My background is in photo + video production. I started with a Mickey Mouse camera at age 4, on film, and eventually ran my own dark room and then evolved into the digital space as a large events camera company owner & operator. Contrary to my mentors’ suggestions that digital wouldn’t last, I kept evolving into new ways of doing my craft.
Afterall, technology is really only a way to do something and the evolution of that process.
Where it gets murky is in the communication of that process, who is designing it, AND for what end result. In my 12+ years in working with cameras professionally, as a women with far to many #metoo stories to count in my own evolution, I’m here to say I’ve not only learned to expose for the shadows literally but I am now charged with the challenge of doing so with tech in mind; and not just the old fashion technology built primarily by the Silicon Valley demographic but the new & improved version that I am calling TEQUITY.
TEQUITY is when we evolve the use of technology with the equity of ALL humans in mind. And when women, people of color and any underrepresented human can gain access to and edit the blue prints of that which will form our lived experience, that builds TEQUITY. And if you listen or read ANY bit of information on AI, Web 3, or the speed at which these technologies are advancing, you will hear over and over again:
‘There are no experts who have the answers as to how fast!’
‘We are still very much writing the rules.’
The more often I hear these types of considerations that no one is actually in charge of this evolution, the more fired up I get about using Tequity as a guide rail in evolving our use of tech!!
In the photographic dark room, one takes their time in processing the image with the exact amount of time in exposure and in the developer bath. Then comes the very important stop bath to tell the process to end, a quick fix bath to settle tones and then a cleansing wash bath. It is a whole process before you hang your print to dry overnight. As you slowly expose the image though, it’s the magic of seeing what comes to life from the shadows of the initial capture.
Spending many, many long nights developing the shadows in the dark room, I often felt like I was an astronaut who was exploring outer space for the first time, every time I processed a print ! Finding the small details in the shadows has taught me to be very detail oriented and also look for gems where we might not expect to find them.
I bring this whole OG photo boss experience to light because as I am building our mission stronger with LBI Digital, I am often feeling this same sense of exploration and discovery. It’s pretty common that I feel like I am in the darkness of outer space, imagining what is possible from a previous exposure, almost like a dream of something I think is beautiful, inspiring (a photo I previously took) and then I have to wait until the image fully processes for it to be totally seen & experienced.
And if you’re still with me, imagine the idea of what the next version of the internet (Web 3) can be if we ensure the build of it is both diverse AND humanity centered. That is to say, what we have here in the current version of the internet ( Web 2) is only utilizing a small fraction of the talent and potential on this planet AND undeserving it at the very same time.
So then in the next version of the internet (Web 3), we can begin to develop an image or images that more accurately show and serve our collective humanity’s needs & abilities. With this beautiful and inspiring dream, we can look forward to exposing the shadows so we don’t just recreate another version of the same structures that simply are not working for all – and I am speaking both about the technology and the systems which they are built upon.
Of note, Google’s parent company Alphabet’s main shareholders include The Vanguard Group → who owns Black Rock → who has large positions( owns the most shares ) in Pfizer, Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, and, of course Google. BlackRock also has large positions in Nvidia and Broadcom, which happen to be America’s two largest semiconductor companies. It is worth noting that Web 2 isn’t just tech ya’ll! It’s A LOT of everyday companies we all interact with daily and will continue to use more and more, via technology. We might as well have a voice in the matter.
Our collaborating bosses have pointed to this before, we need to build our futures based upon what we need as a collective and not only as an individual. The power of the Community with a capital C is where we came from as a species and where we will need to build from if we care to continue to live on this planet in ways which are sustainable. If we can begin to connect the channels of Web 2 better and with more TEQUITY in mind, we will actually participate in the build of Web 3. In fact, this entire time I have been writing (& that you have been reading) is participating in building something new, something integrated and something better. And you can take the next step in participating by commenting below, sharing this blog or better yet, #Comebackstage
Much of what we have been building with LBI Digital is focusing directly on sharing more openly the tools & resources that women can use to leverage more equity because we live in a world that didn’t allow us to have our own bank accounts in the United States until 1974 & many women globally still do not have this right. As within the US, access to health care for all bodies including those of pregnant bodies is not universal and one can spend time in jail for attempting to access those rights. And yes this blog just got political bc money & sex ends up being very political when gatekeepers be gatekeeping!!
