MAR 5th 2014: How Are Trade Shows Relevant to Innovators?

Are trade shows being overshadowed by the internet? Or do they still hold some value in networking?  Trade shows are important to industries because of the interactions that take place within them, not only connecting people to a product, but to networks as well.

Some industry watchers  and writers have suggested that the trade show is dead. The notable absence of industry titans like Apple, Google, Microsoft and HP at this year’s CES would seem to support this. In a world where the convenience, ease and cost savings of the Internet increasingly dominate purchasing, and even professional associations, of what use are trade shows and industry conventions?

The bottom line is innovators still have to live in reality, in order to activate their insights. Although virtual reality can be exciting, informative and entertaining, it is still a second hand augmented view of business reality. Tradeshows are the ultimate batch processing of reality, where a less varnished view of the truth can be poked at in person and in real time. Reality can be interactively tested using all of your senses.

 Perhaps this is why this year’s CES saw record attendance and volume of exhibit space, and venues like the Moscone Center are booked nearly every week with some industry event. In the case of CES, over 160,000 people committed some portion or all of a week of their time and excess of $1000.00 to explore close to 2 million square feet of exhibition space.

As innovators, you need to understand your product, customers, market, industry, competition, customers, colleagues, collaborators  and the relationships between all of these in addition to your insight or technology. It takes all of your energy and senses to do this accurately and you also need practice transmitting this understanding in-person to be credible. A trade show is a rapid calibration forum where an in-person interactive demo allows you to ask questions, try things out and observe the facial expressions of those around you to use your judgement about what is real, what is almost real and what is just plain false. In addition, it can be very valuable to witness CEOs’ keynotes and presentations.

On Wednesday, March 5th, the SVII Society meeting will explore the significance and future of trade shows and industry conventions as well as how to get the most out of how to attend them if you are an innovator. Plan to join us for an evening of lively, potent dialogue.

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!


Janet Rae-Dupree
Science, Technology and Innovation Writer

A Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist for her part in coverage of the Los Angeles riots, Janet Rae-Dupree has covered innovation, science and emerging technologies since 1993. Her work has appeared in numerous publications including the New York Times, U.S. News & World Report, BusinessWeek, the San Jose Mercury News. Author of “The Anatomy & Physiology Workbook for Dummies,” Rae-Dupree excels at explaining complex subjects to lay audiences.

As a Stanford Knight Fellow in 2006, she studied innovation and how the process of moving a new concept from development into the marketplace alters that innovation’s future roles. That study led to development of a monthly New York Times Sunday Business column, “Unboxed,” addressing innovation and creativity in corporate America. Her columns were frequently among the top-ranked reads on the Times’ site for weeks after initial publication. A passion for all things sci-tech has led to articles about everything from nanotechnology and biotechnology to clean energy and medical devices. Lately she has been focusing on virtual education and how technology is transforming what we can accomplish with our minds and bodies.

Principal, Technolution

Max Sims has had an extensive career in design, business and computer graphics. Originally a car designer at GM and Renault in Europe, he applied his industrial design skills to work on movie special effects for the films Beetlejuice and Masters of the Universe. He began his computer aided industrial design software career at Alias Research, and later became software product manager  at  think3. He has worked as the Director of 3D Production at Max was the lead writer on “Inside Maya 5”, a definitive 900-page book on short filmmaking, while simultaneously designing theNatus Algo 3i. The Natus medical device won industry awards for Medical excellence and branding. Sims has been an executive producer for virtual worlds in Spain, where he was also an Invited Professor at the University of Salamanca. Since earning his MFA in Design at California College of the Arts, he consults in design strategy in the field of electronic automotive user interfaces and branded design fiction experiences.

Robert Sloan
Chief Innovation Officer, Vevity

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 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.

Consultant, Deloitte Consulting, Positivity Inc.

A born entrepreneur, Cody founded his first company with 7 employees from his parents’ garage at the age of 16. A relentlessly optimistic strategic thinker, he is deeply passionate about helping organizations and individuals discover their unique set of core strengths and learn how to use them. He is relentlessly curious and has a genuine love for exploring the world’s perspectives by getting to know new people. Since obtaining his masters, he has consulted for Deloitte for four years, the first first two years of which were spent 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 is a believer in the transformative power of actively listening to others, and most recently served on the executive team of startup that orchestrated corporate culture transformations by providing life/relationship coaching to everyone as an employee benefit.

“You have your way. I have my way. As for the right way, the correct way, and the only way, it does not exist.” ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

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 &

Email:  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


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


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.




