UX Mini Workshop on March 30 in San Francisco

SUPA Product Academy in conjunction with Aconex would like to present an evening of UX POWER TALKS on March 30 in San Francisco!


6pm – 6:45am Networking with Alcohol, soft drinks and delicious pizza

6:45am – 7:30pm The Benevolent Dictatorship of Collaborative Design with Marcin Treder, CEO of UXPin

7:30pm – 8:15pm Does my app look fat? with Kirsten Mann, GM Global Design & Experience at Aconex

8:15pm – 8:30pm Job notifications, other announcements

Come and have a drink and something delicious to eat while listening to two leaders in the UX community.

Marcin Treder, CEO of UXPin will discuss: The Benevolent Dictatorship of Collaborative Design.

In today’s world of Lean and Agile, everyone knows collaboration is important. But how do you implement and govern collaborative design? It’s not as easy as just workshops and inviting more people to design reviews. The talk teaches design and product folks how to drive a process that inspires great ideas but doesn’t become a slog of feedback cycles.

Key Takeaways: Based on his experience, Marcin will explain a framework for:

  • Governing UX decisions across different departments
  • How to create a cohesive design strategy with different teams
  • Deciding who to involve (and when)
  • How to standardize a collaborative process across continents

Find out more about Marcin at https://www.linkedin.com/in/marcintreder/

Kirsten Mann, GM Global Design & Experience at Aconex will discuss: Does my app look fat?

People often ask “does this application or product ‘look’ ok?”, assuming “how it looks” is an appropriate measure of quality. The key to building a quality product lies in understanding what your users want and how they will use the product. How it looks is only one of many pieces. Kirsten will share some insights she’s learnt from over 20 years designing software and experiences and outline how to get inside the heads of the people using your applications or products.

Key Takeaways: Validating the problems people using your product are trying to solve is often a task left to a BA, UX professional or product manager. However, all team members, have a responsibility to get inside the heads of the people using their products. Kirsten’s talk today will outline ways to do this.

Find out more about Kirsten at https://www.linkedin.com/in/kirstenmann/

Alcohol, soft drink and delicious pizza will be served. Cover charge is going towards refreshments and after-hours security required for the building.

Tickets are only available for sale online. Security will be checking all names in lobby.

Thanks to the host:

Aconex is the world’s largest online platform for the building and construction industry. Their mission is to change the way people work together on projects.From a small startup founded out of Australia, Aconex is now a global organization with offices in 52 countries. https://www.aconex.com/


What are my transport/parking options getting to the event?

Bart directions
– Exit Montgomery Station
– Walk three blocks north on Montgomery to 250 Montgomery (@ Pine) on left side of street

Parking garages
– 555 California (between Kearny and Montgomery)
– 333 Bush (between Kearny and Montgomery)
– 225 Bush (between Montgomery and Sansome)

Where can I contact the organizer with any questions?

Email: [email protected]

What if I don’t make it there on time?

Prompt arrival required as there’ll be limited after hour access once event commences. However, you can try SMSing (415) 244-2340 and a nice person may let you in.

SUPA Product Academy creates and nurtures inclusive local communities for passionate product professionals across disciplines, provides a sandbox for product and skill experimentation, and enables a launch pad forwarding product people, product ideas, product teams, and product success.


Building Products of the Future Within Legacy Systems and Cultures

Join us at the December 20, 2016 Women in Product NYC Meetup!

Lean startup, user-centered design, and agile development have inspired a new wave of digital product experiences and development practices.

However, for many Product Managers that are challenged with legacy products, technologies and development approaches there are many questions, including:

• How do we make the right decisions to move forward?

• How do we prioritize between technical debt and new features?

• How do we navigate being agile in a waterfall company structure?

We’ll be hosting an inspirational panel of Product Managers that will share their stories, challenges and practices when it comes to developing products in the face of legacy systems and cultures. Panelists to be announced.

Discussion will be welcome and encouraged!

