Communication is the most high-impact skill in a knowledge-based economy – Grace Chang, Founder and Principal Software Engineer at KintsugiFeaturedhttps://www.kintsugihello.com

amazzocchi's profile thumbnail
Hi Grace, thanks for sharing your story! I love how you define tech and it's one of the best definitions I've read. As a scientist/engineer/researcher - I agree that it's "innovation through scientific inquiry" and even when at face value it may not appear to be because of scientific inquiry is so much is as tech tries to push the boundaries.
gracechang's profile thumbnail
@amazzocchi, I had to mull that one over for a little bit of time :) glad you appreciated it!
quinneyeQ's profile thumbnail
GRACE! HI!!!! I love me some RBG! My parents, in an effort to make me a better communicator, "strongly encouraged" me to enter storytelling contests in elementary and middle school. I hated it back then, but now I'm actually kind of grateful, haha. Also wanted to say that no one would have a clue that English isn't your first language!
gracechang's profile thumbnail
Hahaha, seriously, she is AH-MAZING! Thank you to your parents for having the foresight to push you there! You are an incredible storyteller so I think that has definitely paid off in spades :)
tatendagumbo's profile thumbnail
Hey Grace thank you for this! As an immigrant founder myself and new member of this community I'm glad that there is a platform that allows us get this first hand information. I'm fairly new to tech, so I want to personally thank you for the candid answers. They'll be part of my blueprint as I navigate this journey and yes! we will continue to celebrate the small wins!
gracechang's profile thumbnail
Hi @tatendagumbo! Congratulations on making the leap :) Enjoy the journey and definitely tap into this network for spiritual nourishment which you'll definitely need and i'm sure you'll make a lot of lifelong friends along the way ...
tatendagumbo's profile thumbnail
Thank you Grace.
jennko's profile thumbnail
Hi Grace, yes 100% agree communication is the most valuable skill we can have! I have often found that it can be a big pain point working in tech as often times technical output is rewarded and encouraged more than soft skills such as communication. I also love what you've built at Kintsugi. As a yoga instructor, I believe that many of our world's problems result from lack of mindfulness and wellbeing. Thank you for sharing all of this, so encouraging!
gracechang's profile thumbnail
@jennko, thank you so much, not only for your kind comment but also that you give back in the way that you do! <3
BridgetS's profile thumbnail
Fantastic interview. Thanks for sharing your story.
gracechang's profile thumbnail
Thank you, Bridget! :) Glad to be here
Aziza's profile thumbnail
What an amazing story, Grace! You are an inspiration. Totally agree with you that the speed of discovery and effective communication are key factors for success in tech and innovation. Your courage to "restart" many times in life and career after facing significant challenges is inspirational. You're proving that it is possible to not only start over or start again, but to go on and pursue even more ambitious ventures. Congrats to you on your success to date with your AI-based startup, Kintsugi!
gracechang's profile thumbnail
@aziza, I'm so happy there is a place where I can share my voice and that there is a warm, welcoming community! Thank you for your courage in bringing out the best in everyone :)
sindu's profile thumbnail
👋Grace :) Great interview. Keep up the great work at Kintsugi!Wishing you the best!Sindhu
gracechang's profile thumbnail
Ahhh, so great to see you Sindhu! Thank you and hope to grab a bite with you soon again! ^Sindhu is pretty amazing too for those following this thread :) Reach out!
