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Branding, Social Media, Viral Marketing, PR, Blogging, Communications
Interests: food, wine, hiking, writing, photography, books, people, social media, video, really great literature, french and italian design
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SAND is such a great name for a conference and no, it doesn't hold that acronym because it's a travel conference that focuses on adventure in the sand. SAND stands for and is about all things that encompass Science and Nonduality. The mission of SAND is to forge a new paradigm in spirituality, one that is not dictated by religious dogma, but based on timeless wisdom traditions of the world, informed by cutting-edge science, and grounded in direct experience. I first attended the event two years ago (see my blog post from 2012), when it was held in Marin, just north of San Francisco. While they have an annual event in Europe as well, the U.S.-based event is always held in California. This year, they headed south and set up shop for their nearly week long event at the Hayes Mansion on Edenvale Avenue in San Jose California, a resort which was once a lavish private estate. People across continents and from all walks of life started flowing in on October 22 for this annual gem of an event. It was an entirely different vibe this year and I'm not sure if it was due to its extravagant venue choice, the fact that the quality of the content was even better or that I'm a little further along on my spiritual journey. My guess is that it's a combination of all three. Surrounded by lush, emerald green lawns, accented with gardens of vibrant, colorful flowers and guarded by towering palm trees, the 100-year old mansion was transformed into a spiritual wonderland inside and out. Outside was an experiential oasis, which included a sound therapy tent run by Danny Goldberg (below). Here, you could lie down and go into a deep hypnotic relaxation through a series of vibrational sounds. The sounds... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at down the avenue
I spent a few weeks in Tokyo, the well recognized global city most frequent travelers have been to more than once. For this well-traveled chica, it was my first trip, largely since I had been told for years how hard it is to get around as well as how expensive it is to get around. People also talked about the language barrier and truth be told, none of these stereotypes should scare a long time traveler and for some reason, between the stories and the radiation in the north, I put Japan on hold for awhile. In just a few days, after nearly losing my cool getting lost five times in Shibuya's massive maze of a station, I fell in love with this renowned global Asian city. First of all, a few surprises for the record. Formal But Genuine Friendliness: I was astonished how friendly people were despite the language barrier. Regardless of whether I was pointing to my map trying to get directions from a subway station to a restaurant or shop, or simply saying hello, I was greeted by a warm smile and a concerted effort to help even if they didn't speak any English at all. One day as I flew forward in an effort to catch a fabulous shot in the north of Tokyo, I ended up face first on the ground, my camera lens thankfully was still in tact when I finally looked up. What wasn't in tact was my knee, which had lost a chunk of skin and was bleeding profusely. I tried to ignore this little incident because there were far too many photos to take and food to try, however a few women nearby came to my aid by pulling out band aids and antiseptic from their purses and offering them to... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at down the avenue
Imagine an eclectic conference in the heart of bourbon country that brings together thought leaders, big thinkers, educators, scientists, politicians, urban planners, technologists, authors, artists, students and musicians under one roof? And...that is not by all means an exhaustive list. Idea Festival is the one event that I've jumped on an airplane for every year, bound for Louisville Kentucky to make the time for a four day discussion on creativity and innovation. Last year's event coverage will give you a taste of who they attract and while the focus may change slightly depending on who's on the main stage, the mission remains the same: to Stay Curious. Hear from founder and the force behind Idea Festival Kris Kimel; a snippet from a video I shot a couple of years ago will demonstrate his passion for the event and why he started it. Think of it as an intellectual playground in one of America's most interesting southern cities where people celebrate ideas, creativity and transformational learning across multiple disciplines, including science, technology, design, education, philosophy, business and the arts. While not in any of these categories, Walgreen's Chief Diversity Officer Steve Pemberton received a standing ovation for his talk that not just touched on diversity but what it means to be human. His childhood was far from stellar, yet he managed to rise above inequality and obstacles thrown in his path to where he sits today. Truth be told, his talk makes you care about kindness, rethink adversity and if you're a business, understand the importance of diversity. Overcoming seemingly insurmountable odds, Pemberton has gone from being a forgotten ward of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to becoming a trailblazing Divisional Vice President at Walgreens and the first Chief Diversity Officer for the 113 year old company. Prior to that, he made... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at down the avenue
