Exploring Context/Cognition Mutuality

Join SVII in our exploration of Context/Cognition Mutuality. We are seeking to better understand how Context and Cognition impact each other and will be asking for your stories, insights and theories. Stay tuned for more details or contact SVII Chair Howard Lieberman.

Why are we doing this?

Cognition is incredibly important, expressing the line between conscious and unconscious awareness as the primary mechanism by which information enters our minds. As we are far more conscious when we are engaged, and far more engaged what impinges upon us is relevant to us.

Context is also incredibly important as it determines relevancy which we prefer to believe is based upon rational processes but may be be far more emotional than logical. What may be less obvious is extent of the mutuality of context and cognition as they each modulate the other. In other words context impacts cognition but cognition also informs context.

In case you are wondering what this has to do with innovation?

Innovators are Context Activists. They are not necessarily willing to accept the context they find themselves within all of the time. They are often motivated to question conditions as they have the belief that they can change them. Innovators are not passive when it comes to context. They do not ignore it as they have to become great context managers to get any of their innovations adopted. This is a good place to remind us SVII defines Innovation as Applied Insight.

You can not apply insights by being unconscious of conditions and people surrounding you. The best innovators are finely attuned to the micro-gestures of their audiences so they can constantly adjust what they say as a function of who they are addressing in order to increase cognition to the point of being actionable. If you can not make anyone cognizant of your insight it will not likely be adopted and you will not make it as an innovator.

Liberal Arts in a Digital Age via Entrepreneurial & Engineering Thinking

Liberal artists innovate in our digital age when they combine perspectives broader than liberal arts.

LADA Diagram

Interconnected Breakthrough Innovation Dimensions 

Each dimension is unbounded and takes unanticipated paths.


Innovation = Applied Insight. If there is no insight, it is not innovation. If it is only thought about, it is also not innovation. Ideas take a fraction of a second to have. Ideas are not inventions and in and of themselves, not innovations. Insights have to be applied in the real world in order to be innovations. You have to make it actually happen, not just talk about it. But Innovation can be relativistic – meaning time, location and situation dependent. In other words if many individuals in one circumstance are aware of something but no one has yet applied it in another field it can still be innovation. Creative people cross domains and escaping their silos do this a lot.

Digital Age

Like it or not we now live in a digital age creating both danger and opportunity. Many jobs, businesses and business models are becoming obsolete. Many previously lucrative professions are in free fall. Their practitioners For example recording engineers and musicians are searching for and creating new business models.  Old notions of leadership are under attack.  Assumptions that the person in the front of the room knows more than everyone else present is harder to defend in light of new rates of publishing combined with ubiquitous access.Today it is impossible to know everything about a single topic. What does this mean to political, business and educational leaders? Sharing knowledge is winning out over hoarding it. More nodes in your network grants more power than more secrets.  Leadership models and styles are changing right now.


Historically, everyone was an entrepreneur. The majority of the human race, for the majority of history was self employed. They had to find and satisfy their customers because there was no one to take care of them. For a few decades in the latter half of the twentieth century people in western society had cradle to grave coverage in the form of a job that lasted for life. In today’s world of increasing physical and professional mobility and decreasing loyalty, almost all new job growth comes from entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs. Large enterprises now gain innovation through acquisition, causing creative people to have a good chance ending up self employed. For all but a few decades it is not so much a new world as a return to the old one.

Collaboration Tools

The ability to co-create having teams simultaneously work on documents and media rich projects, is coming on very quickly. Professionals in Silicon Valley now regard email and texting as inefficient, searching through email chains to find documents is very frustrating. But the plethora of collaboration tools, cloud storage locations, USB memory sticks and file formats, not to mention multiple computers and operating systems, can make it incredibly hard to find things the old way. One can not take for granted how we will be collaborating in the future – the available options are changing incredibly rapidly.