HeatherWittenberg's profile thumbnail
Grace,I’m so glad to read your comments about communication. As a psychologist who consults with corporations, I’m excited and impressed to see an upsurge of interest in how we can make things better by incorporating humanity into tech products. Social sciences have so much to offer tech, and yet the knowledge is sequestered in old-school academic silos. When tech and social sciences work hand in hand, we have incredible outcomes! Communications are a huge part of that. Cultural variations, age/gender/generational/developmental variations — nobody gets taught all that in school. It’s somehow just supposed to be “absorbed” from the larger world. Which is crazy - that’s like thinking computer coding should just be “absorbed” magically somehow. These things are complex, and need to be learned and refined constantly. I’m so glad you’re shining a light on the process.And PS: I 💛 RBG so much. Tiny lady - huge powerhouse! I wear my “Notorious RBG” t-shirt all the time. She gives me strength ✊🏽
gracechang's profile thumbnail
@heatherwittenberg, yessss - huge powerhouse!! Thank you for your work as someone who has the vision and EQ to tackle social sciences in practice every day! People are beautifully complex and glad we can keep on in our refinement of the world around us :)
HeatherWittenberg's profile thumbnail
Thank YOU for bringing the issue to tech, which has the smartest people in the world. Building a bridge between psychology/social science and tech is what I’m all about - because the potential for positive change is huge! ...BTW, I just scrolled past this Nature article on Twitter again. Had you seen it? An algorithm accurately detected PTSD and Depression from tweets at about the same level as primary care docs...https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-017-12961-9#disqus_thread
gracechang's profile thumbnail
Thanks @heatherwittenberg! We are aware of this study from 2017 and a lot has moved forward since, including being able to detect depression from audio signals: http://news.mit.edu/2018/neural-network-model-detect-depression-conversations-0830. Kintsugi was just awarded a National Science Foundation grant for new Artificial Intelligence technologies to further global research and model development here :)
HeatherWittenberg's profile thumbnail
I've been mulling the results over for the past couple years...the thing that strikes me is how it could assist with our totally inadequate healthcare system. Because people with mental health problems typically don't advocate for themselves, right?? Ergo, we have this system stapled together from these crummy old legacy healthcare processes...which is why I am SO glad to see non-profit/social enterprise approaches. For-profit models are destined to fail here until we completely remake the system....until then, it's bleeding hearts like us trying to forge ahead, despite the lack of sufficient monetization models... I've been 20+ years in the trenches of program design serving disadvantaged healthcare consumers using public funding, so if you ever need help with that angle just give me a shout! And thanks again for what you're doing :)
gracechang's profile thumbnail
Completely agree on the inadequacy of today's healthcare system. We're definitely of the opinion that consumer-driven healthcare will get us closer to precision medicine and value-based healthcare. Mental health is as important as physical health, and it's not so much that people don't want to advocate for themselves, it's that the tools and processes are inaccessible at the time of need. Would love to hear your POV on the trenches. It's likely our naiveté in thinking we can change access to healthcare with technology from the ground up, but we're still going to take a shot. We're at a time and place where pervasive access to cheap, sensor technology in our mobile phones makes sophisticated measurement and analysis possible, empowering consumers and providing the real-time feedback loops to enact change.
HeatherWittenberg's profile thumbnail
I’d love to hear what you’re finding RE consumer-driven healthcare. Our experience with both “standard” insurance covered folks as well as Medicaid-eligible people is that huge segments simply are totally naive as to how to navigate the system of care; or too ill/stressed to effectively try. Even super high SES folks often fall into the above categories. Oh yeah - also add in cultural factors. So many will culturally defer to the authority of the doctor figure and therefore hold back from asking questions or challenging denials/inadequate care etc.Stigma is still another big limiting factor in accessing mental health care. Still lots of people believe if you do so, you’re “crazy” - and then there’s the severe shortage of behavioral health practitioners outside of the metro areas. Sigh....The good news is that there are simple fixes for lots of these problems— plain old Case Management goes a long way to addressing these problems. A few hours of inexpensive Case Management conducted by a BA level person is usually all it takes.... but the system usually only pays for case management in high-utilization, severe situations. It’s so sad because a simple intervention like directly walking a patient through the steps to accessing care is super cheap and effective. However, Case Management isn’t a new or exciting healthcare topic that gets discussed much, in the literature or otherwise. So it’s really not in the conversation enough.Eager to hear how you’re addressing those access to care barriers and thanks again for what you’re doing :)
gracechang's profile thumbnail
I’ll send you a note! We’ll schedule time to chat! Thanks Heather! ☺️🌿
theanimerin's profile thumbnail
Loved your story and totally different from Candice Kumai's book. Thanks so much for sharing!
NicoleCanovas's profile thumbnail
I just checked out Kintsugi... and I think it could be EXTREMELY helpful for me. I know that I could benefit from cognitive behavioral therapy, and I'm excited to check it out! Thank you for this!
gracechang's profile thumbnail
Thank you @NicoleCanovas! If you need anything, please do not hesitate to reach out to the team!
katerinabc's profile thumbnail
Amazing interview @gracechang. Like @amazzocchi I enjoy your definition of tech. But what I enjoy even more is your story around learning and plunging into new worlds ('rapid discovery'). Learning is such an integral part of who we are now and what we can be in the future. Aparently as a kid I told my granny " I want to know everything". Now I got a PhD in communication science and while I love research and I'm looking for something to make a bigger impact. Thank you.