2 Episode results for "Doug Mccullough"
Ep. 94 Dublin Digital Identity Project
"Hello Hello Hello Welcome. Welcome to ensure blocks your delegate podcast to blockchain and smart contracts. I'm will lead also your host for this week's podcast. We'll be discussing discussing the very interesting project called the Dublin Digital Identity Project and I'm very pleased to have doug McCullough chief information officer her for the city of Dublin in Ohio USA. Doug thank you for joining us today. Could you please give our listeners. Quick introduction on yourself sure so my name is Doug McCullough chief information officer for the city of Dublin Ohio. It is a small city really a suburb on the North West Corner of Columbus Ohio which is in the middle of the state I am a private sector guy and I may government guy. I've worked for four different state of Ohio agencies and two cities in the united estates and I really love municipalities into innovation into smart cities. I'm into smart ability obviously into blockchain. A it just really interested in sort of emerging technologies and how I can help public sector organizations integrate them into their daily operations Excellent excellent and I think also inside you're going to be able to share with our audience later in this podcast so straight off the bat as it has cost me here in Intra entre blocks. Could you please explain to our listeners. What is blockchain? And how does it work. Well I'm sure that many have gone before me and failed. I probably will fail as well and I take no credit for getting it right but I will say that I can tell you what it is to me and from my perspective because this is one of the most simple technologies while also being one of the most complex and I don't want to oversimplify it but you Kinda have to a small Description I see. blockchain obtain is a technology infrastructure innovation that combines existing technologies like databases peer to peer networks encryption distributed computing algorithms to form a different way of distributing compute data storage and data security so in its most basic form it works by recording pieces pieces of data into structures. We've taken to calling blocks. The definition of these structures is such that they exist within a chain in that if they do not not come after another block or not part of another block they by definition do not exist. This structural definition allows the existence of a block to carry certain certain cities simply by the fact that they exist in other words to bear Fi. The data of a block one needs to verify its position in a chain that contains other defined blocks each addition to this chain makes the entire structure more and more difficult to invalidating. But if you did and there is a press process process for invalidating a chain the fact that a change to this basic infrastructure would invalidate the whole further makes scenario more trustworthy so that certainly is over technical and quite possibly wrong But the important thing to me and from my perspective is that as an infrastructure it is superior to other databases databases networks or distributing distributed computing models for certain uses and the High find it to be superior for is data transactions injections not necessarily data storage but data transactions. What happened when where and with perfect while if this was was an incorrect or definition what correct one is so thank you so much for that it was it was really good definition? I'm GonNa will definitely always As he knows. So well you know. There are many different schools of thought when it comes to blockchain and different tribes who who liked to defend their view of it right so so could you tell us a little bit about the city of Dublin and just in our Irish listeners where referring here to the city of Dublin in Ohio USA. Not Dublin. Orlands so I love to hear more about your lovely city. There are folks in Ohio. We know Dublin wealth and the rest of the world who have heard about it but for a lot of the world people people are like. I don't know what you're talking about. Here's a bunch of Dublin's in the United States as well But as I said we're a small community of around fifty thousand and up apply. Some years ago started along the path towards innovation through fiber optics in developing one of the first publicly-owned city owned fiber optic networks networks. And so we're kind of a techno-centric kind of a place that has embraced using technology to advance its economic development interests from air. We've been kind of a leader or innovator when it comes to smart cities up whether it be a sitting next to smart Columbus on being part of that same region or being being a part of the Intelligence Communities Forum in which we compete and go for awards where that is the city has an institute the Global Institute for the study the of the intelligence community to help share some of what we've learned about intelligent communities in smart city development and derive more from around the world and share those lessons since with other communities so we kind of want to be a conduit and in a light in showing how communities can use technology to improve the lives absorb their citizens. And that's kind of our brand at this point. I mean it's fascinating because you know just to remind him what the point is said of the city of fifty thousand people and you are quite forefront of developing new technology and. I'm sharing your best practice. What you've learned for me you know you sound very much like a city similar to Silicon Valley and also what is amazing because as it is a subject of our podcast that you've managed to develop a digital identity project based blockchain technology? Why how did your city managed to get to this point to be so tax heavy? Well well there are a few advantages and a few good moves some investments that the city of Dublin made that strategically placed us in a different position. So if there's there's any other cities out there listening you'll recognize some of this first of all. We did introduce me as a chief information officer. and honestly if you're not a very large arch city like a Boston or New York or Los Angeles or Atlanta or a London. You don't have a chief information officer you have an. It director director whose job it is to keep the technology running. Not necessarily to envision. What's next in what's new and so- Dublin Did that they invested in that in part because we're small there's less to run and there's a lot of innovation happening here in our region. We've got a great research institution Asian in in Ohio University and the Ohio State University. And there's just a lot of resources here that make it possible for us to do it. But if you're another city Anderson later saying it. We're not doing that it in part. It's because it's difficult for a city to hire someone in give them that job so hello. Dublin is benefiting from brilliant brilliant now so you've developed a digital identity project based on blockchain technology. What problem were you looking to address? This is interesting Because I WANNA put you in your listeners in the in the stance of considering what a city is we tend to look look at cities and say Stay in your lane plows. Snow Mow the grass. Fix The potholes and cut my taxes. And I'll be happy happy. And we don't think about all the various services and things that a city doesn't in has been doing but if cities do not innovate than we are going to be disrupted roughed it just like any other business. If he didn't think that the United States post office could be disrupted and of course. It is being disrupted because we always thought that we will deliver letters in boxes and Amazon changed all that you know taxes are being disrupted. Everybody's being disrupted cities can be disrupted and I think that that could be devastating for us. So it's my job to try and stay ahead of that and to continue to. Innovate we are candidates for innovation. Just like anybody else. I do believe that there's going to be a new distributed data environment just as the web changed to everything Blockchain the distributed data environment is going to change everything and we don't want to get caught off guard We were concerned about and remained concerned about preparing for kind of leaner government. government As it is now may not look the way. It is automation boxer. We're subject to impact by those as well. So what happens if we have far fewer people in a lot more automation. They're a how're we going to build the service model that serves people I mentioned you know sort of a digital disruption Russian of government just like anybody else right. Now I'm out in the Wilderness crying about this. Nobody believes it but I think we're going to see it happen Also mentioned sort of a declining in degrading trust in a sort of a more dangerous data privacy in firemen for people and we expect this to have but negative impact on citizens in public transactions. If we don't prepare for that Mrs all before thinking about blockchain as a potential solution But then also generally just as a person who uses technology I desire new level control or autonomy Regarding my data and I think that cities are local governments or even national governments can play a role in providing that security and privacy to citizens perhaps through some sort of a service but then finally there's a huge amount of pressure for cities to become smart cities to become programmable to use data to make decisions and I'm afraid that we're all gonna run into a big brick wall if we can't identify people or other private things that need to be identified in order to program around them We're all very excited about cars. Driving down the street being