Intellectual Property

The historical origin of this very important category was the notion that an idea can be a valuable property. The ability to be granted a temporary monopoly to practice an idea is a dominant reason the United States has become the most powerful economic, military and intellectual force in the world. However the USPTO, the agency which grants these rights, is not able to keep up with the incredible task of intelligently prosecuting the flood of applications. The result is many young inventors no longer file patents. They reason as it can take up to five years to get patents issued, they will likely have either already made it, or be out of business before then. However, the filing process requires applications be published disclosing inventions before they are protected. Collaboration also confuses who owns what. This gnarly set of problems is exacerbated by low government wages failing to retain competent patent examiners on the payroll. Patents cover invention work products. Copyrights pertain to authorship work products, which all of you regularly engage in. Add in trademarks and trade secrets, and most creative people are doing some sort of IP dance. The IP concept is ideas have value which can be monetized gives rise to our digital age as an idea economy.

Moore’s Law

Simply stated: Semiconductor costs are cut in half every year. Computer power an individual can access has grown astronomically. In 1983 I had to appear before the capital committee of Bose Corporation, to get permission to upgrade the single computer shared by the entire engineering department which had 64 kilobytes. Adding a second 64 kbytes of memory cost $20,000. Today 64 Gigabytes is $20, a billion times lower cost. Applying this to cars is amusing: current automobiles can cross the United States with ten tanks of gas but imagine a car that could cross the country thousands of times on a thimble of gas. Moore’s Law is not a law of science – it is a law of intention. There are no underlying physical reasons for this law to be true. Moore’s Law signifies what humanity can do when applying a collective mind and this is why Silicon Valley is the largest economic engine in the world, why Tesla has a $30B market cap, compared to GM’s $52B. Apple yesterday was worth $623B. Apple is worth twelve times more than GM. Moore’s Law moves us from a zero sum game into an abundance model.


In 1975, to analyze 20 milliseconds of a sound wave it used to take 20 minutes using a $2M computer.  Analyzing one minute of sound would take 60,000 minutes or 1000 hours and a grant from the NSF to afford the computer. Forty years later, today, the lowest cost smart phone does it in real time.  A $150 phone today is 60,000 times faster than a $2M computer was when I was in grad school and it is a few ounces in your pocket instead of hundreds of pounds in an air-conditioned 200 square-foot room.  The accessibility is hundreds of trillions of times greater!

This exemplifies the democratization of technology, but what is less obvious is how this democratizes not only computing, but information access and ultimately of decision-making. Each individual can perform their own research on their own projects without needing to get permission or grants from anyone. The 6.8 billion cell phone subscribers in 2014 is up from 6 Billion in 2012, when for the first time more people had access to a cell phone than to a toilet. This incredible democratization of everything permits the entire human race to triangulate on the truth, ultimately paving the way to global democracy and making it much more difficult for oppressive regimes to persist for the first time in human history.

Media and Content

The birth of the “prosumer” and desktop publishing, two phrases coined at Apple when introducing the laser printer, refer to people who produce content for their own consumption, began a massive change away from all content and all media being created and distributed by a small, centralized minority, to literally everyone. Anyone in this room right now can learn to create a blog, a website, a newsletter, a podcast, a movie, original music and almost whatever else you imagine.

Quality does not come in an instant, but you could do any of the above at some level in an afternoon, perhaps without even spending a dollar. You may already have all of the capability in your briefcase, daypack or home on your desk. You can even do a multi-camera shoot using your phone, computer and tablet, and then fairly easily edit it to  point where you could share it with others and enter into a rapid improvement iteration feedback loop. The number of forums, YouTube videos, tutorials about almost anything you could want to know is staggering, and costs range from absolutely free, to $100 dollars per month providing access to Lynda, MacProVideo, Ask Audio, and the complete software suites from Adobe andMicrosoft. For less than the cost of tuition for a single college course in a private school, one can access a large pile of apps that would have cost over $5000 a few years ago, and thousands of high quality video tutorials which you could not watch in thirty years.