I'm in a taxi whizzing down Boulevard de Magenta, one of those wider than normal Parisian streets. There are cheap shops where you can buy mobile phones, bags and wedding dresses in the windows on both sides and you wonder what surprise will come around the next corner. We pass a sign for a Bach concert at one of the music halls, somewhere around Place de Clichy. My driver hangs a right on Rue de Rocroy and the street gets narrower. Small shops, a coiffure Mixte, a few not so stellar looking 2 star hotels, a cafe brasserie and tabac on every corner, a nail salon and a few optique stores for glasses. In my rear view mirror, I see travel agent and pharmacy signs as we weave in and out of even more narrow alleys and roads. The meter is escalating and I can't help but think of the sign that had prefix prices for certain districts of the city. He is miserable and not worth the fight despite his fabulous taste in classical music which he has blaring from some device in the front seat I can't see. Salt and pepper, a sharp nose, no smile. He refuses to smile in fact and he hates that I am paying by credit card. It was the first Sunday of the month and the sky was hazy but the day was warm, a rarity on Paris visits. I originally had plans to get out of Paris for the day with a friend, take in some gardens and have a picnic in a park however after the plans fell through, I changed course and decided after a taxi towards a more remote spot on the Seine, I would begin to walk and keep walking until the sun set. One of my... Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at down the avenue
It's no secret to anyone who has followed my posts for awhile, that I have a soft spot for the Adirondacks and that I spent my childhood hiking in her woods, climbing her peaks and swimming in her waters. For those who haven't followed my travels and may not even know where the Adirondacks are, it refers to the Adirondack Mountains, a mountain range in upstate New York, roughly a 3-4 hour drive from New York City. The Adirondacks are not that close to get to for urban travelers nor for those who only have a short window to see a few major highlights when they come to the states. If you have a car, it's a fairly easy shot up the New York Thruway but if not, you're stuck on a not so stellar Trailways bus which I had the misfortune of taking this past summer. That said, if you give the Adirondacks your time, you'll experience a serene spirit and sense of peace you've never known before. Does that serenity and peace come from the Mohawk Indians of yesteryear? The Hudson River with her long history and roots? Or, does it come from the pine trees? Perhaps it's the loons who wake you up in the morning and sooth your weary soul as the sun sets? I'm sure it's a combination of all of them and more, or perhaps its merely the remoteness of the place combined with the fact that people are about as genuine as they get. I rarely get back to the Adirondacks for a myriad of reasons. Family have passed or those who are still alive, feel as if they have. The place brings me as much sadness as it does joy for many of the same reasons that Richard Russo writes about in... Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at down the avenue
Imagine a conference that combines surfing, technology and entrepreneurship on Ireland's magical wild coast. A subset if you will of Dublin's Web Summit, the first ever held Surf Summit brought 200 attendees to the west coast of Ireland to join in discussions, surfing and other adventurous and cultural activities. When I told people I was going to an event where they planned to surf in Ireland's coastal waters in the middle of November, they looked at me as if I was a bit mad, unless of course they happened to be Canadian or from a Nordic or Celtic country. You see, the Scots, the Welsh, the English, the Scandinavians and the Canadians thought this sounded perfectly normal, for when you come from a country where it is cold and rainy, you need to have a "can-do" attitude regardless of the climate or you simply won't experience anything at all. I learned this from living in England many moons ago and it has made me a lot more resilient because of it. Iceland is another great example of where their personal and cultural life infiltrates into their business life in a positive way and adds to the entrepreneurial spirit, rather than detracts from it. I was born into water -- in other words, I grew up on lakes, was thrown into one before I could walk and was waterskiing by 5. None of that quite prepares you for the cold waters of the Atlantic, however the enthusiasm of the entrepreneurs at the Summit made it easier to embrace it all. Below is a beginner lesson on the shores of Keel Beach on Achill Island which is part of West Ireland's Wild Atlantic Way. Achill Island is the largest island off the coast of West Ireland. The island is a magical place... Continue reading
Posted Nov 20, 2014 at down the avenue
