Military Veterans Launch e-Learning Technology and Mobile Platform diversitypop to Accelerate Diversity and Inclusion
Twelve diverse co-founders – ranging from a Rhodes Scholar to West Point and Naval Academy graduates unveil an interactive mobile application to develop inclusion instincts in a secure, self-paced way
While this year has been marked by nationwide discussions around diversity and inclusion, racial equality, and political uncertainty, 12 veterans from exceptionally diverse backgrounds came together to launch a new, effective, unbiased learning technology and mobile app. The diversitypop program is built for organizations as an anonymous system to deliver diversity training to people on the go, deploying a range of repeatable digital experiences that mirror the inclusivity experience that the founders experienced over thirty years ago.
“When America’s service academy graduates were trained for diversity and inclusion in the 1980’s, they did so via immersive experiences and intense interactions with people not like themselves,” said Drew Bartkiewicz, one of the 12 co-founders of diversitypop, who developed product inspiration from his tenure at salesforce.com in the early 2000s. “They learned at a young age that ‘inclusion was an infusion,’ not only to the mind of the individual but to the effectiveness of the team itself. And now over thirty years later, we formed a company to deliver that learning experience and repeatable diversity training enabled with the scalability of technology.”
Although diversity training programs are usually well intended, a study out of the University of Toronto showed that these programs can actually increase bias among employees. This is because they publicly force outside ideas about the value of diversity onto employees and imply that the employees don’t have the freedom to think about these issues on their own terms.
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The diversitypop mobile app and underlying technology apply algorithms and personalization, leveraging information sciences, “clean” artificial intelligence, and cognitive learning methods that are increasingly the epicenter of modern learning. The diversitypop goal is to train the brain for diversity and inclusion without the friction and slowness of traditional methods.
“As evidenced by the events of 2020, we are all reminded that diversity is only a goal on the organization chart if we do not individually tap into our inclusion instincts,” said John Tien, co-founder of diversitypop and Rhodes Scholar. “What started for us as a mission to improve our leadership skills turned into a mandate to help people grow the greatest life skill there is: inclusion.”
As a result of the announcement, diversitypop will make the technology available to all high schools for free, as the need for remote Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) technology has reached a new high point with remote learning and an increasingly diverse American population. As for businesses, the diversitypop team will invite business leaders to experience the programming as a 30-day free trial for their organizations.
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The diversitypop program lets members discover topics, surveys, and tests to grow their inclusive skills and uncover potential areas of their own implicit biases. Without the need for any personally identifiable information, and in contrast with the personal data needs of social media and enterprise software, diversitypop builds and helps sustain personal diversity and inclusion skills with:
- Smart notifications on the new aspects of the diversity wheel, an academic area of study that has emerged as a discovery tool to see and live diversity more broadly
- Personalized content about cultures, race, gender, disabilities, and a range of other topics
- Interactive PopScores that gamify and offer tools to grow inclusion instincts
- Administrative level to allow DEI leaders to customize diversitypop to their goals and measurements
“If we can use technology to watch what we eat, workout on smart biometric equipment, meditate, or hail a rideshare, then we can surely deploy software to grow our capacities to better understand and respect people different than ourselves,” said Nana Adae, a Navy veteran, co-founder and senior executive in financial services. “diversitypop is an intelligent and anonymous platform for any person in any organization to tap the diversity multiples in their midst.”
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