Engineers have built the infrastructure of todays world. They systematically, physically manifest what scientists postulate. Engineers need high quality inputs to produce results subordinate to humanities needs. Ambiguously communicated needs result in building the wrong things. There is a tremendous opportunity for classically educated individuals to act as translators, specifiers, articulators, communicators, arbiters and educators. Business is increasingly market driven instead of technology driven. This translates to a transfer of power away from technologists to those who can effectively communicate with them in ways that bridge technology to markets.

Liberal Arts

Classically trained individuals are valuable when able to bridge the needs of humanity and business. Specialists work for generalists. Rapidly accelerating change requires those with multiple perspectives and excellent communication skills to lead the way. Liberal artists who learn the globally unifying nomenclatures of business and technology increase their value. The ability to put oneself in another’s place with compassion, empathy, and sensitivity are more domains of the arts and sciences than engineering and business. Domain transcendence through education, experience and ability to authentically get along well with others, permit one to contribute value in any situation.

Original liberal arts education goals are extremely valuable in the long run, providing meaning in people’s lives. It is now acceptable to be a geek, to have the expertise to access information and experience. The world has been changed by geek-humanists, the technologists with soul and the business people with hearts. Learning provides opportunities to cross many boundaries.

Business Models

Business models are sets of mathematical relationships between the sets of variables which together can define a business. Business plans are models populated by numerical data substituted for the variables. Business models are equations and business plans include calculated values. Multiple business plans can be derived from each model model, in order to project profitability, valuation, and better understand the “What Ifs” one asks on the way to becoming a stakeholder. For a long car trip you could create a trip model spreadsheet reserving places to enter distance, miles per gallon, gas tank size and other costs. Filling in the numbers yields a trip plan.  Many entrepreneurs unconsciously confuse and cross, model – plan boundaries. Plans are to execute. Models are tools to create plans.

Barriers to Entry

The digital age lowers the barriers to entry to begin new projects, businesses and enterprises. Without renting and furnishing an office, hiring and outfitting assistants, paying for advertising, marketing or business planning, it is possible to just start working on your idea. Writers self publish, musicians self produce, and inventors outsource manufacturing. Tens of thousands of new companies are founded annually in Silicon Valley. Thousands of new restaurants open (and close) in New York every year. It costs much less to start a software company than to outfit a restaurant. Popup restaurants use resources they do not own to begin serving. This double edged sword of low barriers to entry exposes enterprises to more competition as well. Starting has become easier, but finishing is as hard as always. The key is to get into a reality feedback loop as quickly as possible to commence iteration. Few plans survive contact with reality. Model validation is faster and less expensive than proving your plan.

End User Voice

A serious conundrum: All business needs to solve customer problems to get paid. Asking what do you want? does not yield useful results because customers are unaware of what is possible. Henry Ford said if I asked people what they wanted – they would say a faster horse. The president of DEC the world’s largest minicomputer company thought two or three people would ever need a personal computer. Neither Ford nor Jobs asked that question, they asked, would you buy this?  Navigating toward the future is a tricky business, requiring much dialog between the market and the makers. It can be very difficult, expensive and time consuming to cultivate meaningful relationships with end users, contributing to countless hours of frustration we all face performing IT on our various devices. The liberal arts person can play a fantastic role being the voice of the end user, because they are now the market.


Most employees of large businesses are not entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurs, with their different priorities, personalities and attention spans, can sometimes cross the business divide in both directions. Economies of scale belong to big business and agility belongs to small enterprises who determine what is next, before big business then scales it up. Big business is aware of the need to innovate or die. 88% of the companies that made the first Fortune 500 list in 1955 do not exist anymore. In 2013, 288 of the 1,000, largest American companies from 2003 remained. But to happily remain in big business, one usually must be subordinate to authority and also be politically savvy. Bureaucrats listen, but do not invent much, unlike innovators who have a hard time taking orders. Some people build up security before launching their own thing. Others who begin as self employed, become tired of constantly engaging risk. They happily enter the more sane secure ranks of larger enterprises and every level of in-between also exist as options.

