Civic Futures Awards

Product and design training for students of underprivileged backgrounds

University of Texas

Inclusive Innovation and Entrepreneurship

The problem

We lack diversity not only in tech but in executive leadership roles. Our world is shaped by the policies these leaders create. Governments are influenced by our corporate leaders and ultimately justice is delivered differently when you hold influence and power.

Solution / Approach

To help address this systemic inequity we developed a program to get more representation of diverse leaders at the very top. We are helping shape and foster the next generation of entrepreneurial thinkers and innovators. Through learning the discipline of design and product management, not only do they get exposed to the tech industry and gain opportunities to join the new economy, but they also get on the executive fast track.

Core team
  • Ruben Cantu
  • Calvin Mays
Key advisors
  • VP Leonard N. Moore
What can make it sustainable?

We will need a community of corporations and individuals in tech and other adjacent high growth industries to invest in an early talent pipeline and not only introduce diverse candidates into their teams but help them navigate to executive leadership.

Advice to others

I would look at building a deeper relationship with tech companies so that they will invest early and help scale this program that has shown tremendous traction.