automated but if we don't have a mechanism for identity that's going to be a problem so should have government Create a new identity Regime I feel that blockchain gives a lot of control and privacy obviously back to citizens so that if we do need to program aspects of our lives that we would control of privacy back into citizens hands Eh. That's brilliant. I love the way you explained it what. I'm very curious to hear your views about is. How can cities be disrupted erupted? I mean who causes the disruption that we touched on a lot of points right right nine are around trust around technology. That is a pushing in on FM. Paul Thomas Cars but how do you see. Actually city itself being disrupted interesting nobody sees disruption. That's the thing I mean it often disruption we use the word disruption because everybody thought it couldn't happen like we will always be this and we will always have that So we don't see it coming but if you think of interesting things like Google ways in in maps We now listen to Google about whether or not we can travel along a road and not necessarily that government and there's some interesting stories about global ways. I don't want to center on a bit of it as a example but you know if if ways tells you that a road is open. You think it's opened in may be a sign there but somebody moved but it only sees. He's traffic moving through someplace. And so It advises people to undertake actions according to itself that's a disruption. You know we. We are no longer in control of where people drive or restricting roads in some senses but I look at things like package delivery and in really roadways if if you look into smart cities you will find that they are very centered around transportation and the nature of transportation. The roads the traffic lights. How fast people go? A lot of that stuff is being moved into technology. Benders if you look at the technology that's going into vehicles to make connected vehicles These are software companies. They're not necessarily governments and win. Software companies get better at directing people. Traffic perfect keeping them safer than governments are no longer doing that. They are not the primary safety or life safety partner in your life life. What happens if that goes across a whole different sector of Things that happen and by the way. I'm not saying it's a bad thing I think it's good that You know you could find technology that could do a better job at keeping you safe. The question is who controls that what is is. Where does a citizen have a some direction capability in that scenario and governments are not in a position to even speak digital digital language than the private sector will become the primary source of what we used to think? Governments do understood understood so even in a scenario canario where the public sector works was software companies or digital native companies. There's always a question in terms of WHO's GonNa be on the data and I guess the identity around them that data and I can get another person's I think so I think we all hopefully we all kind of agree that individuals should have some lever level of sovereignty or control over their own data but make no mistakes Big companies as our building cities now building whole cities. They're building schools. Why is that happening? But you know there's a lot of money and investment and opportunity and they have the ability the of innovating in ways that what used to be government does not. We've got to keep up so that we stay at the table and we are a part of things in in a digital way not just the creators of laws legislation of course. It's like non incumbent industry whether it's insurance banking of her marsupials in you always have the large incumbents who run. The risk of been disrupted by digital native company with us. Google facebook Amazon here. You're just taking this from a safety perspective where you want to make sure that you're not in incumbency that you can take the lead and I find it interesting. That in some ways you started arriving for structure was so. You're you're fiber optics and now you're moving in terms of identity Now when you look at identity why felt that blockchain was the right technology not to address this opportunity. Well and I'll get into some personal feelings here as a sort of a privacy advocate and not a representative of government government But I I do feel that individuals should have some control. They should be in charge of this question I I think that as a local government we can have influence over how this is created in. I feel that this is a great service to people like. Who's going do this in people's interest and I fear that Having a prophet motive could color. Or you know disrupt disrupt sort of the opportunity for Helping people be the sovereign Sort of democratic leader of their own lives where this is concerned and so honestly I wanted to get there. I wanted to help create an identity conversation I station before Our package delivery or are rideshare or are connected. Vehicles becomes the primary vector for this. This conversation So it really began as a a thought exercise. About what will government be ten years from now. Twenty thirty twenty forty. What is our role with people and I think there is a trust conversation and what we expect from our government that that we can play a a major role? So that's that's why density as a book but I also WanNa mention this is not to the exclusion of other smart city or other technology. Things that we're doing. We are doing smart robes and smart mobility we are doing a security So we have a significant amount of other innovations. That were doing we. I just want to imperil include identity. Right now we're talking about people but you can extend this to families households Assets property all sorts of things that we're going to expect to be programmable screw algorithms but they have to be identified if that's going to be possible the future of course. Of course I find interesting. That you mentioned the no Smart cities because did you in all your work. You're doing it within the digital space. How much inspiration did you take from other digital city programs abroad whether it is in Talon for Estonia Dubai the United Arab birds or any other such locations to reach out to other smart cities around the world to draw your inspiration? Well yes and not either of those two although I do I do know some people from Estonia and I have observed there Things in that Saddam called panels with some technology professionals out of Estonia but yes as part of the intelligent community forum which has a global summit by the way every year That I have been participating in for the last several years and you meet people from all over world all over the world and you talk about some of these technologies so I have been inspired even from afar where those are concerned but there are also smaller communities that. You're not going to hear that much about that. have some pretty impressive advanced programs like this in the best place to be is to take the best of what's going on around the world and what's right for your local community and make it happen there make no mistake. Smart cities comes first and then we get into transportation Russian insecurity and education and identity in all of those things but it all the concept of the smart city was was really I get. Yeah Yeah Yeah and when you look at the digital identity project what were some of the barriers that you were faced with. And how did you manage to circumvent invent them. Well one barriers perception when you use the term blockchain and I'm sure guests so when you talk about people here cryptocurrency gap and they hear Bitcoin and they hear that they don't hear blockchain and so we do try to that we started just calling it digital identity and and not so much blockchain because it distracts people and they think of it as the flavor of the day and Hype and all of those things. So that's an issue. We don't have a lot funding There's no funding for these kinds of innovation so you kinda have to partner and do public private partnerships and and explore a really Lee low budget kind of experiments in. That's why we done a proof of concept at a very limited way So those are a couple couple of barriers. There's not a lot even the most advanced smart cities that you're hearing about. There's not a lot of funding there and there's a lot of doubt Dublin in our recently at an event the other night Two percent Many of these advances to residents has a very active in supportive residents base. So my advice is for other cities is if you are typically in the stance of telling your city you really are no good and you doing everything wrong. And we don't trust you. They're not going to innovate a whole lot. And you're not going to bring a lot of ideas to you but if when they do bring a new idea to you you say. Hey We support this. We want you to continue. You're likely likely to get better innovation out of your community and I get a lot of out of the people of Dublin. Ohio route excellent excellent. You're taking a very customer. centric took approach. You have a community. That supports your initiatives. This is really good stuff it's You're acting a lot like a start up by the sounds of it. Yeah absolutely absolutely there is co creation and I actually do use startup concepts and principles. We use agile. We talk about iteration in in. That is very difficult. Vocal for government Yes to interim governments have budgets. They have you have to have your idea fully baked and then you present it and then you get budget for and then you must be successful. There's a very rare situation where you can try something. And that's an education thing