ALL BLOGS

Creative Gift Ideas For Innovators In 2021

The season of gifting and loving are upon us, yet how often do we actually do a good job giving presents that our coworkers enjoy?
Not knowing the right gift to give to show our love and appreciation is one reason why we get overly stressed this time of year. And of course, with the covid 19 pandemic still hanging around, we can’t exactly take the easy route and treat the special person (or team of people) to a nice meal out.

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MEET GIORGIO SCHIPANI: A PASSIONATE AUDIO ENGINEER

Giorgio Schipani is a very passionate musician. As we were giving all our music identity and story at InnovatorsBox Studios, it was crucial that we also had great audio engineers in the team who understood how to finesse the audio and do the incredible music justice. Gio is incredibly talented and amazing at his craft and we’re so glad that we’re able to work together on music while being on two sides of the pond!

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Introducing: Pause to Wonder, A Special Holiday Album with a Modern Twist

Ti’s the season and I’m so thrilled to introduce you to our special Holiday album by InnovatorsBox Studios! This one is one of the few albums that has a mix of both originals and covers music where you’ll find some of your favorite holiday songs but with a creative twist. And I hope reading this behind the scene blog will share why we wanted to do so!

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Rethinking Inclusive Design, Beyond Technology

You don’t have to be a technology expert or in the tech field to benefit from understanding inclusive design.

Inclusive design (and universal design) are UX principles that developed around better technology design for a diverse user base. After all, most of the people designing technology have been white, cis-gendered, heterosexual men. And now thankfully, technological design is starting to evolve with the people around it. 

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MEET KREE PANDEY: A DIGITAL MARKETER, WEB DESIGNER & A CREATIVE NIGHT-OWL

Kree Pandey is a creative nightowl who will not take no for an answer to find new paths to everything she does. I don’t know how I managed my digital land before her! When we first met through a comment I posted on WeWork community board looking for some help on my website I appreciated how she followed up and knew she was the one who I’d love to work with. 

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MEET DANIEL OSTERSTOCK: A VIDEO EDITOR WITH A MUSICAL HEART

Daniel Osterstock is the most thoughtful and kind creative. He is truly a jack of all trades. From video editing, animation, to music development he creates beautiful creative pieces that come to life because he cares about how it tells the story and how you’ll feel when you watch and listen to them.

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Reflecting on EPIC Summit 2021

What a refreshing weekend at EPIC! I just took part in EPIC Summit 2021 and am feeling so rejuvenated and energized. As a creativity expert, I usually feel mixed feelings when I see an event about creativity and innovation.

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MEET FLORENCE NAVARRO: A FACILITATOR PASSIONATE ABOUT BUILDING SAFE SPACES

Florence Navarro loves people and loves creating intentional rooms where people can be themselves. Her fascination with safe rooms and facilitation grew as someone who grew up and worked in multiple cultures, countries and industries. I was deeply inspired by her depth of awareness and patience to see differences as opportunities to understand instead of conflict having worked in international affairs and development work. We also met at SAIS Johns Hopkins University alumni gathering as fellow female entrepreneurs and I was so humbled and thrilled she said yes to more collaboration and working together to empower other teams and leaders navigating safe room and culture development. Florence has so much to share with you about what inspires her to see these differences and I know you’ll enjoy learning more about how you can create safe rooms for diverse people too.

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Ready to quit? Follow these two principles

According to a recent Microsoft study, the work trend index, a record 4 million people left their jobs during the first and second quarters of this year. Amid the Great Waves of Resignation, some find themselves applying, interviewing, and finally accepting offers from new companies.

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Producing Creative Outputs When You’re Stuck

Producing Creative Outputs When You’re Stuck

Hi, I’m Kendall. I’m a results coach who believes that our most intractable problems can begin to unfurl when we try one thing at a time. When I was diagnosed with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Inattentive Type, in my mid-twenties, I had a lot of seemingly intractable problems to work through.

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Meet Mutiara Alam: A Facilitator Passionate About Women Empowerment

Mutiara Alam truly cares about how you feel and think. She will ask you deep and meaningful questions and won’t shy away from helping you explore further with even deeper questions. Her hunger and passion for helping others feel heard, and for creating safe spaces comes from her own experience of knowing what it feels like to not have it.

