The Journey to Black Tech Street

May 24, 2022

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Our guest, Tyrance Billingsley is a born and raised Tulsan entrepreneur, ecosystem builder and community leader. He is the founder of Black Tech Street, an initiative to rebirth Black Wall Street as a Black tech capital and catalyze a global movement that sees Black people embrace technology as a means to build wealth and impact the world. Tyrance has been featured in Forbes, CNN, Blavity, the Wall Street Journal and more. He was recently named to the inaugural Forbes the Culture 50 Champions list that highlights 50 Black and Brown people in the US who are working to uplift their communities. He is passionate about using technology to transform the position of Black Americans in the United States and catalyzing innovation that improves human quality of life.

Living Room Conversations: Black Tech Street with Tyrance Billingsley

Rhea: Rhea Ong Yiu (Host) 

Tyrance: Tyrance Billingsley (Guest)

Rhea: Good morning, Good afternoon, Good evening everyone who’s watching this broadcast. Welcome to episode number 28 of the living room conversations. My name is Rhea Ong Yu and I will be the host for this conversation in the life sciences living room. Today we have a very interesting topic and it hinges back to a personal transformation in our living room we are very open to all sorts of stories stories of courage stories of transformation and what we’re really interested in is to hear the journey and what are the experiences of people who have gone through this transformation themselves for today our guest is Tyrance Billingsley. He is the founder and executive director of Black Tech Street. He will tell us a little bit about the journey and what he shared with me is that, he lives by the mantra that life is not about finding yourself it is about creating yourself. We’re going to explore a little bit about the history of Black Tech Street, how it came about and just basically the experiences that came with setting up Black Tech Street and what’s in his heart to share with us today. Tyrance,welcome to our living room and we’re happy to have you here with us.

Tyrance: Absolutely, happy to be here uh thank you for this honor i’m really excited. 

Rhea: So Tyrance, in our conversation you shared with me uh something that has always been a mantra for you. Which is about finding yourself not about finding yourself but about creating yourself. Tell us why this is so powerful in your life?

Tyrance:  Absolutely, so I’m the type of person that believes you know human beings are here to do two things. We exist so we can love other people and so we can be creative. That’s why we’re here and I very much am a proponent of the belief that human agency in the world is something that you know is so beautiful and it’s something that can create power. So when it comes to who we are and who we’re becoming.I like to say you know we’re not really human beings we’re human becomings. We are crafting and sculpting who we are but it’s not necessarily about quote unquote finding yourself like you’re lost. You’re a person you don’t get lost. It’s not like you lose your keys or anything like that. You create yourself but because when you have new experiences they can have an effect on you but you really get to determine how you internalize those things and what lessons you take from them and that’s the key. Human beings have rather human becomings have the power over their own destiny and that’s also something that we have in the world to help shape and I feel like when you put the focus on just finding yourself it’s not just about who you are it’s about art who you are determined to become. So that has really shaped how I’ve gone forward in life. 

Rhea: Yeah, we’re starting off on a very high note here. Thank you so much for kind of triggering these emotions in us Tyrance. I just want to acknowledge that we do have people who are tuned in to our Youtube and Facebook channels and would love to welcome you and also please chime into the conversation and put your questions and your reactions on the chat. Yeah tell us where you’re calling from. We’d love to hear from you. Coming back to that Tyrance. You also mentioned something about the kind of work that you’re doing. Maybe let’s start off by telling our team your starting point. I’ve watched your storytelling around the world and I’m very moved with the story you have shared there. So maybe let’s kind of give a little snapshot of where this comes from. 

