First-ever Remarkable Tech Summit

Window with a square pink poster that features the white text 'Remarkable Tech Summit' and includes the white CPA and CPARF logos in the bottom.

It’s hard to find the words to accurately describe the magic of our first-ever Remarkable Tech Summit, but we are going to give it our best attempt in this blog post.

To make it easier, let’s start with a few questions…

What is the Remarkable Tech Summit? 

From November 2-4, 2022 we welcomed over 90 guests to the first-ever Remarkable Tech Summit in San Francisco.

This event was made possible by Cerebral Palsy Alliance and the Cerebral Palsy Alliance Research Foundation, and was a gathering of innovators, entrepreneurs, corporate stakeholders, investors, researchers, disability advocates, partners and friends in our ecosystem for a truly Remarkable experience.

This two-day summit was jam-packed with panels, guest speakers and group discussions designed to connect, celebrate and grow the emerging Disability Tech ecosystem.

A man with fair skin and dark hair is seated at a table smiling and wearing a light blue collared shirt and purple lanyard around his neck.
Man with dark brown hair and wearing a long black shirt is standing holding a Mac laptop and talking to a man seated at a table wearing dark glasses, a light blue collared shirt and a purple lanyard around his neck.
A woman wearing a black pant suit and a man wearing a checkered business jacket and dark jeans are seated on wooden chairs presenting a talk on a stage. Behind them is a pink screen that includes the text 'Fireside chat with Regina Kline and Jim Sorenson'
Ariel view photo of an outdoor terrace that has people seated around several tables eating lunch on a sunny day.
Two men are standing and talking to each other in front of a stall that is promoting an affordable wheelchair product called 'Participant Assistive Products'.

What was the goal of the Summit? 

The goal of the Summit was to amplify the voices of disabled innovators, create connections, explore challenges, set commitments, and actively support one another to drive change. It was incredible to see the joint commitment from our guests to these goals, which we are proud to say we reached by the end of our two days together.

Below are a few powerful quotes from our speakers that capture this energy.

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“Humans are the most important technology we can invest in…when we talk about investing in tech, we’re investing in humanity.”

Minnie Baragwanath, Chief Possibility Officer, Global Center of Possibility
Person with fair skin and short brown hair wearing glasses

“What the Remarkable Tech Summit did was offer another dimension to the very notion of the burgeoning Disability Economy. They have shown the poetry and prose of this economy are more than just about great ideas, innovative tech, or even the potential of the capital markets, but the idea that the congregation of this community’s impact can profoundly affect society and may have a broader appeal than one can imagine…”

Jonathan Kaufman, President, J Kaufman Consulting
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“At the summit, I felt truly elevated and acknowledged, and I trust that more of this will only continue. Because what also took shape at the summit was a collective understanding that we still have a lot of work to do — but we’re all up for the challenge to set a precedent for more accessible, more affordable, and more inclusive tech not only for, but with disabled people.”

Katy Gaastra, Founder, Cerebral Palsy Strong & Digital Engagement Manager, CPARF

What were some of the highlights?

In addition to a stellar lineup of speakers, we were also thrilled to be able to celebrate some exciting announcements including:

The Summit included a startup pitch competition, which was an opportunity for selected founders to pitch their idea. We were excited to announce the winner of the judges grand prize of one prestigious shark hat to Parag Gad, CEO and Co-Founder of SpineX.

We launched applications for our 2023 Remarkable Accelerator (#RA23) global program, which will have programs run from Australia and the US!

Our friend, actor and advocate RJ Mitte joined us to celebrate the Remarkable Tech Summit and also shared a message about our accelerator.

We presented our plans* for our 2023 Design-athon, which has been inspired by the winner of this year’s World CP Day challenge called ‘Millions of Reasons’!

*2023 Design-athon plans will be published on our website soon.

What were some of the outcomes?

It was incredible to see a group of disabled and non-disabled leaders from across the world, come together – many meeting for the first time. This web of connections will continue to bear fruit in months and years to come. 

A priority of this summit was to ensure that everyone who attended was able to leave with learnings and challenges to help guide and support their work in the Disability Tech space. To ensure this, we hosted group discussions and brainstorms where our guests provided insight into what was still needed in the Disability Tech space. Some of the broad areas that were raised included: 

  • Advancing the employment rate of people with disabilities in leadership roles 
  • Highlighting and eliminating ableism from policy and procedure within all industries 
  • Increasing the investment and capital available to disability-led startups
  • Recognising the role that disabled hackers play everyday in making the world work for them when it hasn’t been designed to account for their needs
  • Building capability and education so that accessibility is built in from the beginning in products and services. 
  • Ensuring that design is being done WITH the community not FOR them. Learn more about this in a powerful blog post by Minnie.
  • The need for the ecosystem builders to create further connections between investors, researchers, corporate allies, founders and the disability sector.

What are the next steps? 

This year’s Summit was the first of what will hopefully be many more where we will convene global leaders who are building the disability tech ecosystem. We are always looking for collaborators, partners, other champions we can work with to keep making progress. We will soon release a report covering some of the challenges of emerging structural areas that need work for the benefit of the ecosystem. If you’d like to stay in touch, please get in contact with us on hello@remarkable.org

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