June 04, 2014
Kickstarter Success Story Lima Announces $2.5M Series A Financing From Partech Ventures
The team behind Lima, which consolidates all of your content and enables you to see the same files on all of your devices regardless of operating system or device size, today announced that Partech Ventures, an American-European Fund, has invested $2.5 million in a Series A Financing round to accelerate Lima’s development worldwide.
Lima was perceived as a must-have after nearly 13,000 people supported its initial launch on Kickstarter last summer. Lima not only reached its initial funding goal in less than 12 hours, but became the 6th most crowdfunded technology project at that time, raising a total of $1.2 million.
The goal of the new investment from Partech Ventures will further accelerate the Company’s development of the Lima platform and allow the team to expand its engineering, marketing, sales and distribution efforts across North America, Europe and Asia.
What got me excited about working with Lima is that they provide a solution to the painful siloed data problem that zaps my productivity every day. While I'm a Dropbox user and find it useful for sending huge files when in a pinch or when there's no other alternative, I find the interface too geeky and I can't organize things the way I want.
I also have to pay for storage (same ole same ole) and it still means that I can't access my fat photo library sitting on an external hard drive at home from any device I happen to be using at the time. Frankly, it shouldn't be this hard nor should I have to think about it.
Unlike other solutions like iCloud Drive, Dropbox and others, Lima doesn’t create yet another silo for your content: it actually reinvents how your devices store data. Composed of a hardware adapter and a multi-platform app, Lima changes the OS architecture of your different devices, so that they all contain the same files. With Lima, your organization structure is the same across devices and you no longer need to copy and transfer files between devices, or to upload them to the Cloud. Hallelujah!
For the first time ever, local device size no longer matters, a godsend for those who don’t want to upgrade their smartphone or computer to accommodate their growing file library. Lima allows all of your devices to be as big as your Lima System at home regardlesshow much local memory you have on a specific device. If you make a change on one device, it will be instantly echoed seamlessly across all others.
I'm excited to be working with a team who wants not only has an innovative approach to the explosive issue of personal data but has the potential to revamp an archaic content management and file storage system. Kudos to founders Severin Marcombes, Gawen Arab and the entire team for having the persistence and passion to see this through. Stand by for product updates in the coming weeks and months ahead!
April 10, 2014
Kolibree, World’s First Connected Electric Toothbrush Now Live For Pre-Orders on Kickstarter
Today, Kolibree, the guys who brought the world's first connected electric toothbrush to market at CES in January, announced that their connected toothbrush is now available for pre-orders on Kickstarter, the renowned crowdfunding platform that allows users to help fund a project or product.
I've been involved in a marketing and communications role and as an advisor since the beginning, so it has been quite a fun ride so far. Since we first showed the prototype in Las Vegas at the beginning of the year, we have received overwhelmingly positive feedback from everyone from mom's who are excited about being able to monitor their kid's brushing for the first time, entrepreneurs who recognize great innovation and existing electric toothbrush users to geeks and developers who are interested in building third party apps to gamify the experience at an even deeper level.
We've come a long way since the beginning and Kolibree's earliest prototype -- it's now time to move this ever so elegant connected toothbrush to the next level!
Funds raised from Kickstarter supporters will be used to manufacture and distribute Kolibree’s connected toothbrush, starting with a limited rollout in June and wide distribution worldwide starting in the U.S. and Europe in late Q3/early Q4 2014.Unlike anything else that exists today, Kolibree’s smart, connected toothbrush has a unique technology with sensors to analyze your brushing habits...
Those brushing habits are then displayed on a mobile dashboard you can readily access from your phone or tablet.
You can learn about your brushing behavior from that data to improve your habits over time. By being armed with smart data, you can be more empowered to take better care of your teeth and make future dentist visits less painful and less expensive. Kolibree is particularly useful for parents who want to instill positive brushing habits for their kids as early as possible.
The Kickstarter rewards are being offered at various funding levels. For those who want to be in the first commercial batch, the first 500 funders will be offered a Kolibree toothbrush for only $99, with a price point of $129 for the next 1,000 supporters.
The toothbrush at these price points will come in Feather White and include two brush heads. Supporters who wish to receive a Kolibree toothbrush in their choice of Feather White, Dove Gray, Berry Blue or Cerise Pink can do so for only $149, which will include two brush heads. All orders will receive an induction charging station and the free mobile app, which supports both iPhone and Android smart phones.
In addition, there will be a specific offer for developers for $199 with beta API access and free support and an educational software package for dentists.
The Kickstarter campaign today, will run through May 23, 2014, has a fundraising target of $70,000.
Designed for families, the free mobile app works with several toothbrushes so the entire family can participate and all of that data can be monitored in a single profile on one phone. Kolibree rewards your progress, allocating points to kids to encourage them to improve their brushing habits. Games will keep users motivated to improve their brushing habits as well as brush for longer each time.
Kudos to the entire Kolibree team who are infused with passion and a commitment to getting this right....and it's only just the beginning!
We welcome feedback and encouragement of course. Most importantly, for the next month, please meander over to the Kickstarter page and support the campaign in any way you can. That includes social media call outs, telling friends, calling your mom, ordering a couple as gifts - you get the idea! Please ACTIVATE and help Kolibree get to market!
February 13, 2014
Speakers Rethink, Redesign & Recreate at TEDxBerkeley 2014
This year marks the fourth year I've been involved as co-curator at TEDxBerkeley, an annual TEDx event held at Zellerbach Hall in Berkeley California. Now in its fifth year, this was the first year the event sold out at 1,700 and that's not including volunteers and our team. We had an outstanding line-up of speakers and performers this year, and the talks were centered around this year's core theme: Rethink, Redesign, Recreate.
Below is a summary of a handful of the talks, but you can find out more about the speakers on the TEDxSpeaker page and through their online videos which should be posted sometime in February or early March 2014.
Kicking things off in the morning was well renowned entrepreneur and former Apple evangelist, Guy Kawasaki, whose talk was entitled The Art of Innovation.
Addressing entrepreneurs and wanna-be entrepreneurs, he suggests that rather than draft a mission statement, create a vision with real meaning...in other words, a mantra of why you should exist. Fedex doesn't equate to a series of trucks that deliver packages, but Peace of Mind.
He also pointed to the fact that so many companies try to innovate from the same growth curve rather than jump ahead of the curve which is where real innovation happens - that was Kodak's fail btw. Change in an industry is inevitable, so don't lag behind because you're too set in the way you do business and too inflexible to pivot to a new vision before it's too late. When you start to think from a truly innovative place, you're essentially rolling the dice.