Stewards of Humanity

Visiting great museums and libraries is terrific way to be reminded humanity creates fantastic results. Facing global warming, overpopulation, water shortages, nuclear accidents, and widespread atrocious behaviors can bring you down. The 24 hour hour news cycles prey upon our sense of well being, “reporting” just how bad things are everywhere all of the time. Evidence of wonderfulness, a bastion of liberal artists, can remind us why it is good to be human by preserving the best of our achievements. In a digital age, the majority of content is increasingly created and distributed online, which creates downward aesthetic pressure when originals are difficult if not impossible to discern. Have you ever looked at a web site to find what you viewed yesterday was gone forever? For those who go to Tanglewood – if you want to see a detailed description of the concert you attended two weeks, good luck finding it on the BSO Site. Open source wipes out professional editors and replaces them with lower common denominator writing. Yet having a12 megapixel camera in your phone with you all of the time beats toting around a ten pound camera bag full of lenses. It is also far more likely you will take a picture. The best camera is the one you have with you. Discrimination still requires making tradeoffs navigated by sensitive individuals who both respect old wonderful works and keep an eye out for new ones. There responsibility to be a steward of our best, defending and protecting it, is important because it can be lost, and indeed in some cases already has been.


One large difference between science and most other dimensions delineated here, is the application of scientific method. Science at its best can be both wonderfully skeptical and objective. If results are not repeatable they are dismissed. For something to be true, it must be repeatedly verified by others. This system can also be abused, because bodies who pass judgement can become ossified rejecting new evidence about things they do not understand. Science as a belief system strives to be more objective than art. This is not a value judgement as we need both arts and sciences. As meaning is subjective, life would be barren without art. Life also does not work nearly as well without science. As liberal arts include sciences the responsibility for balancing between objective and subjective perspectives is a job for liberal artists. We do not have to choose between emotional relevancy and robust reliability. We have to balance the objective and subjective within ourselves as part of creating sustainable lives.


From an innovation perspective every living entity has to innovate or die. The Darwinian term is adapt. Whether we call it innovation, improvisation or adaptation, it is the same requirement. Our models are limited and our plans must change to cope with reality. We are both objective and subjective, fiscal and aesthetic, and we each lead and follow. We occupy a dimensionally vast universe. Our best hope of getting along within it, is to each dynamically adapt to reality as we perceive it. Annually innovators introduce tens of thousands of innovations to billions of people. Fortunately not everyone desires or expects to disruptively innovate as chaos would ensue. But everyone incrementally adapts and improvises daily to survive in our personal world which brushes up against all of the dimensions of the digital age partially described here.

Vitality – leveraging technology to improve health and human performance.

Vitality, a positive attribute correlated with success can now sometimes be improved using technology. This program deals with two different aspects of how technology helps us physically – it can be used to improve our health and it can be used to improve our performance. The familiar Star Trek Tricorder is an extremely useful but fictional handheld device whose sensors permitted monitoring of vital signs and other physical conditions. Presently there are seven finalist groups converging on creating a Tricorder-like device, in part motivated by the $10M Qualcomm X-prize “to bring healthcare to the palm of your hand”. This prize, scheduled to be awarded January 27, 2016, is just one example of the application of technology to health – more are exploding across diverse fields from diabetes monitoring to telemedicine.

On the performance side of technology there is an explosion of everything from simple fitness bands to prosthetics and including embedded electronics in everything from racing boats to bicycles. Daily exercise, diet,medication regimes are all part of the huge integrated set of apps and operating system extensions being designed specifically to help us improve our wellness and performance.