that we really have to work on a lot definitely definitely so. Can you describe to us a little bit about your digital identity solution and for example how how was it designed. And how did you enter your partners owners to build a solution that I'd like to hear more about it please. Yeah we actually created a group before we thought about developing solution here called the Dublin blockchain group. That was my attempt to plant a flag A few years ago a couple years ago Where we said we want all all of the tech companies in the area to come out? Sit Down Hackers. You know People in the back rooms there companies. Who are really experimenting in? SORTA keeping these these skunkworks in secret. Come out and amongst friends. Were just going to discuss them. We had a few meetings of that in a few companies emerged as really just being compassionate about this I started talking to one. It was a software verde and we started conceiving of what would be great use. Case for how government could be using blockchain. What's a value to citizens and we did go through an RSP process and they were selected But it started with the Dublin blockchain in grouping in doing that I do WanNa mention to you some of the characteristics of our digital identity. Because I think that's also what you're asking and one of them is just the identity we're using a qr code and some encryption which allows you to use public private key kind of scenario so that you walk into a government building lingers Qr Code. There you use your phone to scan it or to be scanned by it and certain personal information would be able to be passed. This is in my view personal identifiable information or P I as a service so that data is data that we have on you you as a citizen we WANNA keep it in one place not in file cabinets all over the city putting one place so that when you scan your digital identity you can be identified forums or two interim meeting to do any of those things. There are two other aspects of the identity that I consider applications. One of them is a points based system that we have Dublin points so that you can use your digital identity to undertake activities which is consistent with the values of our community such as sustainability or cybersecurity or volunteering or something like that and you will gain points from from the city that you could regain for some cities swag or for some benefits or something of a arbitrary value and that's an important part so the token go ahead. It starts at this point in a token format. I'm assuming they are in. It's an arbitrary value. So if I give you five points that doesn't Correspond to fifty cents or five dollars anything like that. You can only use them in coins. Trading and the third application is around polling. Need to as a city vehicle to ask you a question as a citizen and you need to be able to answer and you need to have trust that your answer Sir or your polling question. Your vote has been taken seriously that it is cure. It's not tampered with those things in meeting to know that you are a citizen that you actually answered this question with that functionality. There's a number of things that we could be doing as a city that currently under our democracy interesting we only use othing for votes for people for questions inferred certain taxes but don't express our desires to our government comment more frequently in a very reliable man so that is part of the experiment as well. So there's a digital identity. A token of value and Poland are all three applications of this excellent. Now how long has has been Live and what are some kind of the re- The The data points in terms of the results on. How often is it being used? I'm trying to get an idea of you know of of how well it's being accepted by the community while again we're taking an interest in stance and so we had done a significant amount of testing we tested with internal it staff of the city first. And then we test was city city. Staff were not outsiders and we had another session which we tested with volunteers who are not members of city staff with the residents residents of the city and then we just the other night had of a mortgage consideration kind of thing with members of the public so it is not widely in use has been live and in production for only a few weeks. Now actually And we're going slow. which is something that most governments don't have the ability to do you have have to show results immediately but because our project is not dependent upon life safety or anything like that? We didn't spend a huge amount of money on it. We can get it right A.. And take our time so I don't have. It would be less than ten people using it now because again. We WanNa work the bugs out. And we're having people experiment with entering the eighty eight of the feedback that we've gotten from residents and all across our region is a huge amount of positivity just for the experiment and we WANNA to make sure that we're not representing this as anybody in the city of Dublin. Hasta this or will ever have to have it. It's not a requirement it is strictly voluntary. I WanNa make sure that there's a comfort level with people at we're not usurping or taking over what the identity system that is not the case so this is a slow moving okay okay And in terms of the actual infrastructure picture that you use. I understand that you built this on Bitcoin cash. Could you explain to us some of the reasoning for that. Sure while it was presented to me. I am not a person who is part of the global battle between the coin. Bitcoin cash or different various crypto currencies currencies. In in in those kinds of things. I am more practical just in terms of stability availability Installed base and some of those things so as it was presented to me I looked at bitcoin. Cash as up something that just worked I am not concerned about joining into a global community although there is one for all of these crypto currencies do like other crypto currencies games. I like a theory I like. I think that there's a lot of advantages to them but part of the reason for us. Doing this project is for us to learn as well so I don't need the selected elected infrastructure to be perfect or for it to last a hundred years so I don't need to get into those arguments or questions what I need stability not in availability and I found that the bitcoin cash community has the technology that we need in order for these information transactions to be a highly available highly secure and. I don't spend a lot of time talking about it or evangelizing about bitcoin cash specifically of. But I can tell you that it does everything that we asked to do have had no stability your or security questions around it and I feel really good about that choice. EXON EXON and when you're looking at the T. cited you consider self-serving identity platforms such as ones by bill bill by sovereign or others or What was your thinking with regards to these kind of platforms? I did not only because of their ultimate goals. At at the end of the day we are government and we are attempting to create something that allows us as a government to hold onto I personally identifiable information and interact with residents self sovereign identity as I understand. It is highly independent of Any type of government interactivity and so it just didn't fit for what we were trying to do. In terms of applications. Like when I'm talking about polling and points in those kinds of things however I believe in the self sovereign identity concept and we want to make sure we're we're developing a platform that can be integrated with other forms of digital identity especially where blockchain is concerned so. We didn't go in that direction election for this particular experiment. But I remain open to the possibilities of integrating with or you know eventually just sort of melding these various Identity scenario of course. Of course now I understand. You're still in the early stages of your project. But what have you given some thought. In terms of some of the additional features you would like to include an into your project. Absolutely we it. You have to be careful about Matt Dreaming Big Fast and sometimes you've got a platform that works in the immediately start thinking of under different applications. And you don't have the money a Europe those kinds of things so we we are spreading this in evangelizing about it. In looking for private partners there is a very interesting use case in which a private company bunny could utilize. Pi of individual with their permission without having to store it. So I think there's some Public Private Evan partnerships that could come out of this Initially for us just as a city we see the ability to go in make a request for a service from your city any by just scanning. Qr Code as being one of the simplest basic things that we just want to spread across all sorts of different services that we offer today. We also I WANNA get into our public school system. There's immediate applications there so that some of the Business Education and nonprofit kind interests are able to take advantage of the existence of such a thing about this is all experimentation in those are very attractive to of course of course nine nine again. I appreciate you know that you're still in the early stages but you probably you're gonNA get already have or will be getting very fast. Some learnings regarding you know the project you're working on and do you believe that your platform or at least your learnings could be part of a larger state digital ought entity program or perhaps even part of federal one absolutely and we've actually heard from states other states that are developing theirs and They find that this platform is a very