FEB 5th 2014: Real, Long-Term, Value-Added Innovation through Social Architecture

All organizations are perfectly designed to get the results they get. Innovative organizations have social architecture designed to promote and support innovation.

In this discussion the relationship between social structure and innovative success is explored.

This February 5th SVII gathering is special – During dinner Founder and Chairman Howard Lieberman will be reporting on CES, reflecting on the state of innovation and the implications of the new technologies. The evening’s panel will take the game of innovation to a new level of purpose and contribution as four social architects share their insights on enabling organizations to multiply their ‘true-value-adding innovation’ – innovation that makes lasting, positive contributions to all impacted. Our panel will address two questions:

a)    What organizational design elements best support growing a culture of ‘true value-adding innovation?’

b)    How might existing organizations best go about growing such a culture?

Who should attend? The February 5th SVII gathering is intended for those organizational leaders, changemakers and practitioners who are intrigued with the possibility of multiplying their organization’s capacity to innovate — both in their products and services and in their social architecture.

This event will take place at 7PM at:

Hangen Szechuan Restaurant (2nd Fl), 134 Castro St, Mountain View, CA 94041

Dinner will be served!

Pre-Registration Tickets ($20)  – On SALE NOW!


Co-founder & Senior Evolutionary Architect
Monterey Institute for Social Architecture & GlobalGEA.net

Email: bill@misa.ws  Phone: 831-462-1992

Bill is a senior social architect with extensive experience in the fields of organization design, learning and change. A pioneer in organic action-learning approaches to leadership development, he has designed and led numerous generative leadership learning expeditions. Bill’s professional background includes over 35 years of experience in leading innovative organization design and large-scale change implementations in the United States, Canada, Europe and the Far East, both as an internal at Exxon and later as an external consultant. Bill’s deep commitment is to the transformation of our social systems throughout our planet (education, health care, commerce, governance, media, etc.), in a way that best serves all life — for all time. His recent focus has been on helping corporations grow their system-wide capacities for distributed leadership, collaborative innovation, rapid learning and change.


Co-founder & Social Architect

Email: max@globalgea.net

Max is a social architect and organizational innovator with extensive corporate experience in management, product development, and organization development and change. During his career at Snapfish and later HP, Max successfully led several large-scale, division-wide change initiatives focusing on business transformation and innovative organization design. In 2009, after completing an advanced degree in Organization Development at Pepperdine University, Max chose to dedicate himself to his deep passion for social architecture and generative organization design, which he considers his life’s work. In 2011, together with Bill Veltrop, he co-founded GlobalGEA and has since been co-developing highly generative, innovative approaches to organization learning and transformation.

Social architect
Monterey Institute for Social Architecture

Email: peter_gaarn@yahoo.com

Peter is a senior social architect with extensive experience in organizational design, organizational development, executive development/coaching, and strategic change management. Peter’s professional background includes over 33 years of experience in strategic change work, innovative organizational design, cultural transformation and executive development and coaching. Peter spent 25 year as an internal consultant/director at Hewlett Packard and Lockheed-Martin, and 8+ years as an independent consultant serving both profit and not for profit organizations. Peter has deep knowledge in high tech, manufacturing, education and most recently health care. In communities, he has worked at the intersection of local government, non-profits and educational institutions to improve and transform the systems and coordination between agencies to better serve their constituents. Peter is a co-founder of MISA, and has affiliations with The Piras Group and Sapience Networks (website currently not available).


Founder, Spring Networks

Stu Winby is Founder of Spring Networks, an organization strategy and design firm and also Managing Partner of Innovation Point, a strategic innovation firm – both headquartered in the Silicon Valley. His focus over the last decade has been in healthcare and technology, working at the CEO, state and national level in healthcare innovation and transformation. His interests are in the design of dynamic networks as continuous innovation and productivity sources of advantage, and the management of innovation.




NOV 6th 2013: Accelerating Large Enterprise Innovation

Innovation on a large scale is a difficult task to approach, even more so when dealing with numerous people all of whom have the power to make important decisions. How is one to go about approaching this task. Is there a way to move forward quicker than a snail’s pace?