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Three things you can do to build trust and culture of innovation remotely

We’re finally starting to get ready to return to “normal”—whatever that means—after more than a year of working remotely while sheltering at home to reduce the spread of COVID-19. As the prospect of hybrid work becomes a reality for many, we decided to share some tips on ways we can build camaraderie, collaboration, and community while working remotely or in hybrid settings.

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INTRODUCING: “Here” by InnovatorsBox Studios

I remember how it felt like to walk into a room full of other innovators for the first time. I felt like I was on Cloud 9. It was an exhilarating feeling to be among people with unique careers, different opinions and who were always willing to try new things. It encouraged me to know that following my own vision and doing something different is not weird but rather, a way to innovate and something to celebrate.

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MEET JENNIFER HART: A COACH AND FACILITATOR WITH ACUTE ACTIVE LISTENING IN HER ARSENAL

Jennifer Hart is a thoughtful and curious one. She pays close attention to what you’re saying and wants to comprehend your perspective. Active Listening is one of her many strengths and it’s part of the reason her work in coaching to facilitation and strategy feels different. Jennifer knows well to make everyone feel heard and appreciated. Since both of us are a SAIS, Johns Hopkins University alumni, we used to connect and meet during SAIS entrepreneur female networking meetups.

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5 Lessons From Our First 6 months of Podcasting

What a journey this has been! I’ve been a long-time podcast listener, but until I started recording my own podcasts, I had no idea how much effort, care, and fun goes into creating one, behind the scenes. There are 2 million shows out there. And now that we’ve completed our first season for both Dear Workplace and Curious Monica, I’m feeling even more reflective, humble, and grateful for all the podcasters who bring joy to a billion listeners each day by consistently creating new episodes.

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Curious Monica Podcast Highlights – Wrapping Up Season One, Part 2

The Curious Monica podcast features candid conversations with innovators in thriving organizations across various industries. In each episode, host & founder of InnovatorsBox Monica Kang interviews her friends in diverse fields about what they do and why they love what they do. If you’re curious too, you’ll gain incredible insight into the workplace patterns and insights that can change the way you think about work, no matter what industry you’re in or who you are.

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Curious Monica Podcast Highlights – Wrapping Up Season One, Part 1

The Curious Monica podcast features candid conversations with innovators in thriving organizations across various industries. In each episode, host & founder of InnovatorsBox Monica Kang interviews her friends in diverse fields about what they do and why they love what they do. If you’re curious too, you’ll gain incredible insight into the workplace patterns and insights that can change the way you think about work, no matter what industry you’re in or who you are.

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How To Use Solitude To Get Your Creativity Flowing

When you’re a CEO, an entrepreneur, or a business professional, you need a constant feed of mental energy and acuity to help you solve problems and produce creative, innovative ideas. But when you hit a brick wall and your well of inspiration seems to run dry, where can you turn to get back into your creative flow? The answer is you need some alone time and self-care. Solitude can help you reduce stress and get your creativity flowing so that you can keep doing what you do best, at your best.

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Healthy Habits To Help Prevent a Burnout

Everyone reaches a point in their lives when they feel overworked, overwhelmed, loss of motivation, like their breaking point is right there- burnout. An upcoming assignment or even a conversation regarding intellectual information will just lead to an extreme emotional exhaustion.

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MEET RAVI LAD: AN AUDIO ENGINEER WITH A PASSION FOR MUSIC

Ravi Lad is a diligent creative who loves bringing musical spirit to everything he does! Going into a different field after working on one that’s on an opposite side of the spectrum isn’t what one can expect from everyone. But Ravi has always been daring when it comes to creativity and storytelling. 

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How to Survive Being the Newbie at Work Based on Netflix Shows

Landing a new job is an exciting experience filled with opportunities to grow professionally and personally. Whether you’re a recent college graduate, have been in the same career field for years, or are trying out a new profession, being the “newbie” at a company is not always an easy adjustment. As a young professional entering a completely new career field, this is something I am adjusting to and trying to figure out how to navigate for my future self.

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MEET ROWANNE CHANG: A GRAPHIC DESIGNER WITH A WILD IMAGINATION

Rowanne is an imaginative creative. She fell in love with music after being in law, marketing, and music production and realized how much visualization can be a powerful way to tell the story of the beat that music is trying to share. From Taiwan and now living in Spain, she is a creative person who communicates through her artwork. Thanks to Serin’s introduction we got to connect and she has helped create our visual identities for InnovatorsBox Studios. Meet Rowanne and where she finds her creative inspiration!