Proposed Agenda:

6:30 pm: Welcome and Networking

7 pm: Introductions and Panel Discussion

7:45 pm: Q&A and Announcements

8:15 pm: Networking

Light snacks and drinks will be provided.

Panel Members include:

Joanna Beltowska, Associate Director, Product Management at Pivotal Labs

More TBD

Moderator: Caroline Hane-Weijman

Caroline Hane-Weijman is a Product Manager at Pivotal Labs, working with large enterprises and startups to help transform the way their teams build software using agile principles to deliver value to users and the business.  Caroline came from product management at the fintech startup, LearnVest, during which they were acquired by Northwestern Mutual. She was previously a business management consultant at McKinsey & Co, serving Fortune 500 companies across industries and functions, and has a mechanical engineering degree from MIT, with a focus and strong passion for international development.  She’s most inspired when working with a team of passionate, creative people who are committed to continuous iteration, for themselves and others. Connect with Caroline https://www.linkedin.com/in/chaneweijman

Please thank our Sponsor Pivotal Labs!

Pivotal Labs is a software development consultancy, where we work with large enterprises and startups to help transform the way teams build software. We aim to make the end-to-end product development process a core competency of our clients’ organizations, driven by empowered, autonomous and self-organizing agile teams and guided by principles of user-centric design, lean startup methodologies, and lean engineering practices.

Podcast Series: Developing The Lean Spec

Join in on the discussion!

Cindy F. Solomon of SUPA Product Academy chats with Malcolm Knapp of the Engineer Accelerator to figure out how to apply the process that Malcolm teaches for creating the vision for a product prior to building it. The “lean spec” is a product specification requirements process that Malcolm has developed and implemented over many years of building hardware products and uses to arrive at the product definition prior to building.

Listeners are invited to join the discussion, ask questions and provide your own perspectives and approaches for what process and tools you currently employ to arrive at a cross functional and validated vision of the product prior to build.  Follow the Global Product Management Talk channel on BlogTalkRadio for regular episodes and other syndicated product management shows.

malcolmAbout Malcolm Knapp


I help small companies and individual people with defining the product they are trying to make and implementation of the electronics component of that product. In all, I have over ten years of project experience ever since I designed and built a low cost rechargeable lantern from The Millennium Villages project in 2004.

My education includes a combined BA in Science, Engineering, and Society from Pitzer College, a BS in Electrical Engineer from Columbia University and a MS in Electrical Engineering from Columbia. I chose this type of degree because politics, economics, and culture, effect what is built just as much as what is technically possible and I wanted to understand how.




Episode 1

This is the first in a series of conversations highlighting the issues involved in talking about this process, developing it as a product management tool, and solving the complexity of visualizing the product definition before development begins.

Episode 2

Malcolm Knapp of the Engineer Accelerator and Cindy F. Solomon of SUPA Product Academy delve into systems thinking and cross-functional collaboration to create the Lean Spec document to uncover what is known and unknown about the product before undertaking development.

Episode 3

In this 3rd episode, we discuss where in the product lifecycle process the lean spec is created, and who is responsible for driving it forward to execution. Distinctions regarding project management, product management, product marketing management, UX, CX and QA focus are uncovered.

Episode 4

In this 4th discussion of the series, they use a mobile application product idea to work through the probing questions necessary to identify what is known and what is unknown to flesh out the product concretely.

Episode 5

In this 5th discussion of the series, Malcolm further zooms in on the block diagram and accordion text outline of features, behaviors, connections and granular details that define the product to be built.

Episode 6

Cindy and Malcolm discuss applications of the lean spec to the product development process


Episode 7

Discussing the issue of appropriate naming of product functions.


Episode 8

In this 8th discussion of the series, Cindy and Malcolm discuss what pre-requisites might be necessary for attendees to the Lean Spec training, tools and software, as well as value of implementing the Lean Spec within both hardware and software product organizations.

