Rainforest Rev: Summit Begins, More Wicked Problems

The Rainforest Revolution
News on growing ecosystems for innovation and entrepreneurship


Global Innovation Summit + Week is here.

Today we start the world’s greatest conference on creating innovation ecosystems.  We will begin with:

  • Opening Keynote Interview by Mary Kay Magistad of BBC Radio and Public Radio International with Kamran Elahian, Chairman of Global Catalyst Partners.
  • Design Lab #1: The Rainforest Scorecard & Radar, where all will contribute their Rainforest Scorecard data to build the first ever mapping of global innovation ecosystems onto Rainforest Radar charts.

If you’re at the Summit, we hope this newsletter helps stimulate your discussions with the global innovation community. If you couldn’t make it this year, you can still tweet your ideas to #gisw15. We are streaming tweets live throughout the day at the Summit, and we will hear you!

Check out the GISW agenda and calendar at the bottom of the newsletter!





Don’t Try to Tame Wicked Problems: Part 2

Alistair Brett, International Technology Commercialization Advisor for T2 Venture Creation, from The Innovation Rainforest (blog)
In the last few years international development organizations seem to be discovering complex systems and wicked problems. The Rainforest Scorecard: A Practical Framework for Growing Innovation Potential is a measurement methodology based on complexity characteristics, and does not assume linear cause-and-effect relationships, but does recognize that ‘emergence’ is a critical feature of complex adaptive systems. Read more here.


A Recipe for Success

The Economist
The chance that any new startup will grow into a successful, sustainable company are extremely small. So while the number of startups is often used to measure the health of a particular region’s tech sector, it probably means less in the long-run than being able to account for the number of businesses that have a real chance of succeeding. The researchers from MIT’s Sloan School of Management have developed a new way to evaluate the quality of startups, rather than relying on their quantity to ascertain the strength of any particular tech region. Read more here.


Storytelling Your Way to a Better Job or a Stronger Start-Up

The New York Times
The age-old art of storytelling — something humans have done since they could first communicate —has become a new buzzword. In these days of tougher-than-ever job searches, and competition for crowdfunding among start-ups looking to be the next Google or Facebook, it’s not enough just to offer up the facts about you or your company to prospective employers or investors. You need to be compelling, unforgettable, funny and smart. Magnetic, even. You need to be able to answer the question: what makes you so special? You need to have a good story. Read more here.


11 Reasons 2015’s Outlook For Women Entrepreneurs Is Coming Up Roses

Women entrepreneurs could boost the economy in a way that hasn’t been seen since women entered the workforce in mass numbers in the 20th century, according to Sources of Economic Hope: Women’s Entrepreneurship, a report by the Kauffman Foundation, which researches and advocates for entrepreneurship. Read more here.


Couples Counseling for Tech Co-Founders? It’s Actually a Thing

KQED Public Radio
Relationship problems between co-founders is one of the biggest reasons companies don’t make it. Increasingly in Silicon Valley, business partners are looking for help before things go downhill — they’re signing up for couples counseling. An imbalance in co-founder relationships can be insidious. In cases like that, good ideas get dismissed, opportunities are lost. A counselor’s job is to help build trust, communication and empathy. Read more here.




More Incubators Foster Startups in Europe Amid Harsh Economy

The Wall Street Journal
Since the start of a grinding recession six years ago, Europe has seen a sharp increase in the number of business incubators and accelerators, spreading beyond well-known tech clusters in London, Berlin and Stockholm. A study last year tallied a nearly 400% increase in such startup programs since 2007, and found that the number of European programs—260—was roughly comparable to the U.S. on a per capita basis. Read more here.


The World’s 10 Fastest Growing Metropolitan Areas

The Brookings Institution
With only 20 percent of the population, the world’s 300 largest metropolitan economies account for nearly half of global economic output. The fastest growing metro areas this year — as measured by Brooking’s Global Metro Monitor, which uses an economic performance index that combines employment and GDP per capita growth — are concentrated in China, Turkey and the Middle East. Read more here.