If you have indeed jumped to the next innovation curve like Apple did, it’s okay to have some crappiness in your product suggests Guy, as long as you get it out there. No surprise coming from an Apple veteran who worked alongside Steve Jobs who is known for his infamous slogan: Real Artists Ship. Taken from Steve Levy's book Insanely Great, which chronicles the creation of the first Mac, he writes:
"One’s creation, quite simply, did not exist as art if it was not out there, available for consumption, doing well. Once you get the computers into people’s homes, you have penetrated their minds. At that point all the clever design decisions you made, the turns of the interface, the subtle dance of mode and modeless, the menu bars and trash cans and mouse buttons and everything else inside and outside your creation, becomes part of people’s lives, transforms their working habits, permeates their approach to their labor, and ultimately, their lives.
But to do that, to make a difference in the world and a dent in the universe, you had to ship. You had to ship. You had to ship."
I couldn't agree more and have seen more ego and time spent on details that simply don't matter get in the way over the years of getting a product to market for the long haul. The next part is also true - once you ship, you will suddenly be surprised how people start to use your product in ways you didn’t even anticipate. With Twitter, it was the same case as well as from countless other products and services which have been documented over the years. It’s up to the customer not to you since they drive your future.
He also thinks its smart to polarize people even at the expense of major push back from corporate brands. He cited Tivo as an example because of its ability to time shift TV. Great products polarize people – don’t be afraid of polarizing people because that will upset the status quo.
He also spent some time on the "pitch." Hear hear Guy since so many social media purists argue that there no longer is a pitch, it's just a conversation.
Bottom line - both need to happen in a raw and inherently authentic way for sustainable success. It's astonishing to me how many CEOs don't get that.
Also in the first session, Carol Sanford started her talk with a moving statement “It took me 42 years to find an answer of how to change the world.” She moved into a dialogue about what she refers to as The Responsible Entrepreneur, which is anyone who is helping to bring a new business into the world which creates a better world. To learn more about the modern entrepreneur and the responsible ones, she dives into the Four Game Changing Archetypes.
Of those timeless archetypes, she cites the warrior who can see things the rest of us cannot see, the clown or the court jester who thrives on bringing the connections to those who cannot see the nation, the hunter who thinks about governance and how things work.
Every Responsible Entrepreneur represents an archetype, each with a unique role to play in the entrepreneurial system.
As she references in a post she wrote, "cultural anthropologists have identified all four in every healthy culture, and all four are needed to ensure the health of our own evolving social system. Each takes on change differently in search of different outcomes and all four approaches can also be found inside established organizations, among intrapreneurs who lead change."
Archetype 1 is the Freedom Entrerpeneur, driven by the desire to live freely and creativity, and their contribution is the intense pursuit of perfection, potential and "doing it right." Examples include Steve Jobs and a Samurai warrior.
Archetype 2 is the "Social Entrepreneur", who is the foundation of change, since they play a key role in identifying and exposing gaps in traditional thinking. They often sacrifice for the greater good while seeking to mend a tear in the fabric of society others often don't see.
Richard Branson exemplifies this archetype when he takes on outrageous endeavors to call attention to what’s missing from the global dialogue, or when he designs businesses that foster camaraderie and mutual understanding.
Archetype 3 aka, the Reciprocity Entrepreneur supports the whole by making sure that all life gets what it needs. In other words, they work to make the systems that nourish us healthy. Reciprocity entrepreneurs see the need to work in balance with human and natural systems. They seek to reduce the harm we do on Earth and in society.
An example of this archetype is Oprah Winfrey, who in the course of her routine business has done more to evolve education—for girls in particular—than anyone in the traditional school systems. Lastly, Archetype 4 who is the Regenerative Entrepreneur. They seek to guide people and organizations as they cross boundaries and create transformations for a better world.
What I loved most about her talk was the correlation to tribal behavior that can be garnered from each modern stereotype and why each one is valuable to the "whole" since each of the four archetypal entrepreneurs approaches growth and change differently. She notes that each is critical to revitalizing democracy and, on the larger world stage, capitalism itself.
Rather than go into the works of Richard Branson and Steve Jobs, she talks about the warriors who are doing innovation in the fishing industry and in sectors and products most of us may have never heard of, but are bringing forth true consciousness in a unique way.
She refers to them as the reconnection entrepreneurs. She says to the audience: "If you’re one of those people who wants to change the world, ask yourself:
Do I want to change industries by connecting us with values and can I go after a whole industry? Can I bring conscious to the way I do business or the way I do a non-profit? Do I want to bring a sense of repriocity where we understand that we’re all part of a whole? Do I want to reconnect us to government and corporate business and individuals where we are all complete?" I loved this woman's energy!
Connective Bahavior Expert Kare Anderson spoke on the power of mutuality and how to think about mutuality in work relationships. What do you well and with whom and when do you not? That wonderful sweet spot of shared interests can be an inoculation and help us see things in a bizarre way," said Kare.
For most of our lives in the business world, we’ve been advised to lead and manage others. We’ve been taught to resolve conflict, influence, negotiate and otherwise attempt to get what we want from people.
Through self-improvement, we’re told we’ll become happier, smarter and more attractive, successful and self-aware. The problem with that paradigm however, she asserts, is that there is no "us" in the equation.
Wouldn't you prefer the camaraderie of smart collaboration over being lead, persuaded or managed? What’s missing is the guidebook on how to engage with others to accomplish something more powerful together than we can alone.
From within that mindset, she addressed successful methods to be successful, such as the best ways to find and recruit the right partners and groups, following a set of rules of engagement?
Mutuality happens in the military, it happens in the operation room, it happens in boardrooms, it happens when we create big things, says Kare. There are benefits to hanging out with those who can help you think about a process differently, i.e., fast thinkers hanging out with slow thinkers.
Seeking people out who are different can provide more meaning, more adventure and more assistance. The more grounded we are, the more we can see people more clearly and understand what they are saying and not saying.
Specificity creates clarity. Sometimes you need to slow down to get that clarity and to make things happen. When you slow down, people suddenly start smiling more which improves interconnections at work and at home. Often, when we see something that move us, we project other qualities that have no relationship to them.
Think about when you get in sync, you suddenly start to walk together. Welcome to the power of mutuality. When you walk together in sync, you suddenly start working together more effectively. Whatever holds our attention controls our lives and what gets rewarded, gets repeated. Our behavior is contagious to the 9th degree.
In a civilization where love is gone, we turn to justice. When justice doesn't work, we turn to violence. Violence isn’t just about shooting, it is about ignoring humanity. The anecdote is mutuality. Great great talk!
Paul Rucker is a visual artist, composer, and musician who combines media, often integrating live performance, sound, original compositions, and visual art. His work is the product of a rich interactive process, through which he investigates community impacts, human rights issues, historical research, and basic human emotions surrounding a subject.
Paul spoke about Recapitulation, his Creative Capital project that parallels slavery with the current day prison system. He did this with data visualization of maps he created of the US prison system with data from the organization Prison Policy Initiative, and a slave density map from 1860 showing slave populations in some areas of the south at over 90 percent.
