May 15, 2011
Jennifer Siebel Newsom on Empowering Women: If You Can't See It, You Can't Be ItJennifer Siebel Newsom (wife of CA Governor Gavin Newsom), spoke at TEDxMarin last week on the topic of women: empowering women using social media to pave the way. She has been working on micro-enterprise opportunities for women as well as films and TV shows that empower women. Below she gives the audience a lot of stats (one interesting one: only 20% of news focus on women) and stresses why its so important for women to speak up and be heard.
April 26, 2011
Ultimate Women's Expo Hits Phoenix on April 30
The Ultimate Women’s Expo hits Phoenix next weekend, which will consist of two full days of events, giveaways and talks designed specifically for women. The conference features keynote speakers Patricia Heaton and Ricki Lake and over 550 shopping booths, along with complimentary pampering and rejuvenation for women in and outside of Arizona.
Exhibits include the very best in fashion, beauty, health, fitness, home décor, careers, financial planning, education and much more. Admission includes an amazing array of complimentary spa services, including free makeovers, haircuts, manicures, massages and facials. They'll have four stages, book signings, celebrity appearances, and cooking and design demonstrations. The Decorating Stage features renown design experts providing new ideas on home décor, while the Cooking Theatre features some of the Valley’s most talented chefs preparing the latest in new and fresh meal ideas.
Emmy Award Winning Actress, Author, Producer and bestselling author Patricia Heaton will deliver an empowering message to women on making the most of everyday and living your best life on Saturday, April 30, 2011, Susan Lucci, the vixen from All My Children, will also speak and then conduct a book signing and award winning actress, author, producer, Talk Show Host and Women’s Advocate Ricki Lake will finish off with a talk on exceeding your own expectations on Sunday, May 1, 2011.
How cool is this? They'll also have a Rejuvenation Tea Garden Lounge, which will feature over 500 trees and flowering gardens, and there within, attendees will receive free champagne, martini’s, margaritas and wine tastings throughout the weekend.
April 25, 2011
DEMO & Kaufman Foundation Scholarship Supports Women CEOs
For those thinking about launching or announcing something 'cool' in the fall, DEMO has a new scholarship program they unveiled earlier this month that will allow a portion of the companies at the event launch for free.
The DEMO Scholarship Partner Program has brought in a number of sponsor partners who will subsidize at least 20 companies that have raised less than $500,000 — basically, those with no or minimal funding. Another 10 angel-backed companies — those that have raised only seed rounds of less than $1.5M — will get partial scholarships to cover at least half of the cost of launching.
Another great win win is the initiative they're doing with the Kaufman Foundation, which plans to support a scholarship for four companies with female CEO’s. Anything that promotes and supports more women to get involved, lead the charter and take the leap to launch is a great thing for the industry, so kudos to them for making it a priority. The original press release can be found here. And, here's the list of all the scholarships including a link where you can apply.
April 18, 2011
Enter Huffington TV: #Curation AIN'T Going Anywhere Anytime Soon!
AOL's now editorial master Arianna Huffington today launched Huffington TV, which they're touting as a new web-based "channel for channels" that she promises will "revolutionize the way we watch our favorite programs by aggregating the best TV has to offer."
But it isn't going to just be an aggregated model; it will be smartly 'curated' as well. There's that word again. Curation AIN'T going anywhere anytime soon folks. In the so called conversation age, we’re drowning in data. We know it. We talk about it. Yet, we continue to make content even if its only 140 characters. Finding what matters is becoming harder and a combination of search and machine curation alone isn’t doing the trick.
I'm passion enough about this topic BECAUSE I'm swimming in a sea of data that I worked with Pearltrees last year, which is focused on a different kind of curation, one with a creatively interesting twist. I'm also a fan of Steve Rosenbaum's new book: Curation Nation which I just finished reading, a great read on why it will be the thing that matters in the next several years.
And, Arianna has been quick to point out that the success of Huffington Post was a combination of smart aggregation and curation. She hired behind the scenes curators to make sure the end product was a winning formula for her readers.
Huffington TV is a smart move frankly. Curation is key and if she gets the video formula down like she did her blog, people will flock to watch. The idea is that they'll curate offerings of the major broadcast and cable networks to present the "most compelling content on TV in an easily digestible form."
