Mary Burke’s new nonprofit launches smart phone technology to pursue mission, envisions a global community of 10 million women
Building Brave app provides tools, community of inspiration and empowerment for women to discover their most confident selves
MADISON, WI (Oct. 18, 2017) — Building Brave, Inc., the Madison-based national nonprofit founded in 2016 and headed by Mary Burke, has launched the Building Brave mobile app. Like the organization, the smart phone technology is designed to help women discover their most confident selves through a community of inspiration and empowerment. It’s free and available for download on Android devices from the Google Play Store, iOS via the Apple App Store and on the Building Brave website at https://buildingbrave.org/our-app/.
“Women are strong, smart, talented, thoughtful and wise. But they have to contend with messages from a young age: that it’s more important to be liked than respected, that they shouldn’t take credit for their own accomplishments, that ambition isn’t attractive,” said Burke, a former manufacturing executive, Wisconsin Secretary of Commerce and the state’s first female gubernatorial nominee. “But, by inspiring and encouraging each other through our engaging, interactive, mobile platform, women can increasingly set aside self-doubt, define success based on their own core values, engage in their communities, exercise leadership capabilities, and build more fulfilling lives.”
Burke founded Building Brave knowing that when women connect, inspire and empower other women to be confident in themselves and their abilities, amazing things happen. Originally envisioned as a network of grassroots groups, through outreach and focus group activities the nonprofit’s leaders learned that they needed to meet women where they are, fitting into their lifestyles and being respectful of their busy schedules. Thus, the app idea was born.
For the initial launch, the app’s outreach efforts focus on two primary audiences: college students and young professionals. These groups of women are at key transition points in their lives, involving significant changes, new responsibilities and, often, uncertainly and doubt. It’s a smart phone-generation demographic most likely to download a mobile app and engage in its offerings. Building Brave is hosting a number of campus meet-and-greets as well as events where young professionals can connect with leaders and trailblazers from their community. Soon, Building Brave will connect with many other groups with the vision for a global community of 10 million women.
The organization believes that by discovering their most confident selves and developing increased faith in their abilities, women will be impacted in terms of finding new ways to support other women; choose careers to pursue; advocate for themselves, such as asking for pay raises or going after promotions; develop healthy relationships; raise children; and more.
The content is developed and curated by Building Brave’s staff of five and vetted by a panel of experts including professors of women and gender studies, psychology and neuroscience, and a certified professional life coach. Numerous partners from across all sectors have been involved in the conception, testing and launch, including American Family Insurance, Medical College of Wisconsin, Lean-In Madison, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority-Madison and others. Building Brave will continue to collaborate with other organizations already reaching women to support their outreach with a mobile digital platform that helps broadens and deepens their impact.
The app was developed in partnership with the award-winning Filament Games, a Madison-based production studio that is known for the creation of digital experiences that expand a participant’s way of thinking. The approach focuses on engagement, inspiration, motivation and education. For Building Brave, that means pairing content and community conversations with motivation tools that reward users for their accomplishments and allows them to challenge others to participate.
Going forward, the organization will continually ask those engaged to share and evaluate what impact the community has had on their behaviors and how they view themselves. The most powerful measure of progress will be how women report a change in their attitude and behaviors — taking a chance that otherwise they wouldn’t; advocating for themselves; seeing failure as growth opportunity; supporting other women.