Even though the US population is only 5 percent, the prison population makes up 25 percent of the worlds prison population.
Whereas African Americans comprise only 12 percent of the country’s total population, they make-up 40 percent of those incarcerated. His work also examines the colossal disparity in the racial composition of the U.S. prison population and points to the vast number of African American’s whose lives have been affected by both the institution of slavery and prison system. Paul says “Slavery worked”.
From a cost benefit analysis, you can’t argue with free labor. The economic impact was tremendous. In 1860, cotton was 60 percent of US exports. The US provided 75 percent of the world’s cotton. This was an estimated 200 million dollars at that time.
Rucker taught about the importance of knowing history, and the amendments and how language was used and manipulated.
He paralleled lynching with current shootings by police of unarmed men and then showed an animation of a postcard from 1915 that he brought to life and composed new music for the imagery. A powerful cello player, Paul often weaves in controversial and painful issues into his playing and his storytelling.
Before, during and after giving us a historical glimpse into these issues through animated video, sculpture and digital prints, he fired up his cello again and again, each time breathtakingly beautiful. A refreshingly creative approach to storytelling, his execution was a sweet mix of a rich interactive process through combines community impacts, human rights issues, historical research and basic human emotions.
You're left feeling that his work is rare, his findings are important as are the way he presents them and that he's one helluva musician.
One of the more intensely passionate talks was by biologist Tim Shields, who is more excited about tortoises than life itself. Because the world looks at environmentalism and issues surrounding it as boring, a bit like "broccoli," says Tim, it's not a lot of fun. If something isn't fun, people won't spend time doing it.
For someone who has spent his entire life dedicated to studying and observing the life of tortoises, it's also not a lot of fun seeing their dramatic decline, largely because of the increased numbers of ravens who are destroying them, now growing by roughly 1,000% in the West Mojave Desert. Ravens destroy desert tortoises and they are also destroying trees.
Says Tim, "it’s in parallel to the human species through its negligence of having no idea of what their impact is having on the planet."
It’s the truth but not the whole truth. After growing tired of reporting on the tortoise decline, he began to focus all his efforts on the raven problem. In that process, he created a laser and they are now working on the notion of enabling people to fire a remote laser via email or via the Internet. The idea has a few moving parts.
Given that the world of gaming, drones and rovers are thriving, he wanted to figure out how to merge that growth with protecting a species.
Taking environmental action has to be deadly serious business is how we think of environmental action. We take it with a sense of grimness, as if we’re sacrificing some of our time for a worthy cause. He asserts that this approach could make conservation fun.
Players could monitor feeds from an array of drones over the region of Africa and report on poachers on the ground. How about games to monitor tropical forests or far less than stellar activities happening in the Amazon?
Ecologists and biologists could identify possible candidates for the games since it's a win for them given they'll have thousands of people out there with eyes and ears to report back.
The gear heads and the inventors can manufacturer the devices, the game players can bring their skins and talented thumbs, the game developers can create the games and rovers and environmental organizations can help spread the word. It's a fascinating idea and personally, I can't wait to follow his progress.
Randy Schekman, who teaches molecular biology and has won a Nobel Prize, addressed the issues that are throttling the ability for more scientific papers to make it into the public domain. He suggests that we are faced with a broken system for scientific reviews.
Does that mean we're in the dark ages with the review process? After all, it is the 21st century so there should be no reason to limit someone’s access through a print only model or place limitations so only a fraction of scientific papers can ever be read.
"We need to democratize science publication so any reader of science has the ability to read a paper free of charge," says Schekman. He encouraged people to sign a paper called DORA (Declaration of Research Assessment), which is being put forward by scholars in an effort to defeat the influence of commercial venues which negatively control the output of scholars around the world.
Beth Kanter is most known for her work around social change for social causes and her area of passion: ”Individual Social Responsibility" or ISR.
She notes that individuals taking small action online can have a huge impact, whether its to help you raise money for a non-profit, someone's sickness or cause or to metabolize grief, which she did when she lost her dad. She launched an online fundraiser to honor her father and benefits went to the surf rider foundation and an ocean conservation program.
She encourages people to start their own ISR program. Key ways to get started: first, identify your passion and your spark, in other words, find something that you care about. Then she suggests, start talking about what you think makes the world a better place.
She gives the example of a 13 year old who wanted bullying to stop at her school and started talking about it online, an effort which led to reduced bullying around the world.
There are also organizations like Giving 2.0, which is designed for college students to learn about social responsibility with your peers - you can join or start an organization. Think about what you can do to make the world a better place and start speaking out about it. All it takes is a droplet into the online ocean so to speak.
Marnie Webb's work is also around non profit work and social responsibility as well as tools that create a 'better good.' Marnie wanted to recreate how we look at social issues and how we think about abundance.
She says, "when we start thinking about abundance, we often don’t think we have enough, but if you start thinking about abundance differently, from a possibility place, things start to shift."
Marnie raises examples of organizations which have made a dramatic impact, such as D.C. Central Kitchen, whose mission is to reduce hunger with recycled food, training unemployed adults for culinary careers, serving healthy school meals, and rebuilding urban food systems through social enterprise. After they kicked things into gear, people began to realize that people in soup kitchens were eating better than kids were eating in local schools.
They made a paradigm shift. Youth Uprising helps youth kids in Alameda, in apparently one of the worse areas of the United States. Kids were crying out for a safe place to hang out and so they turned an abandoned Safeway supermarket, then a derelict building, into a a safe environment and playground where kids could go to play.
Asks Marnie: "what if we look at resources that exist and figure out a way to do this together by orchestrating a way to raise enough money and resources and get it out to the right people?" For what it's worth, I have been a fan of Marnie's work for years.
Brenda Chapman touched my heart when I first heard her speak at TEDxUNPlaza, an event I was also involved in earlier this year. She started her career as a story artist at Walt Disney Feature Animation where she worked on films such The Little Mermaid, The Rescuers Down Under, Beauty and the Beast, The Hunchback of Notre Dame and Fantasia.
Chapman was the story supervisor on The Lion King (my favorite modern musical and yes, I've seen it a half dozen times). She is most known for her work as writer and director of the Oscar, BAFTA and Golden Globe winning Brave.
Brenda is a great storyteller and this came out as she went back to childhood to share her journey with the TEDxBerkeley audience.
She spoke of her professional timeline starting back to the days when stories depicting the dreams of a little girl revolved around marrying a prince and living happily ever after to the more modernistic and adventurous image we see in BRAVE.
My favorite moment (and this was during rehearsal) was when she spoke of the moment she knew she'd become a feminist.
She looks at us with tender but intense eyes as she goes back to the past and recalls that defining moment, "when my father said 'we can't find the salt and I have 3 women in the house?", a man who retired to the LazyBoy chair after work every day while women made dinner, cleared the table and washed the dishes.
