How are tech companies giving back and helping Austin?
How can YOUR company start a volunteer or giving program, or adopt a social good business model?
How can YOU start a tech company or organization for social good?
Austin is a wonderful place, with a strong creative class, a booming tech sector, and a public commitment to social equity and opportunity. But a downside of our rapid growth and economic rise has been an increase in affordability and mobility challenges that disproportionately disadvantage many in our community. And, like any modern city, we need to address issues of social equity like these while continuing to ensure public safety and access to quality education and healthcare, in an environmentally safe and sustainable environment.
While the tech sector professionals in particular are enjoying the success and growth of Austin, they may not be aware of the challenges faced by many Austinites–and what they can do to help! In this fast-paced session with powerhouse speakers from Austin’s tech and social good sectors, attendees will learn:
• How to leverage tech expertise to serve our community
• How and why to create a tech company/organization for social good, and the local resources available to found, launch, and grow your business
• How and why to create social good programs and practices inside existing tech companies, and how to connect with local companies and nonprofit leaders that are doing it right
Admission to the Austin Forum is free, as always. This month, though, we invite you to share in the spirit of the season by bringing a new, unwrapped toy for our Operation Blue Santa Toy Drive.
And beginning this month, the Austin Forum will be accepting donations of used cell phones and smart phones at all our events. All devices will have a factory reset and be set up as new by the team at Austin Pathways’ nationally-recognized “Unlocking the Connection” initiative, which will connect every public housing resident with a digital device, digital literacy, and a free or very low-cost internet connection. Your donated smart phone can change lives and help close Austin’s digital divide, thanks to Austin Pathways.
BARBARY BRUNNER’s 25-year career, prior to joining the Austin Technology Council as CEO, has included senior executive roles at worldwide leading technology brands and a successful strategy and organizational development consultancy.. Past positions include Chief Marketing Officer for Experian’s Pricegrabber business, CMO and Head of Strategy for Yahoo!’s Media Division, Director of Global Planning for Microsoft’s MSN business, and Executive Producer for a division of Sierra Online. These honed Barbary’s passion as a technologist and her leadership excellence in the areas of tech, business growth strategy, and human capital development. Her experience building and running global product, brand and strategy teams, plus her work with startups, non-profits and civic organizations as an investor, board member and lobbyist, are put to use daily in her roles as CEO of the largest and oldest tech industry association in Central Texas, and as one of Austin’s technology thought leaders.
CHELSEA COLLIER fosters collaboration between the public and private sectors to solve civic challenges, leveraging her experience in tech, policy, social impact, civic engagement and entrepreneurship. Chelsea is the Founder of Digi.City, Editor-At-Large for Smart City Connect, Senior Advisor for Texans for Economic Progress, and Co-Founder of Impact Hub Austin, one of 84 community spaces around the world committed to social and civic good. She provides consulting services through her firm, Intercambio Group. Chelsea is a Zhi-Xing Eisenhower Fellow (2016) and is a contributor to Inc.com where she writes about innovation and smart cities.
JOHN NEHME is the President & CEO of Allies Against Slavery, an innovative nonprofit that builds slave-free cities by creating critical tools and training to equip frontline stakeholders. Under John’s leadership, Allies also launched the Slave-Free City Network, an initiative that coordinates and resources multi-disciplinary partners across Central Texas. His vision also inspired a groundbreaking research in partnership with the University of Texas estimating the prevalence and economic impact of human trafficking in Texas. John has a degree in Human and Organizational Development from Vanderbilt University where he studied as an Ingram Scholar, and he earned his MA in Political Economy from the University of Sydney, Australia, as a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar. His background in cross-sector community development, including posts at the Centre For Social Justice think tank in London and the international non-profit Blood:Water Mission, deeply shapes his believe that ending slavery means addressing the interrelated, root-cause challenges affecting the marginalized and oppressed.
LEO RAMIREZ, JR. is CEO and co-founder of Encast. He was a very good tennis player when he was young. But he was even better with numbers. His dad told him to stick to math. Leo wanted to be at center court in Wimbledon. But his dad was smarter than he was. Now Leo runs a technology company. And tells people to listen to their parents.
ZOE SCHLAG is an entrepreneur, investor and activist. She is the founding Managing Director of Techstars Impact, Techstars’ first initiative to back for-profit, mission-driven entrepreneurs building technologies to solve our most pressing social and environmental problems. Prior to Techstars, Zoe served as CEO of UnLtd USA, an organization providing seed funding and venture support to entrepreneurs tackling social and environmental problems, which she founded in 2014 and led to join forces with Techstars in 2017 to launch Techstars Impact. Over the last decade, Zoe has worked with founders from idea through acquisition, in both developed and emerging markets, across multiple industries, and from a range of backgrounds, from ex-guerrilla fighters to corporate executives to technologists. Zoe is an Aspen Ideas Scholar at the Aspen Institute and a World Economic Forum Global Shaper.
MONICA MALDONADO WILLIAMS is the co-founder of The New Philanthropists, an organization committed to creating a leadership pipeline for a more diverse and inclusive Austin. She is also founder and editor of GivingCity Austin. Monica has more than 20 years of experience in communications, marketing, journalism and new media. She is a frequent speaker on next-level volunteerism, nonprofits and social entrepreneurship. She is also a marketing and communications consultant. Monica has been recognized for her work with GivingCity with a 2015 Women Communicators of Austin Anne Durrum Robinson Creative Initiative Award, a 2011 SXSW Dewey Winburne Community Service Award and the 2011 Austin American Statesman Social Media Award. She is a graduate of Leadership Austin. In communications and marketing, Monica has worked with UFCU, the Office of Mayor Steve Adler, the Austin Lyric Opera, the Austin Community Foundation and the Austin Bar Association among others.
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