Commerce Dept. Tries to Kickstart U.S.’s Sputtering Entrepreneurial Economy

The Washington Post
Not commonly known as a resource for Silicon Valley-esque start-ups, the Commerce Department plans to announce a pair of new projects intended to support high-growth young companies and help revive the country’s sputtering entrepreneurship engine. Read more here.



Global Innovation Summit

The Global Innovation Summit is the world’s largest gathering for building ecosystems of innovation and entrepreneurship.  Here’s the agenda.

February 17 to February 19.  Silicon Valley, CA

Tuesday, February 17, 2015 

  • Special Sponsored Breakout Session
    • Dr. Leon Segal, Founder, Innovationship
  • Opening Ceremony: Welcome and Introduction to the Summit
    • Victor W. Hwang, Executive Director
    • Mark Newberg, Deputy Director
  • Opening Keynote Interview
    • Interviewer: Mary Kay Magistad (BBC Radio and Public Radio International)
    • Kamran Elahian (Chairman, Global Catalyst Partners)
  • Design Lab #1: The Rainforest Scorecard & Radar
  • Evening Event: Celebration of Art & Innovation

Wednesday,  February 18, 2015

  • Special Breakfast Session
  • Opening Case Study – The Shinola Story
    • Interviewer: Loren Feldman (Entrepreneurship Editor, Forbes)
    • Bridget Russo (Marketing Director for Shinola and Bedrock Manufacturing)
  • Design Lab #2: Thinking Outside the Box
  • Conversation #1: Design.
  • Innovation Inside: Building Innovative Teams
    • Moderator: Joe Sterling (Head of Consulting, T2 Venture Creation
    • Pablo Salazar Rojo (Managing Director, Naranya Ventures)
    • Natalie Sweeney (Senior Business Innovation Strategy Consultant, Highmark)
    • Jeanine Becker (Lecturer in Law, Stanford Law School)
    • Patrick Davis (Senior Officer for Strategic Initiatives, Calvert Foundation)
    • Emily Lutyens (Co-CEO, Legworks)
  • Rubik’s Cubed: Creative Problem Solving at Scale
    • Moderator: Ade Mabogunje (Senior Research Associate, Stanford University)
    • Megan Kachur (Creative Development Manager of Innovation, Walt Disney World)
    • Conrad Von Igel (Executive Director, Centro De Innovacion)
    • Maggie Hsu (Director of Marketing & External Relations, Las Vegas Downtown Project)
    • Maryann Feldman (Heninger Distinguished Professor, Univ. of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)
  • Educated Insight: The Reinvention of Learning
    • Moderator: Diana Walker (Principal, Walker Impact Strategies)
    • Mark Hatch (CEO, TechShop)
    • Rick Beyer (President Emeritus, Wheeling Jesuit Univ.)
    • Wanny Hersey (Superintendent & Principal, Bullis Charter School)
    • Wayne Li (Oliver Professor of the Practice of Design & Engineering, School of Industrial Design, Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Case Studies: Design of Startup Ecosystems
    • Moderator: Tom Guevara (US Department of Commerce)
    • Prafull Anubhai (Ahmedabad University)
    • Isabel Alvarez-Rodriguez (External Relations, Inter-American Development Bank)
  • Networking Lunch with User-Generated Discussions
  • UAE Interactive Lunch Lab
  • Conversations #2: Capital
  • Atlas Hugged: When Big Money Builds Global Ecosystems
    • Moderator: Mark Newberg (Managing Director, 5 Stone Green Capital)
    • Per Fredrik Ilsass Pharo (Director, Government of Norway’s Climate & Forest Initiative)
    • Jason Baron (Managing Director & Head Portfolio Manager for Social Investments, US Trust)
    • Gordon Myers (Chief Counsel, Technology & Private Equity, International Finance Corporation)
  • Catching Waves: Investing in Emerging Ecosystems
    • Moderator: Allen Taylor (VP, Global Network, Endeavor Global)
    • Paul Breloff (Managing Director, Accion Venture Lab)
    • Jessica Loman (Director of Operations and Impact, Toniic)
    • Walid Bakr (Director, The Abraaj Group)
  • Making it Matter: Impact Investing at the Cutting Edge
    • Moderator: Cathy Clark (Adjunct Professor and Director, CASE i3, Fuqua School of Business, Duke University)
    • Raul Pomares (Founder, Sonen Capital)
    • Miguel Granier (Managing Director, Invested Development)
    • Abigail Noble (Associate Director & Head of Impact Investing Initiatives, World Economic Forum)
  • Case Study: Investing by Geography
    • Moderator: Ben Thornley (Founder & Managing Director, ICAP Partners)
    • Ahmed Alfi (Founder, Sawari Ventures)
    • Nasir Ali (CEO, Upstate Venture Connect)
  • Case Studies: Designing Ecosystems
  • Case Study: The Catchafire Story
    • Rachel Chong (CEO, Catchafire)
    • Moderator: Cynthia Muller (Senior Director of Impact Investing, Arabella Advisors)
  • Financial Health: New Solutions for Underserved Markets
    • Arjan Schutte (Managing Partner, Core Innovation Capital)
    • Jennifer Tescher (President & CEO, Center for Financial Services Innovation)
  • Case Study: Crowdfunding: Circling Up
    • Moderator: Mark Newberg (5 Stone Green Capital)
    • Jason Yuan (CircleUp)
  • Design Lab #3: Building Solution Prototypes
  • Ecosystem Design Gallery
  • European Startup Showcase