While my grandfather changed his thinking and behavior dramatically once he hit his late seventies, this way of 'being' for men in the 1960's and 1970's was very common. I couldn't help but think when she recited her defining moment live on the TEDxBerkeley stage the next day, "was this woman also in my kitchen when I was a child?"
The woman behind me, also in her forties, burst out laughing and one eye exchange said it all - Brenda had clearly been in her kitchen when she was growing up too.
"It's about observation and change," says Brenda. Observe something deep in your heart and deep in your core and do something about it." She asks, "what is the one thing that keeps you up at night and what can you do about it?" Her work is indicative of her childhood history and of her commitment to making a change for how women are perceived starting at an early age through the medium of children's animated films which may end up as musicals on Broadway, which Beauty & the Beast most definitely did.
I applaud you Brenda Chapman for your soul-searching work and for making the world a better place for women by depicting a different image of what we (as women) will accept and also what is possible.
Other speakers included Leslie Lang, Roberto Hernandez, Sarah Hillware, Dr. Alan Greene, Edward Miguel, Dutta Satadip and Ashley Stahl.
Performers included The California Golden Overtones, Yonat Mayer, musician/clown and aerial acrobatic Nikki Borodi and Vangelis Chaniotakis and New Orleans Manifesto, a jazz group which included bandleader John Halbleib, Chloe Tucker, Manuel Constancio, Stephan Junca, Adam Grant, Hermann Lara and Sam Brown-Shaklee.
All photos: Renee Blodgett.
February 13, 2014 in America The Free, Client Announcements, Client Media Kudos, Conference Highlights, Entertainment/Media, Events, Magic Sauce Media, On People & Life, On the Future, San Francisco, TravelingGeeks, WBTW | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack
February 03, 2014
TEDxBerkeley Announces Speaker & Performer Line-Up for Feb 8 Event
The fifth annual TEDx Berkeley, which will be held at Berkeley’s Zellerbach Hall on Saturday February 8, 2014, will feature 20 inspiring and innovative speakers and performers who will address this year’s theme Rethink, Redefine, Recreate.
From education and healthcare to the monumental shifts we are seeing across technology, digital entertainment, sustainability, communications and the environment, the goal of this year’s event is to open up a global conversation around innovative ideas and transformations that happen when we don’t follow the status quo. The speaker and performer line-up for 2014 includes the following thought leaders and visionaries:
Kare Anderson: Kare is Say it Better Center founder, an Emmy-winning former NBC and Wall Street Journal reporter, columnist for Forbes and Huffington Post, and a translator of neuroscience research which improves how we connect and collaborate.
Nikki Borodi: Nikki is a musician, clown, aerial acrobatic, yoga instructor and artist who is in the process of writing a circus rock show to inspire people to manifest their dreams.
Vangelis Chaniotakis: Vangelis, who dreams of starting his own circus troupe, has been training on partner acrobatics since 2011 while also dabbling in hand balancing, tumbling, and static trapeze.
Brenda Chapman: Brenda was formerly a story artist at Walt Disney Feature Animation, story supervisor on The Lion King, helped launch DreamWorks Animation Studios and created, wrote and directed for Pixar Animation Studios including Golden Globe winning Brave.
Dr. Al Greene: Dr. Greene is Medical Director at HealthTap, former President of The Organic Center, founding partner of the Collaborative on Health and the Environment and his site DrGreene.com, cited by the AMA as “the pioneer physician Web site”, has received over 80 million unique users.
Roberto Hernandez: Roberto co-directed and produced a documentary film which was nominated for three Emmy Awards and won an Emmy for Outstanding Investigative Journalism as a result of the film’s success in implementing an amendment to the Mexican Constitution.
Sarah Hillware: Sarah is an outspoken advocate for young women’s health and women’s empowerment and founder and director of Girls Health Ed., a health education program for girl youth ages 8-17.
Beth Kanter: Beth is a well-established international leader in nonprofits’ use of social media and her book “The Networked Nonprofit” introduced the sector to a new way of thinking and operating in a connected world.
Guy Kawasaki: Guy is special advisor to the Motorola business unit of Google, former chief evangelist of Apple and a prolific author with 12 books under his belt.
Leslie Lang: Leslie is the Senior VP and General Counsel of Microclinic International, a global health nonprofit that is revolutionizing how chronic diseases are prevented and managed in under-resourced communities around the world.
The California Golden Overtones: The California Golden Overtones are an all-female completely student-run A Cappella group on the UC Berkeley Campus, which has been around for over 20 years.
Yonat Mayer: Yonat and her band Yonat & Her Muse have shared the stage with artists such as post rock musician Fink and singer-songwriter Foy Vance.
Ted Miguel: Ted is the Oxfam Professor of Environmental and Resource Economics and Faculty Director of the Center for Effective Global Action at the University of California, Berkeley, where his main research focus is African economic development.
Paul Rucker: Paul’s work as a visual artist, composer, and musician combines media that integrates live performance, sound, original compositions, and visual art, and incorporates human rights issues, historical research, and basic human emotions.
Carol Sanford: Carol is the Founder and CEO of The Responsible Entrepreneur Institute and author of multi-award winning, The Responsible Business: Reimagining Sustainability and Success and The Responsible Entrepreneur: Four Game Changing Business Archetypes.
Dutta Satadip: Dutta heads up Sales Support for the Americas region at Google, where he is responsible for driving operational efficiencies and customer service across a multi-billion dollar portfolio of over 100 products.
Randy Schekman: Randy is an investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and a Professor of Cell and Developmental Biology at the University of California, Berkeley, where his research is focused on the process of membrane assembly, vesicular transport, and membrane fusion. Schekman won the 2013 Nobel Prize for Medicine or Physiology.
Tim Shields: Tim is a desert biologist who has traversed a number of miles equivalent to circumnavigating the Earth and founder of Green Light Enterprises, now Hardshell Labs, which provides solutions to how to make conservation not only meaningful but fun.
Ashley Stahl: An award-winning advocate for women in security, Ashley is Manager of the Enterprise Risk Management Center at Control Risks where she leads a team who advises companies on how to protect their personnel and assets from security threats in hostile environments around the world.
The New Orleans Manifesto: New Orleans Manifesto performs the various flavors of New Orleans Jazz with flair, funk and finesse, ranging from exciting groove oriented music to beautiful New Orleans serenades.
Marnie Webb: Marnie is a master at using new technologies to help communities achieve their goals. Currently CEO of Caravan Studios, she plays a pivotal role in shaping how the nonprofit sector uses social media. She also launched NetSquared, an evolving global experiment that empowers developers and organizers build and share innovative solutions to social challenges.
To attend this incredible event that takes over Berkeley's Zellerbach Hall at a special 25% discount, go our EventBrite page and use discount code: Renee25.
Disclosure: I am co-curator again this year and we are looking forward to an inspiring event next Saturday February 8.