At the fourth annual Web Summit event in Dublin from November 4-6, 2014, 22,000 people from around the world came to see new gadgets, get cool demos and hear the latest scoop on where technology is heading. Since we love travel, we decided to spend a little time learning about what some of the new travel start-ups were up to on the show floor. While we mostly cover news and destinations for the luxury traveler, we threw in several apps into the mix that would be useful for hotels, airlines, property and guest house owners and even boat owners. What I found fascinating was just how diverse the nationalities were across the board -- there are some creative apps coming out of Portugal, Israel, Germany, Finland, Greece, the states, France, England, Ireland, Italy, Finland, Russia, Brazil, Austria, Holland, Belgium, Australia and even Monaco and Malta, among countless others. I put together a curation of some of the apps I came across during my scouting exercise across three days at this massive technology event. Yonderbound is another B2B solution. Based in of all places Monaco, the female founder team (uncanny fact but they're both named Barbara), is trying to help travelers get a kick back for sharing their knowledge and travel experiences. Millions of people share their travel knowledge on popular sites for free and Yonderbound thinks you should be rewarded for it -- up to 70% of the net revenue you produce. TripFlr is a new travel app from London-based co-founder Jerome Lapaire and team. The pitch? What else but "travel with flair." Remembering the name of a bar or a shop is often a pain. City by city, you can now store your favorite spots and all the places you have yet to discover in your private Triplogs! Georama... Continue reading
Posted Nov 19, 2014 at down the avenue
At the fourth annual Web Summit event in Dublin from November 4-6, 2014, 22,000 people from around the world came to see new gadgets, get cool demos and hear the latest scoop on where technology is heading. Since we love travel, we decided to spend a little time learning about what some of the new travel start-ups were up to on the show floor. While we mostly cover news and destinations for the luxury traveler, we threw in several apps into the mix that would be useful for hotels, airlines, property and guest house owners and even boat owners. What I found fascinating was just how diverse the nationalities were across the board -- there are some creative apps coming out of Portugal, Israel, Germany, Finland, Greece, the states, France, England, Ireland, Italy, Finland, Russia, Brazil, Austria, Holland, Belgium, Australia and even Monaco and Malta, among countless others. I put together a curation of some of the apps I came across during my scouting exercise across three days at this massive technology event. Yonderbound is another B2B solution. Based in of all places Monaco, the female founder team (uncanny fact but they're both named Barbara), is trying to help travelers get a kick back for sharing their knowledge and travel experiences. Millions of people share their travel knowledge on popular sites for free and Yonderbound thinks you should be rewarded for it -- up to 70% of the net revenue you produce. TripFlr is a new travel app from London-based co-founder Jerome Lapaire and team. The pitch? What else but "travel with flair." Remembering the name of a bar or a shop is often a pain. City by city, you can now store your favorite spots and all the places you have yet to discover in your private Triplogs! Georama... Continue reading
Posted Nov 19, 2014 at down the avenue
Last year I missed Web Summit, what has become Europe's number one technology event, amusingly labeled as the Davos For Geeks. I went the first two years and this year's event is a far cry from my year one experience when they only had 500 attendees. Now in its fourth year, 20,000 people flew into Dublin early this week for the premier 3 day event. Founder, Paddy Cosgrave opened the Summit in the morning, emphasizing the importance of the social element to the Summit where deals can – and have been – done. That said, there was still a lot of activity around the main stage, where they had a host of high level discussions and speakers on the hour all day. The center stage had Brendan Iribe, the founder of Oculus Rift who spoke about the rise of virtual reality and its applications in everyday life. Skip Rizzo the Director for Medical Virtual Reality and early stage developer of Oculus Rift gave a demonstration of the technology's uses for post-traumatic stress disorder for returning veterans. From being shot at to street explosions, the virtual reality exposure therapy has assisted veterans in dealing with their PSD, explained Rizzo, outlining how in one recent study, of 23 completers of the therapy, 16 showed gains and benefits resulting from it. Next stage development will be treating civilians who have experienced stressful situations in their lives. Index Ventures partner Saul Klein talked about how entrepreneurialism is becoming mainstream. From money and venture hype to an emotional topic around healthcare. Jorge Soto described how from a personal family diagnosis of cancer, a way to decode disease and identify cancerous cells in their earliest stages may have been found. Then, John Collins of Stripe spoke of the rise of his online payment company and how... Continue reading
Posted Nov 19, 2014 at down the avenue