Thursday, February 19, 2015

  • Special Breakfast Session
  • Something in the Air: Measuring, Understanding and Driving Innovation Culture
    • Julie Lenzer Kirk (Director of the Office Innovation and Entrepreneurship, U.S. Department of Commerce)
    • Henry Doss (Chief Strategy Officer for T2 Venture Creation)
    • Alistair Brett (International Technology Commercialization Advisor for T2 Venture Creation)
  • Conversation #3: Leadership
  • Phoenix Rising: Triumph Over Crisis
    • Moderator: Michael Lesnick (Senior Partner, Meridian Institute)
    • Dr. Sakena Yacoobi (CEO, Afghan Institute of Learning)
    • Jeff Finkle (President & CEO, International Economic Development Council)
    • Earl Robinson (Principal, RLMcCall Partners)
    • Chid Liberty (CEO, Liberty & Justice)
  • Insight Included: Diversity by Design
    • Moderator: Adiba Barney (CEO, SVForum)
    • Kumardev Chatterjee (Founder & President, European Young Innovators Forum)
    • Ursula Oesterle (Vice President of Innovations, Swisscom)
    • Nola Masterson (Founder & Managing Director, Science Futures)
    • Bill Tobin (Partner, Strayer Consulting Group)
    • Eric Ball (Treasurer & Senior Vice President of Finance, Oracle)
  • Case Studies: Leading the Technology Commercialization Process
    • Moderator: Soody Tronson (Founder and Principal, STLGip, Technology Law Firm)
    • Victor Hwang (Co-Founder & Executive Chairman, Liquidity Corporation)
    • Mir Imran, Chairman & CEO (InCube Ventures)
    • Andrew Farquharson, Managing Director (InCube Ventures)
  • Case Studies: Leading Public Policy to Grow Ecosystems
    • Moderator: Greg Horowitt (T2 Venture Creation)
    • Juan Camilo Quintero (Executive Manager, Ruta N)
    • Chinenye Mba-Uzoukwu (InfoGraphics Nigeria Ltd.)
  • Design Lab #4: Synthesis & Action
  • Closing Keynote Conversation – Fostering the Entrepreneurial Spirit
    • Moderator: Loren Feldman (Entrepreneurship Editor, Forbes)
    • Nancy Pfund (Founder and Managing Partner, DBL Investors)
    • Fadi Ghandour (Founder and Vice Chairman, Aramex)
  • Awards and Closing Ceremony
  • T2 Rainforest Scorecard & Master Plan — Q&A with the Authors
    • Moderator: Joe Sterling (Head of Consulting, T2 Venture Creation
    • Henry Doss (Chief Strategy Officer for T2 Venture Creation)
    • Alistair Brett (International Technology Commercialization Advisor for T2 Venture Creation)