S.H.E. Summit 2016 – A Refreshingly Authentic And Inspiring Women’s Conference

By Caroline Hane-Weijman

I was lucky enough to snag a ticket to the second day of S.H.E summit 2016 from one of our client’s at Pivotal Labs. After being underwhelmed by previous women’s conferences I’ve attended in the past, I was blown away by the quality of speakers, the content that emerged, and the overall atmosphere of the summit.

I feel other women forums I have attended have primarily discussed challenges women were facing in the workplace because of their gender and how women have advanced organizationally, or “gotten ahead”, despite being a woman. The focus has been backwards looking on where “she has been. In addition, it has not served to showcase what “she is doing. Becoming a CEO in itself is not as inspirational to me as understanding what impact she is bringing to the world. What innovation/technology/product is she leading or contributing to? A tech conference for men would focus on technology; why should a woman’s conference in technology not do the same?

I felt the S.H.E. Summit took a refreshing and inspiration new approach. It showcased phenomenal women that had achieved success because they were women. How embracing all that “she is and where “she is goinghas helped them create the change they want to see in their space. And then specifically highlighting those changes– from advocating for girls’ education and developing innovational underwear for women on their periods to being editor-in-chief of Refinery29 and managing technology for Morgan Stanley. As the mantra of the summit emphasizes “Rise to your potential. Lift other women”, there was a strong call to action for the audience to empower themselves but also to contribute to something greater than themselves. As a 28-year-old with many ambitions and fears, and who has studied and worked in primarily male-dominated spaces, the tone and content of this summit resonated with me.

Furthermore, I felt the summit cultivated a level of authenticity, vulnerability and humility amongst the speakers and attendees that I have not encountered in other conferences. The speakers were not preaching advice; they were sharing intimate, authentic, and inspirational stories. Within the first 10 minutes of arriving, I met a group of women I spent the remainder of the day with and have followed up with since.  I am impressed by the safe space and openness that was so well cultivated.

The panels and presentations I attended ranged from parenthood, allowing yourself to drop the ball and expectations of what you should be or do, being deliberate about your “connectional intelligence”, capturing entrepreneurial opportunities in whitespaces, being a leader of change and “intrapreneur” within the corporate world, and dissecting the forces of the media.

Some of my highlights were:
  • Allyson Downey spoke about the concept of benevolent discrimination. Allyson called out that making assumptions and business decisions for women that are pregnant or have family based on good intentions of being understanding and supportive is still discrimination. “This client is going to be very demanding so I’ll assign it to Mike since Sarah has two young kids and I don’t want her to have to work late”. Both men and women are culprits of this. With company cultures trying to shift to a more supportive work-life balance, I can definitely see how this may become unintentionally prevalent. The solution? Always make it very clear what you want to your colleagues.
  • Claudia Chan, founder & C.E.O. of the S.H.E. Summit (and of course the host of the event), spoke about how to find ways to lift others. She spoke about how to turn your personal pain into power to lift others. This source of power, together with vocational training and skills, can help you take steps towards contributing beyond yourself.
  • The only male speaker of the second day, Jack Myers, brought to light a topic I had never really considered: with the changing role of a woman, how do we help redefine the role of a man in our future? How do we help support young men to be better partners, colleagues, managers, sons and fathers to empowered women? He shared interesting research on Gen Z males, born 1990-2000, who are particularly confused by conflicting messaging of the dying patriarchy, boy’s club and macho stereotype that are still represented in the media, and newer movements of vulnerability, empathy, and women empowerment. What does it mean to identify as “a real man” in the future? I say identify with, as I feel it is important to call out that gender identification is not binary. It is a “New Masculinity Movement”, as Jack’s book is called, that does not only speak to “being a man”. I think we have a shared responsibility, all genders alike, to contribute to this movement just as we have for the femininity movement.
  • A panel of women entrepreneurs shared their inspiring experiences building companies within industry whitespaces. Panelists were Melissa Ben-Ishay of Baked By Melissa, Lauren Wesley Wilson of ColorComm, Carrie Hammer of Role Models Not Runway Models, and Miki Agrawal of THINX. I’ve been to founders panels before but was extremely inspired by this panel’s authenticity, personal stories, scrappiness, humility and just pure passion. The focus was on what they were doing and why.
  • As a last mention, the closing speaker, Lisa Nichols, inspired tears, goosebumps, laughter, and a standing ovation from myself and the audience. I’m not sure how to better describe her than the conference bio: “female speaker who has the motivational savvy of a Tony Robbins with the gospel soul of Martin Luther King Jr.” Find her. Watch her. 🙂
All in all, I feel a new found energy to pursue the ideas brewing in my head and heart and to seek out more help from the communities that exist. Specifically, as a Product Manager in tech in NYC, I am very excited to help grow the communities in New York that showcase and fuel conversation for the amazing women in product development.  Please join me at an upcoming Women in Product meetup! All genders welcome!