We've been seeing significant advances in 3D printing lately, a prototyping process that makes it possible to create an actual object from a 3D file. The object is formed by applying successive layers of solid material. This fall in Paris, I attended an event called Digital Day, which was a conference focused on an interactive discussion around the latest in technology and innovation largely from French start-ups. The event held workshops and vendors participated in an area where they showed up their latest. I was fascinated by Sculpteo, who has offices in both Paris and San Francisco. On-site, they had a machine which scanned YOU and then from that scan, was able to create a 3D object of yourself...a miniature version that is. And so, of course I did this, how could I not? Below I'm standing in the machine as I wait for it to circle around me and scan my body. Above is the engineer at work as the image of me comes up on the screen in real time. As it formulates what it needs of my body, I watch in amazement. Sculpteo allows users to upload a 3D file, change the size and dimensions of the object directly within the browser, select a printing material, and order their design to be 3D printed and shipped. Below are a few views on the computer screen of what the Sculpteo machine sees as it scans my body. Here are some of the objects of people Sculpteo has already created to give you an idea of what they're capable of.... I've been waiting to receive my 3D image of myself before posting this review -- alas, it has arrived. How fun! I'm astonished at how realistic it is. It was sitting atop one of my books on a bookshelf... Continue reading
Posted Nov 17, 2014 at down the avenue
This year's Travel + Leisure Smitty Awards recently announced their winners for 2014, an Awards Program which recognizes the companies in the travel and tourism industry showcasing the best and most innovative uses of social media. I am proud to announce that I was a judge this year, together with Skift's Jason Clampet, Twitter's Mike De Jesus, Gogobot's Travis Katz, BuzzFeed's Ashley Perez, travel photographer Cole Rise, NBC Today Show's Al Roker, Google's Rob Torres and travel social media strategist Ann Tran. We reviewed hundreds of submissions and named winners and runners-up in 30 categories. Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts took home the most awards with four wins and Virgin Atlantic and The Hertz Corporation received two wins in two categories each. The winners and their campaigns can be seen on travelandleisure.com/smittys, with additional information available by searching #TLSMITTY on social media. The SMITTY Awards is also featured in the Travel + Leisure July 2014 issue which went on stands in mid-June. To celebrate the SMITTY Awards, Travel + Leisure hosted an event on July 9, 2014 at the Refinery Hotel rooftop in Manhattan. Below are a handful of fun shots I took at the event. Travel + Leisure's Editor-in-Chief, Nancy Novogrod, Renee Blodgett, and Rich Beattie, Travel + Leisure's Executive Digital Editor Above, Four Seasons' Laura Fairweather Above, Tadashi Matsushita from ANA (All Nippon Airways), Renee Blodgett and Athanasios "Tommy" Sikolas of ANA (All Nippon Airways) Above, Rich Beattie Above and below, kudos to the Hyatt team & a few others :-) Above, Travel + Leisure reps from social media, digital and design! Above, Ruth Moran (left) from Tourism Ireland even made a showing :-) Below are the Winners: Best Use of Twitter: Virgin Atlantic; Runner-Up: The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company Best Use of Pinterest: VisitBritain; Runner-Up: Explore Georgia Best... Continue reading
Posted Jul 13, 2014 at down the avenue
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I've attended a few GlazedCon events now and find them to be incredibly useful from both a content and networking perspective. They are specifically focused on an area that is exploding and isn't going to slow down anytime soon: Wearables. We're proud to be a media partner again and this time, GlazedCon is expanding to London on October 22, 2014, where they'll gather together Wearable and IoT executives, along with other top tech thought-leaders to debate the real business opportunities for the hottest emerging tech ecosystem. The event is instrumental for key executives, startups, media, mobile warriers and investors. In conjunction with GlazedCon London, they will be holding the first annual Wearable World Expo where over 50 of the hottest Wearable Tech companies will showcase products so cool you'll actually want to leave with them....or at least let the world know about them! We have a special 30% discount code for those interested in attending below: Discount Code: 30% off tickets glazed_weblogtheworld Eventbrite: www.glazedlondon2014.eventbrite.com Continue reading
Posted Jul 9, 2014 at down the avenue
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The team behind Lima, which consolidates all of your content and enables you to see the same files on all of your devices regardless of operating system or device size, today announced that Partech Ventures, an American-European Fund, has invested $2.5 million in a Series A Financing round to accelerate Lima’s development worldwide. Lima was perceived as a must-have after nearly 13,000 people supported its initial launch on Kickstarter last summer. Lima not only reached its initial funding goal in less than 12 hours, but became the 6th most crowdfunded technology project at that time, raising a total of $1.2 million. The goal of the new investment from Partech Ventures will further accelerate the Company’s development of the Lima platform and allow the team to expand its engineering, marketing, sales and distribution efforts across North America, Europe and Asia. What got me excited about working with Lima is that they provide a solution to the painful siloed data problem that zaps my productivity every day. While I'm a Dropbox user and find it useful for sending huge files when in a pinch or when there's no other alternative, I find the interface too geeky and I can't organize things the way I want. I also have to pay for storage (same ole same ole) and it still means that I can't access my fat photo library sitting on an external hard drive at home from any device I happen to be using at the time. Frankly, it shouldn't be this hard nor should I have to think about it. Unlike other solutions like iCloud Drive, Dropbox and others, Lima doesn’t create yet another silo for your content: it actually reinvents how your devices store data. Composed of a hardware adapter and a multi-platform app, Lima changes the OS architecture of... Continue reading