Tyrance: Absolutely, so I’m a born and raised Tulsan. I’m a blood relative of the Tulsa race massacre survivors and for those who don’t know. Tulsa Oklahoma was once home to the most prosperous community of black entrepreneurs in the country and it was nicknamed black wall street. In 1921 that community was destroyed by a white mob who had essentially been looking for a reason to destroy this black community. That had created such incredible wealth that outpaced anything that had been done in the country by black people and by a lot of white people to be frank. So one day a young man named, a young black man, named Dick Rowland was accused of raping Sarah Page. A white mob tried to lynch him. Some of the members of the black community went down to defend him and they helped to get him to escape after he was arrested because he was falsely accused but after that a white person tried to take a gun from a black person. So there was a struggle over this gun and a shot flew out and then they essentially used this as a scapegoat to pour into greenwood and burn down the community. So 300 black people were killed and over ten thousand black people were left homeless. That’s important for you to know because as a born and raised Tulsan and a blood relative of survivors you know I began to ask myself the question. What could black wall street have been had it been supported and not destroyed. When I essentially thought about the level of tenacity and out of the box thinking that it took for these black entrepreneurs to build these incredible businesses during _____. You know the smashing through walls and that not letting anything stop you. That attitude reminded me broadly of entrepreneurship but specifically of the attitude people adopt when they become entrepreneurs in the tech industry. So tech’s one of the only industries you can build in a generational wealth in seven to ten years via a successful company exit. Technology’s the core medium through which global innovation takes place and new wealth generating markets are created all the time, that by the year 2030 there’ll be over 4.3 million high-paying vacant tech jobs due to a tech talent shortage. I not only saw this incredible wealth building opportunity for black people. I kind of saw the black wall street vision kind of pushed to a new horizon so that led me to surmise that. Have black wall street been supported and not destroyed. It would be nothing other than a premier black tech ecosystem. So that’s where the name black tech street comes from and that’s what the mission is. Our mission, we want to rebirth black wall street as a black tech capital but also kind of catalyze this national movement of black people embracing tech to build wealth and impact the world 

Rhea: So I just wanted to ask you because the story of the black wall street transformation from violence to something that is of affluence is quite interesting to see. Are you able to draw up like the stories and maybe some of the key identifiable characteristics that actually shifted this narrative? What were the things that we learned out of this cool transformation? 

Tyrance: Can you clarify a little bit more? You mean my parallels that I kind of drew the story? 

Rhea: Yeah. 

Tyrance: Well, I mean black wall street being a community of black people working together. You know you had a community where the dollar turned over 11 different times. You had one of the main pictures that’s famous in black wall street is you got a black family and a car and at that time cars were an absolute luxury. So for a black family to have a vehicle at that time was pretty staggering. But generally some of the other parallels I drew was, the innovative spirit you know we had. Black wall street had a trolley system that a lot of people would have said equated to the first like Uber or Lyft in a lot of ways. You have A.C. Jackson, one of the best surgeons in the country in black wall street. So some of the parallels that I drew is just the innovative spirit was always there. I mean that’s how black wall street came about in the first place. So it’s very much been there, you know. I feel like my duty was more so kind of rebirthing and reimagining a spirit that was kind of dormant you know in our community, in our people and in its soil. 

Rhea: So yeah right so like you you have a vision of rebirthing black wall street but in the given context right. We are now living in a different day and age in a different century with a different ecosystem. To create a ground for communities as well as entrepreneurship. What are the things that you feel are essential to kind of make this successful? 