interesting one to go forward with so States are looking at that some other states and the federal government I believe are independently developing and designing some of these things. If you figure a small suburb was able to do it. Certainly the federal government can come up with scenarios. Well they they cannot move as fast as we can and so again we wanted to plant a flag and make it so that we didn't get frozen out because once a state decides that this is how it's going to be. It's going to be very difficult for cities to experiment and do those kinds of things again. That's our brand. There are other cities around the state of Ohio. Who who are looking to throw in with us in and do some of the same things and we see? The collections of cities can be as powerful as states are and so so. It's Kinda up in the air how this is all going to shake out but we want to be at the table. We don't want to hear from another government that hey we figured it out. Just do do what we tell you to do. WE WANNA be. Hey we were there two years ago. So we're going to be part of. This design was interesting because I actually have a theory that were potentially the where the way the world is changing and they were going to go back to the the Greek Times of the city to city states in a way where they will have known known some more influence than than proper country in itself. So it's interesting but I'd be curious to know in terms of if we have some CD mirrors around the world who are listening to this podcast. What top tips would you give them when they're considering whether or not to build out a digital identity project project the first one as I said earlier 's to have CIO have people in your team having having conversation about your long term future which is really difficult to do? But that vision of that. And I am looking at post. It's all over my wall. My Office Office of of you know just what happens if taxes changed or what happened if the entire economy were to change its structure. What what would happen? What would you do as a city and then look at what kinds of things you can do but then the big one is what's missing and what I found is that identity was missing like? We don't have the means of identifying nine people as a city a lot of that data is the states and they don't share it so we need information. That today is the purview review of other institutions. We're going to have to create something new and that's the exercise. I would recommend city leaders. Go through I also strongly recommend connecting acting with an having conversations with other cities regularly in Ohio We have regular conferences with cities on the other side side of the state where we sit and talk and compare notes. That's important you can't do it all as an individual city you need. The learnings of other cities definitely definitely so here. Intra blogs we are very passionate by diversity and I noticed that last year you co founded black tech lumbers to create create a place for a black tech professionals. Do you believe there's enough diversity in the bucks in community and if not why is it important. We'll know there's not an blockchain community is not very different from the rest of the technology community and you'll find a general lack of diversity On many different levels of we had spoken spoken about geographic diversity even in technology. Our country is very dependent upon silicon valley silicon alley the coasts and the lifestyles and culture of people from those areas. And there's just generally a lack of diversity here I would say that with the developmental blockchain as a global technology. There is such an opportunity to begin to include more diversity. And it's our responsibility ability as the pioneers of this technology to make that happen the short answer though is that. No there's not I. I am very encouraged by some of the diversity. We have in our local blockchain community. There's something here called the the government blockchain association and there's a black woman In Ohio who runs that organization. That chapter here I have found that we're doing a little bit better in terms of getting people early access to it but ultimately we need to have that conversation both in blockchain or any other part of our technology environment completely agree completely agree. I want to thank very much. Doug for sharing your insights on building Jilin Vanity Project for for the city of Dublin. I mean personally very fascinating and the work you're doing and still got some active. Say so that out of the city of fifty thousand you have developed within your community such an advanced form. I'm of thinking and approach a technology. I really commend you on that and disrupts updates blocks podcast. We hope you've enjoyed this episode if you like what you've heard for this week please don't forget to subscribe to our podcast review and we do. We do love good reviews so please hesitate Doug Breezy. You're still in the early Lee stages and your product by. I'd love to catch up in six months to a year to see all the wonderful learnings that you've come out of your project absolutely. Thanks well this has been awesome. Thank you and.
Level D&I Solutions Explains Why Diversity and Inclusion Is Critical Kristine Snow & Chelsea Akers
"Welcome to people helping people a podcast inspire greater social change in the business world and give you ideas on how to take action. I'm your host at Morris and today with Kobe. Nineteen flooding the news channels. I'm bringing you some variety with the topic of diversity. I'm here with Kelsey. Christine above all deny it company that is working to transform and improve diversity inclusion in your organization. People leave that for any company to succeed in today's climate. It is crucial to embrace the differences in your workplace and maintain an inclusive impairment. They've both been involved with the Columbus community for many years and having been inside the building bridges so Chelsea Christine. Welcome on the PODCAST. Thank you for having us. Thank you all right. So can we dive in just a little bit of a background about a level and a bomb yeah so Chelsea and I have both worked at revel. It for the last. I've been here for eight years and she's been here for six and a half mink And through that time we got really involved in the women in Tech Community and ended up founding the Columbus Network for women in Technology International While we were there we realized there was a huge disconnect between corporate the corporate environment and all the advocacy groups in town So that's kind of where level was born. We decided that we would bridge that gap. So we do that. In a variety of different ways but it's constantly evolving as we as we kind of establish ourselves as a company we're realizing where the gaps really are that we didn't see before. So what were some of the things that you were seeing? When you're running the group in town. Yeah so we would host these events. A lot of them were around networking or upscaling. I'm some of them. Were technology specific around data analytics for Cybersecurity? And we would have this great turn out of mostly women but also kind of other minority groups in the community. We'd have this great engagement and people in the community who are really willing to kind of come out. Take time out of their day to learn new skills and networking improve their professional life. And then we would have companies say you know we know we have a diversity problem and we try to hire women but they're just not out there and it was just frustrating because we we would hear that during the day and then we would go host this event. And we'd have eighty-five women who are like in the market you know interest in new opportunities want to know what's out there want to get engaged with these communities and no one could really connect the dots so that was kind of what level was born out of saying these people do exist in the community. We do have a diversity problem. We do have an inclusion problem. And we're GONNA create a a huge list of services that you guys can to kind of bridge that gap. Our troubles really been like streamlining Into just narrowing our services to something small and manageable for the two of us because there's so many things we want to do and that we know it helped the community but I think we've narrowed it down at this point into what we can actually accomplish quickly and effectively that will make the biggest impact cool so now you have three main areas that you're kind of addressing this on correct. Yeah so where? Do a r kind of bread and butter that we know really. Well is recruiting We both worked in this industry for a really long time. So that's a big piece of what we do is executive search so we can affect top down change in an organization and then we do pipe. Lining services and diversity recruit at We really focused in that space on full. Time hires so. Our background with rebel is usually contingent labor or project based staffing And we kind of looked at that being an option but ultimately decided that if you want to improve the true diversity and inclusion numbers at company having contingent Labor that switches out. Every six months doesn't really give people a chance to get established find a path and then move up within companies where we really decided and that piece that we're going to focus on on fulltime placements and again top down change where we can affect and that's the nature of consulting anyway is that there's not equity between fulltime employees and consultants and that's on purpose I think a lot of companies had lawsuits in the past and thinks that there's there's definitely a separation there so it would kind of be