2020 GlobalMindED Conference
June 6-8
Sheraton Denver Downtown
GlobalMindED is a 501(c)(3) innovation network that closes the equity gap through education, entrepreneurship, employment and economic mobility to create a capable, diverse talent pipeline.
Mike Hess, Founder and Executive Director at the Blind Institute of Technology and the winner of the 2019 GlobalMindED Inclusive Leader Award in the Non-Profit category.
In 1990, a crowd gathered on the south lawn of the White House to witness President George H. W. Bush sign into law the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The Act was the Nation's first comprehensive civil rights law addressing the needs of people with disabilities. The ADA prohibits discrimination in employment, public services, public accommodations and telecommunications. Over 43 million disabled Americans hoped this would break down the barriers to employment and allow the disabled community the opportunity to attain the American dream just as their non-disabled peers. At the time of signing, the unemployment rate for disabled Americans was a staggering 70%.

After 20 years as a tech leader for several Fortune 500 companies, one thing troubled me. Regardless of the company, I was always the token blind guy. Why just me? The Blind and Visually Impaired (BVI) and disabled communities are filled with talented professionals who possess the skills the corporate world is desperately seeking - problem solving, active Listening, adaptability, loyalty and tenacity. I embarked on an endeavor to find the reasons why more people like me were not employed by corporate America. What I found troubled me even more. Today, nearly 30 years after the signing of the ADA, the unemployment rate amongst the disabled community remains the same - 70% and an even more disheartening, 80% of the blind and visually impaired are either unemployed or under-employed. Through my research, the "why" kept coming back to one issue - the lack of opportunity. Very few organizations are willing to give these talented professionals a chance. President Bush's statement still rings true 30 years later: "this is a tremendous pool of people who will bring to jobs diversity, loyalty, proven low turnover rate, and only one request: the chance to prove themselves." I developed a plan and began a journey to find a way to give people with disabilities that chance.

Over 6 years ago, I founded the Blind Institute of Technology™ (BIT). BIT's mission is to prepare people with disabilities, and the employers that hire them, for success in the workplace. Our vision is a world in which people with disabilities have the same employment opportunities as their peers. Our belief is that through education, preparation and opportunity, we can accomplish this. BIT recruits talented, corporate-ready professionals from the disabled community and connects them with hiring managers in Fortune 500 companies who are serious about bringing in top talent and building a diverse and inclusive workplace. We developed the BIT Academy™, which is dedicated to workforce development and providing our candidates with the skills employers are looking for. We work with our employer partners to break down unconscious bias through interactive seminars and developing best-in-class digital accessibility, both on their internal and external systems, so everyone can benefit from their respective goods and services.

Today, companies all over America are developing Diversity and Inclusion initiatives in an effort to make their workplace better reflect America's population. These initiatives have thus far targeted 4 pillars of the minority population: gender, ethnicity, LBGTQ and Veterans. The disabled community, although the largest minority group, is still being left out of the conversation.

I have traveled all over this nation speaking with the Fortune 10,000 space and what I have found is that our biggest challenge is still stigma and misperception. Organizations can't wrap their heads around how it would work to hire a disabled person. How could a blind person do this job? BIT's mission is to get businesses to get over the "How" hump. The answer is a tech solution. With assistive technology, a BVI or disabled person can perform the essential functions of any job, just as their non-disabled peers can.

This epidemic isn't just a social one, but an economic one. In the working lifetime of a BVI, that person will consume an estimated $1 million in government aid, including Supplemental Security Income, Medicaid, food assistance, subsidized housing and other benefit programs. If we can get just 1,000 people off public assistance and contributing back into the system, this is a net back.

This will save Social Security. People with disabilities are the greatest untapped resource on the planet, based on numbers alone.

BIT has experienced many successes over the past 6 years, but we still have far to go. Our goal is to help 10,000 people with disabilities find and retain gainful employment in corporate America. My hope is that organizations will one day initiate the recruitment and retainment of people with disabilities. That social narratives change and people with disabilities are viewed as a true talent source just like anyone else.

Thank you for honoring me with the 2019 GlobalMindED Inclusive Leader Award in the non-profit category. I look forward to seeing you June 6-8, 2020 in Denver with other inclusive leaders from all corners of the US and the globe.
If you would like to nominate a student from your institution for the 
2020 GlobalMindED First Gen Student Leadership Program so that they can meet role models and mentors while networking for internships and jobs with companies who are dedicated to creating a capable, diverse talent pipeline, CLICK HERE

If you are an educator, you can apply to speak or attend  by yourself, a team or with your First Gen student delegates. If you come with more than 5 people from your institution, you are eligible for the discount.