Tyrance: Well, this kind of ties into our 6 pillars black tech street has the six pillars. Entrepreneur support, narrative communications, capital, workforce, infrastructure and policy. So first is entrepreneur support. You need access to knowledge and resources that are going to help black entrepreneurs understand the tech industry. Succeed in the tech industry and poise themselves to break into the specific aspects of tech that are going to build a lot of wealth. So supporting entrepreneurs and creating and cultivating an entrepreneurial environment is key. The second piece is narrative. For one, tech globally but really here, here in America specifically, it’s one of the widest and most homogenous industries there are. It’s not very diverse. So first and foremost having a narrative that has black kids or black people in general looking in the mirror saying you know I can be the next tech ceo, I can found a billion dollar company, that can be me. That’s key in using the narrative of black wall street which was so powerful. This is kind of the perfect engine to transform that narrative. So capital is probably the next big one. Capital is as you know when it comes to entrepreneurs, especially when you’re building high growth businesses, you have to have access to capital. That can help you grow and scale your business and here in America black people don’t have as easy time getting access to capital. Especially venture capital. So ensuring that there are entities that focus on black people and who are interested in giving capital to black people for acceleration, that’s really key. The other leg is the workforce. We don’t just want black tech entrepreneurs, we want people black people in the tech industry. Actually getting some of these jobs that in a lot of instances can help you build wealth just as easily as being an entrepreneur. Learning things like coding, AR, VR, Cyber Security. All of these are the future and as the fourth industrial revolution, as people are pointing it out, is really underway. There’re gonna be incredible wealth building opportunities and I mentioned the 4.3 million vacant tech jobs due to a tech talent shortage. That’s a wealth building opportunity unlike anything that people have come across so far. So the workforce is another one. Infrastructure is making sure that people in these communities have access to broadband and that they have access to all the different tech resources that are necessary for them to thrive in a digitized economy. Then the last one which is still being worked out is policy. We want to be able to be in partnership with different lawmakers to figure out what are policies that are going to make it easier for businesses, in general, to succeed but specifically when you’re black. You want to become an entrepreneur, what are some policies at the city and state level that can be in place that can make this easier and make that an easier journey. So those six things in combination I think are what’s necessary. 

Rhea: Thank you. I’m very impressed at the body of work that you’re doing. Especially for a very specific sector in the world which is black people. You mentioned to me in one of our conversations Tyrance. Where we said, yes there was a certain turning point in your personal journey that also propelled you to kind of create this vision. Right? I’m really curious because these are the things that are never told. These are the things that I never put on paper and I’m curious to give a little bit of room to have a conversation around that. 

Tyrance: Absolutely, so a big turning point for me was when I found a self-improvement tradition that spun out of a spiritual tradition, Judaism but it’s not inherently Jewish. But it’s a Jewish tradition called Mussar. It’s essentially a practice that it’s called making the heart feel what the mind knows. So everybody knows that you should be organized, that you should honor other people, and that you should have gratitude. Essentially, we know what it’s like to be a good high functioning individual. What we’re supposed to strive toward but just because we know that doesn’t mean we do that right. You know reading about being kind doesn’t make you more kind , reading about being gracious doesn’t make you more gracious and reading about loving other people doesn’t make you do that. In the same vein as watching a professional basketball or football player and being amazed isn’t going to allow you to get out on the court or get out on the field and do those same things. It takes practice, you’ve got to bridge those two and that’s what Mussar is. It’s a series of different practices that are essentially meant to reprogram your subconscious to where your default is to do and behave in the manners that you’re trying to get to and this is really tied into my philosophy about creating yourself. This is literally creating yourself. It’s almost like getting under the hood and reprogramming yourself and you do that through a series of things you know the theory says that you know your mind, your subconscious, it responds well to a couple different things. Authoritative voice, so you chant over and over again, certain mantras that you’re trying to get to. Visualization, you visualize yourself doing these things for certain amounts of time per day and then also clearly there’s the emotional aspect. So when you’re speaking or when you’re visualizing what you need to do um having that infused with emotions so that it imprints on your subconscious but then the most important part is actions and practice. So you would I would learn about say order you know being more organized but again after I would do the priming in my mind. I would take I would take it 30 minutes a day to do these exercises and then i would throughout my entire week on two weeks as I’m working on that trait I will look at the entire my entire life through the context of order and I noticed that i had an issue being a messy person because you know my mind’s off and all over the place but once I started practicing musa traits that i’ve always had but never thought that i’d be able to augment I was able to change and tune up to a degree it’s the kind of results that i’ve never gotten before and I looked in a lot of different places for practices to help but this helped. I mean it’s been truly transformative not just for my work but for my personal life because it allows me to cover how I see the world around me and it allows me to kind of balance these different traits that I have. 

Rhea: I can clearly resonate with a lot of the things that you said and what what really draw me into this whole concept is the fact that you cannot just be kind just because you read how to do it but you need to really truly apply that and be intentional about doing that and seeing that felt in the other person that it’s directed to right so it’s not just about your own but also on the other person. They also feel that genuine intention. I’m curious. I always hear that it takes 21 days to develop a habit and it takes a lifetime to kind of shape who you are. What are the small things that you can maybe share with our audience? How do you put things into practice if you are truly intentional about the transformation you’re going through?

