We All know what happened on August 26, 2017, when Hurricane Harvey made landfall in Houston, TX. Unfortunately, the hurricane brought with it, severe thunderstorms, tornadoes, and over the course of the next 5 days, more than 52 inches of rain – topping the record for tropical cyclone rainfall in the US in the last 50 years. The extensive flooding in the Houston area caused 82 deaths and displaced approximately 39,000 people. It has been estimated that Harvey will cost the US over $190B, making it the most expensive storm in history, and exceeding Hurricane Katrina, which devastated the New Orleans area in 2005, by over $30B.
Before telling more about my impact Experience, let me tell you a little bit about my host organization – Impact Experience- and what we do.
Impact Experience is built on the belief that every community should have the access, relationships, and resources it needs to reach its full potential. By investing in communities, we empower individuals and local businesses to contribute to a more inclusive, sustainable, and prosperous world. We feel the best way to accomplish this goal is by connecting communities directly with impact investors, philanthropists, entrepreneurs and corporate executives, to generate trust, enhance strategic investment and accelerate transformation. It fuels transformation in marginalized communities by building strategic relationships between investors, foundations, companies and the entrepreneurs and local leaders they seek to support.
Coming back to what we did- our initial strategy session was held on September 23, 2017, in Austin, TX. But that was not the one I attended, I was honored to be part of the second impact experience which was held on December 2nd, 2017, where we brought together industry leaders from disaster relief organizations, advertising executives, venture capitalists, technology experts, entrepreneurs and startup incubator experts, educators, community activists and thought leaders in diversity and inclusion. During both sessions, we were able to clearly identify several high-level areas of concern for the communities of Houston as well as key areas of focus / potential solutions that can make a big impact on the post-Harvey landscape through entrepreneurial deployment.
Our goal for the second session was, to build upon the strategies identified in the first Impact Experience, to bring together a specific set of investors, foundations, entrepreneurs and community leaders from the affected areas, to co-create solutions that empower entrepreneurs and include their voice in the rebuilding of their communities.
And because my first impact experience happened to be on my Birthday 🙂 the team and the participants made sure to make it special for me, they sang for me and I got this yummy cake too!! 🙂