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Remember when we used to walk around the fountain in NYC’s Washington Square Park (or wherever your favorite source of inspiration is) and talk about what’s ahead? We’re looking forward to doing more of that soon. And we’re also looking forward to sharing some great conversations with the tech ecosystem nationwide.

The Future Fountain, a new podcast series developed by Orrick and NYU Tandon Future Labs, will feature founders, investors and other key players in tech to examine the most pressing issues we face today.

From DEI and sustainability, to harnessing innovation to advance social, economic and environmental justice, to practical advice on scaling your business, The Future Fountain will serve as a platform for honest conversations with leaders on where we’re thriving, where we’re coming up short, and how we all can work together to create a more inclusive ecosystem.

Dr. Anne-Laure Fayard, Associate Professor of Innovation, Design and Organizational Studies at the NYU Tandon School of Engineering

Episode 6

Startup Spotlight: How Edquity is Using Higher Education to Close the Wealth Gap

Social impact startups have a lot to balance – including staying true to their mission and achieving high growth and profitability. No one understands this better than David Helene, founder and CEO of Edquity, a NYU Tandon Future Labs graduate and first-of-its-kind education technology provider that works with colleges to provide emergency financial aid to students. In this episode, Helene shares his journey from the financial sector to social entrepreneurship, how social entrepreneurs can get creative about monetization without diluting their impact, and how solving issues within higher education can narrow the intergenerational wealth gap, particularly in communities of color.

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Dr. Anne-Laure Fayard, Associate Professor of Innovation, Design and Organizational Studies at the NYU Tandon School of Engineering

Episode 5

Responsible Innovation: Combatting Disinformation and Deepfakes

With the rise of social media platforms, alternative publications and citizen journalism, the sources of news and information have grown exponentially. Yet, the quality and transparency has not kept pace. Deepfake technology has escalated the problem. In this episode, Kathryn Harrison, Founder and CEO of DeepTrust Alliance — a nonprofit global coalition of stakeholders that creates solutions to build more trust in news and information — shares how technology is transforming how we communicate, why regulation isn’t enough to address the rising tide of disinformation, and considerations for how the tech ecosystem can work together to collectively tackle misinformation, disinformation and deepfakes.

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Dr. Anne-Laure Fayard, Associate Professor of Innovation, Design and Organizational Studies at the NYU Tandon School of Engineering

Episode 4

Why Mentoring Matters Monday Night & Every Night

As a kid growing up in Chicago, Jabari Hearn dreamed of creating Nike commercials — ones that could rival the icon spots the brand produced with Michael Jordan, his childhood idol. Years later, Hearn would get that chance when he started working for Nike in senior-level marketing roles. Hearn, now SVP of Marketing and Entertainment at Westbrook Media, says the guidance of a mentor, a fellow Black executive at the company, was a turning point in his career. The relationship helped him excel. Now, he’s giving back to other marketers of color through Monday Night Mentorship, a membership network and career accelerant for marketers of color co-founded by Hearn. In this episode, Hearn shares the key things mentors and mentees must do to get the most out of their relationship, and how organizations can use mentorship to transform DEI (Diversity, Equity and Inclusion) into DIME (Diversity, Inclusion, Mentorship, and Equity).

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Dr. Anne-Laure Fayard, Associate Professor of Innovation, Design and Organizational Studies at the NYU Tandon School of Engineering

Episode 3

Reimagining the Workplace for Innovators

Dr. Anne-Laure Fayard, Associate Professor of Innovation, Design and Organizational Studies at the NYU Tandon School of Engineering, has spent her career studying collaboration and the best environments for fostering innovation. This is the very social science we need to tap into as we reimagine a workplace that's better than the one we left behind. In this episode, Dr. Fayard shares why "proximity, privacy and permission" are crucial to collaborative workspaces - and why inclusion and a culture of trust drive innovation. She also offers some practical advice for leaders transitioning their teams into the post-pandemic world.

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Mario Ruiz, Co-Founder and Partner, Infinity Ventures; previously at PayPal Ventures

Episode 2

A Roadmap for Diversifying the VC and Startup Ecosystems

Only 1-2% of venture capital-backed companies have either a Black or Latinx founder. Women still get less VC funding than men — even though companies founded or co-founded by women often perform better (sec.gov).

How can the VC and tech ecosystems become more inclusive? PayPal Ventures, the VC arm of PayPal, is trying to accelerate this change. It has made a financial and business commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion through millions in grant funding to small businesses and non-profits disproportionately impacted by the pandemic and by shifting its deposits to financial institutions that support underrepresented communities. In this episode, Mario Ruiz, previously at PayPal Ventures and now Co-Founder and Partner at Infinity Ventures, shares how PayPal Ventures is driving change both within and outside of its own walls, and ways the VC community can help the tech ecosystem become more inclusive.

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Charley Moore, Founder and CEO, Rocket Lawyer

Episode 1

Starting a Company as an Underrepresented Founder

Charley Moore started Rocket Lawyer with the mission of bringing affordable legal help to consumers. Thirteen years later, more than one in nine Americans now has a Rocket Lawyer account, including thousands of employees who access these legal services through their employer-provided benefits.

Along with expanding access to the justice system, Moore is passionate about inclusive workplace environments where diverse ideas, founders and individual contributors can thrive. In this episode, Moore talks about how his experience as an underrepresented founder has shaped his career, how the tech industry can build a more inclusive pipeline and how companies can align profit with their purpose.

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