• D.C. is electric. There’s an energy in the air that I feel when I imagine who the people are that I pass—Idealistic NGO workers? Seasoned diplomats? Kwame Onwuachi? (I had the good fortune to meet him at Kith/Kin after RampUp on the Road D.C. wrapped.)

    Being here builds a sense of openness, the ideal lens on which to approach our first RampUp on the Road focused on content for policymakers and marketers. Attendees to RampUp on the Road D.C. learned some ways in which these two groups can continue to collaborate, address the policy issues of our time, and build a better future:


    Insight 1: Build empathy in your core values.

    Justin Antonipillai, founder and CEO of Wirewheel.io, shared this during Achieving the Diversity Trifecta: Technology, Leadership, and Policymaking, a panel discussion with Anneka Gupta, President and Head of Product and Platforms of LiveRamp, and moderator Lucy Caldwell, Founder and Principal of Mockingbird Lab.

    His team sends David Foster Wallace’s This is Water commencement speech to candidates to encourage dialogue about empathy—what it means to them and how they see it applied at work. This conversation is how Wirewheel.io practices its core value of empathy and reinforces its importance even before people come to work there.

    A team that truly practices empathy removes blind spots as a reflex—there’s nothing they can’t do.


    Insight 2: It’s not going to be perfect from the outset, but you have to be reasonable.

    Anna Kuhn, Head of Product for Ads Data Hub at Google, mentioned this when discussing CCPA on a panel with Marty Abrams, Executive Director and Chief Strategist of the IAF, and Jocelyn Aqua, Principal of PriceWaterhouseCoopers.

    “Almost everyone agrees with the spirit of GDPR and CCPA; there are very few outliers at this point,” she shared. With significant portions of CCPA still up for debate, it’s imperative that all stakeholders bear in mind that passing regulations and doing right by consumers is an ongoing, evolving process, especially without a common privacy language. Don’t let perfection get in the way of progress.


    Insight 3: “Don’t just think of me as a broken arm or a hypertensive patient.”

    Stay with me here. Cat Oakar, senior advisor at Waxman Strategies, mentioned this during Connecting the Fragmented Healthcare Data Ecosystem, a discussion with Patsy Bailin, head of privacy at Datavant, moderated by Stan Crosley, principal at Crosley Law Offices. She made the point that medical professionals need to evaluate and treat patients holistically, not just for whatever ailment they come in for.

    Similarly, policymakers and marketers have a holistic problem to solve that requires stakeholders and advocates to consider all perspectives. If a proposed policy fixes part of an issue and negatively impacts others, those concerns need to be brought to light and heard with an empathetic ear.


    Bonus insight: Explore the National Mall at night.

    If the weather cooperates, you might see something this:

    This is our last stop stateside for RampUp on the Road. We’re hopping on a plane to Paris for our first RampUp event there—see you in the City of Lights on June 13!

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