This week the City of Pittsburgh is celebrating its third annual Inclusive Innovation week, full of events highlighting the diverse community of Pittsburgh, the need for accessibility and inclusion, and those at the forefront of making Pittsburgh welcoming. The Idea Foundry team has been active at events throughout the week such as presenting on the Workplace Equity Challenge at the Economic Opportunity Forum, tabling at the Small Business Resource Fair, co-facilitating at the Link Between Diversity and Social Entrepreneurship event, and sponsoring GlobalPittsburgh’s First Thursday’s Special Edition featuring an Immigrant Entrepreneur panel, which will take place tonight. We’ve participated in some engaging conversations throughout the week exploring just what “Inclusive” means, where we have it right and where we are falling short.
Pittsburgh still has a long way to go before we fully embrace diversity, accessibility, and inclusion and there will always be room to improve. However, despite all of the challenges brought up during this week, the message of optimism and support for those championing inclusion throughout the city shines through. It is always inspiring to see passionate individuals and organizations speaking out and making a difference. One message that has come to mind repeatedly throughout this week is to see inclusion not as a reaction to a problem but as a proactive opportunity for growth as a community. As an organization who meets with passionate entrepreneurs and leaders daily, the idea of seizing opportunities is ever-present in our offices. Inclusion needs to be present across all aspects of life in Pittsburgh, and we know that our services represent only a small piece of the larger puzzle. But every piece counts. We are committed to seizing our opportunities and helping others do the same by supporting job creation through business development services which are accessible to all individuals and by supporting diversity, in all senses of the word, in entrepreneurship.
Inclusive Innovation Week continues through Sunday and there are still plenty of great events lined up for the next few days. You can check out the full schedule of events here.