August Newsletter

August Event Recap

August 4th’s Society Event cracked open our shells and set us to work applying improv skills to the world of innovation. Chris Miller, Ann Swanberg, and Jim Herriot led the group through improv exercises that demonstrated what it feels like to listen well, bring out the best in other people, and be open to crazy thoughts.

While improv may conjure up thoughts of “funny” or “silly”, Chris and his team brought the skills of improv down to the truly practical level. Improv skills were applied to questions like: How do you foster a meeting enviroment that doesn’t crush creativity? How do you get people to really connect and respond to each other in positive ways? How do you get people to open your emails?

True innovators will often hear the word “no.” Improv at its most basic level helps people stay connected to “yes.” If you missed the August event, you can find out more about Chris Miller and the LifePlays team

September 1st Society Event

Impact of Ubiquitous Bandwidth and Connectivity
A Multi-Perspective Panel Discussion

“Billions of connected individuals can now actively participate in innovation, wealth creation, and social development in ways we once only dreamed of. And, when these masses of people collaborate, they can advance the arts, culture, science, education, government and the economy in surprising but ultimately profitable ways.”
– Dan Tapscott

A few of our distinguished panelists:

Alexander J. Field

Professor Field is the Michel and Mary Orradre Professor of Economics at Santa Clara University and Executive Director of the Economic History Association.

His research focuses on two main areas. The first is U.S. macroeconomic history with a focus on technology and productivity. His book, A Great Leap Forward: 1930s Depression and U.S. Economic Growth, will be published by Yale University Press this fall. The second, aimed at better integrating the human sciences, is reflected in his 2001 book Altruistically Inclined? The Behavioral Sciences, Evolutionary Theory, and the Origins of Reciprocity, which won the 2003 Alpha Sigma Nu National Book Award in the Social Sciences. Professor Field has published more than 50 scholarly articles.

Brinda Dalal

Brinda Dalal is an anthropologist who worked with PARC, Xerox and many of Xerox’s clients. She co-founded PARC’s clean technology initiative in 2003.She got her PhD from University of Cambridge in social anthropology. She founded Dhoopa Ventures and is driven by two questions: How do we systematically understand change as it occurs in human society? How might we build innovations that radically shape the future?

Ray Abrishami

Ray Abrishami is the Co-Founder and Principal of InLinx Communication. He is the founding member of the WiMAX Forum which promotes the standards based broadband access technology. Earlier, he was the Senior Director of Engineering at Fujitsu and he brings the perspective from Technology and Enterprise to the discussion.

Some discussion points:

* What interesting problems, ideas and solutions have emerged from the promise of unlimited bandwidth and such connectivity?

* In the midst of Foursquare and Groupon, what does it mean to be always online? ‘Real-time’ may be nice for search engines, but what about personal lives? For example, how do we address the Location paradox: On one hand, it does not matter where you are, as long as you are connected. On the other hand, it is more critical than ever for targeting information, announcements, marketing and even public service.

* In the Yottabyte era, companies (like Google, Amazon, Facebook) collect huge amounts of data. Data can be a double-edged sword: it can provide enormous benefits to consumers in terms of intelligence, experience, and engagement and can also prove to be problematic when privacy and data breaches happen.

* How are businesses dealing with this? What new business models are emerging? Today 2% of enterprise is on cloud, 16% virtualized. By 2015, 20% will be on cloud, 45% virtualized.

* Who owns the bandwidth and the connectivity? How do we provide equitable distribution and access in a responsible manner? What are the ethical, legal and moral issues that arise?

October 6th Society Event

Improvisation & Innovation:
A Powerful Duet in Art, Science & Business with Jeremy Sutton

Artist, author, educator and digital painting pioneer Jeremy Sutton demonstrates through spontaneous, improvised live art-in-action how he harnesses the creative power of improvisation to generate innovation on his digital canvas. During this exciting presentation you will see Jeremy, using state of-the-art digital paint technology, create a live digital portrait of musician, technologist and entrepreneur Howard Lieberman as Howard plays improvised music. Throughout the process Jeremy will share his decision-making strategies and provide insights into how the same principles can be applied in other arts, in science and in business.

Jeremy Sutton—world-renowned artist, author, educator, digital painting pioneer and Corel Painter Master—has drawn and painted for over forty years, and worked with digital painting media for the last eighteen. Please visit to see more of his artwork and for his online training materials.

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