against our mission as a company to be working in that realm But the second tier of Services Consulting and Training. And you want to go into that yeah so that can take a number of different forms. We've developed a proprietary kind of scorecard or maturity model where we kind of breakdown different areas of an organization and it can be anything from You know how internal employees engage with one another what your marketing looks like. What your Benefits Look Blake Your physical facilities and we can break all of that down into a couple of different statements on either company self rate themselves or ideally halfway Kadena expert. Come in and read the company on that to just kind of say. This is where you're currently scoring in these different areas and then you can really identify where you need more attention and like where the biggest areas for improvement are so then based on that score we can then put together a plan or roadmap for these are the biggest changes can make that will have the most positive impact You know we can break that down into. Here's how much that's going to cost. Here's how much time that's GonNa take your how many resources that we will need to do this And then we can at the end of that process. Go through that scorecard again and say okay what. What is the kind of tangible? Change that we've made. Here's Lynn. You can really see like okay. We scored originally to in this category. And now we're out of four and that's a huge improvement So that's a big part of what we do and then have companies. Maybe aren't ready to take that big of a stop. We can also do a one off trainings or Different kinds of activities that we can help try to combat on unconscious bias or any other kind of sexism in the workplace. The leadership skills the importance of mentorship and sponsorship. And just kind of. It's a little bit of an education That we can do and we can just come into a company and put these presentations on bring in outside. Experts bringing our expertise and just kind of help spread awareness of what what diversity really means and the kinds of things that people maybe don't think about on a daily basis that they should be thinking about got it so now do companies generally know why this is important. No question in theory yes I think we go into either clients or potential clients and the majority of them are like diversity is important to us. Inclusion is important to us but I don't think a lot of them really know what inclusion means. I think we really run into this wall of diversity verses inclusion so people think oh I'm inclusive F. I have half men half women I maintain. We'll know not necessarily I mean the very well could be but typically not so. I think a lot of what we do is we call it productive discomfort So we go into an organization and we really try to shake up the dynamics and say okay. This is how things are looking right now but if you were to change X Y and Z. Not only with your staff be happier you would have higher retention rates. You would have a more innovative staff. You'd make more money so I think once we put that all out on the table it's easier to get them on board with the mission because at the end of the day we try to look at diversity inclusion as a strategic business initiative not just something to like check a box or to look good in the community and I think that is something which helps people really understand the importance of it. I know recently Goldman Sachs came out with an announcement that there will refuse to work with any company to take them public if they do not have at least one diverse member on their board in two thousand twenty one. That's going to increase to and their reasoning is purely financial the companies that have a more diverse board are more successful and generally perform better than those that. Let's yeah it's across several metrics that when when you have divers leadership it's better when your boots on the ground. People are more diverse. It's better and that's in terms of better innovation better revenue better performance. Better morale So it really is a strategic business decision to have a diverse group working for you. And that's what we're trying to his. I think for a long time like diversity was a buzzword in it was something where companies can just say lake. Yeah we'RE DIVERSE. Like people will WanNa work for us because we're diverse and we heard a lot of that when we were with witty but didn't really have a way to say private Or you know. We're going to prove that you're not and now we kind of deal so I think that's been really important to kind of getting people to truly look in the mirror and say are we diverse. Is it fair for us to to call ourselves dot and like where can we improve that leads into our third tier of business to is how we kind of get the community to portray this to the leaders in these organizations as through our community outreach So we do? He's bimonthly events. Were will highlight diverse individuals in the community that are doing awesome things in whatever their respective fields are in February. You're at the event. We did the full steam ahead where we had a very diverse panel of people who worked in steam For those people who don't know science technology engineering art and math and then in addition to that we do podcasts of our own We do newsletters webinars We do annual research reports on social media really a way to reach out you know pulling people from the community and and see where they're at on to complement what you're doing at the top levels organization and a consulting yeah exactly highlight both sides and it really helps it kind of comes full circle because since we're not a traditional staffing firm are working on contingent labor. We're not job boards looking for people so when companies say they want more diverse talent. We're trying to reach previously unreached pockets of the population. And you're not gonna get that by going on traditional job boards it's by creating and hosting these community events like bring them out and bring them into the conversation so by doing that. We kind of helped bring everybody together. Get them kind of aware of what we're doing. Get them aware of what companies. They WANNA work for because at the end of the day. We don't want to promote push anyone toward a company doesn't line up with our values and who doesn't really value diversity and inclusion. So we want to make that really clear to anyone who is maybe looking for a change in the community award or who really does value working at a place that values they were saying included. What I really loved about the event was that it wasn't just a panel speaking. You know it's not just a penalty speaking but it was a very good job of like including the entire audience in the conversation and people were sharing stories and I think when when people share stories of what it's like for then that helps a lot and just the understanding and What people don't think about when you know they they come across somebody who's different from. They don't realize that they're experiencing the world differently. And I think or how those different experiences have helped. Make them a better employee. Note I mean or what it's just different ways of thinking and you don't always get the exposure in your day-today life and even if you work for a company that does have a good ratio of diversity if you're kind of sectioning off into pods or areas and it's like minded people working on the same projects in them. People who think differently are working on a different project. You're still not getting that interaction so when you get to an event like that that's really truly diverse and you have people from all walks of life not only on the panel but in the audience kind of sharing their stories. I think it just helps people be a little bit more empathetic And a little more open minded as what everybody brings to the table. I work in diversity obviously living and when we were at the event someone said something that really struck a chord with me in the audience. She said privilege isn't something you have. It's something you lack and I had never thought about it like that before I was like. Okay well I have privilege in these areas because I grew up where I grew up and I had a parent who did was well off and put me on a good path but I never thought about the fact that it wasn't that I had that that I lacked the experience of those who don't have that so I couldn't put myself in their shoes so that was really interesting to me. I actually quoted her and her newsletter out. Go back can include you so I think that's one of the hardest things I mean for me. Being white male you know being in that environment that calling out of like what are you doing and how do you see it? It's very easy for me. To just not be aware of what other people are experiencing. What barriers are in place for them? that. I'm perpetuating just because of my own lack of awareness rate in. It's not usually something that's intentional or malicious. It's just that you you don't have that experience you've never had to think about that or you've never known anyone who's had that experience and so it is back to kind of the education piece of just like spreading awareness of these are the types of things that other people struggle with and then also really highlighting like. This is how it makes them stronger. This is how it makes them. You know at a better fit for some of these roles and this is how they can really add value. Yeah it's nice to give people who are diverse the spotlight. Because it's so rare. I mean you go to conferences you go to events and most of the time you see the same people on stage. I mean I'm talking about the