“Survive and Prosper”

Aaron Saunders
2 min readMar 20, 2016


I read a LinkedIn post this morning on resilience and mental toughness it was an interesting read and I highly recommend you check it out. In the article they discussed the difference and the importance of the words and how they fit together

In general conversation these two descriptors are often interchangeable, although there is a subtle but distinct difference between mental toughness and resilience. If it were Algebra it would be written as MT=R+C ie Mental Toughness is Resilience plus Confidence.

After multiple meetings today discussing funding for rent and operations of the Inclusive Innovation Incubator at Howard University I reflected on how long we have been focused on tech inclusion and tech opportunity here in the District of Columbia. How we needed to “survive” the challenges and obstacles to try and achieve the larger vision of what we started in order to “prosper” as an organization trying to impact the tech ecosystem here in the District of Columbia and beyond.

Almost two years ago Clearly Innovative was written up in the Washington Post about our hiring practices which is really an apprenticeship program in disguise. We plan to integrate best practices from this experience into the work and programming at the Innovation Incubator.

Washington Post Article About Our Hiring Practices from almost two years ago, April 2014

A few weeks later we were covered in a Washington Post Sunday Magazine article talking about higher education programming and if there is a need for change to reflect the new realities of the job market and the rapid changes in technologies. This too is integral to the objectives of the Innovation Incubator to work with the Howard University Community to complement the existing services provided and connect the students to the larger tech ecosystem here in the District of Columbia

Washington Sunday Magazine Article with my thoughts on Technology & Higher Education from August 2014

Now fast forward to today, working with the Mayor’s office and Howard University to do amazing things for the community and students of Howard University through the Inclusive Innovation Incubator.

We have a great team at Clearly Innovative Inc/ Luma Lab that has worked hard and still work even harder to create opportunities for all here in the District of Columbia, from after-school programming, summer camps, weekend workshops, supporting hack-a-thons, hiring SYEP, hiring interns from Howard and teaching at web and mobile development at Howard University. Our goal has moved beyond just surviving to now doing our part to help increase access and opportunity while providing support guidance and mental toughness for all involved with the activities in the Inclusive Innovation Incubator.