Innovation is extremely challenging when large numbers of decision makers in a well defined hierarchical chains of command are involved. Yet some multi-national multi-billion dollar companies routinely do just this, resulting in their persisting as world leaders in their respective markets. The principles behind these innovation cultures that permit and encourage the special behaviors required of both innovators and innovation advocates can be adopted by any size enterprises wishing to accelerate their innovation. Lets face it even if leaders can not agree on a definition of innovation, it does not stop them from declaring it to be a very high priority! Nor from desiring to accelerate it (whatever it is). Even if people do not know what it is, they know they want it and that is a totally reasonable stance.

This event will take place at 7PM at:

Hangen Szechuan Restaurant (2nd Fl), 134 Castro St, Mountain View, CA 94041

Dinner will be served!

Pre-Registration Tickets ($20)  – on SALE NOW!


Chairman, Senior Science and Technology Advisor 
SVII, DARPA, Apple Inc, Bose Corporation
After completing university programs in both Physics and Electrical Engineering, Howard spent fifteen years working for two large technology companies, Bose and Apple where he shipped more than a billion dollars of innovative products while taking Bose from analog to digital and Apple from computers into sound.He then spent a decade as a serial entrepreneur and a college dean and this last decade he has been applying these experiences as an innovator, innovation manager and innovation educator by founding and running the Silicon Valley Innovation Institute where he often finds himself functioning as an innovation articulator. He has also been an advanced technology procurement consultant to the US Air Force and is currently a Senior Science and Technology Advisor to DARPA, He is also active as a composer and performing jazz musician.

Mechanical Design Engineer, Thermal Systems
Tesla Motors
Bremer is currently working as a Mechanical Design Engineer at Tesla Motors. Curiosity has always driven him. After finishing his undergrad at Western Washington University in plastics and vehicle engineering he quit his job and dedicated himself to the WWU X-Prize Team.  The WWU X Prize team built a carbon fiber, monocoque hybrid super mileage car, from the ground up.  He was personally responsible for in car computer, interior and exterior LED lighting, display system, software integration, and the auto centering windshield wiper. Viking-45(WWU X Prize car) ranked 6th out of 121 competitors achieving an average of 112MPGe. Directly after the X Prize competition he was hired onto the Prototype Vehicle Group at  Tesla Motors. He spent a year developing the Toyota Rav4 EV and Tesla Model S prototypes. As the Model S left the prototype phase Bremer moved to the Vehicle Engineering Thermal Systems Team where he played an active role in the rapidly evolving company supporting manufacturing, quality and service along with his Thermal Team responsibilities.

When the surfing is bad, Bremer spends most of his free time playing with LEDs, flying his drone, and riding around his electric skateboard, if he’s not getting arrested trying to change laws. Battle for the beach http://vimeo.com/75373721,  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/zach-weisberg/surfers-walk-in-martins-b_b_2663848.html. Projects and resume: http://theprojectportfolio.blogspot.com/

Inventor, Audio Engineer, Consultant
Hewlett-Packard/Palm, Plantronics, Gibson Guitar, Bose Corporation 
Osman Isvan has been an acoustics and audio professional for over 30 years. After receiving a Bachelor of Science degree from the Istanbul Technical University in Turkey, Osman moved to the United States at the age of 25, and earned a Master of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from Tufts University, specializing in vibrations and acoustics. He then joined Bose Corporation as a Research Engineer, where he developed loudspeaker simulation software, designed acoustic transducers and enclosures, and built a novel laser-Doppler vibration analysis system for the characterization of loudspeaker and headphone diaphragms and materials. In 1998 Osman joined Gibson Guitar Corporation in Nashville. The following year he invented and prototyped a multi- axis pickup for the company’s first guitar with digital audio interface, developed in partnership with the Center for New Music and Audio Technologies (CNMAT) at the University of California at Berkeley. Osman then moved to California as an acoustics engineer for Plantronics, where he developed wired and wireless headsets and stereo headphones, before joining Palm / Hewlett Packard as Lead Audio Systems Engineer responsible for acoustic systems and audio parameter optimization of smart phones. Since 2011 Osman became an Engineering Consultant, serving clients in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Osman Isvan authored technical papers on audio signal processing, vibration damping, guitar pickups, the effect of winds on bicycles, and power optimization for Light Electric Vehicles. He is an inventor with 9 patents on loudspeakers, guitar pickups, noise reduction, echo cancellation, microphones, earphones and headsets. Recently he became interested in data integration and performance analysis for cyclists. He wants to develop a bicycle speedometer that measures wind velocity.

