I recently wrote about (in many articles) about the amazing time I had in Vegas at the CXC conference, and how astounded I was to see so many women taking the stage in such a tech arena, an area that has remained dominated by males. To see these innovative women breaking the "story" about new tech and possibilities for the future is so inspiring and I want to do my part to bring more of this to the mainstage. It seems to me that the arena of blockchain is surprisingly blind to race and gender, and attaches value specifically to what participants bring to the table, their perspective, and their ability to see into the future like others cannot.
Why Does Any of It Matter?
I often use a past conversation I had to explain the importance of diversity and inclusion in every arena. When talking to a friend whose son was dressed as a firefighter, our conversation turned to inclusion, when aforementioned friend wondered aloud why the debate around inclusion and diversity was lingering and stirring up so much heat. I pointed to her son and inquired about his costume. She said he talked non stop about how he wanted to be a firefighter. When I pressed further, she shared that his favorite YouTube channel featured the star as a firefighter. As the words flowed out of her mouth, I saw a simultaneous light bulb go on. The reason we talk about inclusion, gatekeepers, and diversity is because:
Perspective, culture, and contributions are better when the creating collective are from multiple and different backgrounds. Businesses are always looking for that edge up, when realistically, the edge is filling gaps where business is lacking, and the most obvious and effective way we do this is by drawing from every perspective, culture, thought process, and intellect we can.
In order for our children to know that they actually can pursue their dreams, they need to see people like themselves in those places, and thriving.
I've already coined 2019 the year of intentional inclusion, because this is the solution to bias, being inclusive intentionally, and with aim.
We're Better Than We Appear to Be
The innovators with the true focus on what's best to move humanity forward are beginning to speak out. I'm inspired by what I see most in blockchain because, while there are, have been, will be, opportunists who seek the quick thrill (and buck) and exit quickly, what we are seeing more is the desire for good, transparency, and an end to greed and corruption. Cherie Aimée, the former Director of Communications for ShipChain, a tech company offering a blockchain-based solution to unify a multi-trillion dollar freight and logistics industry. She is a near-death survivor, heart transplant recipient, ranked number six on the Top 100 Women in Blockchain, an author, media contributor, and featured in major media outlets such as ABC News, FOX, Forbes, Thrive Global, and Influencive. She travels the world speaking about technology, leadership, and community with one simple mission: impact one billion lives.
How Can We Get There?
Getting diversity into Blockchain will create a scenario where blockchain builders collaborate and help determine what users need, but more importantly give them what they want instead of fighting over the tech. My conversation with Aimée gave way to another conversation about the long term pitfalls, and how we can really create sustainable change for this technology, and secure the future for those wanting to create lasting change.
We have to continue to build in trust. Aimée and I found that we both firmly believe that people are drawn to the possibilities of blockchain because the transparency is so appealing. In a world where trust is so lacking, especially in the financial realms and markets that are age old and multi-trillion dollars wide, this is the change people have been craving, even if they didn't know what that would look like.
Sustainability should be a forefront focus of where we want to go. We will always see these sharks and day traders who come in for a quick buck and leave after they get their instant thrill. As a collective whole, we should be discouraging and shining light on these types of behaviors, while simultaneously encouraging support of long-term projects.
We have to educate our communities. One example, we've all recently experienced has to do with our food and the current supply chain processes. When there's bacteria in our lettuce, it takes weeks for grocers to tell us where the lettuce came from. This is a supply chain tracking problem, because there is no system in place, and there is no standardized method of supply chain. We are talking about global ecosystems, that interact, but is really an endless series of processes and networks that are moving the entire global economy with no autonomy and minimal transparency. These events create even more distrust, if that was even possible, and supply chain is one area where we can rely on blockchain technology for transparency, public ledgers, and accountability.
The Blockchain Future Is Now
As cliche as it sounds, we have arrived in this place where we have the technology to rebuild, or tear down and redesign, some of the oldest processes and markets throughout our economies. With these new possibilities, it's as important as it has ever been, to consider how we can make these changes sustainable, transparent, and in the direction of what is good for everyone. We have this massive opportunity to build in good over greed, and I am so excited to see where we land.