Jenai and Melissa met several years ago when they became colleagues at an international design agency called Beyond. There they collaborated on automating internal processes around onboarding and training, rolled out an AI Learning program based on optimized adult learning methodology, and partnered with Creative Tech around bots! They also launched a Diversity and Inclusion program using Design Thinking. Some of the innovations from this program included a plug-in designed to reduce bias when screening job applicants, an AI ethics policy, and a D&I Playbook entailing how to include accessible design in all the work the agency delivers.
In 2019 Jenai met Dr. Celestin Ntemngwa and Belinda Enoma. Both impressed her, so she asked them to help her build a framework for auditing algorithms by decomposing the entire GDPR standard and identifying components that deal with automated processing. Together, they analyzed every component of the law and identified which parts tied to AI and children’s privacy. This became the audit framework. GRC Center for Intelligent Ecosystems think tank was born.
In 2020, at the height of the Black Lives Matter movement, Jenai and Melissa both wanted to take some kind of positive action. They decided to start a training program specifically offered to people from marginalized communities, to uplift their careers and economic standing. They asked Kris Rides, CEO at TiroSecurity to partner with them. This program became the NextCISO School and Apprenticeship.