Dr. Nicholas Pearce has a resume matched by few. A scholar, speaker, entrepreneur, and pastor, Pearce also has a passion when it comes to workplace matters, specifically when it comes to his presented session, “A Fireplace Chat on Diversity, Equity & Inclusion.”
In a session moderated by Diversity & Inclusive Leadership Committee member Naz Sabripour, Dr. Pearce touched deeply on a number topics that, well, happen to be uncomfortable for many.
Pearce began by touching on the subject of work/life balance, a topic he says he that he pushes back against.
“It suggests you try to balance the two,” Pearce said. “A significant part of your life involves work. Think about life being integrated well with all parts of our lives being able to intersect.”
That said, what happens next in the workplace where one spends so much time?
“People think of diversity and inclusivity as a nice to have bonus, but to achieve goals it has to be inclusive of people in the community. The workforce of today is not the workforce of tomorrow.”
“You have more diverse people living in smaller spaces,” he noted.
Pearce next spoke about the comfort level that comes when teams operate homogenously. To coin another phrase, Pearce called it the “sea of sameness.” “This is when everybody around the table will feel good about themselves,” he said. “It feels good to have people agree with you. It’s the notion of the classic management idea that the best meeting is a fast meeting.
“Diversity is not a code word for minorities, but for human differences of all kinds. Leaders have to realize there is a trade-off between effectiveness and efficiency. Diversity makes us work harder and turn brains on a higher mode. You’re asking more questions and listen more differently.”
Pearce also noted that diversity and inclusion are used interchangeably, an error often unchecked.
“Diversity is about human difference of all kinds … race, disability status, or something deeper such as thought beliefs or social networks. Diversity is about counting the heads in the workplace but inclusion is making the heads count. You can have an organization very diverse but not very inclusive.”
The conversation next turned to equity. “If I am at the table, do I have an equal shot?” Pearce asked. “Does everyone have a level playing field?”
Pearce then made a comment that gave serious pause for consideration. To wit: organizations can create numbers that show they are “diverse” or “inclusive” when in reality the numbers can be manipulated. Or, as Pearce so succinctly said, “You can tell more lies on Excel than on Microsoft Word.”
“Equity is not a one-and-done decision,” he said. “It is a way of life. By 2043, the majority of the U.S. population will be people of color.”
Pearce concluded the fireside chat (which hopefully got a little too warm for some folks) by asking how an inclusive culture is created.
“It rises and falls on leadership,” he said. “Culture change is always to-down and has to be sustained through hiring. Do I hire the best talent or a diverse person? My answer is yes. It’s not either/or. When you are under pressure it reveals who you are anyway.”
IAVM Allied Member Armored Things, an emerging leader in operational intelligence solutions, has named Julie Johnson as Chief Executive Officer. She will assume day-to-day leadership of the company in support of its mission to keep communities safe. Johnson will be responsible for guiding the strategic management of the company. As part of the transition, co-founder Charles Curran will take on the role of President and continue to support key business functions.
Armored Things is building an AI-powered intelligent operations platform. By using data and AI, Armored Things delivers critical context for building operators to make informed decisions. With the help of Armored Things’ platform, complex operations are simplified to improve building operations across the board.
As co-founder of Armored Things, Johnson led efforts to raise its $5.5 million in series seed funding led by notable venture firms including Glasswing Ventures, iNovia Capital and MassVentures.
“I look forward to working with Julie as she leads the team in their next phase of growth and development. It is a pleasure to work with someone of her expertise and knowledge to lead the company forward,” said Rick Grinnell, Founder and Managing Director of Glasswing Ventures and Armored Things’ Board Member.
Johnson brings over eight years of leadership experience in finance, operations, and strategy. Prior to co-founding Armored Things, Johnson was a VC at Qualcomm and Vice President at PIMCO. In both roles, Johnson provided key strategic value to both companies on investment opportunities across various sectors. Johnson holds degrees from the University of Pennsylvania, Wharton, and Harvard Business School. Johnson also currently serves on the Smart Venue Leadership Board at the Sports Innovation Lab and the Public Policy Leadership Council at the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce.
