Maker Faire in San Mateo, California

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This weekend was the 10th annual Maker Faire in the San Francisco Bay Area. John and Paul and I bought weekend tickets to the event at the San Mateo Fairgrounds. I could not go yesterday due to the schedule conflict but I had a great time at the fair today. John has been involved in open source hardware and software for many years (see his publications on SPCoast). Paul is a skilled ceramics artist and has recently started metalwork at SJSU. We all enjoy seeing the new DIY tools and demonstrations.

I was delighted to see the US Patent and Trademark Office had a booth where they were distributing cards honoring American inventors – among them Ellen Ochoa who is also an honoree on the Notable Women in Computing card deck and poster. The best part of the Maker Faire is watching children engage with tools and technology – learning to create the world they will live in.

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Images Copyright 2015 by Katy Dickinson

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San Jose Night Walks

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I have been joining the San Jose Night Walks (starting from Starbird Park, at 7 pm every Friday). Night Walks are a program sponsored by the City of San Jose as a means of reducing violence. People of faith walk together through neighborhoods identified by the San Jose Police Department as hot spots for gang activity. We talk with neighbors, distribute books to kids, and pick up trash along the route.  This program has already been successful in San Jose and other cities as well. Success is measured by a drop in crime in the neighborhood while connecting with local residents. Rev. Peggy Bryan of St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church (Saratoga, CA) is our walk leader.  Starbird is the second walk route started by Reg. Peggy Bryan in San Jose.

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Images Copyright 2015 by Katy Dickinson

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TechWomen at ABI Women of Vision

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At least 12 TechWomen mentors -Hoda Eldardiry (Xerox PARC), Meredith McKenzie (Juniper Networks), Shalaka Prabhune (Symantec), Shawne Van Deusen-Jeffries (Juniper Networks), Rekha Pai (Juniper Networks), Claudia Galvan (Anita Borg Institute), Myra Nawabi (Lockheed Martin), Ruth Davis (Santa Clara University), Lisa Ramirez (Juniper Networks), Erica Lockheimer (LinkedIn), Audrey Van Belleghem (Anita Borg Institute) and I – were in the audience for tonight’s inspiring Women of Vision annual awards gala by the Anita Borg Institute, held at the Santa Clara Convention Center in the Silicon Valley.  5/15/2015 Thanks to Jeannice, here are more names of TechWomen mentors who attended: Jeannice Fairrer Samani (AACSB University), Felicia Mayo (Juniper Networks). Please send more names if I have missed anyone!

2015 WOV Awards honorees were:

  • Kamakshi Sivaramakrishnan, Founder and CEO, Drawbridge – for Technology Entrepreneurship
  • Julie Larson-Green, Chief Experience Officer, Applications and Services Group, Microsoft – for Leadership
  • Camila Fernandez Achutti, University of São Paulo, Brazil – Student of Vision Award

Student of Vision Award Finalist Julia Edwards (of Smith College) was also acknowledged. It was a pleasure to see so many of my remarkable and accomplished sister mentors present to honor our technical community leaders.

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Photos Copyright 2015 by Katy Dickinson

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Preparing for General Convention: Considering TREC

IMG_9819 Episcopal General Convention 2015 logo

I am looking forward to attending General Convention (“GC”) next month in Salt Lake City, Utah. The delegation members from our Episcopal Diocese of El Camino Real (stretching from the Silicon Valley to San Luis Obispo on California’s central coast) and our Bishop Mary Gray-Reeves have been preparing for this two-week-long event for a long time, some since the last GC three years ago. Rev. Tom Sramek (Co-Rector, Good Samaritan Episcopal Church, San Jose) and I (parishioner at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, Saratoga) have been asked to serve as lead social media communicators, to keep the diocese informed. This is the first in a series of blog posts which will continue for several months.

There will be several major discussions at GC, the election of a new Presiding Bishop to a ten year term being foremost. Another topic almost as important as the election goes by the acronym TREC – for the “Task Force for Reimagining the Episcopal Church“.

Episcopal Church TREC 2014

At the 2012 GC, the Task Force was charged to create a plan for reforming the Church’s structures, governance, and administration. Bishop Mary was a member of the Task Force. TREC’s charter and other documents are on their web site.  TREC was discussed in a church-wide meeting held in the National Cathedral in Washington DC in October 2014, including a video broadcast for those who could not join in person.