January 06, 2014
KEECKER’s Smart & Connected Robot Launches at CES 2014
Paris-based KEECKER is showing off its new smart, wirefree and connected robot on the International CES 2014 show floor in Las Vegas Nevada this week. The new connected device will redefine the home entertainment and connected devices market. With a powerful video projection and 360° audio & capture system, KEECKER allows you to project movies, listen to music, browse the web, make video calls, play video games, transform the design of your home and more, all controlled through your smartphone.
Using KEECKER's innovative technology, you can transform your home with just one single device, eliminating the need for so many ”siloed” technology solutions we are forced into using today. KEECKER can project digital rich art, media, images and video anywhere as well as move around your home. Truly wirefree and mobile, KEECKER rolls alongside you using its advanced motorized wheels.
Moving beyond entertainment as we know it today, KEECKER transforms any room into an entertainment arena and any surface into a massive and immersive screen. Freed from its ”container”, content can be projected anywhere, whether its traditional entertainment, video, photos, interior design or beyond.
Equipped with a powerful video projection and 360° audio and video capture system, KEECKER allows you to project movies, listen to music, browse the web, make video calls, play video games and more.
While many devices such as computers and smartphones are solely for personal use, KEECKER enables the sharing of collective experiences at home, bringing families closer together. Interested in taking a dive into the Milky Way or bringing your children under the sea in the comfort of your own home?
Want to draw monumental artwork on your walls or create pop up interior design just for a night? Whether you want to walk through your house Skyping with a friend in Tokyo, wake up to a view of Tuscany on your bedroom wall or countless other dynamic scenarios, KEECKER can create that experience for you.
KEECKER can also be used to check home analytics (temperature, humidity, sound level, light level, CO2 level and more) and for security purposes, so you can check on your home remotely from the road. From entertainment, games, web apps and home security to interior design creation, image and sound immersion, KEECKER can transform any room using your imagination.
KEECKER makes the nightmare experience of connecting home systems to game consoles, ISP boxes and mobile devices as well as the unsightly cables and wires in every corner of the house a thing of the past.
KEECKER is 16 inches wide and 25 inches tall and is controlled via a free smartphone application (iOS, Android and Web). KEECKER’s prototypes are white with final colors to be announced at launch.
The device will come with one terabyte of local storage space, and be available to consumers in the $4,000-5,000 price range starting in Q4 2014. It will include the robot, free apps and its recharge base.
Disclosure: I provide consulting to keecker.
January 6, 2014 in America The Free, Client Announcements, Conference Highlights, Events, On Innovation, On Mobile & Wireless, On Robotics, On Technology, On the Future, TravelingGeeks | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack
Kolibree Unveils World's First Connected Electric Toothbrush
Kolibree, a company dedicated to innovative solutions to keep you healthy and smart, launched the world’s first connected electric toothbrush last night at the large renowned Unveiled Media Event in Las Vegas on the eve of the 2014 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES). Unlike anything else that exists today, Kolibree’s smart toothbrush has a unique technology to analyze your brushing habits and display them on a mobile dashboard you can readily access from your phone.
Kolibree’s connected toothbrush is paired with a mobile app. You simply download the free mobile app, connect via Bluetooth and every brushing is recorded. Then, the data about how you brushed automatically synchronizes to your smartphone telling you whether you brushed long enough and reached the hard-to-reach but important parts of your teeth and gums.
With the Kolibree connected toothbrush and mobile app, you can take control of your health and teeth with easy-to-understand monitoring and scoring. You can easily share your stats with your dentist and family or choose to keep it private. Designed for families, the app works with several toothbrushes so the entire family can participate. Kolibree rewards your progress and cheers you on when you are improving, allocating points to kids to encourage them to improve their brushing habits.
The Problem Kolibree Solves: Your dentist may have told you that plaque and tartar build up can lead to losing your teeth if not monitored and acted upon fast enough. Many people don’t realize that poor dental care can also impact the overall care of your health.
While Kolibree does not proclaim to solve periodontal disease or suggest that it can keep cavities or gingivitis at bay, the better you take care of your teeth, the more likely it is that you can and will avoid serious problems.
Before Kolibree, the issue is that there has been no easy and quick way to monitor whether you’re doing an A+ job or a C- one when you brush, so how can you improve on a habit you don’t have any data about? Kolibree solves that problem, making it easier than ever.
The Kolibree connected toothbrush will be available starting in Q3 2014 but ready for pre-order starting this summer. The price of Kolibree will range from $99 to $199 depending on the model and will include a free mobile app.
Full Disclosure: I am providing consulting to Kolibree.
October 07, 2013
Discount & Agenda For Silicon Valley's DEMO Fall 2013
DEMO Fall is coming to Silicon Valley October 15-17, 2013.
Known as the launchpad for emerging technologies and trends, they'll be unveiling 50 new technology products from the DEMO stage, across multiple verticals and industries, including mobile, enterprise, health, wearable computing, digital money, big data, the Internet of things and more.
Some of the speakers and judges include Di-Ann Eisnor from Waze, Evernote's Phil Libin, Ayr Muir from Clover Foods, Yelp's Jeremy Stoppelman, Jonathan Abrams of Nuzzel, Josh Elman from Greylock Partners, CNBC's Jon Fortt, Rock Health's Malay Gandhi, Spark Capital's Nabeel Hyatt, EchoSign's Jason Lemkin, Hilary Mason from Accel Partners, Google Ventures' Shanna TellermanBrian O'Malley from Battery Ventures, FitBit's CEO James Park and others.
You can register here at a discounted rate of $700 off the normal registration price. It will be held at the Hyatt Regency for those heading out from the East Coast, Asia or Europe. Check out the DEMO Fall 2013 agenda.
September 24, 2013
GLAZED, An Event Dedicated To Wearables On September 30
On September 30, 2013 in San Francisco, Stained Glass Labs will kick off its first ever Glass and Wearables Platform ConferenceGLAZED! The GLAZED Conference was created to take wearables and conversations around it to the next level with a goal to help the Wearable Platform ecosystem generate billion-dollar companies.
The event is a fabulous curation of technology pioneers, founders, executives, influencers and investors. Join in the dynamic discussion September 30th in San Francisco and get tickets using promo code "glazed" for 20% off tickets.
GLAZED Conference in the Old Mint
88 5th Street, San Francisco CA 94103
Digital Fall Tech Fashion Show in the Mezzanine
444 Jessie Street, San Francisco, CA 94103
September 22, 2013
Being Human & The Power of Storytelling at the United Nations
Costa Michailidis opened the Being Human Session, the very last session of the day for TEDxUNPlaza, now in its first year, an awe-inspiring TEDx event held at the United Nations on September 16, 2013.
Michael Marantz, the first speaker is an independent director and filmmaker. After being diagnosed with cancer at the age of 21, he rediscovered a new passion for being alive, constantly looking to discover more about life, technology, and why humans do what we do.