Senior Electro-Acoustic Engineer
Materion Corporation, ZT Amplifiers Inc., Transonos , Tymphany 
Born and raised in New England, Peter has called Northern California home for the past 8 years. An avid multi-instrumentalist, you might trip over any number of musical items on your way into his home. An early love of music & science culminated in degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Music Performance and Acoustical Engineering, studying under and assisting Dr. Amar Bose. During the ensuing 25 years, Peter has realized successful products for many professional and consumer sound brands, both in employee and consultant roles. From high-performance automotive and home entertainment speakers to acoustically calibrated screening rooms, from custom test & measurement software to telecomm peripherals, from guitar amplifiers to digital signal processors, Peter’s work has spanned nearly the entire electro-acoustics space. Patented inventions were shipped by brands like Boston Acoustics and Tymphany for many years.
After a few years abroad in Asia and Europe, Peter has developed a global perspective on the audio industry, leading multi-cultural and intercontinental teams to successful innovations and product launches. He now works for Materion Electrofusion designing ultra-high-performance beryllium diaphragms for professional loudspeakers. Peter jointly published an AES paper with Marshall Buck and others detailing improvements to large-format compression drivers, also presenting this work at ALMA International Symposia. He has recently accepted a nomination to ALMA International’s Board of Directors, and is excited to be co-chairing ALMA’s Winter Symposium.
Electrical Engineer
Linkwitz Lab, Hewlett-Packard

Born and raised in Germany, Siegfried Linkwitz came to California with his wife in 1961 for a two year experience in R&D of Hewlett-Packard’s Microwave Division. Siegfried had received the Diplom Ingenieur degree in Electrical Engineering from Darmstadt Technical University in Germany. He continued his education with postgraduate studies at Stanford University while working. His initial stay turned into 37 years of R&D at HP, on state-of-the-art electronic test equipment, such as microwave spectrum analyzers, network analyzers and EMI receivers.

He also traveled to Europe and Asia, teaching HP Seminars on test and measurement in the frequency range from 10 kHz to 20 GHz. During his last 18 years at HP he participated in leading roles in national and international standards development for Electromagnetic Compatibility Test Instrumentation through ANSI and IEC/CISPR 16. After retirement in 1998 from HP, now Agilent, in Santa Rosa, Siegfried continued to pursue a life-long interest in audio that started when he came to HP. There he and his colleagues designed and built their personal Hi-Fi systems, from the phono pre-preamp to the power amplifier and FM stereo tuner. Loudspeaker design followed, because commercial products seemed strangely designed to a microwave engineer.  The “Linkwitz Transform” circuit and earlier, in 1975, the “Linkwitz-Riley Crossover” filters were a necessity for his active speaker designs and came out of a shared audio hobby with Russ Riley. Between 1994 and 1999 he developed a line of open-baffle loudspeakers with moving coil drive units for Audio Artistry.

In 1999 he set up a website to share what he had learned about speaker design and to give a practical example, the PHOENIX. The site has grown significantly. ORION, PLUTO and LX521 loudspeakers have been added as new insights had been gained. He provides plans for DIY construction of state-of-the-art dipole and monopole loudspeakers using active electronics. The speakers are optimized for operation in reverberant domestic spaces. He believes to have found the ideal loudspeaker concept for creating a convincing auditory illusion of an acoustic event in a typical size living room.  The job is done. www.linkwitzlab.com

Deloitte Consulting
Cody is a born entrepreneur.  He is deeply passionate about helping organizations find new frontiers in their overall culture,retain top talent and create healthier workplaces.   He is relentlessly curious and has a genuine love for exploring the world’s perspectives by getting to know new people.