Join us for a roundtable discussion Tuesday October 27th from 6 to 9 at the Foothill Tennis and Swim Club for an eye opening and sometimes mind blowing look at not only what is coming, but what is already here today. Humanity is right now in the process of currently transcending biological evolutionary timescales. And much of this is happening right here in what is still the epicenter of technology, Silicon Vally. What better place to talk about augmented physicality!

Doors Open: 6 PM

Program: 7 to 9 PM

Tickets at the Door are $30

Online Preregistration is $20

Eventbrite - Can 100 be the new 60? Innovating our way to Vitality. SVII October 27th


Our Three Roundtable Panel Members







Dr. Elzbieta Holsztynska,    President, GeaMedica, Inc.,    elahol@gmail.com

Dr. Elzbieta Holsztynska (Ela) has over 20 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry (Warner-Lambert, later Pfizer), Cocensys , Athena Neurosciences (later Elan), and Rigel Pharmaceuticals).  Over her career, Dr. Holsztynska has contributed to discovery, development and global regulatory submission of multiple commercially marketed drug products.  As a leader of Drug Metabolism division, Ela has studied therapies for a variety of disease groups, including oncology, immunology and nervous system disorders.   Ela is a published author of multiple scientific papers and book chapters.  She holds a Ph.D. in Pharmacology from the University of Michigan, and continued post-doctoral research at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School.  At present she is working on exploring new venues for understanding and treating age-related diseases.



Robert Sloan






Robert Sloan,  Chief Innovation Officer, Equate Health,     robert@vevity.com

As a life-long innovator, Robert has served in positions as diverse as chief innovation officer, mobile system architect, innovation architect, digital systems architect, and system designer at flagship companies and startups alike. Companies have included Equate Health,  Sun Microsystems, Compression Labs, Phillips, Luma, Scanadu and Vevity, producing products and services ranging from wireless medical devices, mobile medical monitoring and creating illuminating design. His most recent venture, Vevity, is focused on helping people live healthier longer.

He has served as a liaison between Philips Research and Philips Medical, helping launch ideas into market products. As a system architect he has designed and built the audio encoders for DirecTV, designed the audio/telephony subsystem for the SparcStation 1, and defined an audio chip which was built by Crystal Semiconductors and Analog Devices that is used in many multimedia applications.

A pragmatic thinker, Robert has in-depth knowledge of multimedia platforms and industry and maintains hands-on experience with hardware and software.








Geeta Priya Arora,   Speaker, Author, CEO & Founder,     La’Vanya Ayurveda Healing & Wellness Center

Geeta Priyadarshni Arora is an Ayurveda and Yoga practitioner, life coach, author, media personality, motivational speaker and teaches people how to discover their hidden talents to tap into their limitless potential to express their highest fullest self. Her passion lies in serving others and empowering higher thinking and education in the quest for identity and balance in our technologically driven world.

Geeta earned an MBA degree while climbing a successful corporate ladder. After her divine healing experience, she decided to leave the fiercely competitive struggle for wealth and power to focus her energy on spiritual inner awakenings to reconnect the missing pieces between mind, body, heart and the higher self. Geeta completed her master’s degree in Ayurveda and incorporates the practice of meditation and yoga daily. She offers educational programs to help individuals find their true path with intention. She writes, travels, teaches about healing and being in service.

Website: www.geetapriyaarora.com



September 22nd, 2015 Families & Technology

 Technology in Your Family – savior, destroyer or both?
Tech can be great for many of us and a colossal drag for others.
Can it be controlled? Should it be controlled? Can you control it?
Does it control you? Does it empower you? Does it do both – sometimes at the very same time?
I know I spend far time on IT than seems at all reasonable. Do You?
Do you feel like the master of your technology? Ever deliberately leave your phone in the car during an important meeting? Makes my lunch meetings a lot more productive.

