Throughout his life and successful, illustrated career, Joshua Burgin has remained focused on faith, family, and future innovations to remind others that even amidst the chaos, there are reasons to believe in not only the goodness of humanity but the power of progress.
Growing up in Maryland, Joshua Burgin fell in love with the tech industry at a time when it was still growing. He knew he wanted to be involved with the tech industry, which meant that he would need to move westward. What he didn’t know at the time was how his philosophy degree from Haverford College outside of Philadelphia would impact not only the way he worked but the way he drew inspiration to make professional and personal decisions.
The first company that Burgin worked for was a small start-up that family and friends were sure would never survive. After all, purchasing books online wasn’t something that seemed sustainable long-term. However, Burgin knew the challenge was worth it and kept his faith that it was the right decision. Now a multibillion-dollar company, Amazon has found its way into everyday lexicons, no doubt because of the work of individuals like Burgin, who believed that it would succeed. His innovative ideas contributed to the rise of one of the most successful businesses of all time.
Committed to Solving Problems in the Tech Industry
After Amazon, Joshua Burgin spent time with several tech companies and heavily reflected on the responsibilities and impact this industry has on creating platforms that allow for the anonymous exchange of ideas. Unfortunately, Burgin believes there is an underlying “we didn’t create the content, so we’re not responsible” mentality among those who work in tech. What solidified his desire to make an impact on the way digital platforms engage users was at his own children’s school, which experienced a bout of antisemitism, not because of intentional hatred, but because of a lack of education according to his interview on The Jerusalem Post.
While the tech industry shows a collective desire to create the right regulations and use its innovations to create safe spaces, Burgin knows this is a slow process, and with the industry changing almost daily, as evidenced by artificial intelligence, that requires intentional and committed responses to stay ahead of new developments.
While Burgin can’t solve the problems on his own, he is committed to making a dent in the rise of hatred and using his role in the tech industry to do it. As a board member for the Anti-Defamation League of the Pacific Northwest, he uses this platform to raise awareness and find solutions to creating an environment where all people are accepted for their individual characteristics, no matter their differences.
His involvement with the ADL helped his son to ask for help when the incident of antisemitism at school occurred. Seeing the power of knowledge with his family reinforced his desire to use technology to continue to educate and help others. Knowing teenagers don’t normally ask for help, his family inspired his continued vision that knowledge and technology can make a difference in how people treat one another. With the help of Burgin’s son, the ADL and the school started the “No Place for Hate” program for the students and the faculty.
Burgin raises awareness of technological progress in places like Israel, where false stereotypes about foreign countries and their people create narratives that are untrue. He has frequently visited Israel and is quick to remind others that the nation is devoted to using technology to create sustainability. Additionally, he raises awareness of the fact that Israel used the time of the pandemic to reinvigorate how technology is used in the health industry, as well as how the government and other groups can respond to national crises.
A Philosophy of Compassion in the World of Tech
Joshua Burgin has a strong belief in relying on his faith and fixing harmful systems. Combining his faith with his knowledge that the digital realm can reach millions will help curve the automated biases and digital hatred that can spread on digital platforms. For Burgin, working in the tech industry is about more than making money and creating innovation. He believes that those creating the new technology shaping the future have a responsibility to ensure their work doesn’t harm others and instead fosters a culture of acceptance.
With his faith in humanity, his inspiration from family, and his belief that future innovations in technology can change the way people interact with each other, Joshua Burgin is on a mission. Coupling his philosophy of a better world with the smart, passionate, and caring people around him, he knows that the corporations that drive real interactions between people can use their responsibilities to change the world. Changing perspectives takes time, but with continued dedication and innovation built upon his personal philosophies, he will continue to create opportunities for compassion, understanding, and empathy.