Tyrance: So yeah that’s one of the things I like about Mussar. You can be creative with it. So right now the quote-unquote. You know they’re calling them; you could call them personality traits, the star calls them soul traits. So the trade I’ve been working on the last couple weeks is honor and that’s the basis of the practice. You know the whole golden rule: love your neighbor as yourself. Do what others you have them do unto you. What does that actually mean? Well in this context it means treating people everybody you meet with dignity and respect and the premise of it is that every human being deserves that. Even human beings who have done terrible things being able to separate the action from the individual. So for me a couple of practices that I’ve adopted is you know i’ve aspired to once a day saying to one person, I see divinity in you. Just to show that you know I believe that you are valuable and worthy. I’m making sure that I’m speaking anytime I see somebody. I try to be the first one to speak and say hey hello. And that that kind of shows them that you know i believe you know you are worthy of respect. This week every single day I’ve tried to find one task I can do that will help somebody in need. As a way to show them, hey you know , I think that you are somebody, I’m thinking about you, you are worth something, your career might not be going well, you might be in a hospital bed, you might not have x, y and z but you are a human being and that inherently makes you somebody sacred. So it’s funny you ask that because this has been the trait that has been really really helpful for me that has been good. I thought it was really transformative for me. The fourth practice is something that you know I’ve struggled with because I’m running a startup and so much of it is getting the word out. It’s actually kind of running away from honor. You know you want to honor other people but one way that I come out of balance is that we know when I try to slurp up too much honor. So I’ve actually been trying to pass. I’ve actually passed on one or two opportunities to get you know more press but simply because of that trait and simply because I’ve been working on that. I mean it’s not that huge of a sacrifice because more will come but still that’s a practice that you know I’m struggling with but it’s I’m seeing the results and that’s what keeps me doing this. Unlike all these other practices you almost immediately can see results when you do this stuff right and that’s proven true. 

Rhea: That’s a very interesting uh perspective. A very different way of seeing things. Right, I think we all know as human beings that we need to treat each other right but the moment you put that value of honor in front of the other person it changes the game. I’m just reflective of that and yeah I’m very encouraged by this thought Tyrance. So thank you for that and I hope our listeners are also hearing this and putting this into practice themselves because how cool would it be if the whole world would actually do this in practice. We have one question coming in from the chat Tyrance. Just want to read it out loud for you. Hi Rhea and Tyrance, I would love to know your personal background and what in your upbringing led to being such a force in the community. 