“I believe deeply in the importance of Armored Things’ mission to keep people safe seeing first-hand the impact our technology can have in our customer’s lives and in their communities,” Johnson said. “I’m excited to continue my work with the Armored Things team and look forward to helping accelerate the immediate and positive impact our technology will have in protecting people.”
Former IAVM member and performing arts friend John C. Walton passed away suddenly at his home on July 3 at the age of 72.
“John was active with the performing arts committee for many years,” said Robyn Williams, CVE. “He was one of the first people I met when we had the inaugural PAMC conference in Chicago and we became long-time friends.”
Mourning his loss are Lorraine Walton and their children, Jenn (Kevin Swan), Michael (Tara), Ann (James Peters) and Chris; his brother Mark (Pam) and their children, Katie (Dan Barber and their daughter Val) and Greg. He was predeceased by his parents, Margaret and Vance (“Peggy and Bud”) Walton and his nephew Jeff Walton. He will be fondly remembered by many respected former colleagues across Winnipeg’s performing arts community, and a small, cherished circle of special friends.
A celebration of his life will be held at a later date, with a full obituary published at that time.
In lieu of flowers, the family would appreciate gifts in John’s memory to the Jeff Walton Memorial Bursary, Cathedral High School, 30 Wentworth St. N., Hamilton, ON L8L 8H5, (905) 522-3581, to Fort Whyte Alive, 1961 McCreary Road, Winnipeg, MB R3P 2K9, (204) 989-8355, or the charity of your choice.
The Baltimore Ravens have completed a three-year, $120-million self-funded renovation of M&T Bank Stadium as the 2019 season gets ready to begin. The improvements include new 4K ultra-high definition video displays, new escalators and elevators to the upper deck, a new sound system, upgraded kitchen facilities, a redesigned club level, and new suites.
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When we think about the world of recognition, we often think about facial recognition and its utilization. While that world of recognition remains critical in its utilization, other forms take on equal significance to help businesses and industries fulfil their needs to identify individuals. Among those: fingerprinting, voice, and the iris in the eye.
In her presentation at the Arenas Welcome, Mary Haskett, CEO & co-founder of Austin, Texas-based Blink Identity, spoke about what venues need to know when it comes to recognition as well as shared some of the latest technologies becoming available.
Haskett shared a brief primer about how we see, beginning from birth and into our adult years. “Your eyes take in light signals and the brain processes that vision, almost from birth,” she said. “We see with our past experiences. Computers can’t do that.”
Haskett was introduced to facial recognition early in her career when she worked with the military and described their prototype as “giant.” The device on stage at her presentation was a small, compact box that can easily be placed where guests enter a venue.
When it comes to accessibility and reliability, Haskett said that identity is not 100% and it can never be. There are errors in biometrics, false matches, and non-false matches.
Haskett provided an example of a soccer match in Wales that was later reported by local media. A “watch list” was created of attendees in which 170,000 attendees were photographed in the crowd. Of 2,470 candidate matches, 2,297 were false matches while 173 were true matches.
“The media reported that 7% were correct and 93% were incorrect,” Haskett said. “Police said, ‘we found 173 criminals.’ For me, it is troubling that 2,000 people were being detained. If the criminal activity was a parking ticket, it is probably not worth it.”
Haskett covered the issue of privacy laws when it comes to gathering data on individuals, which she said is “still kind of like the wild west in most states.”
Only four states have laws concerning such laws, she said, with California set to enact in 2020. Illinois, Texas, and Washington are the others with laws on the books about gathering consumer data.
Haskett’s summary about privacy includes:
*Only collect what is needed
*Get real informed consent
*Only retain as long as is needed
*Use best practices for data storage
“People want to be in control of how their data is used,” Haskett said.
Aside from the obvious safety and security implications, recognition can also be used to identify VIPs and make their lives happier. “That is going to create revenue streams for you,” she said.
Airports, of course, are among the first places people think of in the world of recognition. That application should only become more pronounced. “It is said that 99% of facial recognition is expected at airport gates by 2024,” Haskett said.
Indeed, the world of facial (and other) recognition continues to advance and goes far beyond how individuals merely recognize each other.
“We think we’re good at face-recognizing, but we’re really only good at recognizing people we know,” Haskett said.
It’s a new world today, and the applications of recognition continue evolving in the public assembly venues patrons attend.