About The Author
carolineCaroline Hane-Weijman is a Product Manager at Pivotal Labs, working with large enterprises and startups to help transform the way their teams build software using agile principles to deliver value to users and the business.  Caroline came from product management at the fintech startup, LearnVest, during which they were acquired by Northwestern Mutual. She was previously a business management consultant at McKinsey & Co, serving Fortune 500 companies across industries and functions, and has a mechanical engineering degree from MIT, with a focus and strong passion for international development.  She’s most inspired when working with a team of passionate, creative people who are committed to continuous iteration, for themselves and others. Connect with Caroline https://www.linkedin.com/in/chaneweijman

Storify from S.H.E. Summit

Re-thinking Progress: The Circular Economy

There’s a world of opportunity to re-think and re-design the way we make stuff.

‘Re-Thinking Progress’ explores how through a change in perspective we can re-design the way our economy works – designing products that can be ‘made to be made again’ and powering the system with renewable energy. It questions whether with creativity and innovation we can build a restorative economy.

Find out more about the circular economy at http://www.ellenmacarthurfoundation.org and http://www.facebook.com/EllenMacArthu… and Twitter http://twitter.com/#!/made2bmadeagain

Report From East Bay Women’s Network Tech Max

by Cindy F. Solomon

I was honored to be one women among a diverse line up of women speakers this week at the TechMax conference in the San Francisco East Bay.  It was produced by the East Bay Women’s Network and Tumikia WatuKhuthaza Read more about it from the storify I created from curated content, pics and tweets.


Using Agile To Teach Agile

Teaching in an Agile Manner

By Cindy F. Solomon, Founder

The first Startup Product Academy stand-alone, full day course took place in December, 2013 in Oakland, CA. Startup Product Academy is a product of the Startup Product movement for product excellence to provide innovative approaches and experiential learning opportunities that forward passionate product people.

Amy Lightholder taught the class in an Agile manner. Amy is well known in the Agile community as a practitioner and community member for the past seven years, including stints as a co-organizer for the Bay Area Agile Leadership Network and Agile Open California.

As a capacious continuous learner, like many other people drawn to product management, I’ve sat through numerous Agile introductions, presentations and seminars. I’ve seen Agile discussed, debated, researched, demonstrated, illustrated, pontificated and dogmatized. I’ve been inspired at Agile conferences and have the utmost respect for Agile experts, coaches, practitioners, and trainers.

Intro to Agile was the first time I’ve seen Agile actually taught using Agile – not merely as a demonstration – but actually as the teaching method embedded into every moment of the class and curriculum.

Here’s what Amy had to say about it.

“I have always been a bad student, because I get bored really easily and don’t have a lot of patience for explanations that don’t have much practical application. I wanted to create a learning experience that would have been able to hold even my attention. And I had a lot of freedom in this class because — since it wasn’t for a certification — it didn’t have a prescribed curriculum. Instead, I could be responsive to what students were interested in and/or needed to know for their individual situations.

