Celebrating Vehicles for Inclusive Innovation at the White House

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The Millennial Trains Project repurposes trains platforms for inclusive innovation. (Photo: Millennial Trains Project)

Today, in Washington, DC, the White House is hosting its first-ever White House Demo Day to spotlight entrepreneurs from diverse backgrounds and platforms for inclusive innovation designed to help them move forward.

The Millennial Trains Project, which leads transcontinental train journeys for diverse groups of young innovators to explore America’s new frontiers, is one of those platforms, and I am pleased to announce that, thanks to generous support from NBCUniversal, we will be both doubling the size of our program in 2016 and doubling the amount of grant funding available to support the projects that our participants develop on these transformative journeys.

Our train is a vehicle and a symbol for people coming together to move their ideas and communities forward. It’s a simple idea, but one that has often felt like an uphill climb to communicate.

When I started MTP three years ago, not many people knew what the word “Millennial” meant, and the idea of orchestrating just one transcontinental train journey for a group of young innovators seemed almost impossibly difficult.

Now, having completed three journeys and engaged with 20 communities nationwide, we have established the foundation for what I hope will become a civic-entrepreneurial right of passage for future generations.

MTP participants engage in small group leadership development workshops called the “Pioneer’s Journey” (Photo: Millennial Trains Project)

Our journeys have reminded us that there is perhaps no better way to experience America than by train, in the company of other people that want to make the country better. And yet, the same could be said of any other country and any other vehicle that enables motivated groups of individuals to explore geographies of innovation and opportunity. The model works because journeys —> Read More