Silicon Valley Women of Influence 2011: #SVWOI
I attended the Silicon Valley Business Journal 2011 Women of Influence event in Santa Clara last week. Each year, they choose 100 women of influence and celebrate them at an annual dinner and awards gala in Santa Clara, CA. (this year, it was held at the convention center).
Speaking to a number of them over the course of several hours, the range is diverse, from engineers, high-profile lawyers, venture capitalists, space scientists, to healthcare leaders, technology pros and nonprofit executives.
One honoree, when not in the valley, lives in a rural village in Belize; another leads trips to the back country of the Sierra Norte and Sierra Madre. One honoree formed a nonprofit organization for the Muslim community to help give them a voice after 9/11 backlash.
I met another woman who is helping Muslim seniors find resources when they don't know where else to turn. Below is Moina Shaiq who founded the Muslim Support Network based in the East Bay. (She also runs a restaurant specializing in food from Pakistan).
Below is founder of Mylawsuit.com Michele Colucci accepting her award on the main stage.
Mary Furlong, who has been instrumental in helping the aging population and empowering the 'age boom' was also on the list. For the full list of women, check out the SV/SJ Biz Journal piece: Meet the 2011 Women of Influence | Silicon Valley / San Jose Business Journal.
Each woman had to deliver a 'thanks' and what/who inspired them in 10 words or less. (not even sure if that's quite 140 characters.....certainly a challenge to do). One Thai woman had the audience in stitches when she said, "I'd like to give myself a pat on the back for selecting my parents wisely."
To hear some of the fabulous other thanks and kudos, check out the video below for a myriad of female voices doing remarkable things.
March 22, 2011
Miranda July's THE FUTURE: Living in 2 Terrifyingly Vacant & Different Realities
I'd recommend seeing The Future, a film which previewed at the South by Southwest Film Festival (SXSW) last week. The film tells the story of a thirty-something couple who, on deciding to adopt a stray cat, change their perspective on life, literally altering the course of time and testing their faith in each other and themselves. Characters Sophie and Jason are strange the way all couples are strange when they’re alone. They live in a small LA apartment, have jobs they hate, and in one month they’ll adopt a stray cat named Paw Paw.
March 22, 2011 in America The Free, Arts & Creative Stuff, Conference Highlights, Entertainment/Media, Events, On Technology, On Women, Reflections, Social Media, WBTW | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack
March 18, 2011
Google's Marissa Mayer Talks Google & What It Was Like to Host Obama at HomeJohn Battelle interviewed Google's Marissa Mayer at the one day SIGNAL event in Austin last week. Her answers were thoughtful and as always, her informal and breezy way of addressing a crowd was well received. Her most memorable 'share' had nothing to do with Google.
Having hosted the Obama dinner this past month when he was in the San Francisco Bay Area talking to technology visionaries and CEOs, she talked about what it was like to have the President in her home and things she learned about security (aka, oh yeah, there will be TONS of men in black suits standing outside my home which is across from an elementary school), and meal planning. Here's the Business Insider overview on the dinner recap. It's a great interview: have a listen.
March 17, 2011
Ushahidi's Open Source Platform Lowers Barriers & Accelerates Storytelling
I ran into Juliana Rotich in Long Beach during TED, who is a Program Director with a non-profit organized called Ushahidi.
Their tools help democratize information, increasing transparency and lowering the barriers for individuals to share their stories.
"Ushahidi", which means "testimony" in Swahili, was a website that was initially developed to map reports of violence in Kenya after the post-election fallout at the beginning of 2008.
Since then, the name "Ushahidi" has come to represent the people behind the "Ushahidi Platform".
Their roots are in the collaboration of Kenyan citizen journalists during a time of crisis. The original website was used to map incidents of violence and peace efforts throughout the country based on reports submitted via the web and mobile phones.
This website had 45,000 users in Kenya, and was the catalyst to realize there was a need for a platform based on it, which could be used by others around the world.
February 28, 2011
Facecake Hopes to Transform Online Buying & The Dressing Room #democon
Facecake (cool name isn't it?), was on the DEMO stage today showing up Swivel, a new service slated to launch in May that will allow you to try things on in your own closet using a virtual application that allows you to see what they look like in various outfits.