This re-ignition in life is what continues to inspire him in his work today. He reminds us how powerful storytelling is and what powerful stories can do for people and for the world. He says, "you need others to collaborate with and to push you along your journey. Your experiences along your life journey becomes your story and that story becomes your guide."
So true. Ultimately, the most important story is the one you tell yourself since it becomes your compass in life, often one you rarely deviate from. When something out of the ordinary or uncomfortable comes up in your life, you ask yourself: does it fit into my story?
Given that Michael is also a composer, cinematographer, editor, writer, digital artist, and experiential designer, he has added perspective on how to tell more cohesive stories.
Take Away: We all have stories to tell including the one about our own lives, who we are and what we stand for in the world. The good news is that we get to create that story, not let the world define it for us. Easier said than done, however life can be like a clean white canvas waiting to be painted anew if we only decide that it is so. It's up to us to decide that it can be painted anew!
Jack Thomas Andraka is a 16 year old inventor, scientist and cancer researcher and also the recipient of the 2012 Gordon E. Moore Award, the grand prize of the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair.
Jack was awarded the $75,000 Award and named in honor of the co-founder of Intel Corporation for his work in developing a new, rapid, and inexpensive method to detect an increase of a protein that indicates the presence of pancreatic, ovarian, and lung cancer during early stages when there is a higher likelihood of a cure. A child prodigy, this teenager is a genius!
He spoke about his obstacles along the way and about the issues of high costs getting access to knowledge for important articles. He says, "there's a knowledge elite. There's the knowledge middle class who have access to 10% of articles and knowledge, then there's the knowledged underclass and the impoverished class."
He reminds us that 80% of this world has no access to this information altogether and says, "we're living in a knowledge aristocracy when what we really should have is a knowledge democracy." In other words: we should all have access to the same information.
Take Away: Support the information/knowledge democracy not the information/knowledge elite or aristocracy. We should all have access to the same information and everyone should have access to knowledge. Science is not a luxury: access to date for higher learning should be a basic human right.
Corinne Woods currently serves as Director of the UN Millennium Campaign, which supports citizens’ efforts to hold their governments accountable for achieving the Millennium Development Goals and leads the outreach to citizens and stakeholders to get their voices and concerns to feed into the Post-2015 global development agenda.
"Sometimes you work with people who are smarter and younger than you," Corinne says. "The voice of the people is the voice of God," she adds. "It's not just right that we go out and tell the stories of what is going on and make sure there's action to a million people. We need to get it out to ten million people and beyond."
She asked the audience to help her understand whether they're doing the right things at the UN. In other words: how do we make sure we tell the stories of that data and ultimately make sure those people who really should be listening don't say its just madness?
Her belief is that we can unite together to transcend these obstacles. Consider Jack's passion she says referring to the 15 year old Jack Andraka who didn't know what pancreatic cancer was but then found a new way to attack pancreatic cancer: Imagine the impact we can have if we work on hard problems together.
Take Away: We can't move major obstacles, issues and problems in healthcare and our economy to a sustainable successful place alone. Only by uniting together as a community can we come up with creative and effective solutions to move things forward.
Juan José (JJ) Rendón is a Venezuelan political strategist, consultant, film director, and teacher and had us smiling fairly quickly after he entered the United Nations stage.
Considered one of the world’s political gurus, he has consulted for presidential campaigns and legislative elections in Latin America. JJ has been recognized for his defense of democracy, support for human rights, freedom, and education.
JJ shared the four things he defines as being human: sense of humor, intelligence, creativity and sex for pleasure. The latter brought a smile, especially to a non South American crowd.
He reminds us the importance of making up our own minds about issues. For example, what doctors tell you are permanent may not be permanent. What people tell you may live with for the rest of your life may not be true. As an extension of his beliefs, he recommended a collection of essays called Laughter by French philosopher Henri Bergson.
Take Away: Define your own life, don't let others do it for you. Just because an expert tells you your life will be one way becaue of a disability or a limitation, don't let their definition become your own; create your own definition and your own journey regardless of what an expert or anyone around you says. Hear Hear JJ. I'm sure Mallory Weggemann would agree.
David L. Cooperrider, Ph.D. has quite a lofty list of titles, from a Fairmount Minerals Professor of Social Entrepreneurship at the Weatherhead School of Management, Case Western Reserve University to being past Chair of the National Academy of Management’s OD Division. He has also lectured and taught at Harvard, Stanford, University of Chicago, Katholieke University in Belgium, MIT, University of Michigan, Cambridge and others.
Aside from his countless lectures and long list of accolates, David's work as Chair and Founder of the Center for Business as an Agent of World Benefit is a key passion for him. The center’s core proposition is that sustainability and that every social and global issue of our day is an opportunity to ignite industry leading eco-innovation, social entrepreneurship, and new sources of value.
In other words: let's get social, let's move hope to action, let's get inspired and let's change the horrid in the world to beautiful. He pauses and reflects on the word gratitude suggesting that perhaps we don't understand the profoundness of such basic things like hope and joy or the power of hope and inspiration.
One of David's goal is to reverse the tendancy to focus on the 80% of what's wrong to the 80% of what's right. In other words: let's get the 80/20 rule reversed. We need to elevate these human strengths around the world including igniting the notion that business is a force for eradicating extreme poverty.
He says, "we need to create urgent optimism that spreads these epic meaning making kinds of stories." His vision is that we circle the planet in an appreciative kind of intelligence. In working with the Dalai Lama on an occasion, he asked him what would be his leadership design for management and business school? Dalai Lama responded after scratching his head and said: "I can't manage a thing. If I were asked to manage anything, it would end up as a mess. But I do believe that we need a radical reorientation of the preoccupation of the self to a reorientation of others, which revolves around empathy and compassion."
He talked about the role of the positive and that positive things don't come by nature. For positive things to work, we must make the effort. David ended his talk by thanking the audience for letting him "dream out loud." I love it!
Take Away: Business is a force for eradicating extreme poverty and we often forget that. By working together and creating a united optimism that gives true meaning to epic stories, we have an opportunity to change the world for the better. The world is so much about our stories - let's make them count and add compassion, empathy and a true sense of social responsibility into the mix and together, we can make a real difference.
Last up was the ever so inspiring Dr. Jess Ghannam who is a clinical professor of Psychiatry and Global Health Sciences in the School of Medicine at UCSF. His research areas include evaluating the long-term health consequences of war on displaced communities and the psychological and psychiatric effects of armed conflict on children.
He is also a consultant with the Center for Constitutional Rights, Reprieve and other international NGO’s that work with torture survivors. While Jess cares about global health across the board, he is particularly passionate about the hidden giant: mental health, which is increasing at an alarming rate worldwide.
“We Have No Choice But To Transform the Way We Think About
Global Health, Practices & Training.”