Each session is based on how things get done, key stakeholders, measurements and ability to bring about change at scale. Participants do not spend time talking about their background; time should be devoted to unique, innovative work and what it has achieved. Sessions will be selected based on the following criteria: 

  • Diversity of people and perspectives 
  • Specifics of how to solve a complex issue in the area of access and equity 
  • Evidence-based solutions to our toughest pipeline problems 
  • Demonstrating a unique, innovative and effective approach 
  • Sharing potential pitfalls and hazards faced in the field 
  • Information is impartial to specific products and services 
  • Providing concrete and specific takeaways Involving the audience in creative and constructive engagement

Join us to recognize the most inclusive leaders in key industries for their innovations and bold actions to promote access and equity for women, people of color, and underrepresented populations in their recruiting, development, senior management on their boards, and in their pipeline strategies from education to employment. 


Each Sunday Conscious Capital shares a new "Sustainable Sunday with the SDGs" blog post

193 countries came together to devise a plan to make the world a better place...now it's your turn. What is an SDG? "Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a collection of 17 global goals set by the United Nations". These goals were created with the intention to transform our world by 2030. They address the global challenges we face, including those related to poverty, inequality, climate, environmental degradation, prosperity, and peace and justice.
Did you know persons with disabilities are 5 times more likely to incur catastrophic health expenditures? SDG #10 - Reduced inequalities works to restore equal rights for all. Living up to our greatest potential starts with equality for all.

Invest 2 minutes in Reduced Inequalities by watching this  short video
Entertainment For Change creates original song and dance (#SDGGROOVE) to educate young people on the United Nations' 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Like any meaningful social change, the original song and dance is a collaborative effort between more than 20 singers, dancers, writers and choreographers. Lauded vocalists Natalie Weiss and Antonio Cipriano lend their voices to the powerful lyrics, while each SDG is  danced by performers of all calibers.

To learn more about Entertainment for Change and #SDGGROOVE, visit our  website
Real Leaders is the world's first sustainable business & leadership magazine. We aim to inspire better leaders for a better world; a world of far-sighted, sustainable leadership that helps find solutions to the problems that 7.5 billion people have created on a small planet. We want to ensure that the next generation of leaders, in all spheres of influence, are exposed to the best and brightest minds in the hope that they are inspired to find profitable business solutions that benefit humankind. Real Leaders advises and positions leaders to thrive in the new economy.

"There is an incredible opportunity to make a difference as a 'Real Leader' - now" - Sir Richard Branson
Join the #NeedHerScience Campaign that is aimed at addressing journal-level gender bias. For decades, studies have demonstrated gender bias in publishing. This may occur at various stages in the process, including at the level of the 
journals. The equitable inclusion of women editors at every level is long overdue. Addressing journal gender bias starts at the top. 

AMWA is a strategic partner for the Need Her Science Campaign which is part of the Be Ethical Campaign. More information is available at www.SheLeadsHealthcare.com.

The goal: To raise awareness about gender bias in publishing and share with stakeholders, including journal editors and owners, the overall number of scientists, healthcare professionals and others who have taken the pledge. The pledge can be taken anonymously. Educators and others are encouraged to take the pledge and share information about this issue with colleagues and trainees. 

Here are 3 quick and easy things you can do to join the #NeedHerScience Campaign: 1. Disseminate the infographic Tips for Publishing in Medical Journals. 
2. Take the #NeedHerScience pledge. 
3. Encourage others to take the pledge. 

PLEDGE: "As part of determining where to submit my manuscripts, I will look at the list of editors and consider whether a journal has equitably included qualified women at every level."

October 11, 2019 - Denver, CO

In a new TED Talk-style format and joint interview, WFCO's 2019 Annual Luncheon will spotlight two dynamic women whose poignant storytelling captivates, motivates, and connects diverse communities. 

Noor Tagouri is a prominent Muslim-American journalist and documentarian and 
Maysoon Zayid is an actress, comedian, writer, and disability advocate. Their inclusive heartfelt and humorous stories will inspire and ignite a shared commitment to The Foundation's vision of a future where women and girls of every background and identity prosper.