After obtaining his masters, he began consulting work for Deloitte.  He spent the first two years of his career traveling around the world helping clients understand better their risk of licensing intellectual property to the global marketplace.  He considers this international growth experience to have altered his life in an extremely positive and open-minded way.  He went on to spend 2 years at Deloitte Consulting in their Strategy & Operations practice where he helped executives of a Fortune 50 client spin-off half their business.
Cody is also an avid marathon runner and has competed in over 15 races around the world. His passion for running extends past participation as he has founded and organized a road race for charity.

JUNE 4th 2013 (Recap): Innovation Feng Shui

In this event a discussion was held on utilizing interactivity at both a small scale and a large scale to help better progress. In the end the miscommunication caused by a lack of interactivity was cited as the reason innovation does not progress as well as it should.

On June 4th, the Silicon Valley Innovation Institute (SVII) help an event titled Innovation Feng Shui: Fueling Innovation through Interactivity. The event was hosted by Cogswell Polytechnical College in their auditorium, called the Dragon’s Den by its students and staff. This venue was chosen to allow multiple unique setups to be experimented with in the pursuit of a more engaging conversation. The purpose of the event was to discuss how we can encourage better communication through more freeform rules of engagement and through seating.

The event was attended by about 40 people, and at least half of the guests got a chance to jump into the conversation in some significant way. We enabled this by putting a “camp fire” in the middle of the darkened room with the attendees in a circle around it. This essentially put everyone on equal standing in the discussion and allowed people to feel more comfortable joining the conversation at any time.

The event was kicked off by a raw food presentation by raw food chef Jillian Love, who brought a selection of food all made from raw and vegan ingredients, including ice cream, chips with some dip, and salad. We then moved on to the main section of the event: the group discussion of interactivity and innovation.

Our discussion leader, Howard Lieberman opened the conversation by explaining the mindset behind the event’s setup, and asking for input on it. The group chimed in by endorsing the setup and structure—appreciating the capacity for a more fluid discussion. They additionally observed that the camp fire setup seemed reminiscent of ancient human gatherings where stories were shared and culture and connection was developed. This form of group communication is a form which is underused in modern society, in spite of how natural it is for us.

The conversation then moved on to the actual meaning of feng shui (a phrase used in the title of the event). An attendee pointed out that the origin of the word feng shui was the Chinese words for “wind” and “water”, as a metaphor for being in harmony with one’s environment. Additionally, there was much discussion on how being in harmony with one’s environment is important in not just group discussions, but most aspects of our lives, and just as importantly, our businesses.

After defining feng shui, we moved into discussing the broader topic of innovation and how it can be improved through fresh concepts like interactivity. One of our featured conversation instigators, Don Grayson, then pointed out that a many cities have the word “innovation” in their mission statement without really putting much effort into actually being innovative, as if the word is used just because people think it sounds good. Similarly, almost any organization will say that it wants to innovate, but many of those do not follow through, because of the sacrifices involved in achieving innovation.

At this point, someone pointed out that not all innovation is good. Innovation is just doing something in a new way, and it can be beneficial or harmful. Some changes actually lead to lesser efficiency or consistency, especially when the other is being pursued (e.g. you make a change pursuing efficiency, which leads to more failures, and vice versa). On a broader scale, even if an innovation is good for an individual or a company, it may still be bad for society, with unforeseen (or ignored) consequences outside of entity making the change. One example given was the “optimization” of the use of animal by-products in our food.

Moving into an even larger scope—governments and countries–one attendee brought up how Singapore was able to successfully achieve social innovation under a strong and controversial leader who imposed societal changes authoritatively. These changes have definitely been beneficial for Singapore, but at the same time, there is a question of whether their methods of achieving them were the best way. China is doing something similar in trying to modernize its country by incentivizing cities to be centers of innovation and technology. While China has the capacity to be more innovative than Singapore because of the size of the country, they also have a harder time changing the whole country, because of the vastness of its territory and population. In addition there was the concern of whether or not Singapore’s model will properly scale in China.

With so many problems in the world, someone asked, how can we actually get things done, citing the lack of proper communication that often happens. Somebody else pointed out that the problem is not that people aren’t talk, but that many aren’t listening, possibly being trapped in their own “bubble” of acceptable information. The way to fix this, perhaps, is not through more frequent communication, but through more efficient and interactive communication.