He shared a story about his first trip to Gaza when there was only one psychiatrist for 1.5 million people compared to five psychiatrists for every one person in San Francisco. Jess and his team created a Mental Health Development Diploma Program in Gaza where they trained people to go into the community and schools and work with people directly, promoting basic techniques around wellness. His work which also set up community health clinics in the Middle East to focus on developing community-based treatment programs for families in crisis have been a huge success. As a result of his efforts in Gaza, today everyone has access to mental health assistance within a twenty year period.
Although he is most known for his mental health and humanitarian work in Palestine and along the Gaza Strip, he is working on transporting this program to India and Latin America. Says Jess, “we’re seeing radical shifts in health issues around the world and they’re more chronic diseases, like heart disease, diabetes and depression and these are not things that require a pill.”
Witnessing an increasingly disconnected world and the impact that this shift has had on people’s health has led him to the work he is doing now, at home and abroad. The global challenge is how to make people more conscious and aware of the factors that have a negative impact on their health and implement things that can change the paradigm we are seeing today.
“We Need a New Model. We Need To Train Healthcare Facilitators Who Can Bring Awareness To Millions of People About How To Re-Engage With Their Families, Communities and Bodies.”
He says, “good global health means that we need to be able to relate to each other and communities in a very different way. A lot of difficulties we have globally and locally is how we are nurturing relationships. How do we manage to relate to one another? Are we doing so in a healthy way?” In other words, technology has to be treated as an enhancement and along the way, we need to be conscious about how we related to “it” on a regular basis.
Moving forward, the bulk of his work will be on the mental health effects of the disconnectedness and adverse conditions people are going through, whether its political prisoners who have been tortured or people who live in slums.
Take Away: Health & Wellness are Human Rights, Not Privileges. While technology and a digital lifestyle "overload" can add to mental illness and stress, effective use of it could be beneficial in many cases. Sharing devices and the data on those devices can lead to positive changes in people's lifestyle in many communities. It’s not that technology itself is having the negative impact on our mental health but how we relate to it. Being consciousness about how much time we spend in the digital world versus the human world will be important in keeping us, our families and our communities healthy and in balance.
Photo credits: Renee Blodgett.
September 22, 2013 in America The Free, Client Announcements, Conference Highlights, Events, On Health, On Innovation, On People & Life, On the Future, TravelingGeeks, WBTW | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack
Mindblowing Doer's On Resilience & Moving Ideas to Action
After a warm, amusing and enchanting performance by the ever so talented WJM Band, a rock band of 10 year old boys, Paul Katz took the TEDxUNPlaza stage on September 16 to kickstart a conversation about the third session of the event: Ideas to Action.
Entertainment industry executive, two-time Grammy nominee and social entrepreneur, Paul Katz is the founder and CEO of Commit Media.
He cited Catapult, an example of an idea moved to action in the real world. The first crowdsourcing platform dedicated to girls and women's rights, it is run by small start-up team of people hailing from design, technology, advocacy, journalism and of course the girls and women's sector.
The team's passion is driven by the fact that there's an urgent need for increased funds and engagement for girls' and women's rights and development, something which has been obvious for years to activists, advocates and everyone else working and campaigning on behalf of girls and women.
When you realize how low the stats are, your ears perk up. For example, only 6% of all funding goes to girls and women's issues. One very real example in the developing world is the use of mobile phones being used to teach Afghanistan girls to read when they can't leave the house. To-date Catapult has helped roughly 200 projects in 81 countries worldwide.
While one of Paul's key drivers is social entrepreneurship and change, he is also well known for the key role he played in building Zomba’s (later Jive) successful worldwide interests in record production and distribution, publishing, equipment rental, recording studios and producer and artist management. With more than 100 million albums sold and numerous Grammy Awards won, Zomba featured artists such as Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake, Backstreet Boys, and others, as well as composers whose songs were recorded by Michael Jackson, Celine Dion, Brian Adams, Barbra Streisand and more.
It was fitting that Paul was in the Ideas to Action session since he is so often called upon to speak about the intersection of entertainment and philanthropy.
Take Away: Just because you have a career in the for profit business world, whether its in entertainment or technology, it doesn't mean you can't have an impact however small in the non-profit and socially conscious world. Find your passion and tell its story, utilizing your talents and exercising your voice as often as you have an opportunity to do so.
Jim Stolze is known for his successful launch of a commercial magazine and as a co-founder of an advertising agency specializing in digital marketing. Today, he is the editor-in-chief of the largest website in The Netherlands.
While content may be a core strength, Jim has stepped above and beyond his roles on many occasions. As a senior ambassador for the TEDx program, he has organized many TEDx events and set up an organization in Doha Qatar to foster “ideas worth spreading” in the Middle East region.
He talked about a festival called Rise My Friend, which involves one million people dancing on 6 continents in the summer of 2015, all as he puts it "dancing to the same beat." To generate awareness, interest and attendees to sign up however, "the ask" is a little different.
If you volunteer 20 hours of your time, only then do you get an invitation to the festival. The idea is to raise the number of hours people spend on community work in exchange for a ticket, such as painting a school, singing to elders in an old folks home or helping pick up garbage. Once people volunteer and help a community, then they more authentically understand the value, leading to continued volunteer work without any incentive at all.
Rise My Friend will allow local communities to use an online platform to give people credits for their volunteer work, which will lead to a ticket to the festival in 2015. "Rise My Friend is so much more than a party," he says. "It is literally one million people joining hands all over the world because they love to dance and because they love to help out."
Take Away: Volunteer work matters and can make a significant difference in the world, but people don't always understand the impact they can make, nor do they take the time in their daily lives. The idea that volunteering your time allows you to be part of something bigger than yourself, while having fun with a community doing the same, is a great way to get people to "feel" the impact of helping others. I personally love this idea!
Manoj Bhargava asks with a satirical tone "what is a good idea? How do you define a good idea really? Is the idea useful and is it simple to execute? If the latter two things aren't there, then it's not a good idea. There are lots of solutions but if it's not helpful to someone or a community or accessible, then it's not a real solution." He asserts that the only good ideas are the ones that can be done easily and believes that everything should be thought of in that way.
He notes that there are three things worth investing in: technology, invention and innovation. Looking at it in the simplest of terms, innovation is something you're going to do that is useful that wasn't done yesterday. Just being simple can change everything. Look at Apple. Look at Twitter.
On invention, he asked us all to reflect on history and think of the people who have come up with the best inventions in the world. In other words, no invention has ever been made by 1,000 Ph.D.'s getting together in a room.
Manoj is an entrepreneur, philanthropist, and founder and CEO of 5-hour Energy. He realized over time that the main problem in the world was water and so, he has set out to purify water cheaper than anyone else, which he refers to as the "biggest project in the world." Without water, at least a billion people will die.
