Aspire Circle Article

- Julie Isphording (former Olympic runner)

With the year coming to an end, I see the beginning of an era of new solutions and approaches towards inclusivity that is fueled by Aspire Circle. 

I congratulate them for publishing the Impact Future Project that gave us intriguing and impressive insights about the arenas of accessibility, disability and inclusion. 

I am highly grateful that I got an opportunity to contribute to the Impact Future Project under the sub division focused on disability, accessibility and inclusion. After prolonged discussions and brainstorming based on industrial trends and previous reports, the team of 20 leaders identified the top 10 emerging investment themes in the sector. Findings also suggested that these investment themes can collectively attract $5 billion investment by 2030, up from $1.4 billion in 2020 and create revenues of $6 billion, up from $3 billion in 2020. 

Throughout my journey as a social entrepreneur, I come across individuals who still view disability and related sectors as a work of “charity”. Personally, I feel that a shift in mindset is much needed and this project navigated that shift. This project is aligned with the idea that the domain of disability and inclusion can be perceived in an economic manner and holds potential to spurt organically through both monetary and intellectual inputs in the upcoming decade. 

I was also impressed by the careful and thoughtful selection of the panel of authors. The whole committee was filled with intellectual minds who held a strong vision and brought thought provoking insights to the table. However, I was deeply moved by the diversity of the committee where everybody brought a different perspective. The committee was indeed a reflection of unity in diversity.

With the wave of rigorous globalization, revolutionary developments in technology, it’s high time that resolution of issues that arise from disabilities should be pondered upon at a global level. While actively advocating for betterment of people with disabilities, I realized the real value of empowerment lies in positively impacting living, learning and livelihood of people with disabilities. Therefore, at AssisTech Foundation we have a vision to lead towards “a world of joy by empowering every person with disability”. Since its inception, ATF’s goal has been to create more awareness about the world of disability and bring about a positive impact through the start-ups we nurture. In a span of 3 years, ATF has impacted the lives of 4.22 lakh people with disabilities through its initiatives. We have a mission to empower 3.4 million people with disabilities in the next 3 years. 

Our mission at ATF will be amplified by findings of this project as it paves a pathway of possibilities and sparks an urge for action. I hope it ignites the youth and young minds who hold the potential to carry forward our vision and leads to a desired change in the landscape of perception of disability and uplift people with disabilities.