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Five ways you can build effective hybrid workplace

While the future of work remains unknown, it’s unclear when we’ll be back to the office (the way we used to know it), and when exactly we will leave behind these masks, we can be sure that hybrid workplaces are here to stay. We’re in a defining moment of our careers, our work cultures, and the internet is a prominent place to be. And now, more than ever, it’s time for all of us to hone and practice our crafts to balance how to work effectively and thoughtfully online.

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Four Ways to Optimize The Efficiency of Your Video Calls

Whether you’ve been in the professional work field for decades or you’re just starting out in your career, the adjustment to remote work is a skill everyone is developing. Don’t feel overwhelmed, adjusting to remote work while still excelling in your career requires practice.

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Meet Serin Oh: A Musician with a Bucket full of Joy

Serin Oh is a joyous, energetic soul with this unique energy that just seems to brighten people up. We met while I was teaching and running a custom leadership program at the Council of Korean American for the next generation of Korean Americans leaders during the pandemic. As music lovers and creatives alike, we were drawn together by our love of artistry and creativity.

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Meet The Dream Team Behind the Scene: Introduction

Welcome to the “IB Backstage” series! In celebration of InnovatorsBox’s 6th year anniversary that’s coming up in November 2021, we are highlighting the stories of our incredible team members.

From August to December 2021, we’re opening the curtains for you to see the “IB Backstage” and meet us behind the scenes.

Thank you for being part of this journey with us and we look forward to sharing many more years of learning and growing as innovators together! 

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How to Advance a Podcast With The Right Priorities

Listen up! Audio content like podcasts is one of the fastest growing opportunities in the past few years. An NPR study found that some of the top reasons audiences are listening to the spoken word more and more is because it’s flexible: people can listen wherever, whenever, and however they want. Plus, there’s a higher trust associated with audio sources as listeners can identify with certain hosts who often specialize in specific industries/topics.

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Transitioning Careers? 4 Ways To Strengthen Your Online Presence.

So you’re transitioning careers. Congrats! This is a great opportunity to advance yourself and learn invaluable lessons in the process. You probably feel a sense of excitement and renewal moving into this next chapter. But let’s be real, there’s also probably some negative emotions.
Depending on your circumstance you might feel numb, shocked, anxiety, sadness, self-doubt or even anger. And that’s okay.

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The 7 Types of Self-Care For A New Normal

I used to cringe when I heard the phrase “self-care.”

To me, self-care was synonymous with overconsumption of “luxury” products and a way to make people – especially women – feel guilty about attending to our needs. I don’t have time to have a spa day Barbara Blogger! (not a real blogger, but you know what I mean).

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Setting Your Team Up for Successful Remote Communication

If I was told that one day that I’d be taking my classes from the comfort of my bedroom, for a full year, I would have said, “yeah, right!”. Yet, here I am today, a year and a half into logging into my classes via Zoom, while sitting in my childhood bedroom where I used to daydream what it would be like to go to college.
Of course, there were downsides to having a remote college experience rather than one on campus.

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Why We Created GIFs for Innovators

Creativity is often misunderstood to be manifested only through hands-on artistic output. I’m here to debunk that myth. Creativity is everywhere and is far beyond just painting, playing instruments, dancing to acting even though I love these domains as someone who is in music school at Berklee Music School pursuing my music business degree.

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The 10 Best Podcasts For Innovators of 2021

As innovators, we’re always on the hunt to learn and unlearn. Podcasts are a powerful way to learn, unlearn, and find new inspiration all in your fingertip. They can be an empowering vehicle of knowledge that take us outside our comfort zones by challenging common perceptions on everything from science to literature. And whether you’ve been a long time podcast fan or entering this space for the first time, there is always something for everyone.

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Creativity, Parenting and Education Time

For those who want to succeed, planning is the best tool to reach your goals, ambitions and the position you want to be in the future. As a single mother, I understand how difficult it is to plan and accomplish everything as we desire; time is very scarce, money may not be enough, work always pushes our boundaries, and most importantly, our children need us. I know! Seems unrealistic. But trust me, it is possible.

