A Letter to Our Twin Cities Community

Our hearts are heavy.

What’s happened these past two weeks in our home of Minneapolis is impossible to reconcile. As we grieve alongside our community in the wake of George Floyd’s senseless killing by Minneapolis Police, we know that this pain goes far beyond our city. Sadly, the underlying issue of racism that caused this tragedy is felt by millions of people every day across the country and has been for far too long.

And we haven’t done nearly enough to change that, either in the world or in our corner of it.

Now, we could easily put out a statement condemning racism, committing to diversity initiatives, and promising to do better. The problem with those types of statements is that they’re often just that: statements.

They’re rarely followed by actions because the actions required to make meaningful changes are difficult and uncomfortable.

It’s easy to publicly say that racism is bad (it is), it feels good to commit to working towards change (we are), and who doesn’t want to be better (we do). Saying all of that is an important step in the right direction. But a single step isn’t going to get us very far when we have such a long way to go.

We don’t have all — or even some — of the answers. Frankly, we’re still figuring out the questions.

As we educate ourselves and determine ways in which we can have an impact, we’ll keep you informed of what we’re up to and we hope you’ll help keep us accountable. Presently, we’ve begun a knowledge share amongst our team for us to read, share, and learn from each other. Many of us are attending Whiteness at Work, a free training put on by Equity at Work.

We acknowledge that these very basic and simple steps are the bare minimum of what any company should do and should have already been taken long ago. We recognize that the ability to take this time to educate ourselves on this topic is an immense privilege in and of itself.

We also recognize that, while we don’t have the answers to fix things systematically yet, we do have ways to help rebuild our community as well as other affected areas of Minneapolis. From food shelves to community funds to organizations working towards lasting change, we support our employees in their efforts to give back to their communities and have their voices be heard.

We have a long road ahead of us. Rebuilding an entire community after this type of trauma goes beyond simply fixing buildings and replacing broken glass. It’s also about mending relationships and repairing trust. It’s about fixing the systems that led to this and countless other injustices in the first place. All of that to say that this takes a lot of time, money, and resources, and the organizations leading the charge can’t do it alone.

Please join us as we help them.

Original post can be found here.

Authored by Björn Stansvik:

As founder and CEO of global software development firm MentorMate, Björn Stansvik has steered the company’s vision from inception to over 600 full-time employees, accelerating digital ideas with end-to-end technology services since 2001.

Björn remains a guiding force for MentorMate, constantly challenging the team to explore the boundaries of new technologies like AI and cloud computing and to pioneer digital innovation in healthcare. Under his leadership, MentorMate has grown its technical capabilities across industries. MentorMate was named a 2016 Top ICT Employer in Bulgaria, and in 2017 the Star Tribune included the company on its Top 150 Workplaces list. The newest of its seven offices opened in AstraZeneca’s BioVentureHub in Göteborg, Sweden in 2016.

As a recognized technology innovator, Björn has won the following distinctions: Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 and Titans of Technology (2014), Minnesota Business Magazine’s Real Power 50 (2014) and EY Entrepreneur Of The Year Program finalist (2015, 2016).

and Jamie Bolseth:

Prior to joining MentorMate Jamie held leadership positions for commercial software companies such as Connexions Loyalty Travel Solutions, As One Technologies, and HighJump Software gaining experience in nearly every role related to the successful creation of commercial software. One constant in Jamie’s career has been leading distributed software development teams in several countries around the world. Jamie finds great reward in helping software teams reach their fullest potential through Agile Development methods and by fostering an environment where members are empowered to do their best work. Jamie is a Microsoft Certified Solution Developer (MCSD), Certified Scrum Master (CSM) and has a Bachelor of Science from the University of North Dakota.

Digital Ideas Accelerated // Global software development team, 700 strong // Learn more: http://bit.ly/2jjoQsp