Let’s bend the arc of the (business) universe towards justice

Many of us grew up having a foot in two different Americas: One that was determined by race or gender identity,  and the other by an ever evolving class status driven by opportunities offered and accepted through education, employment and entrepreneurship.

This past year has been a stark reminder of what it feels like to live in the two Americas.  The stunning share price of the FAAAMNT (Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Alphabet, Microsoft, Netflix, Tesla) stocks, crazy crypto valuations, meme stocks and more, the terrible toll the pandemic has placed on communities of color and the killing of George Floyd (and too many others) are more reminders of the two-footed reality we are all facing.

All of these sources of cognitive dissonance are different versions of what Dr. Martin Luther King had in mind when he wrote and spoke . . . .

The arc of the moral universe bends towards justice

When it looks the worst, when the split screen of reality gets widest, that’s when we need to lean hardest on the arc.

Will You “Lean on the Arc” With Us?

Over 80 Uluprenuers joined us in 2020 with our first collective “arc-leaning,” a deep dive “Impact Experience” program that gave us the opportunity to reflect on the roots and impacts of systemic racism in America.

Elise Smith and Heather Shen, the founders of Praxis Labs, have shown us how to deepen the work we started through their breakthrough Virtual Reality-based learning experience on diversity, equity and inclusion. The programming, featured in the Washington Post, has been implemented by Google, Uber, Target, Amazon, eBay, and many others to help make workplaces, and ultimately society, more just and equitable.

We were so impressed, we not only invested in the company, we decided to invest in bringing the programming to our Uluprenuer family.

Through this amazing learning experience you have the opportunity to walk in someone else’s shoes, to see the world through someone else’s eyes, to feel the sting and burn of words that may have previously failed to register.

There is no charge for taking part in what could be a life-changing experience, but participation is limited so please sign up right away.

How Does it Work?

If you decide to go on the learning journey with us, you’ll have the opportunity to be immersed, through the magic and science of Virtual Reality (VR), in three pairs of experiences covering common workplace themes including: recruiting and hiring, sponsorship, and inclusion.

The work is organized around six (plus a bonus) virtual-learning experiences that are released monthly over six months. You can engage with the module at your convenience.

Leveraging VR, you’ll take on the perspectives of multiple new identities, experiencing incidents of bias either as yourself or as a bystander. You’ll make decisions and practice responding to these incidents in VR — both advocating for yourself and on behalf of others — to help you grow as a leader of more diverse teams.

As part of each 30-min module, you’ll have the opportunity to reflect on each learning experience and track your growth over time. You’ll also be able to reflect on how your learning might impact your company culture. Here’s a video that explains the program.

About Praxis Labs

Praxis Labs’ flagship curriculum changes how organizations train and measure diversity, equity & inclusion. Combining the power of immersive learning experiences with a research-backed curriculum, everyone can learn to become a more conscious and inclusive leader.

The Praxis Labs team scoured academic research and practitioner literature to identify the key competencies of conscious and inclusive leaders. In Pivotal Experiences, all learning experiences center on building these three skills:

  • Empathize with experiences and perspectives of others
  • Identify behavioral & structural factors that contribute to inequity
  • Take informed action to create equitable outcomes

Using immersive technology, we give people the opportunity to take on different backgrounds and identities in which they experience incidents of bias. Each experience pivots between the perspective of someone experiencing an incident of bias and the perspective of a bystander. Learners then decide how they want to respond and practice showing up as a conscious and inclusive leader.  These immersive experiences build empathy and also help people develop a repertoire of responses for when incidents inevitably happen.

Diversity is an essential part of Ulu’s investment thesis. This is both a socially beneficial conviction and smart business. This guiding principle has consistently provided Ulu Ventures a meaningful advantage in sourcing and ultimately funding high-performing founders and firms that other venture firms systematically overlook . . . [more]