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SXSW 2021

Building Equitable and Inclusive Tech Ecosystems

The tech industry is an exclusionary force, maintaining a status quo of pedigree and privilege. New technology jobs don’t benefit all individuals or communities equally. In fact, they reinforce or exacerbate socioeconomic stratification. Columbia, S.C. is looking beyond pedigree and focusing on aptitude to build an equitable and inclusive tech ecosystem with the help of government, education, employer and technology partners. By expanding the definition of who belongs in tech, the area offers an actionable blueprint for other regional coalitions. This panel will discuss the elements and steps needed to produce a viable, sustainable technology ecosystem and create universal uplift across all communities and demographics.

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  1. Technology can discover exceptional talent from unexpected places and create new in-demand opportunities in tech for underserved communities.
  2. Universal uplift will only happen if you are willing to dismantle current pedigree-based systems and replace them with aptitude-based ones.
  3. Equitable and inclusive tech ecosystems level the playing field for both individuals and regions located outside of current major talent hubs.



Adam Curtis, Senior Marketing Manager, Catalyte

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