OCT 2nd 2013: Perspectives on Innovations in Food (Consequences or Breakthrough?)

Are innovations in the food industry as healthy as we think it is? Are GMO’s as bad as many believe them to be? This roundtable with discuss the pros and cons of the innovation occurring in the food industry.

This month, SVII is taking on a topic that is literally close to our hearts. Very close in fact: our stomachs.

We all eat. Some of us eat to live, and others of us live to eat. Then, there are those who make their living from food production, preparation, alteration, transportation and distribution. At this month’s roundtable discussion, we will be acknowledging a healthy (and maybe not so healthy) variety of perspectives on innovations in food.

Today, the average consumer has an enormous number of choices regarding food. Eating out, take-out, cooking for yourself, growing your own food, getting it from far away, local, organic, exotic, in season and more. How are we to decide what to choose? There are few domains with so many options as food.
To top that, we also hear very contradictory advice about food. The number and types of diets espoused every year continues to go up and there does not appear to be much convergence in sight. Then again, how much is health and longevity a function of diet or genetics or environment?
In any case, food is something we should be better informed about and true to form, SVII is hosting a roundtable discussion with (as you would expect) more than one (or two) point(s) of view.
So come join us for another lively and at times provocative roundtable discussion!
Note: This event will take place at:

Hangen Szechuan Restaurant (2nd Floor)
134 Castro St. Mountain View, CA 94041
Appetizers will be provided!  (Waiter service will also be available for menu items.)

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

LINDA RIEBEL (Moderator)
Linda Riebel, psychologist and environmental educator, has published professional and popular works in addition to The Green Foodprint. As a faculty member at Saybrook University in San Francisco, she co-created the environmental studies program and co-authored two of its course texts. A graduate of Wellesley College, she serves on the boards of Sustainable Lafayette and SaveNature.Org, where she is the program director of Edible EdVentures, which brings the message of earth-friendly eating to classrooms around the San Francisco Bay Area. Linda has received notable recognition for her work as an environmental educator and author. Most recently, she won a 2012 Green Book Festival Award and was a finalist of the 2012 Next Generation Indie Book Awards. Visit
Dr. Ed Bauman has been a pioneer in the field of holistic nutrition for over 35 years. His vision and leadership have inspired thousands of people to transform their lives in the form of wellness, community, and peace. He received his M.Ed. from the University of Massachusetts, and a Ph.D. in Health Promotion from the University of New Mexico. Dr. Ed Bauman created the Eating for Health model to teach individuals to make nutritionally comprehensive food choices and founded Bauman College in 1989, with a mission to change the world through better nutrition and healthful living. He is a special advisor for the National Association of Nutrition Professionals and brings a wealth of knowledge, wisdom, and a love of good health and good taste to his work.
Alan received his MBA in Foodservice Management with an emphasis in Public Administration at Adelphi University in Garden City, New York. After attending the Culinary Institute of American in Hyde Park, New York, he completed an apprenticeship at the Hotel Schweizerhof in Bern, Switzerland. While teaching Culinary Arts at Laney College, he produced and performed in an acclaimed TV cooking series. Mr. Finkelstein came to San José State University as Executive Chef to oversee the food operations of Spartan Shops, Inc and served in that capacity for seven years. He teaches hospitality and cooking laboratories at SJSU and supervises the student-run First Class Dining Room on campus.
Dr. Sucher received her Sc.D. from Boston University Medical Center in Nutritional Science. She has held several positions in industry before coming to San José State University. She is a recognized authority on how diet, health, and disease are affected by culture/ethnicity and religion. Dr. Sucher has published newsletters, numerous articles, and textbooks on this subject. Her latest textbook is Food and Culture, 4th edition (2004), published by Wadsworth. Other research interests include medical nutrition therapy.
Jillian is a change agent & pioneer in the conscious cuisine and sustainable health movement! She is founder of Bay Area Raw, an organization providing events and social networking opportunities to bring together local businesses, entrepreneurs, visionaries, activists, community leaders and the greater Bay Area community members to share information, celebrate healthy lifestyle and support the growth of the Bay Area Raw Food Movement.  Jillian also runs the Revolutionary Raw Conscious Cuisine Meet Up Group, a community hub for individuals interested in exploring raw food cuisine and optimal nourishment and engaging in lifestyle choices that sustain the planet. Jillian Love is committed to global transformation through conscious cuisine and is an advocate for food justice.  Jillian completed her certification as Associate Raw Food Chef from Living Light Culinary Arts Institute in October 2003. She has her Bachelors Degree in Communications and a Masters Degree in Counseling. She is a Certified Life Coach through The Coaches Training Institute and a Certified Master NLP Practitioner through NLP California. She has lead retreats, taught classes and provided raw dinners, menu consultations and trainings in the USA, India, Thailand, and Indonesia. WEBSITE:
Note: Every month, it is our express desire to bring to you topics of interest, with a conversation started by a variety of subject matter experts. This interactive forum also counts on other attendees bringing up their perspectives as well, and not just a five minute question and answer session at the end.  As always, our goal is to set the stage for a balanced interactive roundtable discussion. Although we seed the discussion with subject matter experts, the audience is also comprised of subject matter experts whose expertise lie in a larger range of topics. And it is within this cross fertilization of intelligent communication people that innovation can often occur. Change often originates from perspectives proffered from outside a field. We strongly encourage additional questions and points of view from everyone in the room.

