In 2017, Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney returned from his first visit to megaconference South by Southwest (SXSW) with one concern: The rooms he was in did not reflect his city’s demographics.
As a response, Kenney said, Philly should host its own big tech conference and call it the NorthStar Conference, in honor of Frederick Douglass’s anti-slavery publication. On Tuesday, the City announced the event was indeed coming together, with the help of a nonprofit called Black & Brown Founders.
“Philadelphia is experiencing a renaissance, spurred in large part by the tech and innovation companies who call our city home,” said Kenney in a press statement. “We have the fastest growing tech sector in proportion to total job growth after the San Francisco Bay Area, but we have to make sure our progress is inclusive if we want the city to flourish well into the future. In Philly, we have to do tech in a way that is authentic to who we are.”