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Solve for X: Solutions that Spark Change
65 minutes | May 7, 2021
Social Justice as the Key to Climate Future with Futerra's Solitaire Townsend
Welcome back to the PeaceX series! We sure do have a treat for you this week: a candid conversation on the intersectionality of climate justice with the one and only, Solitaire Townsend. Solitaire is a green entrepreneur and co-founder of sustainable strategy agency, Futerra. Inspired by a nuclear dump in her area, teenage Solitaire became a climate justice activist with big dreams and nothing to lose. Little did she know that her optimistic endeavors would lead her to co-founding Futerra and being a published author decades later. In this episode, Solitaire and Margarita touch on many things under the umbrella of justice, the intersectional solution to climate and social issues. They discuss everything from cookstove pollution to small-scale solar energy to public transportation and even to gender equality. Tune into this episode for a moving take on the possibilities of multi-dimensional solutions and what you can do starting Monday morning to make a change. +++++ Connect with Margarita on Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/margaritaquihuis/ Connect with Solitaire on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/solitairetownsend/ And Twitter: https://twitter.com/GreenSolitaire More on Futerra here: https://www.wearefuterra.com More on The Happy Hero here: https://www.thehappyhero.org
67 minutes | Mar 30, 2021
Government Tech & Adaptability During Covid-19 with e.Republic's Dustin Haisler
Welcome back to the PeaceX series! This week we're catching up with Margarita's long-time friend and former partner-in-crime, Dustin Haisler, to reminisce about how a 19 year old kicked off a gov tech revolution in an itty bitty town in Texas and how a chance meeting at SXSW started a powerful collaboration. Dustin is currently the Chief Innovation Officer of e.Republic, the nations leading state and local government media and research firm. Dustin was formerly the Chief Information Officer and assistant city manager for the city of Manor, Texas. Dustin and Manor Labs were recognized by the White House Office of Innovation within the first 6 months of its launch—Manor Labs put Dustin and city of Manor on the map! In this episode, Dustin and Margarita discuss the necessity of gov tech for innovative problem solving in state and local governments. Dustin specifically touches on how government agencies are struggling with change management during a time where remote work has become increasingly abundant. Covid-19 has changed the playing field of previously face-to-face services, especially in the realm of government services. They also dive into how we can create a government system that is open to experimenting for innovation. In Dustin's words, "innovation, when done right, isn't one person's job; it's everyone's job." For more on on incentivizing tech as a utilities infrastructure, the challenges of creating smart cities, innovation in the public sector, venture studios and so much more, tune into this enlightening episode! Check out Dustin's work here: https://www.dustinhaisler.com Connect with Dustin here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/dustinhaisler/ https://twitter.com/dustinhaisler Check out e.Republic here: https://www.erepublic.com More on gov tech here: https://www.govtech.com https://www.governing.com
75 minutes | Feb 18, 2021
The Positive Peace Impact of EncourageX with Founder James Brown
Welcome back to the PeaceX series! If you're looking for some inspiring and positive vibes this week, you've come to the right place. In this discussion, Margarita sits down with EncourageX founder and chief encouragement officer, James Brown. EncourageX is a service that enables people to actively and intentionally improve their relationships through acts of encouragement. In this episode, JB gives us a bit of a high school anecdote that led him on the path of encouragement, the fear, uncertainty and doubt that can cloud our perspectives, and how we can act with intentionality in our relationships and every day life. For more on the power of running for freshman class president, using emotional training wheels, and going to school with Brad Pitt, tune in to this touching discussion with James Brown! ++++++++++ Check out EncourageX here: https://encouragex.com/encourage Connect with James Brown here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jamesebro... More information about the who, what, when, and how you can get involved here: https://www.peaceinnovation.com/ Add yourself to the Peace Innovation Network Bootcamp Waitlist Here: https://learn.peaceinnovation.com/boo... Don't miss a beat, follow us on social too: Twitter: https://twitter.com/peaceinnovation Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/peaceinnova... Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/peaceinnovat... LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/peac... Podcast: https://solveforx.carrd.co
82 minutes | Jan 22, 2021
Webinar and Q&A with Rob Chesnut: Former Chief Ethics Officer of Airbnb
Welcome back to the PeaceX Series! If you missed out on our December webinar and Q&A with Rob Chesnut, don't fret—this episode will get you all caught up. In this live webinar, Margarita sits down with Rob Chesnut, author and former Chief Ethics Officer of Airbnb to discuss ethical frameworks and practice within Airbnb and businesses at large. Rob gives us some valuable insights on how to operate an ethical business through building honesty and integrity not only with your employees, but also with your customers and consumers. Rob and Margarita also discuss a plethora of examples of ethical and not-so-ethical interactions they have experienced in their professional lives. If running an ethical business is up your alley, stay tuned for some audience Q&A at the end of the webinar! Check out Rob Chesnut's Book, "Intentional Integrity" here: https://www.intentionalintegrity.com More on Rob Chesnut's work here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/robchesnut/ Add yourself to the Peace Innovation Network Bootcamp Waitlist Here: https://learn.peaceinnovation.com/boo...
