#DialMovers Part 3
When you’re young, the path to education is pretty well laid out…. Grade school, college or university, post-grad. But when you’re an adult? The system kinda breaks down. Jeremy is hoping to change that. With Lighthouse Labs, he’s working to produce the next generation of developers and coding and enthusiasts.
“Technology is going to help humans understand better what being a human is.”
Jeremy’s biggest #DialMover is an old boss who showed him not only how to build a company and how to develop talent, but how to balance the professional with the personal. Something Jeremy is going to have to focus on a lot as a brand-new dad.
“Change isn’t just a negative and it isn’t just a positive. It’s what you make it.”
To Jeremy, a good ally is someone who recognizes your needs, knows how to listen and knows
when to step in without stepping in front of you. Clearing the path for people to try – even if they fail – is important to him.
“If I quit because something is hard, I’m just quitting. If I stop when something is in a better place, then I’m actually making a decision on what I want.”
A lot of things are exciting Jeremy these days, his daughter chief among them. But he’s also looking forward to seeing where new and emerging tech will take us. He feels like fear has been ruling us for too long and we’re ready to shake that off, ask the right questions and evolve.
Jessica is a #DialMover through and through. So much so, she was named one of the Top 25 Women of Influence for 2018 and she sits on #movethedial’s advisory board. When large corporations realize they have a problem with representation and inclusion, they turn to Jessica.
“Seeing other people win in turn shows me that I’ve won and that what I’m doing is on the right path.“
It’s one thing for organizations to say they’re supporting employees. It’s another for them to actively cultivate connections, networks and paths to success. Innovate Inc’s mission is to provide awareness and access to underrepresented communities with a focus on entrepreneurship and technology. Jessica is hopeful that tech will continue to level the playing field for all.
“We’re about the intersections…. It’s one thing to be a woman. It’s another to be a woman of colour. It’s another to be a woman of colour with a hearing impairment.”
She tries to surround herself with like-minded people – those with an entrepreneurial spirit and who are driven to make an impact. She doesn’t take too many days off but she’s so in love with what she does, it doesn’t often feel like work.
“There’s no option to fail.”
When Jessica does carve out some time to take care of herself, she makes sure to get together with friends and family. She’ll either climb on a motorcycle and go for a ride or hang out over a good meal – though there’s a big spot in her heart for McDonald’s.
Demonstrate that it’s possible.
Maayan started Access Now because she was trying to solve her own problem. She’s lived with a disability her entire life and faces some kind of barrier every time she goes out. When she decided it was time to do more than complain about those barriers, her app was born.
“Empower people to do things with ease.”
Access Now is a simple but powerful concept. Go to a place, find out whether or not it’s accessible, mark it on the app. It’s grown a lot since its release and is now used by 50,000 people in 34 countries.
“Other people like me should exist in this space and be given a voice.”
It’s not always easy to take the stage at a tech conference when you don’t look like everyone else in the room, but Maayan knows she’s most powerful when she stays true to herself and true to her mission. The end goal is always to remove barriers for all people.
“By carving out a path that doesn’t exist within tech, I’m hoping to demonstrate that it’s possible.”
Maayan wants the next generation – those hoping to call themselves tech founders one day – to believe in themselves. Put aside the self-doubt, follow your gut and know you’ll have an ally in her.
Canada Learning Code
Melissa originally started Ladies Learning Code in 2011. Since then, the program has evolved to ensure that all Canadians from coast to coast to coast have the ability to prosper in the digital world. Today, Canada Learning Code focuses on women, girls, people with disabilities, Indigenous youth and newcomers. To date, they’ve reached more than 250,000 people.
“We want everyone to be able to see technology not as something to fear but as something they can leverage in their personal or professional life.”
Melissa is excited to see how technology is going to transform the way we learn. She thinks AR and VR are making it easier to introduce computer science to kids as young as kindergarten.
More importantly, accessible tech like this allows all students to engage, not just the ones who think they’re good at math and science. By developing their problem solving, creativity, critical thinking and collaboration skills, kids will excel in the 21st century.
“Social encouragement is one of the largest influences for young women and their decision to pursue study and a career in STEM.”
One of the biggest turning points for Melissa and Canada Learning Code was when Justin Trudeau joined her group for a coding session - not only in the moment, but in the days and months that followed. People starting to reach out to them to set up courses and they had to spend less time convincing or explaining to people why coding education is important. Being able to just focus on delivering meaningful learning experiences has been a gift.
“Seeing the magic moments day-in and day-out are a reminder of the impact we’re having on people across Canada. Our vision is bold and ambitious and we’re playing the long game so it’s really important that we keep connected to those moments in community as much as we can as we chip away at our big goals.”
If you’re fearing branching out on your own and living an entrepreneurial life, don’t. Melissa’s advice is to stop looking around at what others are doing and to instead focus on the endeavours and experiences that are calling to you.
The Knowledge Society
Nadeem’s first #DialMover encouraged him to raise his own expectations of himself and be more ambitious. Now he’s looking to do that for countless others.
“People need to have 3 things: they need to know what they want, want it really bad, and believe they can get it.”
Nadeem and his brother Navid started The Knowledge Society to raise the standard of living for all people. In order to do this, they’re trying to redesign what education and human development looks like. There isn’t a single institution out there specifically training people to address global issues like poverty. Nadeem feels like today, creating an exciting future relies on serendipity. He’s on a mission to structure that serendipity.
“I’m excited for the world to build the infrastructure needed to create an exciting future we all want to live in.”
Pretty much every tech advancement excites Naeem, but when forced to narrow it down just a bit, he’s most intrigued by the technologies that can meaningfully address health and energy.
Specifically, CRISPR, nuclear fusion, nanotechnology and solar power.
“When something is your duty, it’s not about liking it or not liking it, it just is what it is. You can’t not persevere.”
While Nadeem wishes he’d said no earlier and hired smarter people earlier, he’s happy to see how The Knowledge Society is growing and the results they’re achieving already. They’re looking to expand to new cities soon and are looking for more rock stars to join the team.