2021 Vision: Our Commitment to a New Year
In 2020, we’ve adapted to relying on virtual communication, taken to the streets to advocate for pressing social issues like police brutality and racial justice, and aligned our work to more directly move the needle on the things that matter.
While so much has changed, our gratitude for you and our desire to make the world a better place has not. This year, Exygy…
- Invested $60,000 in pro bono hours to help housing caseworkers transition to remote work during COVID-19.
- Donated $7,000 in donations to organizations supporting the Black Lives Matter movement.
- Spent 200+ hours on diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives.
- Worked on 29 social impact initiatives.
- Worked with 19 civic, health, & philanthropic organizations.
- Shared 21 tech for good newsletters.
- Hosted 10 events with experts in the civic, health, & technology fields.
The moments that shaped us…
Zach Berke, Founder & Managing Partner: “The passing of our friend and colleague Ben Kutler has floored and humbled me. His passing is a reminder that our legacy is defined not by extraordinary events or moments, but by how we chose to spend each day. Ben chose to use his days to leverage what he was best at in the world (Software Engineering), towards making the world better for others. We have all learned from Ben’s legacy, and we are all better for the energy he put into the world. In honor of his commitment to building affordable housing, consider a donation to his family’s Habitat for Humanity fundraiser.”
Eric Lam, Partner: “At the start of the year, I began working with a professional coach. She led me to realize that the greatest impact I can have as a leader is not through individual client projects, but in supporting passionate people in achieving their highest potential. This realization led me to prioritize people and relationships above all else, especially when business was not usual.”
Anna Gibbons, Partner Marketing Specialist: “This year was all about getting back to the basics and becoming comfortable with myself without the distractions of Normal Life. While it hasn’t been easy, it has taught me a lot about what I value: confronting bias and racism within personal relationships, our collective health and wellbeing, fighting for the right to vote, and recognizing that breathing is a privilege.”
Gretchen Raynak, Designer: “2020 definitely brought the disparities people face into sharper focus. At the same time, there were moments of sensing a deeper connection in suffering, given the shared experiences of a pandemic. Both of these made me want to deepen my understanding of what people are going through and experiencing and find ways to use design work to connect, inspire, or move (anything) in a positive direction.”
The work that changed us…
Ana Bel Campos, Product Design Lead: “When I started looking for users for research on MTC’s Vital Signs, I realized that all the people who were excited to participate were professionals from advocacy groups that use the website heavily. I realized Vital Signs is so much more than a website. It is a way to provide people that are fighting every day for more equitable policies with data to change the world one story at a time.”
Kathy Cheng, Senior Product Manager: “When the first applications started coming in for the Bloom Housing Common Application Pilot in Alameda, as exciting as it was to see almost 1800 people use the technology that we just launched, it was also heartbreaking to realize that all of these people were applying for just 16 available units. It strengthened my resolve to keep building out the product not just so more people can use it, but because the more robust our platform, the more we can impact the ecosystem of affordable housing.”
Wendy Fong, Lead Designer: “While conducting user testing for Alameda Bloom Housing’s short-form application, I met a young woman who was formerly homeless during her pregnancy. She had to reschedule our call a few times because she needed to take care of her kid. It was an ‘aha’ moment that demonstrated the reality of our end-users: a busy single parent, juggling a million chaotic life responsibilities. It deepened my empathy for the hardships our users are going through, especially this year. Bringing it back to the Bloom team and reminding ourselves of who is using our product, as well as the county stakeholders, was invaluable and much needed to keep ourselves in humble service to the community.”
Vu-Bang Nguyen, Housing Consultant: “Connecting low-income residents digitally to the affordable housing they need has never been as timely as it was this year. Further seeing how health, housing, and the economy are deeply connected was something I felt very viscerally, as many of our clients were not only working with us on Bloom Housing but also trying to pass rent moratoria due to the impacts of COVID on local economies. Seeing the amount of work the amazing folks at Alameda County put in to do everything they did for residents really inspired me.”
The commitments we carry forward…
Steve Downs, Co-Founder at Building H: “Throughout 2020, I’ve made an effort to be available to and be present with people who’ve expressed interest in our mission. Whenever someone reaches out, I take it as a gift and an opportunity to learn.”
Aashna Shah, Product Manager: “Both personally and professionally, I’m making a commitment to speak up more, call out micro-aggressions, and be willing to have uncomfortable conversations.”
Ivy Teng Lei, Growth Lead: “We all have more power to influence positive change than we think. I’m committed to pushing boundaries and demanding all of us to do better.”
Roshen Sethna, Partner: “We face so many tough problems and hurdles in our lives and in the work we do. I’m not yet an expert in this, but I hope to continue to cultivate moments of joy. Joy is a key part of the revolution.”
From the bottom of our hearts, thank you for being part of the Exygy community this year. We look forward to working together in 2021.