Posted Jun 4, 2014 at down the avenue
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AT&T Foundry Innovation centers are the home to technology collaboration, innovative ideas and new projects. The center in Palo Alto teamed up with Ericsson and earlier this year, they kicked off a series of interactive discussions led by Cult of the Amateur and Digital Vertigo author Andrew Keen. They host a series of salon-style discussions called FutureCasts, where they bring together the brightest minds in Silicon Valley to tackle the future of a wide array of technologies. Each event brings together more than 30 leading experts – enterprise executives, startup founders, academics, journalists and public officials – on a technology topic. The latest FutureCast focused on the Wearable Revolution and featured Recon CEO Dan Eisenhardt Wednesday night, May 7. The discussion centered around how wearable technology will change our lives in the areas of sports, manufacturing, health, lifestyle and beyond. Dan talked about how their heads up display technology got started and is now being frequently used by skiiers and athletes around the world. Says Dan about simplicity and design in wearables, "you have to focus on the user and what they want. It's often about saying no rather than saying yes which is harder to do. In other words, we need to take more things away and dumb it down so it's an easier experience for the user." Andrew organically brought people into the conversation including myself....my input focused on my hot button, the #1 reason I don't wear ANY wearable product on the market today -- Design -- or rather lack thereof. Since it's still early days, we have a whole lotta technology being built by technologists for technologists and designers are not an integral part of the development process. To my left was one of the guys behind the Rufus Cuff from Rufus Labs which is currently... Continue reading
Posted May 8, 2014 at down the avenue
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The DLD (Digital-Life-Design) Conference has been around for awhile albeit more well known in Europe than in the states. It makes sense since it started in Munich Germany in 2005 and only expanded in recent years, first in Israel and most recently to the states with their first official U.S. conference in New York City from April 30-May 1, 2014. Their mission is to act as a global network on innovation, digitization, science and culture which connects business, creative and social leaders, opinion-formers and influencers for crossover conversation and inspiration. DLD is organized by DLD Media, which is part of Burda Digital and originally founded by Steffi Czerny and Marcel Reichart. DLD has also hosted events in Beijing, San Francisco, London, Moscow, New Delhi, Rio, Hong Kong and Tel Aviv, where there is a growing community because of the efforts of Israeli-based Yossi Vardi who acts as Chairman of the conference together with Hubert Burda. Who attends? The conference is invite only, but the categories and interests of those who make up the audience are aligned with the content. Think creative communities, international leaders, disruptors and thinkers from digital and consumer markets, as well as media, technologists, scientists, designers, politicians, artists and social scientists from around the globe. The format is a combination of keynote style talks and panels. I last attended the original DLD in 2010 and still remember the magic of Munich in January. Snow fell on me as I walked from my hotel to the venue every morning and back every night, the majority of my commute on pedestrian only streets. As cold as it was, I took plenty of shots of remarkable people and activites over the course of a few days. I lived on salty pretzels, sausage, beer and coffee and recall having a fight... Continue reading
Posted May 7, 2014 at down the avenue
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It's been about a month since the Shorty Awards ceremony in New York, otherwise known as the Social Media Oscars! Now in its sixth year, it is an annual event which honors the best people and organizations on Twitter and social media. This year, I was a finalist in the Business Influencer category, which is a great category to be in as a communicator of other people's magic, a talent that some simply toss in the generic publicist category. Over the years, I have found that many executives don't think publicists understand business; they're merely there to communicate a CEO's vision. As odd as that may sound, this mentality is what often leads to failed campaigns and when communications are not made a "strategic" priority of the company, it also leads to failed businesses. And so, business influencer is a great category as far as categories go yet the process had me on edge for days. Here's why! Making it to finalist and staying in the top seven before the voting deadline required work, but not soulful work. It was a sales pitch, that kind of pushy ask that gave the used car salesman a bad name. Once you've been nominated, you need to solicit people to vote for you just like you would if you were running for office. The ask wasn't a quick or easy one since it was confusing for many people to decipher what they had to do to cast a vote....some were miffed they had to give the awards site permission to access their Twitter account, while others were annoyed they couldn't vote from Facebook. Supporters had to send a tweet from ShortyAwards.com or from Twitter that went something like this: I nominate @username for a Shorty Award in #category because...REASON! While I realize that... Continue reading
