Growing Racial Equity: Finding Our Way to Action

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It’s exciting to see Design Thinking work in navigating a path to social change.

A journey where listening has led to empathy and understanding, onto myriad solution ideas. We are finding our way to action.

Our global designathon for Growing Racial Equity in the Agile Community for Black Lives left us again hopeful. It has been a wonderful journey so far. We began with empathy – with empathy remaining at the heart of every interaction. This was shown through the sincere desire to build upon complex problems with inclusion.

Groups formed around the complex problem for which they had the most energy. Some topics did not continue and that was okay. In their groups, after refining the problem – people aimed to set aside their own desires and moved to being open to all solutions in the group. They invested time brainstorming possible solutions collaboratively, and together identified one to pursue further. Some went further and started prototyping their chosen solution.

Growing Racial Equity - Finding Our Way to Action
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We were both inspired and energised by the wealth of ideas, the thoughtfulness, the innovative thinking and the willingness to address the difficult topics that arose. The humility of the attendees, the openness to recognising the part that they themselves may play in limiting equity and the desire to take action and effect change was in itself humbling.

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The community established a space for everyone of all backgrounds to be curious, to share, to hear and be heard. And, those people have developed new relationships and that has shown through in the collaborations to actively pursue positive change in our community. We look forward to seeing how these grow and flourish to produce meaningful outcomes in our future sessions and beyond.

We will continue the global designathon Friday, August 14th. Register to join us.


About the Authors

April leads with empathy and courage while partnering with others to help unlock their full potential. Believes the path to authentic growth and change begins with invitation and a people centered approach. She favors a blended mindset of agile, lean, design thinking, open space and improvisation when engaging. April values connecting people to ownership of their needs and goals. You may find April coaching organizations, speaking at conferences, facilitating social change as a Design Action Lab partner, or mentoring youth.

Antony Marcano is co-founder of RiverGlide, a coaching, consultancy and training firm helping teams and organisations innovate with agility. He has been in software development for nearly 25 years, almost 20 of which have been either working in teams or guiding them and the organisations around them, as they aspire to greater agility. Antony is as much a practitioner as he is coach, consultant and trainer in topics from writing communicative, maintainable code to User Stories & BDD to effective team models, approaching change and Kent Beck’s emerging 3X framework.

His thought leadership is recognised through the references and acknowledgements found in numerous books – including Agile Coaching, Bridging The Communication Gap, Software Craftsmanship Apprenticeship Patterns and Agile Testing. Antony is also published in journals, such as Better Software Magazine, earning him his past tenure there as Technical Editor, successor to people such as Brian Marick and Mike Cohn. Antony is known for his inspiring and thought provoking talks at international conferences, events and within organisations and has regularly lectured as a guest speaker at Oxford University.

This is an Agile Alliance community blog post. Opinions represented are personal and belong solely to the author. They do not represent opinion or policy of Agile Alliance.

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