NACCE is pleased to announce that we have been awarded a grant by the Philip E. and Carole R. Ratcliffe Foundation to support entrepreneurs in skilled trades! The grant will be used to host the 2019 Pitch Competition for the Trades which will take place at our annual conference, NACCE 2019 Entrepreneurship Explorations in Newport Beach, CA, on Tuesday, October 15. The top 10 teams will have the opportunity to win up to $25,000. Overall, we will award up to $75,000 onsite at the NACCE annual conference! You have to be a NACCE member to compete. 

Learn more and apply HERE
October 15-16, 2019 - Santa Fe, NM

The conference gathering thought leaders and practitioners from education, technology, policy, HR, and foundations will be held at the Santa Fe Convention Center. 

October 22 - 12pm EST

Featuring Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic, Chief Talent Scientist at Manpower Group, co-founder of Deeper Signals and Metaprofiling, and Professor of Business Psychology at University College London and Columbia University.  In an interactive Harvard Business Review webinar, Chamorro-Premuzic will examine the shortcomings of the traditional higher education system in preparing graduates for today's jobs. 

October 22 - 1pm CDT

Many students have overcome great adversity to reach college, and nothing is more rewarding than helping them stay on track towards college success. But your ability to support them is only as powerful as the data you have at your fingertips. Join us for a 30-minute webinar to learn how to: 
  • How and when to collect student information 
  • How to identify persistence risk factors, prioritize effectively, and put data into action 
  • Evolve your program through meaningful measurement
October 22-24, 2019 - New Orleans, LA

Grantmakers for Education's 23rd annual conference will be held in New Orleans under the theme Supporting Students in Overcoming Adversity: Agency, Justice, Equity. We are taking inspiration from the students who lived through Hurricane Katrina and the subsequent overhaul of the education system. Local successes and challenges will stimulate national conversations about transforming education, from birth through postsecondary success. Drawing on brain science and the latest evidence, we will explore the social, emotional and academic dimensions of learning. Register here.
November 6, 2019  - Denver, CO

The APEX Awards recognize Colorado's technology excellence, highlighting remarkable leaders and innovators. Since 2001, CTA has hosted this prestigious event to bring together the community and celebrate the exceptional people, companies and accomplishments of the year. Join us on November 6 as we recognize the best of the best in Colorado tech and celebrate CTA's 25th Anniversary!
iGIANT® and GlobalMindED are excited to announce a challenge competition to explore the impact of gender/sex on innovation and novel technologies in our lives. By partnering together, iGIANT and GlobalMindED hope to inspire young emerging leaders to develop innovative ideas regarding gender/sex within health, IT, transportation, and retail.The winner will be announced at the iGIANT Design Summit in San Francisco November 21, will receive $250, and will have the opportunity to bring their idea to fruition with the help of iGIANT and its network of professionals.

The National Academy of Medicine defines "gender" as a person's self-representation as male or female based on social interactions and "sex" as based on one's genes. The environment can impact gene expression which is known as "epigenetics."

Gender/sex impacts every aspect of our daily lives. The same dosage of medication, for example, has different effects on men compared to women, resulting in a need for us to understand these differential effects in the research and development process before doctors can effectively dose their patients. Similarly, although some products (such as shoes, sports equipment, or cars) seem to have separate designs for men and women, it is important to distinguish between a simple change in aesthetics and a design that actually addresses the biological factors (ie, body composition, bone structure, metabolism) that cause men and women to experience these products differently. Each small detail and seemingly insignificant change in design can heavily impact how we perform at work, school, or in our leisurely activities.



The challenge is open to all students

Design Requirements:

The design elements can include:
Programs (ex: an educational symposium);
Policies (ex: a policy on inclusion);
Protocols (ex: athletic training protocols or medical guidelines); or
Products (ex: sports equipment, clothing, tools, hardware and machine-human interfaces).

Solution Requirements:

The solution should:
Demonstrate the impact of gender/sex on a design element.
The concept for the design element needs to be clear, concise and actionable.

Submissions (approximately 1-2 pages in length) are due November 7 to contact@globalminded.org. We look forward to your ideas!
Ricky Kej, Grammy® Award-Winning Composer and UNESCO Global Ambassador for Kindness, released the trailer  of his latest album SHIVA. It   was recorded live, to an audience of over 7000 people, with 40 musicians from 6 countries and a 300 member choir. The album is an ode to all species, our environment, and humanity. The audio album launches on all leading platforms on the 14th of August 2019. The concert film will premier on the 30th of October 2019 (on a leading streaming platform).
GlobalMindED | 303-327-5688 | contact@globalminded.org | www.globalminded.org