Lesbians Who Tech has been to some pretty fantastic places: London, Berlin, our amazing home city of San Francisco. But on Monday, July 7, we went to someplace seriously unbelievable: The White House!
Lesbians Who Tech was thrilled to co-host the first-ever White House Innovation Summit, which brought together 190 innovators and leaders in the LGBT and tech spaces, for an afternoon of incredible ideas, inspiring speeches and an amazing sense of camaraderie. Check out the photos here [link].
Though the entire day was surreal and fantastic, here are our Top 10 Favorite Things From The White House LGBT Innovation Summit:
1) The most diverse LGBT event ever! You know most LGBT events: 90% white guys. This was 50/50 women and men or pretty damn close, and there was tremendous representation from people of color and the trans* community.
2) Kicking it off with lesbians. We started the day off with Leanne interviewing Megan Smith, Vice President of Google[x]. The first session of the day was Megan’s inspiring talk about “moonshot thinking” and encouraging each of us to solve the world’s biggest problems. Following it up, Leanne interviewed Megan and it was great to have such an incredible day kicked off by two lesbians.
3) The awesome pitches. We heard the 30-second pitches from people leading a number of innovative organizations. From an Angel Investing group for LGBT entrepreneurs, to a maternity line for mothers all across the genderqueer spectrum, we heard from leaders with big ideas.
4) The LWT contingent! We hanging out with the Lesbians Who Tech crew, which included some names you’ll recognize from speaking at the San Francisco and NY Summits: Erica Anderson, Twitter; Danielle Feinberg, Pixar; Megan Smith, Google; Krys Freeman, HeLLa Rides; Dominique DeGuzman, Twilio; Robyn Exton, Dattch; and more.
5) Government + LGBT. We learned what the Obama Administration is doing for and with the LGBT Community. From the Department of Agriculture, we heard how the office is leveraging its vast rural network to provide services to the rural community. From Out2Enroll we heard about efforts to get LGBT people to enroll in much-needed insurance through the Affordable Care Act. And from 18F, the tech development organization for the entire government, we learned about how efforts to provide easy access to open data are helping connect communities to information and power.
6) Did we mention it was at The White House?!??
7) Trans* Represent! Trans* women of color issued a challenge to all attendees to focus on connecting with, and protecting, their community from a disturbing trend of violence and hate crimes.
8) The support of the Gill Foundation. There was a fantastic post-event reception, sponsored by The Gill Foundation, and a rousing call to action by entrepreneur and philanthropist Tim Gill. Tim encouraged us to fail as much as possible, since that’s where innovation happens, and reminding us that our success is the string that ties together all of our failures.
9) Geena Rocero! We heard from Geena Rocero as she shared her story and the tremendous strides that the Trans* community has made by leveraging technology to connect, share and raise awareness.
10) The after-party. The after-party on the rooftop of the W Hotel included a sunset view of The White House, the Washington Monument and the DC skyline.
Thanks to everyone who came from Lesbians Who Tech and the other organizations, and a very special thanks to:
Gautam Raghavan, White House Office of Public Engagement
Taryn Miller Stevens, Founder GetOut
Megan Smith, Vice President, Google[x]