Advancing-Innovation-and-Inclusion

Keeping our Edge: A Conversation about Advocating and Advancing Innovation and Inclusion

5 mins read

Reflecting on my recent conversation with Doug Kelly, CEO of the American Edge Project, and Stephen Gilchrist, Chairman of the South Carolina African American Chamber, I can’t help but emphasize the profound importance of the advocacy work they’re undertaking. Our discussion delved deep into the role of technology in our economy, particularly for minority and small businesses like mine, and shed light on critical issues that deserve our attention.

Kelly’s insights struck a chord with me. He painted a stark picture of the threat China poses to American technology companies and, consequently, to our national security, economy, and values. He emphasized the need for American tech firms to lead the charge against China’s advancements and stressed the importance of smart regulation to maintain our global leadership in innovation. His perspective highlighted the delicate balance between regulation and innovation, underscoring the potential repercussions of shortsighted legislation on our economy and the hundreds of thousands of small businesses that rely on American technology.

Equally compelling were Gilchrist’s concerns about the impact of regulations on small businesses, particularly in the tech sector. He eloquently articulated the need for collaboration with policymakers to ensure that regulations do not stifle innovation or harm small businesses.  Gilchrist also emphasized the importance of fostering greater diversity and access to opportunities in the tech industry, especially for minority and underserved communities. His dedication to advocating for minority businesses’ access to technology and representation in the tech space resonated deeply with me.

As someone deeply entrenched in the digital landscape, I understand firsthand the indispensable role that technology plays in driving my business forward. The digital tools and services we employ not only level the playing field against corporate giants but also enable us to thrive in our local market. 

Watch the full interview below

The advocacy work of the American Edge Project is truly invaluable. It serves as a beacon of hope for small and minority-owned businesses like mine, ensuring that our voices resonate in the corridors of power. While I’m an avid supporter of the American Edge Project, I believe there’s still much room for improvement, particularly in engaging with minority communities.

I wholeheartedly agree with Gilchrist’s call for greater inclusion and diversity in the tech sector. I firmly believe that partnerships with minority-owned media outlets could not only bring a unique perspective to the conversation but also ensure that American Edge’s message connects deeply with minority voters and consumers, especially African Americans. Mobilizing a voting block that heavily influences popular culture and drives trends and discussions on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram could significantly bolster the advocacy work of the American Edge Project.

Innovation isn’t solely about the tools and platforms we use; it’s also about who has access to them and who benefits from them. If America is to maintain its innovative edge, we must innovate how we innovate and ensure that everyone is welcome at the table. It’s about ensuring that no one is left behind in the digital age. As we continue this vital conversation, I’m hopeful that our collective efforts will pave the way for a more inclusive and equitable tech industry—one that empowers all businesses, regardless of size or background, to thrive in the digital landscape.

I’m deeply grateful to Mr. Kelly for having the courage and foresight to include our company in this vital discussion, and I eagerly anticipate continuing the conversation in the future. I’m excited to see how minority-owned tech companies like mine can contribute to and support the advocacy work of the American Edge Project, ensuring that the voices and perspectives of minority-owned businesses are not only heard but also valued in shaping the future of technology and innovation.

Michael Bailey, a trailblazer in the field of photojournalism and a profound political writer, possesses the exceptional ability to distill complex political issues into accessible narratives that resonate with readers of all backgrounds. As the vanguard of the editorial team, Michael not only serves as a new media correspondent but also showcases his distinct talent as a photojournalist. His portfolio is a testament to his expertise in crafting news stories and intimate profiles that vividly portray the cultural, social, economic, and political journeys of minorities, both in South Carolina and beyond. With a rich tapestry of experience spanning media, business, and politics, Michael has emerged as a highly regarded voice and a sought-after commentator, offering invaluable insights into the challenges faced by people of color.

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