Tyrance: Absolutely, is it george? Yes thank you for the thank you for the question so um my background um career-wise i mean i’ve always had to two core passions you know um politics and entrepreneurship and the reason for that is because i’ve always wanted to positively impact the world and i’ve always seen that those two things everybody doing and making major changes in the world seem to be either a politician or an entrepreneur you know so and that’s those are so i kind of always gravitated towards those two things so initially um i wanted to do the political route first so in college i was president of student government then i rose to become president governor for the state of oklahoma that led me to chair the advisory board for the oklahoma state region for higher education helping to make education policy from there i interned for the mayor of my city mayor gt bynum um helping with economic and like civic policy and um you know helping to refine those thoughts there and i was simultaneously apprenticing under state representative um regina goodwin and state senator kevin matthews who are elected officials that represent my state district back home um but at some point i had a realization that i felt i felt that the the real innovations the real the things that are going to solve the problems of the 21st century policy will play a part in it but it’s not going to be rooted in policy. At some point I had this realization that the the people who really change and transform the world um those innovations aren’t going to come out of policy they’re going to come from entrepreneurs who are changing and creating new systems so that led me in and even while i was pursuing the political track i always knew entrepreneurship was the end game i was i’ve always been more of an entrepreneur than a politician but i’ve always had that that both traits there but um i was initially gonna say i’m gonna be the young politician get elected young do x y and z but after having this realization i was like you know the true gift that i have to give to the world is to be an entrepreneur to change systems and things like that so that’s what led me there but the ideas and energy that powered it i mean it’s coming from my community you know it’s just my parents raised me in a house of uh strong faith and when they say faith i don’t it’s not necessarily about the quote-unquote religion or the dogma of the beliefs it’s about the actions this idea of this notion that human beings are valuable the world we live in is valuable there are four key relationships it’s um that i feel are important it’s a our relationships with our relationship with other people our relationship with the world and our environment our relationship with ourself and then our quote-unquote relationship with any higher power you may believe in whether that’s a god or the universe or whatever else or maybe you don’t believe in a higher power it’s just a higher purpose whatever it is those four relationships are key and that’s kind of what kind of powers how i move and what i’m i try to allow it to power i do not want to put off the energy that i’m perfect that i’m always successful at this i’m not at all but that’s kind of what i strive towards that’s really beautiful and just to add to that a balance of all these relationships is so important as well right making sure that they all kind of gravitate towards um that uh higher purpose as you mentioned and that they’re all aligned absolutely absolutely yeah that that’s key when those three when those four relationships are aligned um i think that’s when you see communities really look the way they’re supposed to and that’s that’s something that i chase after you know i um we talked about what you’re gone again you’re unusual yeah so when i talk about when i talk about what my purpose is and where i’m trying to go i don’t necessarily think i’m just trying to do something for even just me on black wall street i think it’s bigger than that you know and you know in some of these traditions specifically you know the tradition of um you know uh judaism um not so much the dog mother the end game is a world where you know everybody’s honored you know people aren’t fighting things like that i believe when i get up and when i do what i do i’m i’m trying to align what i’m doing towards that story i want to get to a world where human beings are thriving the way that they should be so that means having economic opportunity that means people being respected what have you i know i probably won’t get there in my lifetime but rather than trying to build something towards my own ends i try to align i try to align the uh i try to combine my purpose with this broader purpose of trying to get to a world where everybody’s respected and everybody’s creative capability can contribute towards pushing the world forward thank you thank you sirens for that george i hope that answered your question and gave you a bit of perspective on the background behind the story 

Rhea: If there’s anyone out there who still had some questions or seeking some clarity from tyrants or from myself just feel free to type in your questions and we’ll be happy to kind of answer them as as we go along tyrants are you still there yes you are um yeah you also mentioned tyrants in our conversation that you searched for a lot of things and in this search you probably run into a lot of things that have kind of been part of this entire journey um can you can you maybe uh share a few things that you have encountered along the way that led you to where you are right now and and this transformation 

Tyrance: Yes so yeah there’s so many different um yeah there’s so many there’s so many different things to go over. When I say what I encounter, let’s think about it in terms like this. Let’s think about it in terms of philosophies that you can use to tackle issues. So again I just talked about the philosophy of you know both trying to honor people wanting people to wanting to maximize human potential and human flourishing things like that but it wasn’t always that way. You know there are a lot of different ways a human being can organize their story and how they want to go about the world and um a lot of that can lead to you know arrogance and self-centeredness and I feel like sometimes people especially when you’re an ambitious young person you can go through phases and and and a lot of people end up there’s a lot of people operating in the world not for other people’s good for their own good and I’m somebody who believes that self-interest is is not inherently bad it just has to be balanced you know there’s a quote that says if i’m not for if i’m not for myself who will be for me but if i’m only for myself then what am i you know so i it’s it’s a balance but one of the things that i’ve encountered not just with me is is this in the world and i think it’s part of human nature and if you look at the first I mean if you look at human history this has been the idea that has dominated our world for a really long time and to an extent still does it’s this idea that you know mike makes right the people who are capable people who are smart and strong you know they get to they get to do whatever they want and rule over anybody else you know it’s that is the nature of the old world quote-unquote and that is that is the human default that’s human default you know it’s the people the fault of nature it’s the um even on the playground we look at kids the big kid the kid that that has xyz tends to get do what they want you know that’s what we’ve got to take down you know so when i encounter that when i encounter that in the world and in myself i feel like that’s one of the biggest enemies that we as people are fighting against and that was something that i wanted to overcome that overcame to get to where i am now um yeah there’s this world order where you know if if i have x and y and you don’t that’s just on you but if i’ve got it i’m i’m good and i’m gonna go ahead and do what i need to do that’s not a way to get all of us where we need to be and that’s not that’s not a way to be a human being um that’s something that i encountered and that’s something that i at one point clothed myself in because you know i wanted to the desire to be the best has always been there at some point you know sometimes you clothe yourself in that ambition and that desire to just get what you want but that’s not a good way to be a human being so in my journey you know in towards finding mussar and finding you know my connection about my uh refilling my connection with other people in my faith you know that’s it’s kind of been the center of it all trying to get to this world kind of trying to get to the world that kind of that’s that’s kind of how i organize my story.

