106: Lucas Hernández (Microsoft)

Lucas Hernández on Innovation City

“Ultimately, the more ideas we have that have support and understand what else is out there, the better our community is going to be.” — Lucas Hernández

Welcome to Innovation City—powered by Venture Cafe—where Tyler Kelley and Michael Johnson, Co-Founders of SLAM! Agency, interview innovators, creators, and disruptors to discover how business is changing in the modern world.

Created and produced by SLAM! Agency in cooperation with Venture Cafe St. Louis and Venture Cafe Miami, Innovation City gives you an inside look at how rapidly business and culture are changing thanks to increasing diversity and inclusion, heightened creativity, and a stronger and better-connected business community. Venture Cafe is the largest combined gathering of entrepreneurs and innovators anywhere in the world. Events are held every Thursday in St. Louis, Miami, and other leading innovation cities around the globe.

Today’s guest is Lucas Hernández, Director of Civic Engagement, Miami at Microsoft. As Director, Lucas works with government and civic leaders, and the citizens they serve, to tackle urban challenges in the greater Miami area as part of Microsoft’s broader technology and corporate responsibility efforts. Lucas sits down with us today to discuss the limitless need of resources in local markets, the importance of technology for nonprofits, Miami’s growing and strengthened ecosystems, his commitment to connecting different communities to build a stronger Miami region, and more!

They discuss:

  • Microsoft wants to bring in resources they have to help with local challenge
    • There limitless need of resources in local markets around the nation
  • His work with Knight Foundation and other philanthropic, nonprofit organizations
  • His current work with Microsoft as a part of the city-team program
  • The importance of AI (Artificial Intelligence) in today’s world
  • Explaining how AI can be used in the nonprofit world for good
  • Critical thinking is becoming more important than ever in the world of automation
  • Showing nonprofits that their knowledge can be aided by technology to help automate mundane tasks and allow for more time to make bigger changes in the community
  • Examples of nonprofits putting technology to good use
  • Moving around a lot as an adolescent and going to a small college in Orlando
  • Moving to New York after college to pursue his social justice passion
  • Moving back to his roots in Miami to join Knight Foundation
  • Over 50% of the Miami population was born somewhere else
    • Much of that 50% being born outside the US
  • The business climate, local government, and strong leadership all play a role in people wanting to not only move to Miami, but also stay and build a life there
  • Miami is growing socially and becoming a beacon for people wanting to start somewhere new
  • Microsoft’s commitment to re-scaling Miami’s talent ecosystem
  • The importance of connecting the local counties for collaboration towards the bigger picture
  • The transit connections and updates that are happening in the region
  • “Yes, and” is an attitude that builds ecosystems
  • Reach out to Lucas via email or social media @lujuher