Good news! By the time you wake up in the morning, the tech industry’s big manpower problems will be solved.
That is, if British Airways’ outlandish plan works.
The airline has invited more than a hundred Valley notables to hop on an 11-hour transatlantic flight to London.
Once airborne, they’re going to come up with ways to get more people, particularly women, to become technologists. When they land, they’ll present their ideas to representatives at the United Nations.
The brainstorming session, which BA calls “Ungrounded,” involves four teams: One team will work on the U.S. tech talent demand shortage.
There’s a big debate right now about whether that shortage really exists. Some research shows that colleges are minting more grads with degrees in programming than the market can absorb. Other research shows that colleges are churning out about half the number of programmers, scientists and the like than the market is predicted to need.
Another team will brainstorm solutions to the lack of women in tech, which no one denies is a problem. A third team will focus on expanding science, technology, engineering and mathematics (“STEM”) education. And a fourth will use their 11 hours to figure out how to foster more tech in emerging countries.
Some of the people taking part include: Craig Newmark, founder of Craigslist; David Raskino, director of Microsoft’s Bing Fund; Claudia Fan Munce, managing director of IBM’s Venture Capital Group; Google Ventures’ Partner Wesley Chan; Will Young, director of engineering for Zappos; and Celestine Johnson: creative director for VC firm Innovation endeavours.
BA asks wants to know “Can a single transatlantic flight help change the world?” and the answer is, probably not. But it’s still a great idea to try, and one step — or one flight — leads to another.
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