Rhea: Thank you um yeah i’m just trying to as i was listening to us also trying to draw some parallels or some kind of common ground around like how i am and how we are as life sciences is approaching our our role in today’s world especially in the organizations that that we work with right um we have uh a mission and a purpose to kind of change the way of work to be less hierarchical and to give voice to to the people who are actually bringing um uh yeah let’s say the innovation forward the people who are actually working across that they feel heard that they feel seen and they are given the right ecosystem to to flourish and to bring their talents into the world and um i love what you’re doing um with uh with the angle of entrepreneurship and i just feel like um in the world of teal which is uh all about evolutionary purpose i see that you know you’re you’re bringing a lot of um uh your entrepreneurial um uh let’s say entrepreneurial ideas and thoughts in there and um how how do you feel like um this is uh trying to find the right words but how is um entrepreneurship and your core purpose um actually bringing out uh or or let’s say positioned in an emergent uh world that we are because you mentioned something about innovation that really picked my brain a little bit earlier 

Tyrance: Yes so again human beings are you know as we’re creating new things and building new systems to make people better make the world better um i think i think the ideas it’s it’s when we build new ideas and when we when we create new whether it be startups or non-profits again we are creating we are birthing something from our minds and creating vehicles to transform the world around us so creating an ecosystem creating a framework creating learning how to create frameworks that allow any human being to exist and do that more efficiently is inherently going to lead to the creation of new better now we can hear you again okay sorry um are you familiar with the story of like the goose and the golden eggs and all of that have you ever heard that story no no well please do there okay so there’s this there’s this story of your farmer one day you know he finds a goose and um he thinks it’s just a regular boost but it ends up being able to lay eggs solid gold you know every now and then it keeps it keeps laying these golden eggs and this farm he’s just like oh i’m getting rich getting rich he keeps getting wealthier because he keep laying these golden eggs well one day he decides he doesn’t just want one egg at a time he wants a ton of eggs so he goes and he unfortunately cuts the goose open and he finds no eggs he finds no eggs at all and then his luck runs out he ends up being poor that’s what he gets for killing the goose the point of the analogy is we as human beings tend to think we are the farmer and not the goose but in reality we are the goose we have golden eggs and these golden eggs are our ideas they are our innovations that can push the world forward and so many times human beings think that every idea that’s going to change the world even if they get one they think they’ve got we gotta just guard it and ideas are sacred they are but they think we’ve got to discard it because it’s this one time thing it’ll never come again but the reality is human beings wouldn’t have been able to accomplish what we have up until now if innovation and great ideas were in as short supply as people think that they are as we tend to believe that they are and once we figure out that we are the goose and not the farmer and once we learn how to create systems that allow us to lay golden eggs at will any human being being able to birth golden eggs those are new valuable ideas that can push the world forward the best way we can get to the world we want is creating systems that enable humans to birth golden eggs positive golden eggs and churn them out into the world so the role that i’m playing is i’m trying to do that what is the systems that we can create that allows a human to learn how to lay as many golden eggs as possible when they want um and once we figure that out i think we’ll find a lot more solutions to a lot of the problems that we have globally i love this analogy of the golden egg and the farmer.