58 minutes | Jan 5, 2021
Harms Modeling for Ethical Technology & AI with Microsoft's Mira Lane
Welcome back to the PeaceX series! We're excited to kick off the new year with an extremely important discussion of tech ethics. In this episode, Margarita sits down with Partner Director of Ethics & Society within AI at Microsoft, Mira Lane. As Microsoft has matured into an ethical role, Mira started her ethics & society team in 2017, motivated by a sense of deep responsibility in the tech work that she is doing with Microsoft. Throughout this riveting conversation, Mira and Margarita discuss designing the future we want to live in through current ethical tech and business. They touch on the process of ethical auditing from the beginning of product development as an ingrained framework rather than an afterthought. Furthermore, Margarita adds her own take on ethics being shaped more by lived experiences rather than "hard" skills. Tune into this episode for more on Microsoft's Harms Modeling, community jury, peace data, and the fine line between utopian and dystopian futures. You won't want to miss this first episode of 2021! For more on Microsoft's Harms Modeling: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/architecture/guide/responsible-innovation/harms-modeling/ For more on Mira Lane's professional work: https://www.linkedin.com/in/miralane/ Connect with Mira on Twitter: https://twitter.com/mira_lane Connect with Mira on Instagram: https://instagram.com/miralane
71 minutes | Dec 29, 2020
Navigating Peace Tech and Diplomacy During Covid-19 with Karma Ekmekji
Welcome back to the PeaceX Series! On this week's episode, Margarita sits down with mediation advisor and founder of Diplowomen, Karma Ekmekji. In this discussion, the two peace pioneers discuss the possibilities present at the intersection of diplomacy and peace tech. One of the burning questions brought up during their discussion is: how can we monetize peace in order to advertise it as more profitable than war? The incentive for peace and diplomacy only increases in importance as interpersonal connections decrease due to the Covid-19 pandemic, especially in regions of the world such as the Middle East. Tune in for more on connectedness, the value of people, and the accessibility of products and services in this discussion with Karma!
33 minutes | Dec 7, 2020
Data versus Emotion: How Can We Take Better Care of Each Other?
Grab a glass of your finest wine to join Mark and Margarita for this week’s episode of the PeaceX Youtube Series. Mark and Margarita sit down to discuss systemic racism and social injustices, their daunting parallels and connections to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the desire to incite change in an unjust world. Margarita’s experiences as a minority woman in tech shines a light on the importance of intersectionality in businesses and everyday life to combat systemic injustice. As MQ puts it, “Justice is a way that we take care of each other better.” The passion to incite positive change in your community must be followed with positive action - you can take the first step by tuning in this week!
58 minutes | Nov 25, 2020
Conscious Tech Startups & Investment with Salma El Hariry and Hala Gabr
Silicon Valley is a living, breathing hub for all things innovation, entrepreneurship, and investment...but what is the state of entrepreneurship, innovation and investment outside of the Valley? In this week’s episode, innovators Salma El Hariry and Hala Gabr walk us through the concept of conscious tech, the Vested Summit, and how we can create an ethical and flourishing future globally. Salma is an Egyptian serial entrepreneur and Silicon Valley veteran — she is the visionary behind investment platforms, S[k]aleUp Ventures and Vested Summit. Hala is a digital media engineer, interdisciplinary designer and Vice President of S[k]aleUp Ventures. Salma coined the term “conscious tech” to describe impactful, risk-taking and problem-solving technologies. Together, Salma and Hala created S[k]aleUp Ventures to provide socially responsible entrepreneurs, or “conscious techies”, with an audience and community of investors to fund their conscious tech startups. Salma and Hala’s geographic focus for S[k]aleUp Ventures lies in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). Investors can support these startups through CrowdWealth, and gather to discuss and watch these entrepreneurs in action at the world’s largest conscious tech summit: Vested Summit. Over the past 7 years, they have supported 120 MENA startups that collectively raised $60M. As a female-led team of innovators focused on MENA, they are bringing a new, feminine touch to the consciousness entrepreneurship and investment journey. Their journey has certainly been an uphill battle, which Salma advises every aspiring entrepreneur to brace themselves for. One of their most recent struggles was a last-minute investor withdrawal just moments before one of their events; however this minor setback served as a reminder that there is a very special niche for conscious tech startups and their respective investors. A major pain point for Salma, Hala and conscious tech startups everywhere is the lack of investor certainty and security in their ROI from ethical and sustainable startups. The good news is that we’ve been preaching about how running an ethical business has a profitable Return on Integrity. Socially responsible startups will attract the right socially responsible investors, and that’s exactly what the Vested Summit is for. If you’re interested in competing in Vested Summit as a startup, the deadline to submit your application is November 30, 2020! Tune in for so much more on: Competing as a startup in Vested Summit Salma’s origin story and Silicon Valley experience Hala’s origin story and connecting with Salma MENA youth taking tech and innovation in their own hands Pandemic-created opportunities in MENA References Sponsored by Game Design Thinking Margarita’s LinkedIn Salma’s LinkedIn Hala’s LinkedIn Vested Summit Competition S[k]aleUp Ventures
35 minutes | Nov 20, 2020
Can Peace Be Engineered?