So back to the tech of it all: if we each look at evolving our own personal usage of how we do something ( technology) and be willing to evolve with – or even better in advance of it, we don’t have to fear tech because it will work for us, not against. And by us I mean, ALL OF US!
Again, we can’t just put pink on the Patriarchy. I am not simply calling for all the ladies to use tech, faster & more furiously in our pants suits and stern resting boss faces. That’s shit is tired and I for one am totally over it.
What I am calling for is taking the few good parts of our current model of the internet (Web 2) and building better with you, me and all the people who were not involved in Web 1 or 2 builds. The next version of the internet in Web 3 is where we not only get to read & write to the cloud collective, but we also get to own our ideas, our intellectual property and our purse! This works out nicely for women and those we take care of because we women make up 52% of the US population, 47.7% of the Global workforce and 11.6 million US business are owned by women contributing to 1.7 TRILLION dollars to the US economy.
In a recent talk with Story Co Chief of Staff Caroline Shaul, we dig into the power of women accessing tech in this Web 3 build and why we need not be scared of it. Also, it’s happening anyways so might as well get involved (& get paid!!)
The LBI Digital podcast, Money, Sex & Politics is being built on Web 2 tracks – current internet tools. And you can bet your best ladyboss dollar that we have some pretty big ideas on how this podcast and its supporting Boss Blog will be activated in the next version of the internet, Web 3. We are looking directly at the shadows as we learn more about exposing the next version of the internet.
And as I expose for the shadows – either in the photographic dark room or on the world wide web it is all a process of becoming, evolving and maybe even being! – record scratch !!- OK! This is totally not a self help blog AND I do feel like the unearthing of all the BS in the shadows is actually a really needed step,***must not be skipped ** likely what we are all living through right now, so that we can see the full picture, all of it clearly exposed. As a creative, I would far prefer perfecting the processing of powerful portraits instead of going and excavating all the dirt & grime that is Web 2’s very extractive model. But somehow this Web 3 bug has bit me and luckily I am super into evolving, learning to look at the shadows even when I don’t want to. Shout out to Carolyne Elliot’s phenomenal book Existential Kink who invites us to look at the shadows often – and that is self help AF!!
Please know I am not picking fun at self help books or the evolution of our own shit. Honestly, I’ve had to do A LOT (& continue to do so) as I work in dismantling old patriarchal ways of being within myself AND the internet. In the last 2.5 years of big collaboration with amazing women mentors, I’ve realized the building of LBI Digital must be done with my humanity (& a good sense of humor) in my front pocket at all times. This work is not light but then again, living on this planet right now is not for the faint of heart and I am convinced we can build better.
So with deep breaths, long reads & high kicks to systems that oppress anyone, I am here to build #techforgood for the best possible use of Web 3 for ALL of us. And when more women activate the possibility of running our businesses in Web 3, in using the connective tissue of the internet most fully, we will see that the systems of oppression fall away because our collective power is so much stronger and, sexier!
But what do you think dear reader? I’d love to hear you go off in the comments below. And even better yet, if you feel a way about Web 2 into Web 3 that I haven’t thought of, let me know. #ComeBackstage and connect to other women who are changing the world, one click at a time!
We invite all #thoughtleaders, #industrydisruptors & #businessactivists who want to live life on terms of expansion, access and TEQUITY to raise their hand and #ComeBackstage. We will happily pass you the mic!
When we begin to break down barriers of entry both in conversations about money, sex & politics AND in the actual ways we discover & access information that can change lives, we are using #techforgood