Why innovative companies need the best talent
Stuart Ridlet from AICD writes
Trailblazer Jamila Gordon is the CEO and founder of Lumachain, a technology company that uses artificial intelligence to trace food through every stage of the global supply chain.
Lumachain founder and CEO Jamila Gordon GAICD is deeply passionate about improving safety and integrity of food supply chains, including for the workers who have been historically invisible in a product’s origin story. Her company — which secured $3.5m backing from CSIRO’s Main Sequence Ventures innovation fund in July 2019 — applies computer vision-based AI and other cutting-edge technologies guided by ethical principles to shine a light (luma means “light”) on every stage of a product’s journey.
“Our original idea was to build a platform that provides complete traceability from farm to fork,”
“We can also assure our customers — and their customers, in turn — that food has been safely, correctly and ethically produced, and employees have been properly trained and well-treated.”Jamila Gordon
While there are plenty of companies eager to tell the farm-to-fork story of their products, Gordon’s reason for also shining a light on workers is personal: when she was a growing up in Somalia, girls weren’t educated. The eldest daughter of 16 children, Gordon started work when she was five. “One of my jobs was to carry buckets of water from the well to the huts,” she recalls in a talk she gave for TEDWomen 2020, which already has 1.1 million views. She remembers putting the buckets down frequently because they were so heavy, and the handles dug into her hands.
“And I was so scrawny because we didn’t have enough to eat,” she adds. “Even though that experience taught me resilience, it’s not something I want any other child to go through. I want to live in a world where people are not limited by local language, by geography, by lack of access to knowledge and training, where everyone is safe at work. Where nobody’s excluded because they cannot read or write, where everyone can fulfil their potential. Now, AI can deliver this world.”
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