Global Innovation Week

February 15 to February 21.  Silicon Valley, CA

Sunday, February 15

  • 11:00-5:00PM. Family Science Days. Host: American Association for the Advancement of Science. Location: San Jose Convention Center

Monday, February 16

  • 5:00-6:00PM.  Rainforest Architects and Makers Reception (private). Host: T2 Venture Creation. Location: Marriott Hotel, San Jose

Tuesday, February 17 

  • Morning.  Inventing Tomorrow’s Manufacturing. Stanford’s Strategic Foresight & Innovation. Innovation Leadership Board, Lux Research Location: Stanford University.
  • 1:00PM. Hands-On Innovation: Prototype Locally, Innovate Globally
  • 6:15-8:15PM.  Celebration of Art & Innovation. Global Innovation Summit, City of San Jose, and Anno Domini (for registered Summit attendees only). Location: San Jose

Wednesday, February 18

  • 8:00AM. Regional Innovation Ecosystems: Foundations for Growth in the 21st Century
  • 1:00-6:00. The Future of Personalized Vehicles. Host: SVForum.  Location: Quadrus, Menlo Park
  • 5:30-7:30. Greater Phoenix Innovation Showcase. Host: Greater Phoenix Economic Council.
  • 6:00-7:30. European Startup Showcase. EYIF. Location: Marriott Hotel, San Jose
  • 7:30-9:30. TechShop Open House. Host: TechShop. Location: San Jose.

Thursday, February 19

  • 8:00-11:00AM. Tea With a Twist. Host: Global Privat. Location: Marriott Hotel, San Jose
  • 11:00-1:00PM.  Innovation in R&D: Lunch & Learn (by invitation only). Host: BayBio. Location: South San Francisco
  • 2:00-4:00PM. Convening the Conveners (private). Host: Opportunity Collaboration and Global Innovation Summit. Location: Marriott Hotel, San Jose
  • 2:00-6:00PM. Clean Tech Commercialization — Rapid Prototyping for Global Deployment. Host: Urban Innovation Exchange. Location: Prospect Silicon Valley, San Jose
  • 3:00-5:00PM. Startup Funding Disrupted: Understanding the New Venture Ecosystem.  Host: DLA Piper.  Location: Xerox PARC, Palo Alto
  • 5:00-6:30PM. Design Thinking: A New Foundational Science for Engineering and Innovation Ecologies. PARC Forum (with Stanford design researcher Ade Mabogunje).  Host: Xerox PARC.  Host: Palo Alto.
  • 6:00-9:00PM. Entrepreneurship in Brazil. Host: BayBrazil. Location: San Jose

Friday, February 20

  • All Day. International Startup Marketplace. Host: Hult Business School.  Location: San Francisco
  • 8:30-5:00PM (thru Saturday, February 21). Franchise for Humanity: Act for Impact. Host: Franchise for Humanity. Location: Stanford University
  • 2:00-5:00PM Embracing Multicultural Entrepreneurship. Host: Global Filipino Network and STAC Silicon Valley. Location: UCS – Haas School of Business


Blackbox Connect Startup Showcase + Dinner Party – powered by Google for Entrepreneurs

February 20th, 5:00-9:30 PM, G|café at Galvanize, 44 Tehama St., San Francisco

Blackbox and Google for Entrepreneurs invite you to a night of startup demos, pitching and networking at the brand new g|café at Galvanize in San Francisco. This will be a very special evening concluding the 10th edition of Blackbox Connect.

16 startups representing 15 countries were selected in partnership with Google for Entrepreneurs’ global network of tech hubs. For 2 weeks the founders live and work together, attending workshops, meeting distinguished executives, accomplished investors, and successful founders from Silicon Valley.

On Friday, February 20th, this handpicked group of international founders will showcase their products and pitch on stage to a panel of investors. We are looking forward to seeing you this special evening, celebrating the accomplishments of these amazing founders and the 10th edition of Blackbox Connect!

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