Episcopal Church TREC Poster October 2014

About 2,000 people participated in 2012-2014 TREC discussions, plus about 4,000 who participated in-person or remotely in the meeting at National Cathedral. The 74-page TREC Final Report was published in December 2014. The urgency of this work was well expressed by the Task Force on p.6 of that report:

“We believe that to adapt to today’s needs and to strengthen its ability to serve God’s mission as Luke described, The Episcopal Church must address how we “do the work we have been given to do” at every level—congregational, diocesan, and Church-wide. We believe that the Church must reconsider many of its current practices around congregational and diocesan collaboration, congregational and leadership development, clergy formation, Church Pension Fund incentives and initiatives, and the use of our sacred buildings.  … we believe the Church needs to address these issues directly and immediately, and the legislative process is the primary means by which we as The Episcopal Church endorse and fund our communal priorities and directions. The “perfecting” of resolutions is a process shared by members of the Church who are General Convention, bishops, priests, deacons, and lay people from around the whole Church. We recognize that what TREC presents is only one of the steps in this Church-wide conversation and process. And so we put forth three resolutions for General Convention that, if embraced as critical issues and adopted for further action, will engage the Church at every level in faithful and constructive conversation and planning.

We believe this work is at the heart of the reimagination to which we have been called as a task force…”

The Task Force put forth three resolutions for consideration at GC next month (the full text of each is in the TREC Final Report):

  1. A001: Restructure for Spiritual Encounter – more: p.7 and following
  2. A002: Reimagine Dioceses, Bishops, and General Convention – more: p.8 and following
  3. A003: Restructure Assets in Service of God’s Mission in the Future – more: p.10 and following

These are major shifts proposed for how the Church will do its work in the world going forward. Between 25 June – 3 July 2015, GC will discuss its own restructuring – including the possibility of merging the House of Bishops and the House of Deputies in a unicameral model. The TREC resolutions have already proven to be controversial, generating passionate and thoughtful discussion as well as prayerful consideration. The GC next month will surely be energetic and very interesting indeed!

Photo Copyright 2015 by Katy Dickinson

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Mentoring Standard at SunEdison

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While we were traveling with the TechWomen Delegation in South Africa in January 2015, sister TechWomen mentor Dr. Teresa Zhang (Global Design & Engineering – SunEdison) invited me to meet StepUp mentoring program participants at her company. Last week, Mentoring Standard Co-Founder Kathy Jenks and I enjoyed talking with solar energy company SunEdison staff in Belmont – located on the picturesque O’Neill Slough of San Francisco Bay. I was honored to be introduced by Tim Derrick, SunEdison General Manager, Advanced Solutions. We enjoyed speaking with about 30 mentors and mentees in the room and another 24 joining by phone. Questions were excellent!

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Images Copyright 2015 by Katy Dickinson and Kathy Jenks

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2 Days with Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori

Bishops Katharine Jefferts Schori, Mary Gray-Reeves, Rev. Amy Denny Zuniga and daughter

The Episcopal Diocese of El Camino Real and our Bishop Mary Gray-Reeves were recently honored to host a visit by Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori. About 70 of us went with the Bishops on a pilgrimage walk in the Jolon area.  The next day was the annual diocesan Spring Conference, held at Saint Andrew’s Episcopal Church in Saratoga, California. Bishop Katharine lead 150 of us in a series of discussions and meditations, starting with five minutes of silence to consider what it means to be beloved by God. A video of a version of her morning talk is available as part of the General Convention 2015 orientation.

Bishop Katharine is nearing the end of her ten-year term as Episcopal Presiding Bishop or “PB”. I am looking forward to attending General Convention next month in Salt Lake City where her successor will be elected. I have never attended “GC” before and am excited to be going! There will be several key discussions at GC, including recommendations for large-scale reorganization or “re-imagining” of the Episcopal Church, in addition to electing the new PB.  (As a side note – although they are each capable and remarkable, I was disappointed that three of the four candidates announced this month to be considered for Bishop Katharine’s successor are from East Coast USA states – the closest to California is from Ohio, three are white, and all are men.  I was hoping for more variety.)

At the end of the Spring Conference, I was one of the speakers to rise when Bishop Mary asked us if there was anything we wanted to say to Bishop Katherine. I told her that ten years ago, when I first heard that the new PB was not only female but also from the Western state of Nevada, what she was inspired me. To have a western woman lead our church was important to me, to many of my sister leaders in the church, and to our daughters who will follow. Watching Bishop Katharine ordain Bishop Mary in 2007 was a lifetime-memory. Since then, I have heard Bishop Katharine speak at Stanford University, have read her writings, listened to her words, and watched her work. Over these years, who she is as a wise leader has become more important. We will miss Bishop Katharine.

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Images Copyright 2015 by Katy Dickinson

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Making Sourdough Bread

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Kathy Jenks (my partner at Mentoring Standard) and I discussed our current work projects on Thursday as Kathy taught my son Paul how to make sourdough bread. We have been growing the yeast in our San Jose kitchen for the last week. She used the book Bread: A Baker’s Book of Techniques and Recipes by Jeffrey Hamelman (2012) as a reference.

Paul is a skilled ceramicist and his current classes at San Jose State University include both raku ware pottery and metal work, so kneading and moulding a loaf then baking it came easily to him. Future loaves will have a more regular shape, I am sure, but these tasted wonderful!

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Here are some of Paul’s recent art projects:

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dragon 3 . dragon 14

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Images copyright 2015 by Katy Dickinson and Paul D. Goodman

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