023 IDEA Challenge is brought to you by the Coworking Alliance Summit.
February 22nd 2023
9:00 AM Pacific | 12:00 PM Eastern
5:00 PM WET | 6:00 PM CET