Celebrating a Decade of Doing Good with Data.
In the past decade, we have embraced our clients’ missions as if they were our own, helping our partners collect and make meaning out of critical data. Along the way, we built an organization, a team, a way of working, and a community that we’re deeply proud of.
Here are ten stories from the last ten years that are worth celebrating.
10 Stories in 10 Years
After his first career in big data and several years in Kazakhstan serving in the U.S. Peace Corps, our Managing Director, Aaron, returned to the States energized to bring those worlds together. A chance encounter at a barbecue where our founders met led to the Asemio you know today. And in 2013, we started our first project: building a data system to support a diversionary program for women facing incarceration. True to the heart of our organization, this project resonated on a deeply personal level with our team, reminding us of the “why” of “why we do what we do.” This initial work set the stage for the next ten years.
Fun fact: did you know that “Asemio” reflects the combination of “Asemic writing” (wordless open writing that leaves room for reader interpretation) and “semiotics” (the study of signs and symbols and their use or interpretation)? Or, maybe we just picked it because we wanted something simple, but Apple was already taken.
Listen to this podcast episode where Aaron and his co-founders, Ben and Jess, look back on their decade-long partnership.
Cake Parties and Celebrations
Sharing in the excitement as a project reaches a successful conclusion is undeniably one of the most fulfilling aspects of our work. These are no trivial projects we embark on together and the impact these tools enable can be profound. One memory that stands out, in particular, is the launch of a student information system we built for a large technology center.
This was a huge go-live and it lined up with the enrollment period of our partners’ popular summer programming. The stakes were not low! There was a huge amount of support that emerged from our client’s team and ours leading up to the launch. Back at the office, Asemio team members not involved in the project orchestrated mini-celebrations to uplift and encourage their colleagues who were working long hours. Potlucks, breakfast gatherings, pizzas that disappeared faster than they arrived, memes taped to desks like confetti, and motivating notes were a powerful display of teamwork. And on-site during the launch, our client team pooled their excitement, sharing sweet treats and enthusiasm.
The best part? This isn’t an isolated event. We’ve had the joy of celebrating these kinds of wins with so many of our clients. The thing is, projects like this can be a bit like a rollercoaster at times exciting and energizing and others challenging and arduous. Yet, despite the challenges, knowing that these tools are going to help our clients do what they do even better, makes every obstacle worth overcoming.
Keep an eye out for a case study on one of our custom data systems, coming soon.
In the meantime, here’s another case study of a cake-worthy Salesforce implementation.
Conference Chronicles and More
The past couple of years may have brought a slowdown in our conference attendance due to the pandemic, but as we’ve been regaining momentum, we can’t help but reminisce about the memories we’ve gathered from conferences we attended throughout the past decade. We’ve been privileged to connect with partners both near and far, traversing continents as we share stories, brainstorm, and learn about innovative ways to use technology for social good in public health, education, and beyond. These conferences have been educational, inspiring, and fertile ground for (mis)adventures and fun. Here are a few standout moments from our work-related endeavors in different corners of the world:
In 2017, we found ourselves in Milwaukee after facilitating a series of data ecosystem workshops., where we had some unexpected thrills, including getting locked in a gated parking lot (a team-building exercise we hadn’t anticipated) and narrowly escaping a hair-raising encounter with an adventurous Uber driver.
That same year, we ventured to Greenville, South Carolina for a presentation on developing data ecosystems. While there, we had an opportunity to spend time in the community and to see firsthand how these recommendations could eventually help. Our team played a role in shaping pathways to how to use data in this community to promote health, education, and economic well-being—a rewarding experience that left a lasting impact.
2022 took us to Edinburgh, Scotland for the International Population Data Linkage Network conference. Little did we know that our visit would coincide with a historic moment—the passing of Queen Elizabeth II. Being there during such a significant event added an unexpected layer of meaning and reflection to our time in Scotland.
We are filled with gratitude for the invaluable experiences, meaningful connections, and unforgettable adventures they have provided us. These moments have not only enriched our professional lives but have also created lasting bonds and memories that remind us why we’re so passionate about making a positive impact.
Get access to some of the thought leadership we’re sharing at events this year in our Data & Technology Advancement Model.
When the World Went Virtual
In the face of the unprecedented challenges brought by the year 2020, our partners and team members stood strong amidst the chaos. As the COVID-19 pandemic upended lives and forced us to adapt to remote work, we recognized the unique and complex ways it impacted our team and partners.
During this time, our team members rallied and organized a series of events that kept our spirits high. Some of our cherished moments included gathering outside Guthrie Green for socially distanced popsicles and conversation. We embraced virtual cooking sessions, with our #comm-recipes Slack channel becoming a treasure trove of delicious culinary creations. For our outdoor adventurers, we organized group bike rides, relishing the opportunity to socialize safely in the open air. We even had the pleasure of hosting a virtual speaker from OSU’s Master Gardening program, who enlightened us about soil and gardening, sparking the birth of our very own #comm-gardening channel for the green thumbs among us. In our quest to make a positive impact, we connected with a rescue farm in Colorado, who graciously shared virtual visits from their farm animals to raise funds for pandemic relief efforts.
We have a lot of gratitude for the resilience and determination shown by our team during the pandemic. We emerged from that period stronger than ever, having adapted to a new normal. It is a chapter in Asemio’s history that we will forever hold close, a testament to the unwavering spirit of our remarkable team.
Read about the values that guide our team and find out which you resonate with most from one of our founders, Jess England.