Take Away: There are a lot of ideas in the world and many may be worth doing, but if they're not simple and useful, they will have a hard time of being sustainable. Focus on ideas that can lead to something useful and change people's lives in a big way. Make your idea easy, digestable and sustainable and then, you can move that idea to action in a way that will have a huge impact on communities and individuals around the world.
Harry Kraemer says from a place of passion and conviction as he walked out onto the United Nations stage: We enter the modern world with multitasking. From his perspective as someone who drives leadership and management in the world as a Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management professor, he notices that people are driving, eating a Big Mac, shaving and texting in the car, sometimes all at the same time. He says, "we just go faster and faster."
In this race we call life, he asserts that we have we confused activity with productivity. He asks: "we're very active, but how productive are we? As leaders, it matters to define what doesn't matter and what does and start moving your values and ideas to action."
He believes that there are four key principals that make up really great leadership. I loved his list so much that I decided to list them in detail here.
- Self Reflection: Ask yourself: what are my values? What do I really stand for? What really matters? What difference to I make? What example would I like to send to the world? By slowing down, we really can separate noise from what really matters. Ask myself how do I lead people? What am I proud of today? If I lived today over again, what would I do differently? If I have tomorrow and if I'm a learning person, what would I do differently based on what I learned today. Doing so can help me me figure out what kind of impact I want to have. Taking time and making quality time differentiates real leaders. Remember that true leadership is not about control and organizational charts.
- Balanced Perspective: This is the ability to take the time to understand other sides of the story. Seek to understand before you're understood. If I'm really listening, I may hear the answer if I take the time to listen to them. Ask yourself: are you listening enough on a regular basis that the other people actually feel heard?
- Having True Self Confidence: Many of us have worked for macho people who appear to be confident but they don't have true self confidence. Step back and realize that there will always be people who are smarter, more athletic and more analytical than I am. You need to have the ability to feel comfortable with yourself and know that you will continue to learn more everyday. Having true confidence says that I'm going to get better every day. This is about surrounding yourself with people who are better than you at all the things you're not very good at and embracing it.
- Genuine Ability: Ask yourself: how did you get to where you are? The two most common responses is a combination of working hard and having a certain skill set. In addition, there are four others: luck, timing, the team and a spiritual dimension. If any of those four work for you, then you start to realize a few things. You realize and remember where you came from and keep things into perspective. In other words, tell yourself: I'm not going to read my own press clippings. If true leadership is about influencing people and understanding people and remembering that every single person matters, then we won't go a place of ego.
Take Away: Leadership has everything to with influencing people but you can't influence people if you can't influence yourself and trust yourself. By slowing down, we really can separate noise from what really matters. Be comfortable with yourself and know that you will continue to learn more everyday. Having true confidence means that I'm going to get better every day and truly listen to people along the way. Letting go of ego and making people feel truly heard and understood is a strong quality of true leadership.
Chicago-based Dean DeBiase is a serial rebooter, author, speaker and director at AKTA, DonorPath, IXchat, KINGlobal and 1871Chicago and among other initiatives, he's also the cofounder of Reboot Partners which blends entrepreneurial talent with corporations to reboot innovation and growth.
Says Dean, "if you bring together an intellectual and supportive ecosystem, the innovators and entrepreneurs will come. When united, that's when real movement and change happens."
He encouraged all of us to think about being a mentor and all it takes to be one is a little bit of passion. I think about mentorship a lot and even moreso recently since I attended a high school class reunion in New York. En route, I thought about who my mentors were growing up and who they are today.
I realized that I assigned mentors in my own head or minds eye and while they have been encouraging and motivating sources in my life, as a woman, I have never had a "formal one."
Mentors can be transformative, Connectors can really help accelerate growth, and Ambassadors are the ones who can scale the passion. Ambassadors can make sure an idea or a company has a sustainable life.
A digital thought leader and regular media guest, Dean is a co-author of the best-selling book The Big Moo with Seth Godin and Malcolm Gladwell. He is also a Silicon Valley veteran with a track record scaling emerging growth companies, starting-up new ventures and embedding entrepreneurial-grade talent into multi-national corporations.
Take Away: If you bring together an intellectual and supportive ecosystem, the innovators and entrepreneurs will come. When united, that's when real movement and change happens. Embrace this and whatever hybrid role you decide to be (mentor, visionary, ambassador or simply someone who cares) and contribute "it" to a startup or an entrepreneur's idea.
Paralympic swimmer Mallory Weggemann nearly had me in tears. Her story isn't one for the light hearted! She became paraplegic after an epidural injection to treat post-shingles back pain in 2008, a decision which turned her life upside down.
Overcoming obstacle after obstacle emotionally and physically, she is a true source for inspiration. Since then, she has demonstrated not just an outrageous amount of courage and resilience, but compassion and empathy for herself and the world around her.
Today, she has a lot to be proud of: Mallory broke many world records in the S7 classification, and won multiple gold medals at the IPC Swimming World Championships in 2009 and 2010.
She says of the moment that changed her life forever, she made a decision not to let that one incident define who she is and fight for something better. She says, "it's not the moments in life who define who we are, it's how we react to those moments in life."
She reflects on when she decided to fight back and find a happy ending in her situation. Says Mallory: "It's how we react to the moments in our lives that define who we are."
Swimming and competition was something that set her free and brought her back to life. She says, "the world I was opened up to is limitless; tt's about pushing your body to new limits regardless of your situation."
In 2012, when she participated in the London paralympics and became a paralympic gold medalist, she reflects on that time and says, "a dream you dream alone is only a dream. A dream you dream together is reality. I know that dream didn't become a reality because of myself; it was because of the supporters around me who gave me support." Here, she is referrring to her family, her friends and her community.
"When circumstance steps in and alter our course in our life, it's what do we do with that is what defines us," says Mallory. She adds: "do we allow us to paralyze us and do we allow it to define us or do we push forward and move on with our life?"
Clearly she has chosen the latter in a big way...in such an inspirational way that is life alterating to anyone listening.
So given that the theme of the conference is indeed Bravery, what is indeed BRAVE? Mallory says of bravery that it carries multiple faces and we all have the ability to be brave. "Bravery cannot be defined but it can be challenged." She encouraged everyone to live their lives with passion and with a full heart AND without judgment or fear.
Take Away: Don't let negative incidents that happen in your life define who you are as a person. It's not the moments in life who define who we are, it's how we react to those moments in life. If you think about it, everyone in this life has a disability; we all have things that will hold us back in life if we let them, but it's up to us to decide to rise above and push forward. If we have dreams, and we all have dreams, it's up to us to create them and not let obstacles however large stop us. Sometimes this is the bravest act of courage we can have in our lives.
Hear hear Mallory! Thanks to you and your bravery and resilience and to Paul, Jim, Manoj, Harry and Dean for your words of encouragement and and inspiration to moving "ideas to action."
Photo credits: Renee Blodgett except for the Olympics medal photo of Mallory which is from www. malloryweggemannusa.com.