US-India Panel Hosted by IIE at LinkedIn

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I enjoyed hearing the “Roundtable on Strengthening Educational Ties between India – U.S.” panel from Gujarat last week.  The event was hosted by the Institute of International Education, with Trish Tierney of IIE-SF as the moderator. The panel was held at the LinkedIn San Francisco offices when registration numbers outgrew the original venue.  I was particularly interested in the discussion about the importance of entrepreneurship and mentoring in India.

The subject of women in technology came up several times. My favorite quotes:

  • “We are focused on women because men would happen in any case.”
  • “For women, Engineering is the last frontier.”

Image Copyright 2014 by Katy Dickinson

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Street Memorial for Toddler Mi-Yana Gregory

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Walking to lunch every day in the San Francisco Mission District, I noticed this sad memorial to the hit-and-run traffic death of toddler Mi-Yana Gregory. The police are still looking for the car and driver that killed the two year old girl. Her family is raising funds to pay for Mi-Yana’s memorial service. 109 people have donated so far toward the $5,000 goal – with $500 left to collect.

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Images Copyright 2014 by Katy Dickinson

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Home Winemaking

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Our friend Murf just held one of his home winemaking parties in Boulder Creek, California. John, Paul, and I got together with a group of family and friends in Murf’s combination HO scale model train layout and winemaking room to help clean equipment, roll barrels, fill and cork bottles, and taste some chemistry. The Cabernet Franc from the last party and the Merlot bottles from yesterday are delicious and will keep this group in table wine until the next party. We are discussing Zinfandel and Barbera grapes for the next buy.

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Images Copyright 2014 by Katy Dickinson and John Plocher

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What I Learned in Brazil

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For many months, I have been enjoying working with the InovAtiva Brasil team – developing an entrepreneurship mentoring pilot program. Even though the Everwise team was only in Brazil for a week, I took away three new cultural ideas:

  1. Never put your purse on the floor – purses should be placed on a chair or table.
  2. It is OK to use your whole name in business correspondence – including all of those middle names that your mother only uses when you are really in trouble.
  3. Do not touch your food – use a napkin or toothpick when you cannot use a knife, fork, or spoon.

This last learning reminds me of my grandmother, Evelyn Louise Van Gilder Creekmore, who never broke a rule of politeness in her life. When the family was talking late at night at her home in Knoxville, Tennessee, she would sometimes share her secret plan. Grandma told us that one day she would give a formal dinner party. She would send out written invitations to all of her stuffiest social friends. Her table would be set with crystal, silver, china, linens and flowers. When the guests were seated and the dinner was served, it would be corn on the cob, olives, barbecued ribs and every food she could think of that was almost impossible to eat without fingers. Of course, Grandma Creekmore never did such a thing – but sometimes she liked to think about it.

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Evelyn Louise Van Gilder Creekmore in 1940

Images copyright 2011-2014 by Katy Dickinson

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Rock People

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We are rock people. When my family travels or goes camping, we come home with rocks. We send each other photos of the rocks we have collected, and give garden stones for holiday and birthday presents. I have shipped rocks home from trips to Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. (When a Customs agent asked “What do you have in there – rocks?” I replied “Of course!”) After a trip to Brasil and a week camping in the Sierras, I gave my mother a necklace with a natural Brasilian agate pendant, plus a river rock from the Sierras. These were much appreciated!

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Images Copyright 2014 by Katy Dickinson

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Embrace an Oak

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Kristoffer is a 7th grader at St. Andrew’s School (Saratoga, California). He presented his Heritage Oak Initiative today to St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church. Kristoffer collected 1,000 acorns from the immense oak tree that dominates the church-school campus. These acorns were grown into 250 starts that are being sold to collect donations for Embrace.

The award-winning Embrace Warmer is designed for hypothermic infants in developing countries. It costs a fraction of the price of a standard incubator, doesn’t require constant electricity, and is portable, hygienic, and reusable.

Embrace now works in 11 countries and has helped over 87,000 low birth weight and premature infants. Kristoffer wrote on the Heritage Oak Initative website:

The Heritage Oak Initiative was founded with two objectives: First and primarily, I wanted to help people who are less fortunate than me, and second, I wanted to give the church and school community a living memory of Saint Andrew’s. The Oak provided a perfect opportunity to do both through its annual production of acorns, which means that the program can live in perpetuity benefiting a separate charity each year.

In addition to being an impressive and generous project by a very young man, today’s presentation was of particular interest to me because Everwise CEO Mike Bergelson and I and used Embrace as our example for quick and successful product development when we presented at the FutureNow event last month. I just bought two of Kristoffer’s oaks today for my own garden!

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Images Copyright 2013-2014 by Katy Dickinson

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Lake and Sky

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I recently caught this lovely image of clouds among the shore grass in the Herring Creek Reservoir. We saw the lake during a family hike in the Stanislaus National Forest while at the University of California’s Lair of the Golden Bear Camp Blue.

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Image Copyright 2014 by Katy Dickinson

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