DEC 5th 2012: High Tech x High Fashion (SV’s New Collection!)

“Fashion requires imagination, creativity, and originality… and allows a person to express (or hide) their identity and individuality… In a world becoming more and more virtual, fashion provides the context… that directly interacts with people on a visual, textural and emotional level.” ~ Simon Travers-Spencer (Designer)

According to Forbes Magazine, the Silicon Valley has once again bucked the national economic trends.  Synonymous with innovation, forward thinking, and creative leadership in technology, this metro-by-the-Bay undoubtedly prevails as a pivotal trendsetter for the global culture.  

So could New York, London, Paris, and Milan have clued San Francisco in on a new formidable partnership? What would happen when the home of Levi Strauss & Co., and world-renowned fashion schools like the Academy of Art, CCA, and FIDM fuses Silicon Valley’s innovative mindset with the bleeding edge originality, glamour, and personality of the fashion industry?

Join us this Dec 5th, to experience and discover the hidden treasures behind the SF High Tech x High Fashion partnership, and the opportunities that may abound for you!

6:30 – Registration (Networking)
7:00 – Dinner Commences
7:15 – Fashion x Tech Intro
7:20 – Presenters
8:10 – Showdance Intermission (Jessie Chen & Roland van der Veen)
8:15 – Panel (moderated by Christos Chrestatos)
9:15 – Wrap-Up (Networking till close at 10:30)
Founder & CTOBespoke Innovations
Scott Summit seeks to connect complex human needs with design and technology solutions. To this end, he founded Bespoke Innovations in 2010, based on 20 years of experience and research in design and additive fabrication. Bespoke was founded on the simple idea that an integrated approach that connects design, medicine and new technology stands to offer more meaningful and individualized solutions to address a wide variety of human needs. As a designer, his clients have included Apple, Nike, Palm, Silicon Graphics, and other innovations-oriented companies large and small. His designs have earned international recognition including top honors from the IDSA, IDEA, The Chicago Athenaeum, IGood Design, and Core77. Summit holds over 20 design and utility patents and has held faculty positions at Stanford University, Carnegie Mellon, and currently holds a faculty position at ingularity University. He has spoken at TEDx Cambridge, the Vanguard Lecture Series, the Summit Series, Stanford’s Entrepreneurial  Thought Leaders series and keynoted at Autodesk University. Bespoke was acquired by 3D Systems in May of 2012, and now drives its medical solutions research.
Co-Founder, myFit Inc.
John Rocha is the Co-Founder of myFit, Inc., a Sunnyvale based fashion tech firm aiming to disrupt the online apparel industry. With myFit, users are able to virtually try on clothing to determine proper fit and style before purchasing. John’s prior experience includes teaching entrepreneurship classes with the University of Notre Dame, and microfinance strategy consulting in Guatemala. John holds a BA from Notre Dame where he received a scholarship for Outstanding Entrepreneurial Spirit from the Mendoza College of Business, and also fought on the ND Boxing Team.



Director / Creative DirectorThoughtpusher
Christos Chrestatos is an experienced filmmaker and director, and also the creative director for Thoughtpusher, a New York City based creative shop specializing in fashion films, commercials, music videos, and “hybrid advertising”.  His work has been featured in The New Museum o f Contemporary Art in Manhattan, XLR8R (leading voice in independent electronic music for the US and many top international markets), RES Magazine (bi-monthly publication chronicling the best in cutting edge film, music, art design and culture), as well as TV channels in countries like Japan, Canada, and Germany. As co-contributor to Open-Source Fashion Magazine, he advises the fashion community on content creation, non-traditional advertising, and branding strategies through filmmaking in order to support identity and expression between designers and their public.

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