thoughts on Silicon Valley Comes to Lisbon

Silicon Valley Comes to Lisbon happened last week.  An initiative of Beta-i, Portuguese non-profit for Entrepreneurship, based on a similar model which took place in Oxford UK.  A brilliantly organized, full day with a range of optional talks, it united a young generation of entrepreneurs and start-ups, willing to learn from the expert guests all the way from the Valley. Some inspirational bits: John Harthorne (founder Masschallenge) on "Failing your way to victory" "You should aim for failure. The alternative to failure is mediocrity.  It is the least attractive option.  Failure is exercise through the soul."

William Burnet (D-School Standford University) on "Design Thinking: Innovation Based on a Design Culture" "When standing on top of a mountain, it really matters which side you let the rock fall." "Don't solve a problem that noone has." "The science of creativity: You don't see what you are looking at.  You only see what you are looking for." "Courage is action in face of fear."

Philip Rosendale (founder Second-life) on “Managing with Style – finding your way in leadership” "Open and transparent, it is probably the way of the future."



* A Thought on Sustainability *

This was probably the best organized conference/networking event I have to date attended! The usual name tags given at such events, this time, did mention which company you are (what is in a name anyway?!) -  instead, 3 keywords which describe what you actually do, were nicely displayed under your name.  So, when eye wondering around the room, you would look at someone's belly's and understand what they do.

It was clear throughout the space that green event management had been considered, which is close to mandatory for an event of this scale.  Several trash separation units clearly labelled, and during lunch break you could test-drive a Nissan Leaf, and this is great!

However, in my sustainable thinking, I rather avoid waste, instead of correctly handling waste.

Aside from the lovely plethora of organic fruit baskets, food related waste became a problem.  Evidently so, when after lunch the little recycling stations were overflowing with waste. Lunch was served (by  Go Natural) in individual paper bags containing; a plastic wrapped sandwich, desert in plastic container, a plastic spoon (in plastic wrapping), paper napkin, with optional plastic packaged orange juice, or glass bottled water.  Adding to this equation, the mini milk cartons available, the mini fruit drinks available, times +100 guests, sums up to truck of waste.

In face of this major design problem unsolved, I left with the thought; there is a long way for improvement in Green Event Management. Especially events which promote innovation, need to seriously push boundaries and get creative to avoid generating unnecessary waste.

Don't get me wrong, I really love food.  Just hate feeling guilty when eating.