Diversity an essential element of innovation – Knight Foundation

Diversity an essential element of innovation

Laura Weidman Powers’ 2015 presentation “The New Capital is Social” on YouTube.

Today we’re excited to announce $1.2 million in new support to CODE2040. A winner of the 2014 Knight News Challenge on strengthening the Internet, CODE2040 helps young technologists of color to succeed in the tech industry.

By supporting this next phase of CODE2040’s development, Knight Foundation sees the potential for a more inclusive and democratized Internet.  At Knight we believe that innovation is more likely to occur when people with diverse perspectives and experiences come together, learn from one another and collaborate to solve some of the challenges facing individuals and communities.

This grant will enable CODE2040 to expand its work and to help the organization build its own capacity. Not only is this grant intended to create pathways for emerging diverse technologists to benefit from the innovation economy, but also will help ensure that all Americans have an equitable opportunity to contribute to the technology and systems that drive our lives.

By supporting CODE2040, we seek to further diversify the array of individuals and perspectives building the technology and information of tomorrow. As our primary information sharing method, the Internet shapes how we come to understand the world around us.

Our expanded support for CODE2040 joins a set of recent grants Knight Foundation has made to several emergent nonprofit startups, including Crisis Text Line, Hollaback and Democracy Works. Through this funding, we seek to help solidify projects that improve how we create, share and use information essential to communities. Follow along as we see where these experiments take us.

Nina Zenni is a media innovation associate at Knight Foundation. John Bracken is vice president of media innovation. Email them at [email protected] and [email protected]. Follow Bracken on Twitter @jsb.