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What Silicon Valley has taught me - Last 2 days

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A first-hand experience in Silicon Valley


By Gabriel Giehl Martins
MBA Best Student Leader 2017

The last day of visits started at a refurbished military facility called Presidio near to the famous Golden Bridge. We headed to the World economic forum center for the 4th industrial Revolution to have a session about this recently created center and to talk about one specific emergent technology, Blockchain.

The World Economic Forum is the international organization for public-private cooperation and aims to engage the foremost political, business and other leaders of society to shape global, region and industry agendas. 

According to the WEF: “The fourth industrial revolution – the current period of rapid, simultaneous and systematic transformations driven by advances in science and technology – is reshaping industries, blurring geographical boundaries, challenging existing business, and even redefining what it means to be human.”

The Forum´s Center for the Fourth Industrial Revolution is a newly established focal point within the international community for multistakeholder dialogue and concrete cooperation on governance challenges and opportunities presented by advanced technologies. It serves as a public-private platform for the collaborative development and refinement of frameworks and protocols that more fully anticipate risks and accelerate social benefits of technology.

In practice, the center brings together governments, business organizations, dynamic start-ups, civil society, academia, and international organizations to identify and prioritize game-changing impacts of emerging technologies, co-design innovative governance protocols and policy frameworks, and pilot and scale them with partners around the world.

They are focusing on 7 pillars:

  1. AI and Machine Learning -> Project areas: decision-making tools for corporate boards, protocols for government use of AI, and standards for AI targeted at children; 

  2. IoT and connected devices -> Project areas: prioritizing security during IoT design process, bolstering public privacy protection, advancing transparency and openness, and mobilizing market forces for equality;

  3. Blockchain and distributed ledger technology -> Project areas: digital identity and certification, supply chain integration, smart contracts, and currency and monetary systems;

  4. Autonomous and urban mobility -> Project areas: scaling insights from the City of Boston pilot project, developing city-wide mobility and data management platforms, launching the New Mobility Coalition and building CityWeb knowledge platform for city transportation officials and leading executives;

  5. Drones and tomorrow´s airspace -> Project areas: New paradigms for drone regulation, drone delivery for remote populations, policies for drone-delivered data, reimagining aircraft certification and protocols for medical delivery.

  6. Precision medicine -> Project areas: generating evidence of precision medicine´s effectiveness, data-sharing, and related infrastructure, integrating a precision medicine approaches to regulation, pricing and reimbursement for diagnostics and treatment, and patient and public engagement;

  7. Digital trade and cross-border data flow -> Project areas: developing a regulatory toolkit for e-payments, new policies for enabling e-commerce, a risk-based approach to data policies and accelerating innovation in trade economy.

Heading to the Hyatt Regency San Francisco Hotel, we met Jonathan Littman and his wife. He gave us a lecture about innovation and design thinking and shared with us his experience after more than 30 years of professional experience. We put in practice his methodology to create a new product or service for people in San Francisco. Guess which group won the competition ?.

During the session, Jonathan shared with us a summary of his book, The Ten Faces of Innovation. If you haven´t read, please buy one copy for you today.

The last session of the day was at Wework, another famous co-work places around the bay area. We visited the facilities and had a session about AICEP Portugal Global, an independent public entity of the Government of Portugal, with the goal of attracting foreign investment to Portugal and supporting the internationalization of Portuguese companies into the global economy.

But the most interesting part was the Pitch session, where we could put in practice what we´ve learned during the seminar and test our pitches. Each one of us delivered a pitch followed by group feedback. It was definitely a great learning experience.

That was it. Four days of visits and talks and the seminar was done!

On the fifth and last day, we had only a morning session to wrap up and discuss what we've learned during the week. We had also a speech on how to be an innovator leader and how to implement innovation in our companies. But this is a topic for another article.

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