IDEAS Generation ('IG') is a next-generation, future-focused community, collaboratively working towards a new vision of a world anchored in IDEAS: Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, Access, and Social justice.
Despite increasing national attention on questions of racial equity, gender justice, and other intersectionally marginalizing systems, few organizations have the internal capacity to catalyze and sustain cultures and systems that ensure everyone can thrive. Many look to the nascent and ever-evolving field of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) to solve culture and systems challenges; yet these efforts have largely failed to reach their full potential. With five generations currently in the workforce and immense demographic transitions underway, we need a new brand of connected, resourced leaders to advance not only DEI, but also Access and Social Justice (aka IDEAS).
At IDEAS Generation, we believe the shortcomings in the DEI space stem from four inter-related challenges that prevent our workplaces and communities from being more IDEAS-centered: 1) absent a field-wide association or governing body, change agents already in or seeking to break into the DEI/IDEAS space are isolated within their organizations and from one another, 2) there is significant variability in the quality of current solutions and their implementation – most of which still rely on old paradigms (e.g. ‘us v. them’ and check-the-box compliance) and one-off trainings which are ill-equipped to meet the complexities of today’s work environments, 3) beyond costly certificate programs, there are few formal professional onramps to enter the DEI field and thus inject the sector with fresh talent and perspectives, and 4) many organizations, particularly nonprofits and small social impact businesses, face price barriers to access quality support. Without addressing these interlocking challenges, efforts to advance IDEAS will continue floundering.
To address these issues and advance our mission to "connect, support, and elevate the next generation of leaders and communities advancing IDEAS," we: 1) create a community of practice for DEI/IDEAS leaders and advocates, 2) grow the pipeline of high-impact practitioners through innovative professional development programs, 3) elevate new voices through original content and thought leadership, and 4) cultivate IDEAS-centered organizations through comprehensive consulting and implementation partnerships with social impact organizations.