Asemio Decoded: Launching Our Very Own Podcast
In 2022, we launched our podcast, Asemio Decoded. We had exactly zero experience with hosting a podcast and a ton of enthusiasm. But what made it even more enjoyable was the incredible opportunity to engage partners from Tulsa, Chicago, D.C., and beyond, and have thought-provoking conversations about the intersection of social good and technology.
The podcast is really just an excuse for us to talk about interesting things with interesting people. Discussions have spanned ancient curse words, AI consciousness, technology’s social impact, and beyond. For our dynamic duo of co-hosts, Aaron and Jess, hosting the show has been an absolute joy. Asemio Decoded is more than just a podcast to us—it’s a platform where we can share our passion, spark meaningful conversations, and connect with our incredible community. We can’t wait to keep sharing more episodes as we journey into the future and continue decoding the wonders of technology and its impact on social good.
The Tiger Award
We have a pet tiger here at Asemio (no connection to Tiger King). Our tiger’s name is Eric. (Not everyone knows that, but you do now.) And every month, Eric gets to hang out with a team member who exceptionally demonstrated our core values in the previous month. The Tiger Award is passed on each month, chosen by the previous awardee, and announced during our monthly “What’s Up Asemio” (WUA for short, pronounced WOO-AH) all-team.
What’s special about the Tiger Award is that it organically evolved into an opportunity for all team members to take a minute to share their appreciation for their teammate in front of everyone, round-robin style. If you’re thinking, wow, listening to my teammates say genuinely kind and appreciative things about me for about 15 minutes straight sounds more uncomfortable than being sung to by a loud and clapping group of servers at a bustling restaurant while all other diners look on, you would not be alone. But it is the best experience, frankly, and we love it.
And here’s the icing on the cake: the Tiger winner not only receives a slick placard to proudly display on their office (or work-from-home) door, but they also have the opportunity to choose a charity to which Asemio will donate in celebration of their award.
Learn more about the full list of Tiger Awardees (AKA, the whole team) here.
Led by some of our amazing employees, Asemio’s Culture Club knows how to give back to the community and keep our team connected. From organizing clean-up events and donation drives during the holidays locally to volunteering at Global Gardens and local food pantries, we’ve been lending a hand to vital community organizations.
But wait, there’s more! Our Culture Club doesn’t stop at community service. Virtual and IRL fun are part of the picture, too with Virtual yoga sessions to stretch our bodies and minds, mocktail tutorials that turn our team into mixology maestros, bike rides, and game nights. With the Culture Club at the helm, we’re not just building connections within Asemio, we’re building a community that knows how to have a good time while making a positive impact.
Check out the photos from our recent work at a local community center, or the Saturday trash clean-up on our block, and follow our social media channels to stay updated on what volunteering activities we’re getting up to!
Art and Algorithms
With our perfectly positioned office space in the heart of the Tulsa Arts District, we have a front-row seat to participate and share our appreciation for the arts and culture scene in our neighborhood and beyond.
In the spirit of celebrating creativity, Asemio was a proud sponsor of the Spark Summit in the Fall of 2022. This event brought together imaginative leaders with backgrounds in tech, music, and entrepreneurship and created a dynamic platform for connection, learning, and collaborative building. Organized by Tulsa Creative Engine in partnership with Holberton Tulsa, this two-day summit served as a catalyst for unlocking innovation in Tulsa. Attendees were treated to panel conversations, keynote speeches, art installations, immersive VR/AR experiences, engaging workshops, and musical performances.
Cool things continue to happen in Tulsa and this summer we sponsored Flywheel Tulsa’s inaugural Big Ride event, which brought together Tulsa’s tech, music, and food scene in yet another example of what makes Tulsa such a remarkable city.
We’re grateful to be located in a city that celebrates creativity and hope to support even more events like this in the next decade.
"Rad" New Solutions
What if you could stand up a simple but powerful data system for organizations that need some basic support with simple customizations but don’t have the budget to spend on truly custom software? That’d be pretty rad, right? We thought so too. Seeing this need over and over with different mission-focused organizations inspired us to create our Rapid Application Development—or, RAD (oh, yes we did)—framework. Our journey began with a clear goal in mind: to create a lightweight design pattern that would transform the way applications are developed and deployed. With RAD we’ve been able to produce applications that are smaller in size and incredibly efficient, making the entire development process a breeze.
Tools built with the RAD framework span sectors and multiple use cases and we’ve received lots of positive feedback about the tools we’ve developed with RAD. That alone is energizing, but something else that’s just as awesome is watching our team members get so energized by the problem-solving potential that RAD offers. Let’s just say there are a lot of (happy) exclamation points and emoji in the slacks that accompany messages about RAD updates.
It’s a win-win in our book when the tools you’re developing not only offer our clients efficiencies but are energizing to work with, too.
As we continue to see positive results, we are inspired to further enhance and expand the applications of RAD, seeking even more ways to bring about positive change in the world around us.
Curious to learn more about how we think? Access our full library of resources.
Cheers to the Next Ten!
Asemio’s journey has been nothing short of extraordinary, and as we celebrate our remarkable ten-year milestone, we pause to reflect on the incredible support we’ve received from our clients and community partners —both old and new. We’re immensely grateful for the trust you’ve placed in us and for the collaborative spirit that has propelled us forward. As we embark on the next chapter of our journey, we do so with excitement and a shared vision to continue leveraging technology for good, thanks to partners like you who believe in our mission.