Energising experience for Black Innovation Alliance at Web Summit

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How would you describe your time at Web Summit 2021? Black Innovation Alliance asked some of its members what one word summed up their experience. Answers ranged from “surprising” to “eye-opening”.

After the doors closed on Lisbon’s Altice Arena following Web Summit 2021, we caught up with one of our community partners, Black Innovation Alliance (BIA), to see how its members got on at this year’s conference.

“My experience at Web Summit has actually been very surprising,” said Lisa Osborne, director of emerging media for Black Public Media.

“Tamara Shogaolu and I hosted a session on [Day 2] … a roundtable about creating virtual monuments for public spaces. To our complete shock we woke up the next day to see a journalist had written an article all about our session,” she explained.

“[It was] completely devoted to our session, and really described Tamara’s piece, and described the issues I was bringing up about creating virtual art in great detail,” Lisa concluded.

“No matter where people are, they’re innovating, they’re inventing, they’re creating,” noted Aja Evans, immersive producer for Black Public Media.

“I think when you get into a space like [Web Summit], there might be one talk you hear – one person you meet over lunch – that really takes your idea to the next level. Or, if you’re puzzling on an invention or innovation, it might be the missing link,” she said.

Tamara Shogaolu, the creative director for Ado Ato Pictures, found it energising to network with other black tech founders.

“It is really amazing to connect with so many interesting technologists … Particularly, it’s been really exciting for me to meet black technologists at this event, sharing ideas and learning more about what’s happening in the world.”

“I would say opportunity,” said Makisha Boothe, founder of Sistahbiz Global Network. “There is so much to learn here, so many people to meet here, and so many opportunities for our black businesses back home to grow, expand and build a global presence.”

For Ifeoma Ike, the founder and CEO of Pink Cornrows, this was her first time at Web Summit, and she found the experience “eye-opening”.

“As a black woman, and as a business owner who uses tech to help reach other people and to advance equity, it’s just amazing to see what it looks like when communities from across the globe are coming together to offer services that they believe can improve how you do what you do,” said Ifeoma.

Pink Cornrows’ chief of staff, Tanna Abraham, summed it up as inspirational: “There’s something about being in a space like this and meeting other creators, and watching what’s happening in general, that brings some inspiration to you.”

Did you miss Black Innovation Alliance executive director Kelly Burton’s talk at Web Summit? She spoke about diversity, equity, and inclusion through a global lens. You can catch up with what she said here. 👇🏻👇🏼👇🏽👇🏾👇🏿

Pre-register for Web Summit 2022 now and get 50 percent off your ticket. Grab your 2 for 1 tickets now, and join us in Lisbon. Sign up now for our January 20 sale.

Main image – Black Innovation Alliance executive director Kelly Burton on the Web Summit stage: Web Summit


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