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Podcast Highlights – Curious Monica (Episodes 5-8)

Curious Monica is all about understanding how and why people love the way they work. Hosted by Monica Kang, creative workplace expert and founder of InnovatorsBox, this podcast lets you in on authentic conversations with experts, and innovators in various industries. Every episode should remind you of how you can find meaningfulness in any work you do. Plus, we’ll learn about jobs we didn’t even know existed together! Join Monica on her curiosity journey.

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Dear Workplace Podcast Highlights (Episodes 7-10)

More than ever the workplace is changing. We are not “going back to normal” but we are entering a “new normal” in how the workplace works and how people think about teamwork and innovation. The Dear Workplace podcast by InnovatorsBox®, hosted by founder Monica Kang, challenges us to reimagine the workplace by studying changes, trends, and challenges for people at work.

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Avoiding “Rainbow-washing” & Innovating for Pride Month

On a scorching Summer’s night on June 28, 1969, police raided a gay club in New York called Stonewall Inn. This violent clash sparked weeks of protests, led by members of the LGBTQ+ community and their allies, fighting for safe places where they could be themselves without fear of prosecution.

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Innovator’s Kitchen: 3 B Bevie Cocktail

On the third show of Innovator’s Kitchen, we celebrate Pride Month with the 3 B Bevie Cocktail, a celebratory drink concocted by Chef Eliza Martin herself. This cocktail plays off the marriage of 3 completely different flavors.

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THE DETOXIFYING POWER OF CREATIVE JUICES

While people have different opinions on the work-from-home setup, I can definitely identify one common insight among my workmates and peers: not having to travel in horrendous traffic is a major win. Take it from someone who lives (and works) for efficiency, but spends roughly 3 hours in transit every day. When we were told to start working from home, my heart leaped at the thought of 3 extra hours of sleep. Well, at least, that’s what I thought.

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How To Reskill For Change By Learning How To Unlearn

Reflecting on the importance and art of reskilling — learning and unlearning — comes at a timely moment. The Covid-19 pandemic has permitted us to learn how important soft skills are, and, more importantly, increased our capability to adapt as fast as we can — which requires both the patience to learn and the humility to unlearn what we knew before. And as more jobs are opening up and more people are leaving jobs and launching new companies, it’s time to invest in our unlearning capabilities to reskill for change.

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Beyond the Box | Creative Asian Innovators

Growing up as an Asian-American, I’ve struggled with what it means to be me – Am I too Asian? Am I too American? Why can’t I just be me? And what does it mean to innovate in your voice? Like all the past Beyond the Box series at InnovatorsBox, I’m excited to untangle how identity influences how we innovate and how you continue to pave new paths even if you don’t see someone who looks like you.

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INTRODUCING: Paint My World

Great music is powerful. And as someone who gets a lot of inspiration from music, I’ve always wondered – why aren’t there more songs that tell how we feel as innovators, leadership, culture and team development? I’ve learned so much from powerful poetic and creative songs. It taught me lessons in life, love, relationships, friendship, and even mental well being. And while I adored the BTS, Disney Classics and Stromae that told a story, I realized one thing in common – best music is born out of real experience that one may have go through and if I’m hungry to find more songs that reflect a journey of innovators then we should create one

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Innovators Kitchen: Homemade Kimchi

Have you ever seen a food item that you didn’t recognize? A rush of curiosity (and sometimes fear) can overwhelm you as you ask yourself “Should I try it?” Oftentimes fermented foods, or foods that are processed using bacteria, are divisive for their pungent smells and flavors.

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Leading By Compassion: 5 Ways to Prevent Burnout

Feeling tired and stressed is one thing, but when you and your team start feeling like every meeting is pulling teeth, lunch breaks become a thing of the past, and weekdays blur into weekends – it’s a sign of burnout.

Even if targets are met, you start to see usually enthusiastic team members go flat. They may even get cynical about the job behind closed doors.

The bottom line is, burnout is bad for business, yourself, and your team.

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Podcast Highlights – Curious Monica (Episodes 1-4)

Curious Monica is all about understanding how and why people love the way they work. Hosted by Monica Kang, creative workplace expert and founder of InnovatorsBox, this podcast lets you in on authentic conversations with experts, and innovators in various industries. Every episode should remind you of how you can find meaningfulness in any work you do. Plus, we’ll learn about jobs we didn’t even know existed together! Join Monica on her curiosity journey.