The world is changing due to tech

There is no question that the democratization of technology made possible by a combination of economies of scale and Moore’s Law has put incredible power in our pockets. Today’s smart phones have more speed, storage and resolution than super computers of the 1990’s and also have fantastically more connectivity and flexibility. In our digital age, the world has changed and the change is accelerating.

What does this mean for society?

Technology is changing the nature of work, careers and families making them no longer limited by geographic proximity. Connections through shared interests, now easier to find and develop, are often bringing people together from very different cultural backgrounds.

How does this affect families?

What does it mean to be a parent in the digital age? How much time should you and your kids spend with technology? Can a parent actually control their child’s use of technology? Should they? What types of technology usage should be encouraged? How does technology usage impact social skills development? How is technology, and the world it’s making possible, changing education? Are kids learning problem solving and other important skills? What is the kids point of view? How is technology enabling those with special needs?

And for the individual – What about them?

Is your world bigger? What if you’re a kid? A grandparent? How do you learn? How do you fit in a family, a community, and a team? How many families and communities are you in? How is technology changing the way you see the world, and the way you see yourself in the world?

… Join us in a provocative discussion!

Tuesday, September 22nd
7pm – 9pm
Doors open at 6pm for appetizers and no-host beer and wine

Tickets: $20 in advance • $30 at the door

Eventbrite - Families and Technology


Mark L. Miller, Ph.D.,Mark L. Miller, Ph.D. founded Learningtech.org [The Miller Institute for Learning with Technology], incorporating it as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit in March 2000. He continues to serve as both its lead technical contributor and its President and Executive Director. The mission of the organization is to help “children of all ages” use technology more effectively for learning. The firm has helped schools throughout California, as well as in several other states.Learningtech.org has three Program areas: Planning and Funding Services (E-Rate applications and technology plan preparation); Technical Services (network design and configuration, device imaging, software R&D, and troubleshooting); and Education Services (in-class and out-of-school STEM enrichment, including high technology summer camps, and professional development).

Learningtech.org’s early work included contribution to the efforts of Smart Valley (Net Day and PC Day), Challenge 2000, Wired for Good, and the Center for Excellence in Nonprofits. The Institute works mainly with K-12 schools, libraries and other nonprofits. Recent work has included helping prepare a US Department of Education approved tech plan for all public schools in Puerto Rico, obtaining tens of millions of dollars in E-Rate funding for schools in California, Arizona, Hawaii, Tennessee, and Puerto Rico, and completing a STEM summer camp that demonstrated how to successfully include foster youth, a highly underserved group. A recent Peninsula TV show featuring our after school STEM offerings for middle school students is available here: http://vimeo.com/39080224. Great Nonprofits rated Learningtech.org as a “Top Rated Education Nonprofit” in 2014 and earlier years. Reviews are available online: http://greatnonprofits.org/reviews/profile2/the-miller-institute-for-learning-with-technology.

Before founding Learningtech.org, Dr. Miller had served as Lab Director for Learning and Tools at Apple Computer, reporting to the Vice President of Apple’s Advanced Technology Group [ATG], where he spent almost a decade heading up educational technology investigations. Apple programs under his direction at various times included: Apple Classrooms of Tomorrow [ACOT]; Apple Global Education [AGE]; Visualization and Simulation; Business Learning and Performance Support; and Multimedia Authoring Tools. Responsibilities at various times included oversight of over three dozen employees, including Apple Distinguished Scientists and numerous engineers with advanced degrees, with budget responsibility in excess of $6M.

Dr. Miller’s other corporate experience included early work at Bolt, Beranek and Newman on Intelligent Tutoring Systems, and several years at Texas Instruments, Inc., Central Research Labs, where he established its widely recognized Machine Intelligence research program, emphasizing educational applications, expert systems, natural language processing.

Miller also co-founded Computer*Thought Corporation (Dallas, TX), a high-tech startup backed by venture capital financing – over $5M equity financing raised during the first three years of operation – where Miller led the technical design of the Ada*Tutor product, an advanced instructional system used to retrain software engineers to use the Ada programming language, as mandated by the U.S. Department of Defense for projects such as Space Station.

