Our first year in business was definitely memorable.
In January, Smith Assembly was selected to join the fourth cohort of Spring’s Accelerator & Canada’s Startup Visa Program. When we realized pandemic-related restrictions would prevent us from hosting in-person events as originally planned, we pivoted online. In November, Future of Good selected us as one of Canada’s Top 100 Recovery Projects. Our first online workshop began selling in late December.
Our mission is impact.
Smith Assembly creates multi-dimensional learning experiences that promote healthier and more inclusive workplace cultures.
We do this through a radically-inclusive approach in which we co-create our offerings with leaders from the underserved communities supported by our donations. Our workshops feature those global innovators, showcase a variety of cross-cultural collaboration practices, and leverage hands-on activities. We intend to have a measurable positive outcome on our team, community, society, and environment.
Smith Assembly participates in 1% for the Planet and donates 5% of our revenue every year to nonprofits that amplify the positive impact our global innovators have in their communities.
We’re committed to supporting the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals with a focus on: GOAL 5: Gender Equality, GOAL 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth, GOAL 10: Reduced Inequalities, and GOAL 13: Climate Action. The policies we enact and the metrics we measure ourselves against are aligned with B Lab’s SDG Action Manager.
We put our money and time where our hearts are.
Our founders met at an IDDS, so to kick off our company’s spirit of giving we donated $1,000 USD to help fund IDIN Grants. Their micro-grants enable network members around the world to further projects that support and strengthen their communities.
The nonprofit we’re currently supporting is OAXIN — an organization driving social and economic justice in the Mexican state of Oaxaca through a community maker space and participatory programs teaching inclusive and collaborative innovation practices. Our 2020 donation to them is 5.12% of our annual revenue.
“Your donations will mainly support the development of community businesses [like beneficiary project Calmecac Innovation Center]. They will also be devoted to the creation of appropriate technologies by women. Undoubtedly, they will help us continue promoting entrepreneurship and the empowerment of women in these communities through our inclusive and fair approach.” — Estrella Soto (Co-Director of OAXIN)
“The money will help us a lot with finishing construction on our workshop, buying tools we lack, improving our computer equipment, and having more time to support our community with technical advice in the field.” — Enoc Ramírez (Co-Director of Calmecac Innovation Center)
In 2020, our annual membership fees fulfilled our giving commitment to 1% for the Planet.
Our founders volunteered 43.25 hours in 2020.
Co-creating with our global innovators and local suppliers is magical.
Whenever possible, we collaborate with small-scale and/or underserved suppliers. In 2020, we selected Enoc Ramírez and Estrella Soto from Oaxaca México to be our inaugural pair of global innovators. We’re grateful for all the energy and heart they put into co-creating our first workshop (both the original on-site version as well as the subsequent online version). They both seemed to enjoy our collaboration as much as we did, and also said that working with us was a valuable professional development experience.
“What had the greatest impact for me was working online, I had never done that before. Being part of this team taught me that we can work with other people regardless of distance, language, and borders.” — Enoc Ramírez
“In collaborating with Smith Assembly, I learned how to tell stories. I think that developing a story and expressing learnings is something that’s always complicated. During this experience, I realized the importance of that in my life, especially to share the great work the communities are doing with the rest of the world. With Ta’s help, I was able to learn a little more about the storytelling process, and that it’s something I’d like to continue learning.” — Estrella Soto
We’d also like to thank the following people for helping us bring our online workshop to life through photos, videos, and music — Manduca Audiovisual from San José Costa Rica; Eleuterio Morales and Alejandro Velasco from Suchilquitongo Etla México; Elias Arias, Juan Manual Madrigal, Diego Matamoros, and Andrés Viales from San José Costa Rica; and Andi McLeish Creative from Vancouver Canada.