Inspectors. Connectors. Dream-up-what’s-next-ers.

Founded: 2002

PDX Employees: 68

Website: Visit website

Case Study


A desire for cultural change, inclusivity, and a deep understanding of white male privilege created the necessary steam to get this program off the ground. As an ELI program partner, Thesis (formerly eROI) demonstrates their commitment to investing in leadership development within underrepresented groups and demonstrates how to face the tough realities of homogeneity, institutionalized bias, and white male privilege and address these issues with common-sense solutions that have a great impact.

The Emerging Leaders Internship (ELI) Program matches underrepresented college students — with a special focus on first-generation students, low-income students, and students of color — with paid internships at top Portland companies. This program was spearheaded by Ryan Buchanan, CEO as Thesis (formerly eROI) and the Portland Leadership Foundation. In less than two years’ it has developed into a successful coalition of more than 50 Portland businesses and nonprofits.

Key Takeaways

  • Addressing homogeneity, institutionalized bias, and white male privilege requires intentional actions, not a great knowledge of social theory. There are common-sense and simple ways for changing the internal composition of a company.
  • Companies that are committed to diversity and inclusion can develop the talent they need internally. Internship and mentorships provide more opportunities to do so.
  • Prosper Portland and other supporters of the Diversity Pledge can support the ELI program by encouraging all diversity pledge companies to request and Emerging Leader Intern.



All Pledges


Portland tech companies have joined the Diversity & Inclusion Pledge since its initial launch in 2015.

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