A Commitment to Cultural Accountability at Talespin

Written on
June 11, 2020
Written by
Kyle Jackson
,
Chief Executive Officer, Co-Founder

The unjust murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and many more here in the United States, in addition to countless other lives lost around the globe, have rightfully shaken the very foundation of how we all live and do business. But the truth is, these killings are not unprecedented, and in fact, it’s taken too long for us to get to this place of widely recognizing injustice and catalyzing change. As history has shown us time and time again, minority communities across the world are forced to face oppression that stems far past police brutality into other forms of inequality across things like access to education, employment opportunities, housing, health care, and more.

It should go without saying, as a company we stand with the black community near and far and the Black Lives Matter movement. But as a society, we should be past the point of issuing statements of solidarity or apologies to these communities and taking real action. So we are going to begin by taking steps to inspire deeper understanding, unbridled acceptance, and cultural transformation within our house, and ourselves.

At its core, Talespin is here to serve as a platform to improve access to learning and knowledge, committed to offering solutions for organizations to better their people, and creating opportunities for individuals to advance themselves through the power of immersive technology.  As an early-stage startup, we have a unique opportunity and responsibility to institute policies and changes now, ensuring inclusivity and cultural accountability are a part of our company’s solutions, foundation, and philosophy going forward. While there is much more to do, here is our first commitment to change:

  • A renewed effort to hire and create a more diverse workforce. We recognize that although our current team comes from many different backgrounds, countries, and religions - we can do better. 
  • As part of the onboarding process, we will introduce education on important topics such as empathy and cognitive bias for new employees.
  • Continue to offer mental health resources and flex time to employees who need it during the unprecedented times our team, and people around the world are facing.
  • Building a list of Race and Socio-Economic Learning Resources for our team and the broader community to access.
  • In the same way we consult with subject matter experts on our learning products, we are taking the same approach to navigate the conversation of race as a company. We will enlist the help of a cultural mediator to facilitate an open dialogue within our own team, and give existing employees the tools to learn empathy, identify bias, and communicate effectively.
  • Through our own technology and resources, we will be introducing diversity & inclusion training to our XR learning content offering to share with the world. We already ensure that diversity & inclusion is a priority in every product we build as we seek to enable better learning for everyone. That will never change, and only continue to improve as our platform grows. It is important that any learning content on the topic of diversity & inclusion be more than just another product, but a tool that is built with the intent to serve as a solution for all. Talespin will have a zero profit policy for any diversity & inclusion module we create, whereby every dollar that comes in is redirected to help further our efforts to promote diversity & inclusion both internally and externally. 
  • Finally, while we are still a small company, we have begun the formation of an internal Diversity, Inclusion & Cultural Accountability Committee. This committee will provide a safe space for issues to be surfaced, ideas to be heard, action to be taken, and serve as a hub for cultural education and accountability for our family.

We know this is just the start of what we can collectively and individually do to drive toward real change. As an organization on a mission to redefine what learning, work, and collaboration look like for people in the future, we have a responsibility to build this future with inclusivity and equality as pillars, and have been working toward that goal from the start. We hope that you join us in taking actions today that will go beyond responding to the current unrest, and help us all be better individually so we can be better collectively.