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Podcast Highlights – Dear Workplace (Episodes 1-6)

More than ever the workplace is changing. We are not “going back to normal” but we are entering a “new normal” in how the workplace works and how people think about teamwork and innovation. The Dear Workplace podcast by InnovatorsBox®, hosted by founder Monica Kang, challenges us to reimagine the workplace by studying changes, trends, and challenges for people at work.

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8 Creative & Sustainable Innovators You Should Follow For Earth Day (PART 1)

It’s no news that online shopping has been supercharged by the pandemic overall. But it’s not all glory for all retails and outlets. There’s been some obvious winners, like Jeff Bezos’ behemoth has emerged stronger than ever. But we also had a lot of small businesses and retail chains that weren’t as fortunate and those include businesses that failed to fully embrace online shopping and relied heavily on physical presences.

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INTEGRATING EMPATHY INTO YOUR DIGITAL LIFE

Cyber-disinhibition. It’s the misalignment of how we treat others online against how we would treat them in real life. That gap and the misalignment is getting stronger and bigger with the digital and social media proliferation.

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Making Creativity and Innovation Accessible For All

Creativity and innovation are fundamental to humanity. Creativity is a way of living and being; it’s the process of turning nothing into something, making old things new, or doing something in a different way to get a different result. It can be as simple as thinking about an object differently or combining two objects together in new ways. Innovation is applying creativity within an organization – whether that be by developing products, services, processes or business models-to achieve breakthrough results and ultimately create value for others.

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What shifting to remote workplace taught us

If you told me in January 2020 that I’ll get to experience new possibilities on any of this I would have said impossible. Now in just a year, not only have I seen how it’s possible but also the immense impact there can further be if we continue to intentionally invest and design with care.

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5 Actions You Can Take To Celebrate Women’s History Month

So you’ve heard about Women’s History Month, but how can you translate these empowering messages and lessons into action that you can take today?

At Innovator’s Box, we’ve used our platform to celebrate women innovator voices, while highlighting the importance of showcasing diversity within women’s stories.

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Introducing Innovator’s Kitchen

Strawberries and Balsamic? Sounds odd!

Bananas and spaghetti? Weird.

Mac & Cheese with pickles? Err, maybe not!

Such unlikely pairings! But wait, do we really know that those combinations don’t go together? Not everything makes sense from the get-go, like PB&J, at first. What if they did!?

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Why we’re upgrading our website

If you’ve been following InnovatorsBox’s journey, you’ll have noticed that as the world turned upside down with COVID and the meaning of how we work and live changed, we pivoted fast and sharp.

The pandemic brought us on an abrupt halt and ushered in a new era of remote work as our offices and workplaces were shut down until unforeseeable future. And as someone who used to travel a lot and conduct business in physical spaces, this change and digital transformation meant that we needed to be creative about how we pivot and rethink what our future may look like.

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Beyond The Box | Strong Female Innovators

March is designated Women’s History Month, and honors women’s contributions in society throughout history.

The U.S., along with many countries worldwide, celebrate the women who have been at the forefront of positive change. This month’s theme was – “Valiant Women of the Vote: Refusing to Be Silenced,” and recognizes the women who raised their voices in the battle for women’s suffrage. While it’s important to celebrate historical achievements, it’s also essential that we reflect upon our current challenges with suppressing women’s voices — in business and society as a whole.

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WHY PODCAST?

Often we only know what we know and our world view of society and workplace is limited because we only see people who look and think like us – we don’t have enough chance to think differently. And while 1:1 interviews are beautiful it doesn’t really give us a chance to expand our horizon by listening to new voices unless we intentionally doing so.

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BEYOND THE BOX | COURAGEOUS BLACK INNOVATORS

February is a Black History Month and this year it marks the 45th anniversary of celebrating the many accomplishments and achievements of the Black Americans.

Every year in February, America reflects on the continued struggle for racial justice. We add a social media post, follow along on trending hashtags like #blm or #blackhhistorymonth, and maybe even change our profile pictures to solid black for a day. But while those social gestures do help amplify the collective efforts of diversity initiatives, the systemic racism still persists in our communities and workplaces.

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