SF Spring Meetings 2019 – Choose Your Own Adventure

We’ve put together a series of cross-council learning opportunities that will take place on Tuesday, April 16th from 4-7p. Members attending the Spring meeting will get to choose the workshop(s) you are interested in so we’re calling it ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’.

We have sessions that focus on what’s next with industry leaders like John Hagel and the Uber Elevate team, and some that focus on Blockchain technology or how AirBnb thinks about customer experience. We are also offering sessions that focus on key leadership skills like infusing laughter, driving innovation, communication, learning from games, being a board member and a new way to experience art.

Space will be limited in each session and assigned on a first come, first served basis so take a look to get a sense for which adventure you’re interested (you’ll rank your preferences).


Hands-on Blockchain: Explore blockchain technology, smart contracts, and digital currencies

Capacity: 20

This session will give you first-hand experience exploring and utilizing blockchain technology. We will use state of the art approaches and tools to create blockchain accounts, explore blockchain ledgers and transactions, deploy and interact with smart contracts, acquire and handle digital currencies, use Decentralized applications, and conduct an Initial Coin Offering (ICO).

Prepare yourself for an immersive experience that will uncover the potential and current state of one of the most hyped technologies of this century. The session will be hosted by Alexander Fred-Ojala, Blockchain Instructor and Research Director at UC Berkeley, and co-founder of the UC Berkeley Blockchain Lab.


Uber Elevate: The Future of On-Demand Urban Air Transportation

Capacity: 15

Uber’s Elevate (aka UberAir) program is working to transform the world through aerial ride sharing at scale. Imagine soaring above congested ground traffic – Uber believes this future is closer than you think. Uber is developing shared air transportation—planned for 2023 between suburbs and cities, and ultimately within cities.

Members will hear from the Uber Elevate team about it’s approaching this vision and will have a discussion about all of the industries (including yours?) that will be impacted.

You’ll also get a tour of one of Uber’s most innovative office spaces and get to see prototypes of some of the vehicles that will support this vision!


Slow Art Experience atS the Museum of Craft & Design

Capacity: 6

Erin McKean will host a slow art adventure to help you discover the joy of looking at and loving art while developing visual literacy and observation skills.

Erin is known for many things. She works at Google as a Developer Relations Program Manager, she is the founder of the not-for-profit Wordnik.com, the world’s biggest online dictionary. She has been the editor-in-chief of American Dictionaries for Oxford University Press.

She speaks at conferences and write books – in fact, Erin is the author of three Weird and Wonderful Words books, the best-selling novel The Secret Lives of Dresses, and (most recently) The Hundred Dresses, a field guide to dresses. She’s written regular columns for The Boston Globe and the Wall Street Journal and her writing has also appeared in The New York Times, PAPER, Foreign Affairs, and Sew News.

She’s served as an advisor to the American National Corpus, the journal American Speech, the Wikimedia Foundation, and serves on the KPCB Design Council, and is an honorary fellow of the Society for Technical Communication. When you meet her, please tell her your favorite word. She’s also a longtime friend of Slow Art Day and will be hosting this workshop at the Museum of Craft & Design.


Customer experience @ AirBnb

Capacity: 10

Darin Evanson is a Former Council member and was the COO for the Navy Seals before joining Airbnb. Darin has arranged for a small group of CG members to visit the AirBnB HQ in San Francisco.

As part of this experience, members will get to hear how Airbnb thinks about and organizes Customer Success, about “Renaissance” – their big service design project, and how they incorporate Love into what they do. 

Members will also receive a tour of the innovative HQ building and workspaces and end with a cocktail and a discussion.


Reinvigorate your team and spur new ideas with Design Thinking

Capacity: 16

Wondering what all the Design Thinking buzz is about? Looking for new ways for your team to tackle challenges? Just like sticky notes and the smell of Sharpies? Then this workshop is for you! 

Council moderators Vidya Dinamani & Elizabeth Peaslee will lead you through a 2-hour interactive session that will leave you with a better understanding of how a Human-Centered Design approach can be used to reinvigorate teams and spur new ideas, as well as hands-on experience with a set of Design Thinking techniques that you can take back and use with your teams (and even your family).

All experience levels with Design Thinking are welcome and encouraged – like yoga, it’s a practice, not a perfect!


Right from the Game Go!

Capacity: 20

Longtime Council member, Troy Anderson, is not only a great product leader, but he is an international expert on the Japanese game Go. Author of the book, The Way of Go: 8 Ancient Strategy Secrets for Success in Business and Life, Troy is only one of five Americans allowed to train at the Japanese Professional Go Academy.

In this workshop, Troy will do two things for fellow Council members: 1) review the 8 ancient strategy secrets from the game Go that every product leader and GM should know; 2) actually show participants how to start playing the game.

Note: Troy will also talk about how Google DeepMind’s AI recently – and surprisingly – beat the best human Go players. What was even more remarkable is how the AI defeated humans at Go and what that can teach us about the future of AI.


How to be [or find] your Board MVP

Capacity: 15

Join us in a discussion about what makes an effective board and board member, as well as authentic stories that help to de-mystify the boardroom. Former Council member, Jocelyn Mangan, will lead this discussion as she has at Stanford and in other forums she organizes as part of her venture called Him For Her.

Him for Her is a not-for-profit venture aimed at accelerating diversity on for-profit boards. The organization engages leading “Hims” to introduce the world’s most talented “Hers” to corporate board service.


Speaking for influence: Leadership and communication

Capacity: 15

Council member Mike Laddin spent 17 years as a Dale Carnegie certified instructor alongside his full-time gig is as a Product Development leader at EBSCO. He will run a hands-on workshop focused on leadership and communication.

The focus will be on practical things you can do as a leader to improve your communication and influence. This will be an interactive session with members practicing some basic but powerful approaches.



Leading with Laughter

Capacity: 15

We’ve all been told that professional and personal success requires “serious” dedication, yet humor can be one of the most powerful leadership tools available to create a connection with your team, your colleagues and your customers. Council members Dave Gilbertson and Gonzo Schexnayder will lead this workshop to talk through the leadership lessons learned from both stand-up comedians and improv comedy.

Dave managed Emmy-winning comedian Louie Anderson, ultimately getting up on stage himself in Las Vegas, all while a software executive and father of 3. He recently gave a TEDx talk on this topic, which will be directly translated to this session.

Gonzo has performed in plays, sketch comedy and improv and studied improv at The Groundlings, ComedySportz and Second City, where his instructors included well-known actor Steve Carell, and is also a product director and father of 3.

This will be an interactive workshop to both talk through situations in which humor can be a more powerful tool in your leadership toolkit and, ultimately, putting some of the lessons to use with an improv session.

What’s next with John Hagel

Capacity: 15

John Hagel, who today runs Deloitte’s Center for the Edge, will be welcoming a small group of Council leaders for a conversation. Hagel is a remarkable scholar and entrepreneur – he is a Fellow for the World Economic Forum, on the boards of a number of startups, has been named one of the top 25 most influential people in the Internet world, and regularly consults CEOs of leading Silicon Valley companies.

He’s done some extraordinary recent research on emotion and willingness to learn/ask for help as critical factors in the success (or not) of startups and high-growth companies. He’s also thought a lot about the changing global dynamics (populism, globalism, Brexit, etc) and regularly consults CEOs on what’s next.

In this workshop, a small group of council members will have the chance to talk with Hagel about his and the Center for the Edge’s latest research, the challenges that face the world at the macro level, and the challenges for leaders in their teams and companies