This past Spring, I fulfilled a longtime ambition by traveling to Lisbon, Portugal. I took my folding Brompton bike with me, ready to explore. I found parts of Lisbon fairly hospitable to bicycle travel, but there were parts that were downright scary. Some sections had hills that were steeper than those in San Francisco. And then there were the cobblestone streets and tiled walkways. The cobblestones made it nearly impossible for my narrow-tire bike to navigate some streets, and the tiles, though lovely, could be extremely slick when wet.
Black professionals have transformed professional sports and music entertainment. Their overperformance in these fields is amazing, and it stands in stark contrast to much less black advancement in other fields. Why have black folks excelled in sports and music? What lessons can we draw from their success?
We are nearing completion of the Fall 2023 edition of the Urban Entrepreneurship Practicum. We are fortunate to be working with three businesses that are outstanding examples of urban entrepreneurship at its best. While it may not be immediately obvious to the casual observer, each of these businesses addresses an important need, and each has the potential to bring about transformative positive change.
The Proving Ground movie tells the story of my entrepreneurial journey from determined and precocious kid in Flint Michigan to leader of a multi-million-dollar global telecommunications instrumentation company. The movie is based on my book “Proving Ground: A Memoir,” which culminates in the inspiring story of how I and my two co-founders – Steven Moore and Charles Simmons – left our lucrative and secure positions at the legendary Bell Laboratories and started a business, from scratch, in my basement. Making the story available as a documentary film will enable it to impact the widest possible audience.
Today’s atmosphere of division and cultural conflict occurs at a very bad time. We live in a time of unprecedented, accelerating technological change, environmental disruption, and wealth disparity. In this time of heightened fear and uncertainty, things could turn catastrophic very quickly. On the other hand, the unprecedented knowledge and resources we possess could set the stage for humanity’s greatest era. We are poised at the threshold of our brightest times, or our darkest times. That is why now, more than ever, we need to heed MLK’s call to treat each other as brothers and sisters.