I drew a lot of inspiration for this class from the un-schooling movement, where you start with a project and the teaching follows what you need to know in order to do that project. Most instruction is too abstract, because that is the most effective way of conveying information. But it’s not the most effective means of learning for most people, and it’s certainly not the most enjoyable.

If you want somebody to really learn a methodology, it’s best to put them in a situation where they need to use it and give them as much practice as possible. You don’t go to class for the material, exactly. There are already plenty of books and online lessons for the pure material. You go to class for the interactive experience with other students and for the opportunity to get personal coaching from an expert who has a very deep experience in whatever it is you’ve gone to school to learn. That’s the real value of in-person learning. Software can replace everything else. I know enough about Agile by this point, that there’s pretty much nothing a beginner student can throw at me that I won’t be able to help them with.”

Agile Teaching Methodology

As a tactile kinesthetic learner, I wish I could learn everything in this manner where I get exactly what I need to know to apply immediately while also interacting with other people equally fully engaged. So I went looking for precedents of this teaching approach.

Back in 2004, Dr. Andy Chun of City University of Hong Kong, identified the ATLM, the Agile Teaching/Learning Methodology, published in Lecture Notes in Computer Science — Advances in Web based learning, Volume 3143. Dr. Chun was referencing a traditional higher education classroom setting where the course takes place in a 13 week semester.








The teaching cycle on the left represents the teacher providing a lecture or tutorial, constantly monitoring feedback from the students, and making immediate, relevant adjustments to the course plan in response.

On the right side, the learning cycle is where the students are engaged. They immediately practice what has been presented individually and in groups, then demonstrate mastery with the rest of the class.

From Dr. Chung

“The classic Learning Pyramid confirms this approach. It charts the average retention rate for various methods of teaching. These retention percentages represent the results of research conducted by National Training Laboratories in Bethel, Maine in 1994.

According to the chart, lecture, the top of the pyramid, achieves an average retention rate of only 5%. On the opposite end of the scale, the “teach others/immediate use” method achieves an average retention rate of 90%! I believe knowledge sharing or “teaching others” is a critical tool in helping students understand the learning process and helps prepare them for lifelong learning.”











What if this Agile manner of teaching were made available to teachers at all levels of academia and professional trainings?  The Intro to Agile class taught by Amy Lightholder, teaching Agile in an Agile manner, raised the bar for future offerings from the Startup Product Academy. In development is a course to train teachers to teach in an Agile manner.

Register for Next Intro to Agile!

The next Intro to Agile: Full Day Course class is October 6, 2016.


Rock Against the TPP!

Rock Against the TPP: A nationwide uprising to stop the biggest corporate power grab in history: the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

Rock Against the TPP San Francisco
Friday, September 9, 2016 @ Regency Ballroom
Concert 5pm – 11pm.
Free! RSVP required.

Featuring: Jello Biafra, La Santa Cecilia, Built for the Sea, Ryan Harvey, Bonfire Madigan, Evan Greer and more!

Click here to RSVP and receive a FREE ticket to the event!
This event is all-ages and wheelchair accessible. Contact [email protected] with any questions.

Free concert and rally to protest the Trans-Pacific Partnership at Regency Ballroom featuring Jello Biafra, La Santa Cecilia, and more! Sign the petition & RSVP to get your FREE ticket.

Featuring: Jello Biafra, La Santa Cecelia, Bonfire Madigan, Evan Greer and more. Plus lots of information and ways to get involved in the fight to stop the TPP.

Don’t forget to reserve your tickets and invite all your friends on Facebook!

You are signing this petition telling Congress to stop the TPP. Fight for the Future and Citizens Trade Campaign will send you campaign updates. You can unsubscribe at any time. Your info will be shared with Citizens Trade Campaign and you will be subscribed to emails from them. Ticket is required for entry but does not guarantee it. First come first serve. We suggest arriving early in case the event sells out, and to join us for a rally to stop the TPP! (Privacy Policy)

What is the TPP?

