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Diversity, equity, and inclusion

Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion

Inclusion is opportunity no. 1

Our communities will never reach their full potential, unless everyone is allowed to participate. Our current economic systems leave many people on the outside. As we collectively build this new field, we have a chance to reimagine our economies in a more inclusive way. To achieve this vision, to effectively remove barriers for all entrepreneurs of all kinds, we need diverse voices at the table and leading our field. Our leadership must include ecosystem builders from all walks of life, all parts of communities, and all kinds of regions – both nationally and globally. The more diverse perspectives we have at the table, the stronger and more sustainable our collective work will be.

Because of this, we spent significant time at the 2018 Summit exploring these challenges, hearing stories from a wide range of perspectives and focusing on how to create solutions that address diversity, equity, and inclusion in the work of entrepreneurial ecosystem building. Melinda Briana Epler and Wayne Sutton of Change Catalyst, a San-Francisco-based organization, and Dr. JaNay Queen Nazaire of Living Cities, designed and led Summit attendees through a morning of lively presentations and small group discussion on these important topics. See some of the highlights below.

Watch: “ESHIP Summit 2018 Firestarter: Change Catalyst Part I, feat. Melinda Briana Epler and Wayne Sutton” | 9:32
Watch: “ESHIP Summit 2018 Firestarter: Change Catalyst Part II, feat. Melinda Briana Epler and Wayne Sutton” | 12:44
Watch: “ESHIP Summit 2018 Firestarter: Dr. JaNay Queen Nazaire” | 12:57

These lightning talks put select ESHIP Summit attendees on stage to share stories of effective approaches to addressing issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion in their ecosystems. Each attendee shared insights into the process of cultural change necessary to create a more inclusive ecosystems for all entrepreneurs.

Watch: “ESHIP Summit 2018 Firestarter: Mayor Oliver Gilbert” | 10:36
Watch: “ESHIP Summit 2018 Firestarter: Lori Lea Pourier” | 8:51
Watch: “ESHIP Summit 2018 Firestarter: Augusto Sanabria” | 9:21
Watch: “ESHIP Summit 2018 Firestarter: Aliza Sir” | 7:13

Breakout sessions by sector

It was then time to synthesize the diversity and inclusion informational sessions. This gave attendees the opportunity to explore solutions from facilitators from a range of sectors. We took this time to identify common barriers and opportunities and share ways to address those as a group.

Education Institutions
Co-working spaces
Investors and Funds
Researchers and Media
Founders and Owners
Economic and Workforce
Incubators and Accelerators
Philanthropies and Corporations

One of the underlying aims of the ESHIP Summit was to make real connections among ecosystem building practitioners locally, nationally, and globally. To help accelerate relationships and foster collaboration on a local level, attendees met in Campfire groups throughout the event. Campfires were designed to help attendees process and reflect on their Summit experience with others from their home region. The aim of the Campfires was to spark conversations and action that could be continued after the attendees returned home. Campfires were organized as small group, self-facilitated conversations, and were heavily based on Peter Block’s Changing Conversations framework [PDF].