JUNE 4th 2013: Innovation Feng Shui

Fueling Entrepreneurship Through Interactivity

Can you have an engaging conversation with the back of someone’s head? How about the backs of 50 heads? How do you arrange groups of people in a physical environment for maximum interactivity, connection, and effectiveness in content capture and iteration? Whether you are an entrepreneur, incubator, community leader, or innovation advocate of another denomination, we all have a desire to initiate change, and to be active participants in the cultivation of new ideas rather than passive recipients of information.

In this event, we will be performing a group experiment in the arrangement of people in space to uncover the hidden ways that those arrangements affect our communication. With that as a starting point, we will then move on to the related areas of, How to groups of people effectively communicate in general? (whether they are a company, community, movement, etc). And how can groups of people be effectively organized to accomplish their goals as a group?

Come be a part of inventing the “feng shui” behind communities of powerful communicators.

This free event will be capped to 50 participants.

Attendance is FREE (while seats are available)!

Refreshments will be provided by Raw Food Chef, Jillian Love!(http://www.jillianlove.com/Home.html)

Optional: Bring a lamp or light source to use in collaboratively constructing our environment.

This event will take place at:  

The Dragon’s Den (Cogswell College)
1175 Bordeaux Dr
Sunnyvale, CA 94089

Our conversation will be led by these key conversation instigators…

Gary Entwistle
Gary Entwistle of the Next Institute

Gary Entwistle, MBA 

Gary Entwistle is a skilled training and development practitioner with firsthand knowledge of management and supervision.  During the past thirty years, he has provided leadership coaching and development to thousands of managers. He is a Senior Learning Advisor for The Next Institute and Executive-In-Residence for the Banff Leadership Institute, Alberta, Canada.

Gary recently had the opportunity to practice what he preaches. A client asked him to implement his recommendations to turn the failing business around. He worked as General Manager to restore the business to profitability; to develop policies, procedures, and practices; and to strengthen management at all levels.

Don Grayson of GHG and Associates

Don Grayson, PhD

A licensed psychologist, Don has maintained an organizational psychology consulting practice since 1981. From 1981 – 1987 he was a Senior Consultant and a top performer for RHR International, Inc, the largest organization of consulting psychologists. Since 1987 he has maintained his own independent consulting practice.

He was a contributing author in “Coaching for Leadership – How the World’s Greatest Coaches Help Leaders Learn”. The chapter was cited in Coaching and Mentoring: How to Develop Top Talent and Achieve Stronger Performance in the Harvard Business Essentials, Harvard Business School Press. Grayson is a principle consultant at GHG and Associates.

Bret Sweet, Assistant Professor, Entrepreneurship

Bret Sweet, Assistant Professor, Entrepreneurship

Mr. Sweet is Cogswell’s first Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurship, following his work in launching the College’s Entrepreneurship program in 2010. He continues to develop Cogswell’s entrepreneurship curriculum and teaches a variety of entrepreneurship courses. He is certified by the National Foundation for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE), and has taught business building strategies to thousands of Bay Area low-income youths and their families. From 2003-2007, Mr. Sweet was the lead entrepreneurship instructor at BUILD, which provides entrepreneurship education to high school students in low-income areas boasts an excellent college acceptance rate for its seniors. His activities have garnered him a host of accolades, including the NFTE’s prestigious Teacher of the Year Award in 2004 and a speaking engagement at the 2012 NAACP National Convention. Mr. Sweet’s background is as an entrepreneurial musician, music promoter and restaurateur. He received a B.A. in Television and Radio Production from San Francisco State University and an MBA from the University of San Francisco.

Dr. Deborah Snyder, Chief Academic Officer & Provost

Dr. Deborah Snyder, Chief Academic Officer & Provost

“Dr. Snyder has a long history of higher education experience and was a pioneer in the adoption of online platforms in learning. Previously, Snyder served as senior vice provost for academic programs at Strayer University in Washington, D.C. and is author of The New Traditionals and e-Marketing Basics. The New Traditionals examined adult learners – those 25 and over – who comprise the majority of enrollees in higher education. She has been published in numerous education and marketing journals and has presented at several high-profile conferences.