Acknowledgements Scholarly communications requires creativity and a wide range of skill sets and viewpoints. The future of scholarly communications would be positively impacted by attracting and re…
The creation and communication of knowledge, by definition, requires creativity and a wide range of skill sets and viewpoints in its participants to serve a better informed public. At the KFG, we are committed not only to improving the knowledge-sharing systems in place today, but also to reimagining and rebuilding them so they work better for more people across fields, industries, and learning spaces. In this way, we believe that building a diverse team, partnerships, and communities around our products is critical to fulfilling our mission. Put simply: knowledge exchange is positively impacted by attracting and retaining a pool of highly talented and creative professionals from diverse backgrounds, and with a wide range of skills and viewpoints that also reflect the communities we seek to serve and empower.
Research shows that diverse teams working together and capitalizing on innovative ideas and distinct perspectives outperform homogeneous teams. While this may be the case, we believe bringing together a team of diverse people and perspectives is a worthy thing to do in and of itself. Professionals from diverse backgrounds and life experiences bring different experiences, creativity, and individual enterprise to address key issues of our time. There are many benefits that flow from a diverse ecosystem, including: fostering innovation and problem solving; contributing to robust learning environments, worker satisfaction, increased adoption and sustainability, improving the quality of market solutions, and responsiveness to market needs. We strive for our team to be representative of the diverse and different communities—from research to journalism to field work—that are both the creators and consumers of knowledge. Indeed, our name—with a plural Futures—is a nod to this foundational belief that the future of knowledge is a pluralistic, multifaceted, and diverse one.
To ensure sustainability and growth, our industry must commit to long-term efforts to curb the deeply ingrained patterns of exclusion and inequities in our practices, policies, and frameworks and, indeed, in higher education as a whole in the United States. We intend to lead in this cause.
The KFG’s values of ACCESS (Accessibility, Conscientiousness, Curiosity, Egalitarianism, Systemic outlook, and Sustainability),1 serve as the backstop for all of the work we do, from hiring to product development to day-to-day interpersonal relationships. Diversity, inclusion, and the values of ACCESS shape not just who we work with and for, but also how.
Accessibility is more than just availability or openness. We stand for accessibility as it relates to breaking down barriers to entry and understanding—including racist and exclusionary infrastructures, policies, language, frameworks, and positioning. We center building alternatives to these long-standing, barrier-prone structures in all we do.
Conscientiousness is the valuing of honesty and good-faith efforts to fulfill our duties and obligations not only as highly as our success but also as a central part of how we define our success.
Curiosity at the KFG means approaching challenges with an honest, experimental, problem-solving mindset. We bring an intellectual curiosity that explores problem spaces with openness and intrigue in ways that lead to equitable new ideas. The infrastructure we build moves these ideas into realities.
Egalitarianism refers to our acknowledgement that all people deserve equality and fairness regardless of the individual circumstances of their life. We recognize that teams, especially distributed ones, are made of people who bring different perspectives, opportunities, and cultures that add to the strength of the team as a whole.
Via a Systemic outlook, we prioritize solutions that tackle problems in systemic ways rather than iterating solely at the margins or within corners. We believe this is the best way to create structural change for the public good.
Sustainability is central for the long-term durability of our ideas and solutions and therefore for them to bring about the scope of structural, embedded change we envision. We value solutions that are sustainable for the long-term, even if they’re more difficult, over ones that are more expedient today but less sustainable.
Diversity refers to the composition of a group of people from any number of demographic backgrounds; identities (innate and selected); the collective strength of their experiences, beliefs, values, skills, and perspectives; and the historical and ongoing ways in which these groups have been affected by and constitute structures of power. The variability in a diverse group is apparent in the characteristics we see and hear as well as through behaviors and expressions that we encounter and experience in our workplaces and organizations. Diverse organizations are not by default inclusive.
Inclusion is the act of establishing philosophies, policies, and practices to ensure equitable access to opportunities and to resources that support individuals in contributing to the organization’s success. Through encouraging awareness of power structures, creating opportunities for those who have historically been excluded, and attempting to decenter so-called “majority culture,” inclusion creates spaces and structure for allowing the diversity within organizations to exist and thrive in a manner that can further our mission. Inclusive organizations are by definition committed to achieving diversity at all levels.
In principle and in practice, collectively, the KFG values diversity and implements inclusive practices both within our own organization as well as throughout the information landscape and its related fields: academia, research, education, journalism, the arts, and technology. Our goal is to promote involvement, innovation, and expanded access to leadership opportunities for our team members that maximize engagement across identity groups and professional levels. Identity groups include and are not limited to:
education level and background
professional career level
socio economic background
We will provide leadership and commit time and resources to accomplish this objective internally as well as in our partnerships.
We are committed to:
listening to our team, users of our technology, partners, and potential partners to center equity, diversity, and inclusion in realizing our mission;
eliminating barriers to participation, extending equitable opportunities across all stakeholders, and ensuring that our practices and policies promote equitable treatment and do not allow, condone, or result in discrimination;
creating and maintaining an environment that respects diverse traditions, heritages, and experiences;
creating and maintaining technology and infrastructure that respects diverse traditions, heritages, experiences, ways of knowing, and ways of communicating that knowledge;
promoting diversity in all staff, volunteers, and audiences, including full participation in programs, policy formulation, and decision-making;
raising awareness about career opportunities in our industries to groups who are currently underrepresented in the workforce;
supporting our partners in achieving diversity and inclusion within their organizations.