Third Platform Summit features notable speakers

Photo courtesy of Max Gordon

At the beginning of October, Tech and Morehouse College co-hosted the third iteration of the Platform Summit.

The conference, which took place at the Ray Charles Performing Arts Center on the campus of Morehouse College, began on Oct. 2 and lasted until Oct. 4. Five main topics were explored throughout the weekend: “Go Ahead, Fix Education … I Dare You,” “The Problem With The Economy Is It Doesn’t Need You Anymore,” “The New Capital Is Social,” “Living Happy, Healthy, And Maybe Forever” and “WOW! What’s Next … Now!”

For each of the aforementioned topics, four to six speakers were present to discuss various aspects of the topic’s importance. One notable speaker was Ayanna Howard, a professor in Tech’s department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. Other speakers included Jack Dorsey, the CEO and co-founder of Square as well as the interim CEO and co-founder of Twitter, David Drummond, the senior vice president for corporate development and chief legal office for Google, Aisha Bowe, an aerospace engineer and “Financial Alchemist” and Bernard Harris, a former astronaut.

On the first day of the Summit, Tech hosted approximately 400 participants on campus. Venues utilized included the Student Center Ballroom, and attendees were allowed to interact with certain Tech inventors. InVenture Prize finalists made up a large portion of those present; they included team members behind projects such as “Haplit,” “Shortweb” and “WISH for Wash.”

“The current ecosystem seems to be based largely on meritocracy,” said  Hank Williams, founder and CEO of Platform, in a statement. “But … people from underrepresented backgrounds almost never have access to the networks, resources and support necessary to create homerun successes. That’s why creation of indispensable social capital for and within our community has always been core to our mission at Platform and why we created the Platform Summit three years ago.”

“It was an honor to co-host this year’s Platform Summit with Morehouse College and host the Platform Summit Reception,” said Archie Ervin, Tech’s vice president for Student Diversity, in a statement. “Our partnership with Morehouse College has spanned decades, and we all share a passion for technology and ‘what is next.’”

Tech’s partnership with Morehouse College extends back to 1969, which was the first when students at Morehouse College were presented with the opportunity to work with Tech to study engineering through a special cooperative agreement program.