Dr. Miller’s teaching experience includes Adjunct Faculty at the University of Texas and Southern Methodist University (Introduction to Artificial Intelligence; Survey of Knowledge Engineering; Design and Implementation of Programming Languages; Compilers, Assemblers, and Operating Systems; Software Engineering Using Ada; Discrete Structures). Miller has supervised successful M.S. and Ph.D. candidates. While earning his Ph.D. at MIT, he served as both Research Assistant and Teaching Assistant in the Department of Electrical Engineering and the Artificial Intelligence and LOGO Laboratories. Miller has also taught high school mathematics as a guest instructor, and Filemaker Pro and other topics from time to time at Community Colleges and County Offices of Education. He currently co-teaches middle school Computer Science and instructs after-school STEM enrichment daily for grades 4-8. He has also co-developed a high school computer science elective, which was UC A?G approved; he co-taught the course at multiple high schools for several years. Since 2012, he has been a Contributing Member of the STEM Committee for the California After School Network http://www.afterschoolnetwork.org/stem, where he is currently focused on integrating Computer Science, Coding, and Computational Thinking with the Next Generation Science Standards.



Jason Marsh is currently working with Virtual Reality applied to consumer, non-game experiences. Consumers are spending millions of hours ‘in their information’ – experiencing their social feeds and topics they are interested in. This experience doesn’t occur in a geographical location as much as in cyberspace, the mental representation of information, rich with connections and emotion. But all of that is mediated by screens, often small ones, with rectangular frames that limit the ability to maintain context, go back to prior explorations, or share complex ideas with others. I see Virtual Reality as the solution, and that’s what I’m working on for my own pre-funded company FLOW.

Besides being a software designer and engineer, I’ve been doing what I call call Information Architecture (http://www.marshworks.com/what-is-an-information-architect/) for enterprise companies, most recently at my prior startup Acesis, working with healthcare software.  I’m capturing and presenting complex information to busy thought-leaders in healthcare and business. I diagram everything, using software tools to zoom from the macro view (the ‘why’?) to the micro view (the ‘concrete’?). The audience can be grounded in both the big picture and the specifics very quickly. Now, in VR, the prototypes keep flying off the screen and I’m seeing where the ecosystem sees value as I converge on minimal viable product ideas.

I was also the Founder and Executive Director of the Sierra Montessori Academy in Grass Valley, CA. This was a significant expansion of my efforts in educational reform bringing technology into the classroom with Challenge 2000, SRI, and the Institute for Research on Learning. I wrote the charter and obtained approval for a new K-8 public charter school based on the educational principals of Maria Montessori and Project-Based Learning. Now more than ten years old, the school opened with 120 students on a 35 acre site.

Jason Marsh

(530) 878-4414


Mandeep Dhillon
Entrepreneur & Children’s Technology Advocate

Mandeep is passionate about influencing how kids will use the technology they were born with to improve the quality of their lives and the world they live in.

Co- founder and CEO of 1StudentBody Inc. (1sb), where we are connecting the world’s students. Our primary application, Sidechat, is revolutionizing the world of teen communication with a media and group-centric mobile messaging app.

Former VP Strategy/Togetherville at Disney Interactive; CEO/Co-Founder of Togetherville (Disney); former consultant (McKinsey), lawyer (Latham & Watkins), non-profit leader (Lohgarh), JD/MBA (UVA) and die-hard college basketball fan (Duke). Duke University Alumni Board member & Sikh community activist.

Born in England. Raised in the Bronx, Smithfield, NC and Raleigh, NC. Lived in DC, Charlottesville, VA, Redwood City, CA and now San Jose, CA. Married to my best friend and the proud father of three digital natives.


Next in our Series
Oct 27: Health & Fitness Technology