An Invitation to All: 4th Annual Inclusive Innovation Summit

It’s that time of the year for Pittsburgh’s entrepreneurs, aspiring innovators, and those most interested in the city’s startup ecosystem to come together for the Inclusive Innovation Summit. The fourth annual, three-day summit will take place March 28-30 and is seen as an opportunity for local organizations and businesses to come together and showcase their vision for inclusion in Pittsburgh.

(Photo courtesy of the Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh)

(Photo courtesy of the Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh)

In 2016 the Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh (URA) cultivated this summit as a means of creating an incubator for new ideas relating to topics including ethics, gender, access, and more, ultimately contributing to making the city a more equitable place for all. Since the initial iteration, Inclusive Innovation Week has partnered with 400 organizations, produced 200 free events, reached 30 neighborhoods, and hosted at least 1 event in each of the 9 City Council Districts – and this may just be the tip of the iceberg.

“The Summit is an exciting opportunity for Pittsburghers to come together and gain valuable insights on inclusion and equity,” said Mayor William Peduto.

With the influx of transplants and overall shift in energy, those who have recently moved to the city or just simply never attended the summit in years prior may wonder ask themselves, “why bother attending?”

Education Program Manager at BikePGH, Julie Mallis will be speaking out on bike safety at the summit and notes that, "Inclusive Innovation Summit is a great way to learn about new practices and leaders finding solutions to 21st century challenges that prioritize accessibility, community and long-term sustainability."

Additionally, rather than being a sprawled-out event as in the years prior, the bulk of this year’s summit will be held in one centralized location at the new Urban Redevelopment Authority building at 412 Boulevard of the Allies and at Point Park University’s Center for Media Innovation on Wood Street.

City of Pittsburgh’s Todd Smith says that, “the reason we decided to this was to double down on the inclusion for the event. We didn't want any barriers preventing attendance.”

Todd also notes that attending the summit is a great way to participate in community-led programs that intersect across entrepreneurship, equity and culture, in addition to expanding your Pittsburgh horizon by connecting with innovative people and organizations across Pittsburgh. He also mentions that it is a great way to “support small-businesses. All our food, coffee, childcare, entertainment comes from local, small businesses. Our team believes small businesses are the anchor to a robust entrepreneurial ecosystem in Pittsburgh. We try to lead by example.”

Urban Redevelopment Authority building at 412 Boulevard of the Allies – Photo courtesy of the Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh

Urban Redevelopment Authority building at 412 Boulevard of the Allies – Photo courtesy of the Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh

The summit will begin on Thursday, March 28 at the Kelly Strayhorn and will continue downtown in the days following for a combination of hands-on workshops, panels, presentations and discussions from a variety of organizations and businesses, all of which will be free to the general public. These programs will serve as an opportunity for the people of Pittsburgh to meet leaders in the city and gain the tools and knowledge necessary to cultivate inclusion.

For a full schedule of programming, click here.

To get involved and receive more information, register here.

This year’s event includes:

  • Free on-site childcare via Flexable. Friday and Saturday, during the day.

  • Free Transportation options: bus, ride share, bike share, ACCESS.

  • Food and refreshments served at all events, day and night.

  • Free Pop-up café, which we are calling Basecamp Café. It will be located at 412 Boulevard of the Allies.

  • Registration Required

DAVID NEIMANIS - Contributing Writer

David is a cultural producer and writer from Buffalo, NY. After spending years on the road as a traveling musician, David migrated to Pittsburgh, PA where he now writes for StartNow PGH, The Urbanist, and Beaux Arts. In addition to writing, David is a curator at PG&H, and works for tech company JazzHR.

Originally published on Tuesday, March 26th, 2019