Posted May 6, 2014 at down the avenue
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Today, Kolibree, the guys who brought the world's first connected electric toothbrush to market at CES in January, announced that their connected toothbrush is now available for pre-orders on Kickstarter, the renowned crowdfunding platform that allows users to help fund a project or product. I've been involved in a marketing and communications role and as an advisor since the beginning, so it has been quite a fun ride so far. Since we first showed the prototype in Las Vegas at the beginning of the year, we have received overwhelmingly positive feedback from everyone from mom's who are excited about being able to monitor their kid's brushing for the first time, entrepreneurs who recognize great innovation and existing electric toothbrush users to geeks and developers who are interested in building third party apps to gamify the experience at an even deeper level. We've come a long way since the beginning and Kolibree's earliest prototype -- it's now time to move this ever so elegant connected toothbrush to the next level! Funds raised from Kickstarter supporters will be used to manufacture and distribute Kolibree’s connected toothbrush, starting with a limited rollout in June and wide distribution worldwide starting in the U.S. and Europe in late Q3/early Q4 2014. Unlike anything else that exists today, Kolibree’s smart, connected toothbrush has a unique technology with sensors to analyze your brushing habits... Those brushing habits are then displayed on a mobile dashboard you can readily access from your phone or tablet. You can learn about your brushing behavior from that data to improve your habits over time. By being armed with smart data, you can be more empowered to take better care of your teeth and make future dentist visits less painful and less expensive. Kolibree is particularly useful for parents who want to instill... Continue reading
Posted Apr 10, 2014 at down the avenue
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When you hear the word DENT, you might have a visual of a dental brand or maybe an auto repair company, but your mind might not automatically jump to a conference in the middle of the Idaho mountains whose goal is to shake things up across industries with technology. Now in its second year, Steve Broback and Jason Preston are the visionaries behind this event, which aims to explore the magic and science of visionary leadership and groundbreaking success. While so many events and conferences focus on one main track or trending idea, i.e, mobile apps, enterprise software, wearables or connected devices, DENT the Future has focused on creating an "experience" for its attendees, all centered around entrepreneurship, leadership and having "fun." Sessions and discussions ranged from mobile development, gaming, delegation and goal setting to the art of design, crowdfunding, wearable tech, data visualization and decoding the language of glamour. We delved into education and IPs and then onto the importance of creating support networks when building a startup, before embarking on a dialogue with Richard Douglas "Dick" Fosbury, who is one of the most influential athletes in the history of track and field. We also heard from Chris Anderson of the CSI Centennial Observatory and the Falukner Planitarium, who shared how the current best understanding of gravity -- based on Einstein's relativity -- suggests that everything creates its own dent in the universe, however small, how this connects everyone to everything, and how the relativity of simultaneity means that we all inhabit our own unique universes. With crowdfunding on the rise as an alternate to traditional angel and seed investment, it was no surprise to see IndieGoGo Founder & Chief Development Officer Danae Ringelmann on the stage in an inspiring fireside chat with Jeremiah Owyang. We explored the benefits... Continue reading
Posted Apr 1, 2014 at down the avenue
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I recently agreed to participate in an online video series on social media in business called Next Generation Power Summit, produced and organized by Australian entrepreneur Rosemary Burnett. The series will kick off March 5, 2014 and run through March 18 and the schedule of social media gurus and expert interviews are listed below. The video interview series aims to help businesses with their online and digital strategy through advice and insights from a host of folks living it and breathing it every day. Objectives of the series are to: Get clear about your core message and brand Build a following on social media Attract and connect with your ideal client in the places they are hanging out. Turn those connections into relationships and sales Learn the strategies the experts have adopted themselves, to achieve ‘big business’ success. I'm up on March 17 however there's a host of great other consultants and specialists in the line-up starting on March 5 beginning with Rosemary's kick off. Note that it is free to participate but you have to register on the main Next Generation Power Summit home page. I'm told that this Tele-summit series is similar in approach to a Global Mentor Mastermind event. There will be the opportunity to watch the video interview replays for a limited time if you can’t make it on the launch date however you will need to register regardless to get access to the content. Continue reading
