Meet The POC Selected For ‘The Tech We Want’ $8M Program

The Tech We Want Cohort

Omidyar Network has announced the launch of The Tech We Want program which aims to help build community, infrastructure, and a solid support system for technologists, thought leaders, and investors in the tech space.

The four-year, $8 million program primarily focuses on connecting and empowering new leaders and technologies that focus on inclusivity, sustainability, and responsible innovation.

“If we want to develop a responsible tech future, we have to intentionally change who and what we produce. We need to support diverse organizations and inclusive communities working to redefine what technology culture can and should be,” said Michele Lawrence Jawando, Senior Vice President of Programs at Omidyar Network.

“As a social change venture, we have the opportunity and responsibility to invest in tech leaders with lived experiences, help them build collective power, and support their vision for a trustworthy tech future.”

Through this program, Omidyar hopes a diverse group of entrepreneurs, funders, thinkers, creatives, and builders will come together to change the way tech is built and the system operates.

So let’s meet some of the POC joining The Tech We Want program.

Ifeoma Ozoma

Ifeoma Ozoma

Ifeoma Ozoma is the founder and principal of Earthseed, firm advising organizations on the issues of tech accountability and public policy. As a tech policy expert, Ozoma has led public partnerships, content safety programs, and policymaker engagement at Pinterest, Facebook, and Google.

Ozoma is also the creator of The Tech Worker handbook, designed to help give tech workers the resources needed to make more informed decisions about whether to speak out on issues. It aims to provide four guides to help prepare people for whistleblowing, organizing, and holding powerful organizations to account.

Jenifer Daniels 

Jenifer Daniels is the Executive Director of Talk Tech, a non-profit advisor to tech startups. The organization mainly focuses on building valuable products and businesses for Black women tech founders who work within high-growth industries like education, finance, and health tech and emerging industries like artificial intelligence, machine learning, clean energy, and wearables.

Daniels is also a manager of an angel investment portfolio of underrepresented startup founders and is committed to investing in Black innovation.

Safiya Noble

Dr. Safiya Novile is a professor of gender studies and African American studies at the University of California (UCLA). She also serves as the co-founder and lead of the UCLA Center for Critical Internet Inquiry.

Her best-selling book, “Algorithms of Oppression: How Search Engines Reinforce Racism,” explores the racist and sexist algorithmic bias in commercial search engines. In 2021, she was also recognized for her ground-breaking work on algorithmic discrimination.

Kelly Burton

Kelly Burton

Kelly Burton, PhD, is the CEO of Black Innovation Alliance, an ecosystem designed to help institutions close the racial wealth gap by directly supporting Black innovators. Burton is also a political scientist, serial entrepreneur, and change agent on a mission to elevate Black-led organizations. Black Innovation Alliance has helped over 300,000 innovators of color across the country.

You can find the other founders joining Omidyar’s tech initiative here.

Kumba Kpakima

Kumba Kpamika is a tech reporter at POCIT. A documentary about the knife crime epidemic in the UK got her a nomination for the UK's #30toWatch Young Journalists of the Year.