same way. The same people like in the way they look their backgrounds but I'm also talking about in Columbus just the same pediatric. So it's nice to highlight people that don't run in the typical circles that we run in in the recruiting intact community and have their voices be heard because it gives inspiration to a lot of people On the panel matthew. Clint had mentioned it. So rare to find somebody who looks like me that I can look up to and following their pat so I feel like I have this slim margin of error compared to everybody else. I think if there were more stages like this for people to see that. Oh they're like me and they're like me and that reminds me of my story it might inspire more people to get out there and put themselves out there more and so almost the more diverse your leadership is the more that helps people who are trying to grow and develop on the role model that really they can relate to and understand well it's representation. That's kind of a part that gets left out sometimes to you. Talk about diversity. And then it's diversity inclusion and then it's diversity equity and inclusion I think representation is a big part of that too because it's not enough to just be diverse but if you have a large segment of your population that isn't represented you're missing out on that segment now so you can't just say well. We have fifty percent women. Fifty percent can American. And it's like where is your Asian American population whereas the representation or the Lgbtq community fever if you aren't really kind of aware of all the different segments of your repopulation in your city. You're kind of alienating them a little better. They don't feel like they have they don't feel like that's an option for them. 'cause they don't see anyone who looks or things like them who has been successful there and diversity is not always visible so. I think a lot of people sit in the background especially white men who have a diverse background. They don't feel that they can share those things. And I think having role models out there like Harley Blake men. I think Harley Aikman being on the panel is a perfect example. You would see Harley Blake winning. You would never ever think that. That's somebody who struggled with diversity. Anything yeah you would think that okay. I like that guy's probably from Dublin. You would assume I think a few people to even at the event who weren't familiar with who he was kind of likewise less leggy young white do the sperry like area and look until you hear a story of incarceration. Yeah they're like. Why is this guy on this panel about diversity and then you hear it in your lake? Oh I made an assumption I even judgment maybe unconscious but like hopefully that causes people to take a step back to and beyond talking about diversity isn't always visible. I think diversity of thought is something that also kind of gets left behind and so someone who grew up in. A you know a different socioeconomic area than you someone who grew up in a rural versus urban plays like those present different challenges Different obstacles and kind of different different ways of overcoming them and I think a lot of that gets left out or forgotten about sometimes. And that's something that we kind of coach companies clients onto is when we ask what is diversity mean to you and they say well you know people color and women we say. Okay Loudwar. Yeah let's let's start with that. I had a client who was a white man. Say so your company what it just helps everybody but me and I kind of laughed hours. Like that's like the attitude that were working to fight against because for example your from the hilltop and guarantee you think a lot differently than somebody who's from Worthington even though you might look the same. Yeah even though you're both white men and that's diversity of thought and that's what we're trying to create equality for is just a platform where everybody no matter what color religion gender at that it's all equal and everybody feels included. So I have a question so if you're starting with a company that really lack diversity of any kind what's what's the starting point for them to you. Know Really Start taking initiative on this I think recognition They have to be willing because not that. It's an intrusive process because it's really not. It's not going to interrupt their day to day but like I mentioned earlier that productive discomfort it does cause discomfort within an organization to have people in there looking over your benefits and your salary structures and the amount of people have been in Iran numbers. Yeah and looking at exit interviews and all of these things that maybe don't shine the brightest light on a company but the goal is to improve that company over also so if they can recognize that this is a process that needs to happen and will be better for doing it Both internally and the external view of our company will be better. I think that's the first step and then I think from there what are step would be once we get kind of the go ahead to Is Why is there a diversity problem here is it? Are you able to get people in the door? And then they don't stay. Are you not able to get people in the door at all? And that's when we start to look at water your benefits. What are your facilities? What is what is the view. Put out there. Your commercials all Blake Hetero Normative White Families White picket fence like Mom Dad. Two Kids and you know what? I mean just kind of looking at like. What is the message that you put into the community? And why is that not attracting the diverse population you? Why and then from there. We can kind of address. How do we correct this because some people might just want to say okay? Well we're just going to bring on a ton of people of color and a ton of women and just throw him in and that's going to do it but right now. There aren't inclusion practices that you know if there aren't employee resource groups are associated resource groups where they can feel comfortable if there isn't representation and leadership than those people probably aren't going to stay and so then it's just kind of a waste of time for everyone so it's frustrating so if there isn't representation and leadership like what do you need to do in order to change that company culture so. I think that part of what we do is the executive search. We try to put that representation leadership and I think also just having paths to leadership within the organization so some companies are putting forward like leadership programs where it's an accelerated path or though work in different areas of the business and they'll accelerate that growth. I think that's really helpful. Especially if you're prioritizing diversity to get that into the leadership in your company But there's a lot of things you can do. I mean just going outside to recruit most promote from within for leadership And I think it's important to bring outside perspectives diverse or not because that's a diverse perspective and we work with a ton of clients that the average tenure of their employees is like twenty plus years. Which is awesome. It says a lot about your culture but for Niagara for innovation. That's not good at all. I mean that is a stagnant culture. So things need to change as the world changes and we don't expect a company to be fifty percent diversity When it comes to like ethnicity or gender or whatever because maybe gender well yeah probably gender but it depends on the area because there aren't as many women in tech as there are men. That's just right now. That's just the world we live in but it should be reflective of the amount of people that aren't tax a thirty five percent of tech graduates. Are Women so at least thirty? Five percent of your tech workforce should be women. Yeah and a lot of tech. Jobs are coding so there should be more women in Business Analysis and Quality Assurance and project management And is eighty percent white so we expect that we're going to have a lot of black and brown people that are within all of these organizations and equal to the amount of white people? It's just unreal. Not every organization can have fifty percent of that space. Yeah just the numbers. Aren't there no but Dylan an urban environment diversity? Yeah and it should be reflective of the culture and if we can create these inclusive environments. That's when you get people who migrate to Columbus. That's when you get people who here. Columbus is innovative and they are socially forward thinking and moving. That's a place where I would be okay to live. You know what I mean. That's a place that I want to go But if if we can't even get that we can't even be representation of the population. That's already here. We're not going to attract a more diverse population and that's bad for us as a city back to innovation and revenue and it puts us at a deficit. You see pockets of that happening around the city especially with the Honda plant here. Bringing in a lot of people from Japanese companies and a lot of the technology stuff that has moved here has brought in people from different areas just because the demand has been there to to hire people. And that's why I think it's more important now than ever if we want that to keep happening. We can't just supply them with only have one type of candidate for them. That's not gonNa work across industries and company sizes and company cultures and. Everything's just GonNa fizzle out a student that with a company to get people to kind of go across cultures to form those bonds where you know from your own Peer Group. You know if you're very much the same. It's very hard to kind of cross cultural boundary by the city of Columbus. Doing an awesome job with that already. I