Posted Mar 3, 2014 at down the avenue
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Well worth checking out for investors, entrepreneurs and technologists on February 11, 2014, is Smart Money Silicon Valley, an interactive event where you can engage directly & intensely with other investors. It is a forum to discuss cultural issues & problems associated with your particular area as regards the startup ecosystem & investment. Smart Money Silicon Valley envisions a global community where the seeds of this investing ecosystem can be planted anywhere. 27 Investors will be speaking during the day including a Cocktail Party at end of day where you can mix with investors socially. Also recently added don't miss the BitCoin & Virtual Currencies Round Table with William Quigley, Clearstone Venture Partners; Jered Kenna, Tradehill; Steve Kirsch, Cointrust; Bill Tai, Charles River Ventures; Nick Shaek, Ribbit Capital. Here is a useful video with thoughts from past attendees and a video of speakers from the November 12 event. 15% discount off registration using code: CBWWDN. Continue reading
Posted Feb 24, 2014 at down the avenue
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This year marks the fourth year I've been involved as co-curator at TEDxBerkeley, an annual TEDx event held at Zellerbach Hall in Berkeley California. Now in its fifth year, this was the first year the event sold out at 1,700 and that's not including volunteers and our team. We had an outstanding line-up of speakers and performers this year, and the talks were centered around this year's core theme: Rethink, Redesign, Recreate. Below is a summary of a handful of the talks, but you can find out more about the speakers on the TEDxSpeaker page and through their online videos which should be posted sometime in February or early March 2014. Kicking things off in the morning was well renowned entrepreneur and former Apple evangelist, Guy Kawasaki, whose talk was entitled The Art of Innovation. Addressing entrepreneurs and wanna-be entrepreneurs, he suggests that rather than draft a mission statement, create a vision with real meaning...in other words, a mantra of why you should exist. Fedex doesn't equate to a series of trucks that deliver packages, but Peace of Mind. He also pointed to the fact that so many companies try to innovate from the same growth curve rather than jump ahead of the curve which is where real innovation happens - that was Kodak's fail btw. Change in an industry is inevitable, so don't lag behind because you're too set in the way you do business and too inflexible to pivot to a new vision before it's too late. When you start to think from a truly innovative place, you're essentially rolling the dice. If you have indeed jumped to the next innovation curve like Apple did, it’s okay to have some crappiness in your product suggests Guy, as long as you get it out there. No surprise coming from... Continue reading
Posted Feb 13, 2014 at down the avenue
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I’ve always loved the word Roots. In English at least, the word always made so much sense to me since the word’s foundation is in fact, a foundation….Roots are the source of where things are formed and grow; they are the part of a plant which attaches to the ground and gives it support, just like a family does. It is also the basic cause and the source of origin of something, like our culture and “hood” provide us throughout our lives. We are all born from a root, a strong thread of sorts that binds us to a known place, a known culture, a known color and a known value system and just like a maple tree knows its soil, we know our own. And, just like that tree grows and blossoms into something rich, pure and beautiful before it eventually withers and dies, we too go through a similar journey, passing through cycles just as nature does, calling on our “roots” to give us the support and strength we need to get to the next stage of our lives. Somehow we have this notion as children that our parents and grandparents won’t ever die because they were the first source of strength, protection and support we ever knew; it doesn’t seem possible that the matriarch or patriarch everyone turned to for strength, would someday lose their own. Having been raised by my grandparents, I’ve experienced the journey to death more often than most people my age and seen more people I care about and love slip away before I felt it was their time. We’ve all experienced death in some shape or form -- even as children, we have seen a family pet or bird we may have only nurtured for a week or two die before our... Continue reading
Posted Feb 5, 2014 at down the avenue