Rhea: Yeah i’m also a firm believer that ideas are not are useless if they’re not shared and they’re not talked about right um you cannot innovate with um ideas that are in your head it needs to be shared before it actually bears fruit and um yeah there’s a few questions around this and uh i’m i’m hoping that we can also hear out from our um viewers one question uh is from mariana she’s asking do you practice by any chance uh sort of uh teal or self-management in any of your business and how is this coming about. 

Tyrance: Thank you for the question so as of right now self management things like that yes but there’s not a specific you know system um as of just yet um you know teal was something really that was something i really just got introduced to and i thought it was such an amazing thing uh i never heard of anything like that before i got invited to speak to the conference and i don’t really see anything like that in america where i am um not really so that’s something that it’s something that i wanted to investigate a little bit more you know really get into so the answer as of right i’m super interested in it and getting more people in that here but i mean it’s also a co-culture deal like america’s work culture is very different than what this puts forward and um i’d like to see that change but you know we get that that that that takes work 

Rhea: Definitely it’s it’s not something that just comes out of nowhere it requires a lot of intention it requires practice as a we talked about earlier and it’s also an evolutionary thing you don’t just get stuck right uh on one thing you move on as um as the world changes as well around you um yeah 

Rhea: One more question from from our audience um sky is asking where will black tech suite go from here and what are your plans for the future 

Tyrance: Thank you for the question so the goal of black texture you know as we build what we’re trying to build um here in tulsa this ecosystem we want to create a replicable model that can be a model that can be replicated in communities kind of you know like across the country um i want black church street to kind of really evolve into this movement and i actually have a tedx talk that i recently did that i can link to you all that um you can watch that kind of talks about what my my vision for for it is nationally but um yeah i mean just we’re just trying to get to this world where you know black people so yeah just really trying to get to this world where like black people and innovation are really kind of synonymous and um the entrepreneurial ecos the kind of entrepreneurial ecosystem where ideas flourish and are met with the resources necessary for them to thrive um so currently right now there’s actually a pretty big deal we’re working on with two fortune 100 companies that i think could really plant the seed of where we want to go ultimately so um i’m not being vague because they’re not completely finished yet but if these are successful i mean we’ve got kind of this blueprint to transforming the country and that’s that’s kind of really where i want to go that’s uh 

Rhea: That’s really amazing um very very good to hear um on the steps that you’re taking in moving forward with black tech street i think it will do a lot of service to the world uh when people have the right platform uh for expression of their innovative ideas right so this is a really amazing thing um yeah i’m just reflecting like the journey that you have taken on and um the things that you have like experience along the way they have shaped you they have shaped your thoughts and they have shaped your vision for what you would like to bring to the world um like sitting where you are now what advice would you give to probably your um 20 year old self um 

Tyrance: Other than stop being stupid um other than that other than that um i would probably uh i’ll probably tell them you know my 20 year old self knew where he needed to go he just didn’t have the discipline he knew where he needed to go to where he was always meant to go just now the discipline and always the desire to act on that immediately so i would say you know the earlier you start the better and that’s not to say that nothing good was being done at that time things were but a lot more could have been accomplished how i had more discipline even earlier i had more discipline and i had more of a vision and you know the whole reason why i keep going back to you know whether it be um mozart and so much else it’s because i don’t think human beings understand i don’t think we realize how important it is to organize our lives into these stories with a broader purpose i mean how far be it for me again you are you are creator you can do whatever you want but what i’m saying is human beings have to have this broader story we’re organized towards that that that’s something about making a better world and i feel like a lot of people don’t do that in a month a lot of people are just looking for um hey you know i’m gonna do what’s good for me you’re doing what’s good for you that’s okay that’s that’s who you that’s it that’s who you are that’s what you want to do that’s great but i feel our world gets much better results and human societies for us much better when there’s an end game and when there’s a story so the story of trying to get to this world where there’s not violence anymore where we’re being as innovative as we can be we’re figuring out new things about the world all the time and we’re improving it for ourselves and others beings that is a story that everybody was building what they were building trying to get to that story i think we could actually get there so what i would tell my younger self is you got to cling to that story i mean yes you can have fun but you living for you even you living for you and just a couple of people around you that’s not that’s not it when you die when you go back to the dust what are you really gonna be able to say you know if you lived a beautiful life and you had amazing experiences and you loved people that is amazing and that is what is that’s what is important but what if what about the people who didn’t have that and are you going to die knowing that you probably could have done more to help people who didn’t have that get it but you didn’t because you were just so concerned with enjoying what you had you know that these are the questions that we’ve got these are the questions that we’ve got to grapple with that’s why i think the story is is that human story is very important and i think the right human story is very important because humans can be organized towards very terrible stories and some very terrible things could be done but also not having a story at all to still lead to a similar place as well 

