Another day here at RootsTech. Today's day started with a talk by Aaron Godfrey, VP of Marketing at MyHeritage, who announced the launch of http://www.dnaquest.org. This initiative was launched to help adoptees find their birth families. 15,000 DNA kits will be provided free to eligible participants. This is such a beautiful announcement and I'm glad more companies are taking up the charge to lend a hand where they can.
The keynote speech was by Branton Stanton, whose blog is "Humans of New York". He had such a moving speech when he talked about how you need to do what you love and not just focus on the money, the cars, etc. He also talked about how he approaches strangers to interview/photograph them, he asks very deep questions. We need to embrace the hard questions more and reach out to people. Everyone has a story - let's share our stories in our genealogy.
I next attended the lecture "Call to Action: Diversity in Family History Tech" by D Joshua Taylor. This was a really important topic and I'm glad that it made it into the schedule this year. Josh talked about how we need to embrace our family history with an open mind. Not every family consists of a mother and father and two sets of grandparents. Each family is diverse and this is becoming so true today. We need to go beyond the standard pedigree model and focus on the individual and the people that were important in their lives. I think this was such an important message as we find that our ancestors' lives could be complicated and don't fit the cookie cutter model. The technology software needs to fit a diverse group of people and not just have band-aids applied to squeeze in other facts.
I'm going to finish up a few more lectures here before retiring to get dinner and then get ready for the NextGen Genealogy Network meet up tonight at the Marriott. I hope to see some of my NextGen friends there later!