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BDPA Will Think Differently Too...
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BDPA Will Think Differently Too....

Apple told us over 20 years ago “that the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.” They called this idea “Think Differently”.
A few weeks ago  Apple made history as the first company to reach a $1 Trillion dollar market capitalization after nearly closing its doors in the mid-90s. It is a story of the ultimate reset and redemption. This story was fueled by Apple’s ability to meet the market’s desire for innovation with its ability to change its products to reflect the needs of its customers. You might say, well that is common sense. I would offer, common sense is always common. They chose to challenge its most important asset, its people, to think differently and reimagine Apple and its products.
BDPA has parallels with the Apple story worth noting. Firstly, Apple was founded in 1976 just a year after BDPA. They were both born to meet niche needs the market hadn’t addressed. Apple was build to be a specialty product for the deeply technical computer enthusiast, while BDPA was founded to meet an unmet need for networking and professional development for blacks in technology. Lastly, both organizations had extended periods decline and questions about its relevance. Apple chose to think differently as a way to reimagine the possible to plot a new course to a trillion dollar future. As the National President for BDPA, I am asking  BDPA to Think Differently Too.
At the beginning of 2018 we started the reimagination process. We added the bi-weekly tech and career talks while building on a history of great BDPA National Technology Conferences. This year we enhanced the conference experience by co-locating with the National society for Blacks in Computing. This was great marriage of Industry leaders with academia. These and other efforts helped establish a solid foundation for BDPA and our members. We also increased the quality of the content and added unique experiences for the youth and adults aimed that igniting passion and exposure to innovative tech trends.
The BDPA “Think Differently Too” plan evolves around member experiences, strategic partnerships and strengthening our foundation. We must redoubled our efforts to ensure excellent experiences for adults, youth, college students and entrepreneurs.
We will continue to focus on quality while exposing our members to the best of high tech and cutting edge industry consumption and patterns. We are also seeking to impact the pipeline by establishing tighter relationships with colleges producing blacks in IT.
In addition, we will grow our presence in communities so young people of color can be empowered in this high tech world and have examples to showcase what is possible. Each of our programs will go through a refresh to ensure they are modern, measurable and agile.
We will review our existing partnerships and establish new key national partnerships that accelerate our exposure, growth and development while driving a local playbook that seeks to impact the urban cores across the US.
To strengthen our foundation we will aggressively seek to raise at least $500k in sponsorship and grants by the end of 2018 to relieve the finance pressures while we are focused on stakeholder experiences, program delivery and conference planning. We intend to fill strategic leadership roles that help us deliver operations that ensure great member, partner, and sponsor outcomes.
Our “Think Differently” plan is ambitious but achievable. BDPA is a great organization, with a great heritage and moreover a great mission.
Colonel Eli Lilly, the founder of Eli Lilly and Company, once said, “take what you have and make it better and better”.
If we are willing to lean in and think differently, we will make BDPA better together.


Terry Morris

National BDPA President

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