The TPP is basically terrible for everything you care about. It would export the worst parts of U.S. copyright law and Internet policy on the rest of the world, undermining free speech and opening the floodgates for SOPA-style online censorship. [1] Beyond that, it would grant monopolistic corporations extraordinary powers to circumvent our basic democratic process, affecting everything from the environment to food safety to access to medicine to basic workers’ rights.[2]

As Tom Morello says, “Corporate lobbyists want to sneak the TPP through Congress quietly; that means it’s time for us to get loud.”

Let’s make sure we stop it.

Join us at Rock Against the TPP on September 9th!


Congress is about to decide the fate of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), an anti-democratic deal between 12 countries that was negotiated in complete secrecy by government officials and hundreds of corporate lobbyists. If it becomes law, the TPP would be the largest deal of its kind in history, and it poses a grave threat to good-paying jobsinternet freedom, the environmentaccess to medicinefood safety, and the future of freedom of expression.

What can we do about it?

The TPP text has already been finalized, but before it becomes law, U.S. Congress must approve it. With all the extreme secrecy and blatant corruption surrounding this deal, it’s not hard to see why voters from across the political spectrum overwhelmingly oppose it. Even all the leading presidential candidates are against it!But pro-TPP members of Congress are still plotting to rush the TPP to a vote this Fall. They want to do it quietly. That’s why we need to get loud.

What is Rock Against the TPP?

Rock Against the TPP is a massive effort to sound the alarm about the toxic backroom deal that is the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Through a series of large-scale educational concert events, protests, teach-ins, and trainings, we’ll reach thousands of people who haven’t heard about the TPP yet, and ignite a movement to stop it in its tracks. The tour is a partnership between viral internet freedom nonprofit Fight for the Futureand Firebrand Records, the new freedom fighting record label co-founded by Ryan Harvey and Tom Morello.

Friday, September 9:

Rock Against the TPP rally & concert. Gather outside Regency Ballroom, 1290 Sutter Street, at 5:00pm for a rally. Doors open at 6pm, show runs until 11pm. RSVP with the form above. Invite friends on Facebook.

Saturday, September 10: 

How to Fight the TPP: Teach-In & Training Time & location TBA.

All events are free, all ages, and wheelchair accessible. Contact[email protected] with any questions.

Want to volunteer? Click here.

Fight for the Future works to protect your rights in the digital age.

Click here to learn more

A joint website of MoveOn.org Civic Action and MoveOn.org Political Action. MoveOn.org Civic Action is a 501(c)(4) organization which primarily focuses on nonpartisan education and advocacy on important national issues. MoveOn.org Political Action is a federal political committee which primarily helps members elect candidates who reflect our values through a variety of activities aimed at influencing the outcome of the next election. MoveOn.org Political Action and MoveOn.org Civic Action are separate organizations.

Take A Stand Against Planned Obsolescence Before August 26!

Have you ever had to replace an expensive laptop because it was “unfixable” or the cost of getting it repaired was ridiculously high?

Now imagine if you owned a computing device that you could easily fix yourself and inexpensively upgrade as needed. So, instead of having to shell out for a completely new computer, you could simply spend around US$50 to upgrade — which, by the way, you could easily do in SECONDS, by pushing a button on the side of your device and just popping in a new computer card. Doesn’t that sound like the way it should be?

We think so, too! That’s why we spent several years developing the easy-to-maintain, easy-on-your-pocket, easy-on-Mother Earth, EOMA68 line of computing devices.

The Earth-friendly EOMA68 Computing Devices project is a crowdfunding campaign run on Crowd Supply to produce a line of hardware products that are ecologically responsible and built based on royalty-free, unencumbered hardware standards.


Money Saving And Convenient

A great deal of thought and ingenuity has been put into the design of the EOMA68 line of computing devices to make them money-saving and convenient. For example, you can connect the computer card to your TV set to continue working if your monitor fails… and in the future, we’d like to give you the option to plug the computer card into your TV set if your monitor fails.

