WHY MIRA! WHY NOW?
Inequitable institutions and power structures in tech amplifies bias and inequities in other systems and structures. Recent crises have made the inequities and failures of our systems much more visible and made solving these problems even more urgent. The pandemic, the protests, and systemic responses have exacerbated the challenges faced by our communities, amplifying the lack of equitable access to essential resources, connection, justice, and information.
We can do far better—but changing all this will require bold vision. With great disruption comes the opportunity for resilient change, and there has never been a more critical time to reimagine the institutions around technology.
Achieving this bold vision of change is why we’ve created MIRA!, right here and now. MIRA! (Mobilize Innovation, Reimagine Agency) mobilizes communities and networks around an urgent need to harness innovation in reflection of this transformative time, in service to us all and reimagines how we lead, learn, create, and connect — and build the future we want.
WHAT DOES MIRA! DO:
As common stakeholders in the endeavor of reimagining institutions and systems around tech, we deploy thoughtful collaboration across a variety of sectors and expertise, recalibrating how we solve problems together—developing and adopting technology when necessary and appropriate. To accomplish this effectively and fairly, we create a more universally-accessible and relevant ecosystem to learn, ideate, research, design, and deploy our emergent solutions. Success leads to a redistribution of power that benefits all of us, even as it sparks our ability to meet each of our communities’ unique needs.
We envision that MIRA! will:
Create and serve as a trusted host for collaborative spaces (such as convenings, projects, labs, and residencies) that bring together diverse stakeholders to engage with the creation and impacts of technology and policy.
Mobilize and support communities through a range of projects and participatory, community-driven research to create and advocate for strategies, responses, and policies that emphasize equity and social impact.
Create inclusive and innovative opportunities for lifelong professional learning, trainings, and credentials related to creative and emergent technology and entrepreneurship that empower and support a diverse community of practitioners to become inventors, educators, and leaders.
Co-create the design, creation, and implementation of toolkits in corporations, civic institutions, community organisations, and education (k-Ph.D.) institutions. emphasize “ train the trainers/leaders” toolkits recognizing that true inclusion and equity arises from having a voice in high-level decision-making.
Collaborate with (and implement certification programs around) technology companies to implement innovative, community-centric practices and policies.
The Future We Create
An Introduction to Mira!
MIRA! Mobilize Innovation, Reimagine Agency
MIRA! exists to:
- Reimagine and transform the technology space at scale
- Towards equity and sustainability in service of human values
- By building capacity and trusted relationships
- That center communities marginalized in structures of power
Why the name? Spanish for “look!,” Sanskrit for “ocean” or “prosperity,” constellation, iconoclastic South Asian poet-saint, homophone for mirror
What’s the Problem?
- Technology often happens to communities rather than with them
- Communities lack agency and fluency to engage with tech systems
- Institutions and power structures in tech (including Big Tech), government, and education amplify inequity, concentrate power, and shut out communities
- Communities are brought in after tech is built, rather than at the beginning as partners and stakeholders
- Most important question often skipped—why and for whom is this tech?
- Tech inequity amplifies race inequity
MIRA!’s Bold Vision: The Future We Create
To reimagine institutions and shift power around technology, we will:
- Build and support learning and advocacy capacity, creating a groundswell of influence over how tech is built and regulated and making community members equitable stakeholders in their own future
- Reimagine learning, capacity building, research, and advocacy as ongoing, creative, values-centric, and relationship-based
- Create trusted spaces where community experts, technologists, educators, government, industry, and others can collaborate equitably
Our Team: A Track Record of Creative Change
MIRA!’s unique strength: our cross-sector diversity of systems experience
- Our three co-founders bring with us a wealth of complementary strengths, insights, and imagination in vastly different fields—making MIRA! uniquely positioned to make change Each of us has been a trailblazing and creative force for transformative change in our respective fields, with a track record of successful execution
- Each of us is here because we believe we can use this disruptive moment to make scalable, sustainable change in tech through MIRA!
What MIRA! Will Do
- Mobilize and support communities to engage in advocacy for equitable and intentional policies and innovation Serve as trusted host for convenings, projects, and residencies
- Create affordable, inclusive, and equitable opportunities for education and capacity building that empowers a diverse community
- Collaborate with and certify tech companies to implement innovative, community-centric practices and policies
- Design and implement participatory, community-driven research, creating strategies and solutions that emphasize equity and social impact
Our Values: The Change We Want to Be
- Responsive to this moment of disruptive change Transformative, scale-oriented
- Equity focused from the ground up—with an end goal of shifting power
- Every engagement is an opportunity to build sustainable relationships and trust across sectors and skillsets
- We will reimagine and honor community expertise, reclaiming spaces from which impacted communities have been excluded
- We will be nimble and adaptable, using iterative experimentation across a variety of methods grounded in our deep experience