connect / 2020

InTECHrity Conference (powered by Startups in the Sky)

Idea submitted in the My LA2050 Grants Challenge by Startups in the Sky

The Startups in the Sky team seeks funding to pull together an organizing team that will designing, curate, and produce a world class conference focused on building a more inclusive digital future. With so much attention paid to the law breakers in the tech space, the need to lift up those most heavily focused on improving digital transparency, data security, and individual protections online has never been greater, in order to set the stage for a safer, more inclusive/accessible, and equitable digital landscape.


In which areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?

  • County of Los Angeles

In what stage of innovation is this project?

Pilot project or new program

Please list the organizations collaborating on this proposal.

  • We are applying for the My LA2050 Grants Challenge on behalf of our new ethics focused conference and podcast series
  • titled "InTECHrity" where we provide a critical platform for social justice advocates
  • software engineers
  • internet philosophers
  • small business startups
  • and the civic community to share out their best practices and learnings with each other and the greater Los Angeles community as they relate to the convergence of ethics and the internet. The InTECHrity conference and podcast series is in partnership with Startup Coil
  • our flagship brand
  • and will eventually become its own separate not-for-profit and/or B-Corp. In addition
  • we have discussed a partnership with the new tech startup publication
  • dot.LA
  • in an unconfirmed capacity.

If you are submitting a collaborative proposal, please describe the specific role of partner organizations in the project.

The team behind the InTECHrity Conference will be the main organizing body of the event, with promotional support coming from the Startup Coil team, dot.LA, as well as other not-yet-confirmed community partners (we’ll reach out to economic development engines, universities, k-12 schools, elected officials, civic organizations and non profits, community based organizations, and digital societies focused on advocating for a more ethical internet and a safer digital future.

What is the need you’re responding to?

The Startups in the Sky team is launching a first of its kind InTECHrity Podcast and Conference series aimed at peeling back the curtain on the do-gooders of the tech world. Who are they, you might ask? They are the people you very rarely hear about because their work isn’t salacious in nature. They are the people whose work is quietly focused on your data security, halting “dark” business practices, undermining the spread of fake news and the list goes on.

Why is this project important to the work of your organization?

InTECHrity is a collective call to action for all of us to demand a more inclusive, equitable digital future, and we’re only as strong as our network. Startups in the Sky is a node within the Startup Coil network, reaching more startup entrepreneurs and small business owners than any other online event and media network in the Southern California region. We are ready to come out of the digital shadows in order to activate the Los Angeles academic, economic, cultural/art, social justice, and civic communities around one of our most important topics du jour: our digital futures.

Today more than ever, your zip code, your country code, and your social capitol determine our digital connectedness. It’s time that a group focus on ensuring we put an end to the cycle of digital exclusion. It starts with InTECHrity - and frankly, we don’t yet know where it ends.

Approximately how many people will be impacted by this proposal?

800
Direct impact
100,000
Indirect impact

Please describe the broader impact of your proposal.

We’ll offer curated conference topics, including:

Surveillance: Sticking it to Big Brother Data: Grabbing Back our Digital Footprint Privacy: Navigating the Online Arms Race Integrity: Regulating the Technological Wild Wild West Transparency: Peeling Back the Digital Curtain Equity: Pipeline Problem Solving Accessibility: Where Is the Online ADA?

The resulting projects that the attendees of the InTECHrity Conference choose to deploy may include anything listed above, or anything else that the InTECHrity Conference inspires that isn’t listed above. This means the impact can and should vary. From improving diversity in tech, to online accessibility and setting stronger standards across the board, the impact depends on our attendees.

Please explain how you will define and measure success for your project.

InTECHrity is a people powered event - an amalgamation of digital enthusiasts who spend a lot of their mental bandwidth thinking about a safer and more inclusive digital environment for Angelenos and the global community more broadly. Because of the hyper connectedness of the world, as dictated by the internet, Los Angeles has the opportunity to be an anchor for an event that has the potential to launch a global movement aimed at amassing an informed, empowered populace of people more ready and emboldened to advocate for safer policies while holding large tech companies accountable for maintaining integrity in their business dealings.

Success for InTECHrity is measured by productive knowledge sharing vis a vis the coalescence of the academic, software engineering, civic, and social justice communities. By bringing these different groups together at the InTECHrity Conference each year (and the resulting online work that will follow) InTECHrity Conference will lead to working groups and projects aimed at minimizing the deleterious effects of a money-first internet model that for nearly two decades has forced end users to choose between their data and privacy, and access to the most ubiquitous utility known to man: the internet.

We plan to anchor this work in our hometown of Los Angeles, continuing to convene the community of “internet do-gooders” in Los Angeles for an annual conference. Given the success of many of our other conference series (see: LA Tech Happy Hour), our vision is to ensure more people in Los Angeles are invited to think more critically about the future of the internet, and to be a stand for improving our digital futures.

Which of the connect metrics will your submission impact?​

  • Internet access
  • Government responsiveness to residents’ needs
  • Disability access and inclusion

Are there any other LA2050 goal categories that your proposal will impact?

  • LA is the best place to LEARN
  • LA is the best place to CREATE

Which of LA2050’s resources will be of the most value to you?

  • Access to the LA2050 community
  • Host public events or gatherings
  • Communications support
  • Office space for meetings, events, or for staff
  • Capacity, including staff
  • Strategy assistance and implementation