think we're just trying to take it to the next level no pun intended But there are so many groups in Columbus that are focused on bringing different sectors of people. Together Doug McCullough with the city of Dublin is a huge champion of this and the economic workforce development team in. Dublin is really trying to bring together not only the companies but also all the advocacy groups that are doing really great things in the city And I think that we're just trying to expand on that and create an umbrella over all these advocacy groups with direct clear pipelines into the company whether that's hiring into the company or helping them improve or attracting people from other cities to move to Columbus But yeah we're just trying to expand on that what already exists. There are so many meet ups and different networking groups and Columbus and sometimes it can feel a little disjointed and segmented and it's hard to know where is the one platform can see everything that's happening and then it's like oh no. This group is on that platform and so that's something again with Doug and with the city of Columbus that we're trying to work on. How do we present a really unified kind of FRY to not only people who are currently in Columbus with people who are looking to move here where they can say? These are the resources available to me and then again with level just creating that umbrella where at our event the reason we had such a diverse audience and panel at selection was because we worked with existing advocacy groups. We get wet. There is black tech. Columbus lack hack reboot restart Weaken code attack elevator so all these different groups that focus on different areas whether it's women or color or The LGBTQ community and putting them all in one place where they can start to make new connections verses just you know only going to women tech groups and then meeting other women in tech and that can be diverse in certain ways. But it's still you're still kind of silent yourself a little bit so and those events are still absolutely important and should be supported on. Continue on But I think there is also a gap for bringing all those groups together. What we talked about when we are first spinning up the company was that all these advocacy groups are doing. Awesome things at ourselves included. We are with the women in Tech Group so we are all at the edge of this cliff and were all screaming over. We're here we're here. Pay attention to US and the companies are on the other side of the cliff. Like God wears all the diversity and they just couldn't hear us and so we're trying to create this loud collective voice that says we're here and we're ready and we're building the bridge your face things and make them more equitable but Columbus is awesome. I mean I had a consultant recently. Moved here from DC a Trans Woman. Because she had heard about how great the Lgbtq community is in Columbus so we definitely starting to develop a reputation for being a diverse city and being friendly diversity. We just WANNA take that from only being social to also being in the professional space. What are some challenges that people face if they come from a diverse background and they're in a workplace that is not supportive of them? Like what some common things. Which which happened that holds people back. I think it can be all over the place and it kind of depends on what your what your diversity status whether you're having trouble because you're a woman in a male dominated field whether there is a physical disability or kind of differential development and you don't have the ramp to get into a building. The bathrooms aren't friendly for that So I think one of the biggest loudest ones we hear from women who say that. Our workplaces not equitable. We don't have the same opportunities as men You get a lot of business that takes place after hours either over. Gaul over Happy Hour. And there's kind of the societal expectation that women manage the family and the home so even if you're maybe in a relationship or marriage the man may have more freedom or more time to go out and do those types of things after work whereas the woman is expected to be home take care of the family and the kids And so she doesn't have those same opportunities even if they're in the same field or whatever it might be even if the woman is the put like primary breadwinner in the family that his new. Mickley the case I think that now it's a staggering. Number of families are either dual income or the female is the primary breadwinner in the family. But it's still it's not like the man is typically taking over those roles. I mean I know. In a lot of cases he does. But that's not the. That's not the standard. I think that's definitely the minority. You can look at the types of questions that are asked in interviews to and I don't know if everybody knows. Some of these questions are illegal to ask but you hear a lot more often that when women are interviewing for a job they're asked about are you currently married. Do you have a family? Do you have children are planning to have children? How is that going to affect your decision to stay at work and there's just kind of this perception that if a woman is planning to have a family Planning to become pregnant that she is more likely to leave her job in not come back. And truthfully the statistics are that men and women are equally likely to leave or stay after having a child and it's like less than two percent or something so something. That really shouldn't even be a concern. I mean people are probably more likely to leave from a car accident or something that you know what I mean. But it's questions like that that make women feel like they're already at a disadvantage and I think we're a little bit more tuned into that space because we are women in male dominated field And also because we ran a women in technology group so we've heard a lot more of those stories but I still think that that is one of the kind of resounding Areas of improvement. Where where we see a lot of barriers were personally trying to mitigate that for women with our events to by having child care on site the events. I don't know if you've noticed that one We Juggle to provide child care at the event. And it's just an extra step to make sure that there's no hindrance for women or for anyone to have a chance for career development and chance to network with like minded individuals our leaders in the community. Because I mean I was network director for Witty and I can't tell you the amount of times that I didn't have a sitter and I didn't know what to do and I would have to miss our own event. The event that I spent so much time planning I couldn't even go because I didn't have anyone to watch my kids. So it's Yeah. It's definitely a struggle that a lot of women face and I have the means to pay a babysitter Not always easy to find at five o'clock on Thursday night. People have jobs of their own. So it's difficult while the coordination it's exactly going to starbucks for coffee. You can leave your kids with anybody either so the list is small and then you have a lot of people who maybe don't have the means for that whether it's like a refugee transplant of some kind that don't have family. They can't call their mom. Who's one town over and have them watch their kids And they're just kind of stuck and they have the skills and the desire to do some kind of professional development course or a networking event or whatever it might be to help. Kinda further their career. And it's just not really an option now. I've heard that the topic of childcare. Lada especially Disapora employment with for thirty on the scene with its call center in Franklin and and one of their initial thoughts was. Hey you know. We're going to provide jobs for people. And we're going to pair them with people who are experiencing that you know. People need access to jobs can get them what they find. Is that the people they were saying. Were talented but one of the big barriers was childcare right. Cost of childcare was too high for them till four to get a job. Yeah what you're making decision like that. It doesn't always be might end up losing money on that because of how much you're paying for childcare. Yeah I suppose. Dream Leagues that also impacts their ability to be in the workplace that an equal level from the speculation is that they're going to be home with the kids you know and they can't afford childcare to Work then yeah absolutely layer well and especially at not just going to work but like the after work events that we were talking about a lot of the opportunity for upward mobility comes from being able to attend those events. Because I can't tell you how many times I've heard of people being in a position to either get promoted or get a raise but it's given to another person. Because they went the extra mile. They went out they. They put in time outside of work. They went golfing on the weekends in the woman would have done that but she had another full time job to raise her children and take care of her family. So I that that's something that we really want to not only address ourselves but also help our clients address because on the other side of that you have the same companies that do those practices saying work. Life balance is extremely important. We want you to have a great home life and we want you to spend time with your kids and then when it comes down to it. The actions don't always reflect that So transparency is another thing that we're really big on on if you are going to make a decision on something like that like whether it's to promote somebody versus not promoting another person. Be Prepared to tell us why. And explain it and justify it because