Rhea: Thank you so much tyrants um yeah we are um almost at the end of uh top of the hour and i just wanted to say um yeah thank you for for being here and uh for inspiring us and for maybe triggering some points to think about for our audience as well and for myself um yeah is there anything else you would like to um to share um with our audience today uh 

Tyrance: I’d like to say well you know i can’t see you i don’t know you but i mean i wanna honor everybody here watching you know um remember that you are a you’re a human you’re a human becoming you can create yourself and that you are worthy of dignity and respect and so is everybody around you you know um so even when people do horrible things that are not becoming of who they are who we should be as human beings um we can deal with their actions even if it means getting justice for them i always say this i always say this you know you can you can despise something some something someone’s trying to do when you can work to stop them you can work to get justice for terrible things something already someone already did you can even despise a pattern of a human being and work to protect yourself and those around you but under those circumstances allow yourself to despise another human being and that that’s a really really tough thing to do we just got you know here in america we just had buffalo new york incident where a young white man came in and killed 10 black people for no reason at all and it’s been painful to think about that but in keeping with honor i want to honor those people and while i know that man that man is going to be he’s we’re going to get justice but i have to remember no that man is a human being too and um all of us are human beings and the moment we start seeing that um giving honor to people just because they are humans i think that’s when we get to the world we want to get to that doesn’t mean we don’t doesn’t mean we don’t get justice that doesn’t mean we allow anything to happen but that means in balance just as we are pursuing justice we’re also pursuing compassion um to the highest degree possible that allows justice to be present at the same time and um i have not mastered that in any way shape or form but i’m trying to get there and once people once i think we all get there i think we’ll we’ll live in the world that we should be looking at 

Rhea: Thank you. Thank you Tyrance and to our audience. I know there’s a lot of people writing questions. Hopefully we can come back to you on the chat but thank you so much for being here, being present and connecting with this conversation and if you’re watching this on replay I hope that you walk away feeling inspired, feeling courageous to take some actions and how you can play a role in bringing justice and compassion in front of the world today. So thank you and as we are wrapping up I just want to say yeah thank you for joining and I hope you will join us in our future conversations to be notified just like and subscribe to our channel on youtube or add us to your playlist on spotify and apple and if you are curious about events that are happening for life sciences. We do have a couple more conversations that are coming up we have Topi Yokonin who is creating an ecosystem for teal in his construction business is really interesting um topic because as you know construction business very hierarchical. You have different skill sets different facets there um and it’s an interesting concept to explore and that will happen on the 25th of May. So scan the code join the conversation keep it in your calendar and then the next one that’s happening is the TL network global meetup we are going to host the meetup on the 9th of june. I’m not sure exactly what the meetup will be about but do join us there. A couple of us will be joining and this is just a way to gather together with a community learn more about the teal practices and see what resonates with you and your organization and again thank you so much for joining us in this conversation with Tyrance Billingsley of Black Tech Street, do like and subscribe to his channel as well he has some Ted talks on youtube that you can also try to watch and he has been part of our deal around the world storytellers. So if you have been part of a deal around the world, do check out his story on your account and you should be able to watch the video. So for today we are about to close with Tyrance any final words now. I’ll just thank you all for joining. Spread love and honor in everything you do. Thank you everybody for joining me in this conversation and I hope to see you in a couple of weeks um together with Topi. Thank you everybody. Thank you.  

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Be More Pirate with Alex Barker

Our guest, Alex Barker, runs Be More Pirate: a global social movement and consultancy. She is a freelance writer, speaker facilitator, community builder and advocate