Security and Integrity

Security is also a major concern. We have taken measures to ensure the integrity of your computer data that exceed anything being sold in North America, Europe (or most parts of the world). And, because we have the complete set of sources, there is an opportunity to weed out the back doors that have been slowly making their way into our computing devices.

There is no security without a strong foundation and understanding of what is running on your computing devices. For the first time, the EOMA68 is a standard to work off for building freedom-friendly, privacy-respecting, and secure computing devices.

Environmentally Responsible

Lastly, being kind to Mother Earth has to be a priority. It goes without saying that we don’t like seeing electronic goods continue to stack up in landfills around the world, and we know you don’t like it either.


We envisage a thriving community developing around the re-use of older computer cards: people using them to set up ultra-low power servers, routers, entertainment centers or just passing them on to a friend.

Respects Your Freedom

The computer hardware is designed and configured to run software that does as much as possible to respect your freedom and ensure your control over your device with the purchase of a Libre Tea Computer Card. The developers provided a sample test board to prove that their plans are to create a device that can achieve Respects Your Freedom (RYF) certification.

The Libre Tea Computer Card is built with an Allwinner A20 dual core processor configured to use the main CPU for graphics; it has 2 GB of RAM and 8 GB of NAND Flash; and it will come pre-installed with Parabola GNU/Linux-libre, an FSF-endorsed fully-free operating system.

Read more

CrowdSupply Blog


Offer Computer Science in our public schools

Dear Members of Congress and fellow Americans,

As business leaders, elected officials, educators, and members of the public, we join forces to deliver a bipartisan message about opportunity and the American Dream.

Technology is transforming society at an unprecedented rate. Whether it’s smartphones or social networks, self-driving cars or personalized medicine, nothing embodies the American Dream so much as the opportunity to change or even reinvent the world with technology. And participating in this world requires access to computer science in our schools. We ask you to provide funding for every student in every school to have an opportunity to learn computer science.

Support for this idea is sweeping our nation. Ninety percent of parents want their children to have access to computer science education at school, and teachers agree. They know that technology opens doors. A hundred thousand teachers have taken matters into their own hands and already begun teaching computer science. Over 100 school districts are rolling out courses, from New York to Chicago to Los Angeles, from Miami to Las Vegas. Twenty states have passed policies and are now looking to support professional training for new computer science teachers. Private donors have collectively committed tens of millions of dollars to solving this problem, including $48 million of new commitments announced today by many of the undersigned.

Despite this groundswell, three-quarters of U.S. schools do not offer meaningful computer science courses. At a time when every industry in every state is impacted by advances in computer technology, our schools should give all students the opportunity to understand how this technology works, to learn how to be creators, coders, and makers — not just consumers. Instead, what is increasingly a basic skill is only available to the lucky few, leaving most students behind, particularly students of color and girls.

How is this acceptable? America leads the world in technology. We invented the personal computer, the Internet, e-commerce, social networking, and the smartphone. This is our chance to position the next generation to participate in the new American Dream.

Not only does computer science provide every student foundational knowledge, it also leads to the highest-paying, fastest-growing jobs in the U.S. economy. There are currently over 500,000 open computing jobs, in every sector, from manufacturing to banking, from agriculture to healthcare, but only 50,000 computer science graduates a year. Whether a student aspires to be a software engineer, or if she just wants a well-rounded education in today’s changing world, access to computer science in school is an economic imperative for our nation to remain competitive. And with the growing threat of cyber warfare, this is even a critical matter of national security. Despite this growing need, targeted federal funding to carry out these efforts in classrooms is virtually non-existent. This bipartisan issue can be addressed without growing the federal budget.

We urge you to amplify and accelerate the local efforts in classrooms, unlock opportunity in every state, and give an answer to all the parents and teachers who believe that every student, in every school, should have a chance to learn computer science.