The call to action was made 3 months ago, within days we had over 100 champions who not only said Presente to the call but also volunteered their talents and resources to jumpstart this Innovation Revolución. Google is making this possible with their unconditional support and Eliana Murillo who is a true Latina In Tech Innovation & Social Media.
Latino2 is finally here! And we are all in high gears to make this conference the beginning of a tech comunidad that shares resources, best practices, knowledge and kicks in the behind (yes, if a founder needs to change gears or improve the product). In case you cannot come to Latino2 in NYC, don’t think that you’ve missed the opportunity. We’re here to stay and we’ll be announcing a bunch of initiatives to keep the Innovation Revolución alive. A huge thanks to Joanne Wilson who said a resounding Yes without a blink. To David Rose who so genuinely enjoys sharing his knowledge with Tech startups, to all the Investors and the Entrepreneurs who jumped on board during the weirdest hours of the night! Just to name our latest recruits Marcela Guaman, Regis Mejia, Alex Torrenegra, and Andres Barreto. To all the oldies who are always there ready to help like Graciela Tiscareno, Jennifer Arguello and Sal Mendoza just to name a few.
Now we need the larger LATISM community to support Latino2. Actually, we need all those who see the importance of closing the digital divide. Not with bla bla bla, like I’ve seen lately, but with concrete actions. Here are 15 roles that we need urgently:
Investors: We need your money! Not because we’re Latinos (pobrecitos!). But because you make a conscious effort to look beyond the profiling and stereotype. Because you become available to teach us the rules of the game. Because you make it a point to open the doors to our founders to go and pitch or at least to seat on the pitches until we’re ready to make one.
Policy Makers: We need your knowledge! Help us understand who should be held accountable for the disproportionate allocation of funds. What are the policies that we can help push to bring more justice to digital access, leadership positions in tech-no-landia and own a bigger piece of the innovation pie?
Educators: We need your trust! Please stop telling our kids that they’re not college material; that they’re good enough for vocational schools who will only steal their financial aid money. Please dare to expose our young Latino(a)s to innovation early. Please help us feed the pipeline.
Students: We need your ambition! Only you can help us find the fuerza to fight like there is no tomorrow. Show us that you want to have a better future. That you will not let the media, the lying politicians, the corrupted leaders and the digital dividers steal your dreams and make you give up.
Activists: We need your big mouth! Help us demand justice from those who make false promises. Help us identify with names and last names the organizations and corporations that must work to close the digital divide and increase more inclusion in innovation for minorities but are only milking the system like pendejos traidores.
Telecom Managers: We need your shoulders! It is your responsibility to help us in this Revolucion. Tell us exactly who is responsible for these efforts in your companies and let’s make it happen this time.
Writers: We need your words! Help us elaborate with the fancy words (and better English) the benefits of making innovation more inclusive. Help us reach your audience, make our revolucion contagious with your persuasive writing.
Marketers: We need your megaphones! You have the capacity to reach masses. Help us bring this message to the right ears. Help us craft our message in a way that moves the hearts of the decision makers.
Economists: We need your strategy! Help us prove to society that it’s cheaper to invest in education and innovation than to keep entire communities of Latinos in jail. We need you to crunch your numbers and make fancy charts and reports that support this initiative.
Media Professionals: We need your ethics! Please, we beg you for the courage to portray positive images to our youth. We need more entrepreneurs, more Latinos championing technology and business. When you make your programs and news about successful innovators, make a conscious effort to include Latino(s). At the same time, please have the decency to stop showing your stupid Man Hunting Fugitive crap shows that only feature Latinos. In case you don’t know the image you are giving our young man really sucks. Join our Revolucion by stopping that.
Project Managers: We need your strategy! Give us timelines, distribute roles, identify key performance indicators, set clear milestones until we reach our goal. In the next 12 months, we want to bring the 1% of successful and funded startups to at least 5%. Help us make that happen.
Historians: We need your stories told right! Help us find the heroes that can inspire us. Show us role models that helped shape and advance this country of ours. Help us understand the origins of the borders. Bring light to the obscure mysteries of our lost battles. You can help us win this one.
Entrepreneurs: We need your big ideas! When you think big, we can ask big. Don’t be afraid to dare. Don’t let the failures stop you but instead, let them springboard you to even bigger ventures.
Technologists: We need your hunger! Your desire to solve the many problems currently affecting our gente through innovative ideas. Your quest for transparent processes, your intrinsic need to think outside the box to fix our education crisis, our health issues, our unemployment level, our lack of business opportunities. You are our hope so let’s make it happen.
Professors: We need your knowledge! Most of us didn’t have the luxury to go to Harvard or Stanford. However, we still need the basic business knowledge. We need to learn about finance, project management, entrepreneurism, market research. You can help us by giving us access to those skills. Open your classes and we’ll make you proud.
If you fall under any of these categories, please join us in this Innovation Revolución. If you can make it to Latino2 on Thursday, please register here. Otherwise, you can fill out this form and tell us what you can bring to the table. We need your leadership.