Monday, March 9, 2015

Out of Africa

I spent some time recently at a Collaborate event for inventors, makers, and investors. It featured many fascinating speakers from across the spectrum of innovative talent. 

Among the speakers was Josh Mandell from the Commerce Dept. who was evangelizing on how start-ups need to think globally from their beginnings, when they are nascent inventors figuring out where they want to go. 

A woman stood up to raise some points on going global. She wanted to talk about diversity among innovators. 

After a morning of diversity discussions focused on making women feel more welcome in tech land by calling in them first in meetings. (Really!)  I was preparing to pack up and leave when this woman raised a fascinating point. How about geographic diversity in immigration programs focused on bringing engineers and scientists to the US. She asked why there wasn't more diversity in the Visas so more talented people from Africa could come to the US. 

This was the best diversity question asked all day. We need more innovators and inventors out of Africa.