if you can't the not causes you to kind of turn around and look and say why my actually making these decisions And I think it helps people just kind of take an extra step back to make sure that the actions aligned with the values. I just have to throw it out there. The easiest thing I think any company can do and I don't know why every company doesn't do this is there has to be equal maternity. Leave because you're just putting forth as a company that it's the woman's responsibility and that's not the case. It takes two people to make a baby. I'm sure we all know I mean I think that's the easiest I step in. It should be mandatory. That makes a lot of sense and just setting that speculation that it's it's it's a two person job. There won't be a penalty for doing. I think a lot of times if a woman does take her full maternity. Leave then when she comes back. It's like well you've been out of the Office for too long. We're going to kind of start you off easy. Maybe like give you a little bit of a demotions. You can ease your way back in whereas usually no matter. How long paternity leave a man takes? That's not the same situation that they come back into So I think yeah. That's very simple fixes. Just eager policy should be equal across gender. Got On Thursday. Not a real reason that it shouldn't be that makes sense looking forward like what? What's the vision for level going forward so I think we have a lot of ideas so right now we're focusing on our three tiers of business? We want to get get that really down to a science. I think a lot of that we do the events. I mean. Come off seamlessly. We've been doing that for a long time. Same with the recruiting and the consulting is kind of self running and we have this model that we've thought up and everything and we're implementing with our clients going forward to really want to spend some more time focusing on those non-visible populations that we talked about So we're looking into as to helping second chance. Candidates actually partnering with Hurley. I'm in the state to do some things there. Tvd We're trying to get more entrenched with the community of people with disabilities and lgbtq communities and just trying to see what we don't know and right now. I think that we're kind of sponges soaking everything. We can trying to get as much information as we can to make sure that we're not leaving anyone out and we WANNA make sure that we're actually meeting a need in the community so kind of going back to you. Don't you don't now When we put together our board the volunteers help us with the events. We were very purposeful and getting a diverse board who has a very diverse background because neither of US assume that we know everything. We don't know the challenges. Let every person in different segments of population face so a big part of what we're going to continue doing. Moving forward is taking feedback from the community too if we have an event. Let's not helpful. We want to know that and what would be helpful And Yeah any ideas on what we can do. Were totally opened every now we WANNA WE WANNA be really like Proactive but also reactive to what's happening in the community and make sure that we are adjusting and flexing as we need to to make sure that we're still actually serving a need. That's I think there is definitely so many different angles to this. Because one just the general diversity. In and a company improving that goes a long way to just changing the culture and how people understanding relate to each other but then also being able to tackle some of these people with barriers to employment Where you know there are other things which would help them. Thrive in the work environment But it's very difficult for companies to make. That transportation is another one that we've kind of started to explore. I know that there's share and empower bus I know the Smart Columbus working on some different stuff to kind of use mobility as an equaliser. So that's an area. Were really interested in and to as either placing our events on really walkable areas so that fat population can get there without having to worry about driving or finding some way to ease transportation But the capabilities of work from home now too. I mean to say that transportation should ever be a barrier for work. I mean it's kind of crazy to me because anyone can work from home and then once you have your job for long enough and you can afford transportation. It's no longer an issue so I think that companies should be looking into those things and I know lift partners with companies to provide work transportation and a lot of cities In California I used to live in Los Angeles and they have a lot of different programs. That companies implement to have buses with Wi fi on. And that's more a traffic issue but I think that the city could look into doing different things like that and I'm sure Smart Columbus is looking into those but those are more kind of partnerships that were exploring to figure out and cocaine. We've kind of started to tackle the childcare side of things water some other obstacles and barriers for people either getting to work or getting to events or just kind of being able to move forward in their career and just looking at or whatever we can do to ease that so I think transportation is kind of the next big one. We're looking at and an education. We're trying to partner We we can't do it all obvious so a lot of what we're trying to do is be a connector for different organizations that exist that maybe don't get the spotlight the way that they should so partnering with. Different training programs Like apprentice and tug elevator and we can code it And A lot. Don't focus around tack as well and also with Ohio state and with the city schools and just trying to get at education programs readily available so when kids are growing up and getting into the generation. They don't have these problems. I mean one thing that I really love about level like what you're doing. Is You have strong community here in Columbus That you've just grown over the years and you're connecting with the corporate environment. Which really is has this kind of barrier and damping the to being able to bridge those gaps is really powerful just four really bringing people together in a new way I think Lennox Stab people in the community are kind of doing their work. They're attending these events they're creating these advocacy groups. They're telling they're telling the rest of the community where we're ready for the next step. We want to continue to improve ourselves and have these opportunities and so it's just a matter of making sure that the next step is there for them to take building the stair so stairs building the bridge the tight rope whatever it is to just kind of every other change. That's what we're doing your check us out on. Level D. I DOT COM and we're looking for mentors. So yeah if you can get in there and look at the mentor ship section. If you're interested go ahead and put your name in. We're going to have Beta version of our mentorship APP coming out soon. Excellent and what's the best way for people to reach you Level D DOT COM and. There's a contact section and also the mentor section. Will go straight task now. There's there's little forms if you want to put your name in your perfect you send one metre program. That's coming up to tender for mentors Mantilla's Not really so. The functionality of tender with mentors and Mantilla's being able to form long term relationships. Not just within your company but also just within the community Sometimes when you have a mentor in your company that's great but you can't necessarily talk to them freely and openly If they're somebody WHO's in the leadership role in your company have to kind of protect your role so we wanted to make a platform where people can get on and talk freely and openly. Somebody who looks like them who can relate to them and who can inspire them to build their career. The functionality will allow for people to kind of provide as much identifying information as they want and then kind of matched with mentors based on that. So it's really important for someone to have an African American mentor who is also a part of the LGBTQ community. There will be a way to kind of rank and see who matches with you based on those things with the functionality of a tender another eating out that just makes it really easy to connect with people. She hates that but I always say just because everybody knows what what I mean. Yeah I think just my one kind of little caveat with that as I think. Tinder has a reputation of being kind of like quick flings. And you know a one and done type thing whereas this hopefully will lead to lifelong or at least career long relationships that you have somebody who you can lean on and turn to the hinge. That's in the works and yeah right now. We're kind of just collecting mentors amenities to to do our. Beta testing how. I make sure that we got it right before we fully launch it. So that's that's another way to kind of get involved and stay up to date with what we're doing. Yeah well thank you so much some. That's a huge. Thank you to Chelsea in Christine. For sharing what they're doing with level to create a world that is more equitable and raises up the strengths that we have to share with each other once again you can find out more about them on their upcoming events at level the I dot Com. You can also find these resources in the show notes on people helping people about world and if you'd like even more check out our weekly newsletter for cutting edge social entrepreneurship news available at social. Good blueprint dot sub stack dot com. Thank you so much for listening. And until next time cheers.