I am going to San Quentin Prison, & am Quite Happy to Do So.
Friends and Colleagues
Have I lost my mind? Quite to the contrary. Recently, I learned about the extraordinary The Last Mile (@TLM) program from a customer of my company, Reduxio Systems, Zach Boewer. Zack is VP of IT at Scale Venture Partners, based in Silicon Valley, CA, and is involved in a technical advisory capacity. Based on learning about the program from Zack, Reduxio decided to donate one of our HX550 hybrid data storage arrays to be used in Code 7370 San Quentin. This is a program that was designed to rehabilitate prisoners by teaching them to code. As someone who has strong social heart and who loves to apply the powerful principles of entrepreneurship to solving social problems, I was immediately hooked.
Zach connected me with Program Founder Chris Redlitz (@chrisredlitz), who had the audacious vision that we could dramatically reduce recidivism rates of our increasingly large prison population by teaching them key job skills that will allow them to not just survive, but actually thrive, in the Innovation Economy. Chris and I had instant chemistry, resulting in him inviting me to join him in mid July to visit San Quentin to give a talk on the Innovation Economy, the critical importance of software development skills in this economy, and how to think about building a thriving career working independently in the flourishing Freelance Economy, or how to hire on with an open-minded startup or company. (I’ll also be looking for people with relevant skills that we can engage with at Reduxio)
Check out the transcript from Chris’s experiences on the TED web site here:
Here’s a story from the NY Times:
Entrepreneurs are about having impact, and the TLM program, specifically the Code 7370 San Quentin program, has that in abundance. While typical recidivism rates hover in the 70% range, graduates of this program have recidivism rates of ZERO%. This is NOT a typo. No one who has graduated from the program has gone back to prison. It’s a remarkable, but accurate, fact. As a result, many prisons across the country want to replicate the success of this program. I hope to play a role in helping to make that happen. I will post on my experiences once I complete my first visit, currently scheduled for 14 July.
Stay tuned. Can’t wait to update you on this unique experience.
Chief Marketing & Corporate Strategy Officer, Reduxio Systems
Global Professor or Entrepreneurship, Innovation & Leadership
Hult International Business School