David D. Harris

Cultural Entrepreneur

David is a cultural entrepreneur that works as a manager at TAF, where his focus is on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) Integration and Entrepreneurial Education. He’s also a graduate student in the University of Washington’s Human Centered Design and Engineering Master’s Program.

His passion is facilitating resource-constrained communities learning, creating, and sharing of knowledge, tools, and materials to create feasible, culturally relevant opportunities for upward economic mobility.

In 2014, he formed Hack the CD - a collective of self determined social innovators focused on the creation of sustainable, equitable growth through entrepreneurship in the Central District of Seattle. Currently, they’re focused on answering the question, “How might we create fertile ground for the African American community in Seattle to grow with the city’s current tech boom?”

About David

 

David is the Startup Advocate for the City of Seattle's Office of Economic Development where he supports tech startups through the StartupSeattle program. In his role, he also helps to lead the TechHire initiative for the Seattle region, which aims to connect women, people of color, and the formerly incarcerated with training and jobs in the tech industry, and was started by President Obama in 2015.

David’s passion is facilitating resource-constrained communities learning, creating, and sharing of knowledge, tools, and materials to create feasible, culturally relevant opportunities for upward economic mobility. Previously, David lead Technology Access Foundation's (TAF) efforts to engage students and teachers in interdisciplinary exploration of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) in the context of today’s social and global issues. During David's time at TAF, he helped to launch a makerspace, create a tech startup accelerator for Middle School students, led students on immersive learning trips across the world to places like Costa Rica, Silicon Valley, and Japan, and many other project-based learning STEM education experiences. Microsoft News featured his work with TAF in their #DoMore campaign. In the past, he has worked as a Software Design Engineer in Test at Microsoft and a Mac Genius at Apple.

In 2016, David participated in the second cohort of Harvard Business School’s Young American Leaders Program, and was also given the first “Heroes In the Movement” Award by the National Urban League. In 2015, David received the “Making a Difference in Technology” Award from the University of Michigan Black Alumni. The same year, he was also a finalist for “Geek of the Year” at the Geekwire Awards, amongst other notable finalist like Paul Allen, the co-founder of Microsoft. David helped create Hack the Central District, or Hack the CD, an annual event that takes place in Seattle and showcases the latest in design, entrepreneurship, and technology from people of African descent around the world. Hack the CD won the 2015 “Best Tech Idea” from the Seattle Weekly. For his work with Hack the CD, David was also listed as “Seattle’s 51 Most Influential” by Seattle Magazine in 2014.

In addition to civic participation, David also is constantly working on personal and professional development. He is currently a graduate student in the University of Washington’s Human Centered Design and Engineering Master’s Program, and a 2013 alumni of Leadership Tomorrow.


David's Work