You can give yourself a complete cosmetic makeover, such as having the experience of going from a blonde to a redhead. You can also visualize yourself losing weight, see your home in a rainbow of colors, purchase accessories for your pets, or try a cosmetic procedure with just a simple click. Just upload your image and you can "try on" a product, or "try out" a service without ever leaving home in a photo-realistic manner that's the next best thing to driving to the store or doctor.
Says the founder on stage, "you can share with swivlets with other users online - in static or dynamic moving scenes." Swivel transforms the 'changing room' by making it virtual, making the dressing room smarter not just for users directly but their plan is to bring it to eCommerce as well. "We think we're changing the way people will shop," says the female CEO and founder.
Above, the CEO is demoing the service on stage. You can see how she is testing out purses and dresses virtually, visually being able to see what she looks like in various outlets before buying them all while allowing you to share your experience with others. Could this be Fashion 3.0? I love it. Below, Matt Marshall chats with the team about its various applications and use cases in the future.
February 20, 2011
Robert Fuller on Rankism: Humiliation is More Dangerous Than Plutonium
He was fresh and frank when he spoke about racism, how it is baked into people's DNA for generations before its 'hold' becomes undone entirely.
This lead him to his work and passion for not just understanding rankism, but turning it into a movement so the generation behind us doesn't let rankism create more nobodies.
Refer to his book: Nobodoes & Somebodies: Overcoming the Abuse of Rankism.
One thing I loved about Robert Fuller was his astute attention to things and people. I saw him in the green room early on and then back stage and as he was wandering around, it was not just as a speaker waiting to go on, but as an observer of 'intention,' listening in that way where you knew he was absolutely present for every part of it.
He started his talk by focusing on the word DIGNITY. He says, "to claim such a future, we have to own up to our past," and reminds us that the past of our species is a predatory past.
"Among your ancestors, there were some great predators or you wouldn't be here," he says. "Dignity is on the march yet it is defined by its absense." As for how the absense of dignity shows up? Words and actions that are patronizing and condescending, which often come across as threats, even if they're quiet ones.
Robert brought up examples in his own upbringing at a time where racism was prominent and not hidden. Even though he is a generation behind me, it applied to my own childhood and I was raised in the Northeast, not the South. He also shared stories of where it shows up today in India and Bangladesh among other emerging countries.
His calming and purposeful voice then recited a portion of an Emily Dickinson poem on stage:
I'M nobody! Who are you?
Are you nobody too?
There there's a pair of us -- don't tell!
They'd banish us, you know.
From examples to emotions, I loved the way he took us on a journey of dignity and lack of it and an awareness of rankism. Robert shared a thought he had in the middle of the night during a dream: Nobodys of the world unite, we have nothing to worry about or lose but our shame.
You have to wonder if you have such a powerful thought, one which you remember in the middle of a dream as if you were lucid, is it important enough to become a movement? Or a book? Or at least something to act on even if in some small way?
He says, "you can't start a movement unless you know what you're for and what you're against. When women realized that they were against sexism, they had teeth." He then moves onto the 'dignity movement' and asks "what is the dignity movement is against? It is against humiliation, it is against talking down to people, it against one upmanship, and it is against rankism."
He says, "when you're a nobody, you look for other nobodies, so you're not a freak and so you have a pal." And while I'm sure many of the people in the room reflected on grade school, high school and even college, rankism occurs everyday -- in our social encounters and in business, and sometimes it occurs where we are a part and sometimes it occurs where we are the observer.
Robert says with intent, "you're probably wondering whether our predatory nature of our past is embedded in our DNA and there's nothing we can do it. I remind you that this is exactly what men said about the women's movement. Rankism is the residue of predation. Rankism and predation are extremely dangerous.....and humiliation is more dangerous than plutonium."
I'll leave you with this thought as he left us with this and other important observations about dignity, rankism, humiliation and how we treat people everyday.
Protect other people's dignity as you would your own.
He ends with this powerfully simple but important statement: "there's only one thing that is more important than how we treat the planet and that's how we treat each other."