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The fifth annual TEDx Berkeley, which will be held at Berkeley’s Zellerbach Hall on Saturday February 8, 2014, will feature 20 inspiring and innovative speakers and performers who will address this year’s theme Rethink, Redefine, Recreate. From education and healthcare to the monumental shifts we are seeing across technology, digital entertainment, sustainability, communications and the environment, the goal of this year’s event is to open up a global conversation around innovative ideas and transformations that happen when we don’t follow the status quo. The speaker and performer line-up for 2014 includes the following thought leaders and visionaries: Kare Anderson: Kare is Say it Better Center founder, an Emmy-winning former NBC and Wall Street Journal reporter, columnist for Forbes and Huffington Post, and a translator of neuroscience research which improves how we connect and collaborate. Nikki Borodi: Nikki is a musician, clown, aerial acrobatic, yoga instructor and artist who is in the process of writing a circus rock show to inspire people to manifest their dreams. Vangelis Chaniotakis: Vangelis, who dreams of starting his own circus troupe, has been training on partner acrobatics since 2011 while also dabbling in hand balancing, tumbling, and static trapeze. Brenda Chapman: Brenda was formerly a story artist at Walt Disney Feature Animation, story supervisor on The Lion King, helped launch DreamWorks Animation Studios and created, wrote and directed for Pixar Animation Studios including Golden Globe winning Brave. Dr. Al Greene: Dr. Greene is Medical Director at HealthTap, former President of The Organic Center, founding partner of the Collaborative on Health and the Environment and his site DrGreene.com, cited by the AMA as “the pioneer physician Web site”, has received over 80 million unique users. Roberto Hernandez: Roberto co-directed and produced a documentary film which was nominated for three Emmy Awards and won an Emmy for... Continue reading
Posted Feb 3, 2014 at down the avenue
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Paris-based KEECKER is showing off its new smart, wirefree and connected robot on the International CES 2014 show floor in Las Vegas Nevada this week. The new connected device will redefine the home entertainment and connected devices market. With a powerful video projection and 360° audio & capture system, KEECKER allows you to project movies, listen to music, browse the web, make video calls, play video games, transform the design of your home and more, all controlled through your smartphone. Using KEECKER's innovative technology, you can transform your home with just one single device, eliminating the need for so many ”siloed” technology solutions we are forced into using today. KEECKER can project digital rich art, media, images and video anywhere as well as move around your home. Truly wirefree and mobile, KEECKER rolls alongside you using its advanced motorized wheels. Moving beyond entertainment as we know it today, KEECKER transforms any room into an entertainment arena and any surface into a massive and immersive screen. Freed from its ”container”, content can be projected anywhere, whether its traditional entertainment, video, photos, interior design or beyond. Equipped with a powerful video projection and 360° audio and video capture system, KEECKER allows you to project movies, listen to music, browse the web, make video calls, play video games and more. While many devices such as computers and smartphones are solely for personal use, KEECKER enables the sharing of collective experiences at home, bringing families closer together. Interested in taking a dive into the Milky Way or bringing your children under the sea in the comfort of your own home? Want to draw monumental artwork on your walls or create pop up interior design just for a night? Whether you want to walk through your house Skyping with a friend in Tokyo, wake up... Continue reading
Posted Jan 6, 2014 at down the avenue
Kolibree, a company dedicated to innovative solutions to keep you healthy and smart, launched the world’s first connected electric toothbrush last night at the large renowned Unveiled Media Event in Las Vegas on the eve of the 2014 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES). Unlike anything else that exists today, Kolibree’s smart toothbrush has a unique technology to analyze your brushing habits and display them on a mobile dashboard you can readily access from your phone. Kolibree’s connected toothbrush is paired with a mobile app. You simply download the free mobile app, connect via Bluetooth and every brushing is recorded. Then, the data about how you brushed automatically synchronizes to your smartphone telling you whether you brushed long enough and reached the hard-to-reach but important parts of your teeth and gums. With the Kolibree connected toothbrush and mobile app, you can take control of your health and teeth with easy-to-understand monitoring and scoring. You can easily share your stats with your dentist and family or choose to keep it private. Designed for families, the app works with several toothbrushes so the entire family can participate. Kolibree rewards your progress and cheers you on when you are improving, allocating points to kids to encourage them to improve their brushing habits. The Problem Kolibree Solves: Your dentist may have told you that plaque and tartar build up can lead to losing your teeth if not monitored and acted upon fast enough. Many people don’t realize that poor dental care can also impact the overall care of your health. While Kolibree does not proclaim to solve periodontal disease or suggest that it can keep cavities or gingivitis at bay, the better you take care of your teeth, the more likely it is that you can and will avoid serious problems. Before Kolibree, the issue... Continue reading
Posted Jan 6, 2014 at down the avenue