This week, Margarita and Mark sit down to discuss engineering and finance principles, how these disciplines have evolved and been adopted over time, and how they apply to our daily lives today. They then take engineering a step further into the immense value of Peace Engineering, human interactions and ecosystems, and being able to innovate a more positive and just future in our communities. Tune in this week for more on making a difference on a phenomena through a discipline like Peace Engineering!
48 minutes | Nov 14, 2020
Inclusion and Diversity in Design-Thinking with Aishatu Gwadabe
In this week's episode, peace pioneer Margarita Quihuis sits down with peace advisor and PIN bootcamp member Aishatu Gwadabe to discuss design-thinking. Specifically, they touch on the downfalls of "post-colonialism", Western influence, and inclusivity and diversity in design thinking. By evaluating the influence that western thinking has in post colonial countries and regions, Aishatu and Margarita conclude that the only way to craft real solutions to pressing issues in these areas is to lose the hierarchical power dynamic. Rather, we must shift away from an ego-centric system and towards and eco-centric system, where all beings are valued equally and included equally. Tune in for more on how inclusion and diversity can make for a better present and future with Aishatu Gwadabe!
29 minutes | Oct 23, 2020
Is Ethical Capitalism a Myth?
When you think of ethical capitalism, what comes to your mind? Is it wishful thinking, or a real opportunity to progress and learn from one another? In this week’s philosophical episode of Solve for X, Peace pioneers Margarita Quihuis and Mark Nelson discuss all things data and how data can be used to promote ethical business and financial practices. Both Margarita and Mark have worked with big data and data analytics since the beginning of their inauguration into the tech world in the early 2010s. Prior to the mainstream use of data analytics, corporations overlooked important issues such as customer lifetime value, while some businesses simply lacked the resources to uncover their ‘data insides’.. In this episode, Mark refers back to the beginnings of BJ Fogg’s Persuasive Technology Lab at Stanford in the late ’90s and early 2000s. Essentially, Fogg discovered that in order to build persuasive tech, it must thrive on data - more specifically, behavior data. Fogg focused on how technology augments our ability to become more of the people we want to be. Fast-forward to the present day, we see countless ethical dilemmas becoming more and more uprooted due to capitalism and its discontents. How can we use all of the available data in the world with the intention of collectively bettering the public? With the Data Revolution picking up, it is exciting to see how data can be used to promote positive peace and ethical capitalism around the world. Margarita and Mark also mention how ethics should no longer be bound to just a college course, but rather taken as an opportunity that should be operationalized. Using peace data, we can conduct various ethical ‘experiments’ to see what works best for whom, what, when, and where. As we become increasingly human-centered with our design thinking, we allow ourselves to create value for each individual, which ultimately creates compassion towards one another. In the end, this compassion creates and promotes peaceful and ethical interactions all over the world. Here’s more of what you can expect in this episode: The power of data and analytics in all things business How peace data can be used to create ethical capitalism in our society Augmenting technologies in the process of creating ethical capitalism Breaking out of our “silos” to collectively find solutions AirBnb’s use of ethical capitalism within its own system And much more! Resources: Sponsored by Game Design Thinking Margarita Quihuis’s LinkedIn Mark Nelson’s LinkedIn
23 minutes | Oct 9, 2020
Entrepreneurial Myth-Making and Successful Enterprise with Rajesh Chandran
Last week we talked about how being a solopreneur is actually really hard. Rajesh kicks off this episode by emphasizing the importance and necessity of an honest, collaborative and strong co-founder to share your enterprise and struggles with. One suggestion that Rajesh practices is to go through the prototyping experience with your potential co-founder, and then decide if that is a relationship that you want long-term. When embarking on an entrepreneurial journey, it is also super easy to fall for the idea that other, exemplary entrepreneurs are inherently perfect and have perfect products and services. Despite the myth-making that exists within the realm of entrepreneurship, we must refocus our energy and attention on our own journey, goals and accomplishments - and be prepared for failures and setbacks. It’s more normal than you may think! Another factor in myth-making and perfectionism is the idea that a product or service must be minimalist and technologically viable to be successful. Rather, the point is to create a viable product, enterprise or business. If creating a viable product means scrapping an idea that you love and moving on, you need to rip that bandage off. Tune into this episode to hear more about: Opportunity mapping The value of procurement, purchasing agents and billing relationships An entrepreneur’s positive peace impact Resources Sponsored by Game Design Thinking Join the Peace Innovation Network Margarita’s LinkedIn Rajesh’s LinkedIn Actual HQ
49 minutes | Oct 3, 2020
The Future of Responsible Entrepreneurship & Digital Economy with Rajesh Chandran
What makes an entrepreneur successful? What sort of experience, partnership and decision-making does entrepreneurial success require? In this second of three part discussion with Rajesh Chandran, CEO of Actual, we discuss what characteristics and experiences make for a successful entrepreneur moving forward into the uncertain future. Having a well rounded corporate experience and a team certainly helps, but the bottom line is that being a solopreneur is actually really hard. That’s where having a solid support system, such as the Peace Innovation Network, is invaluable. So what about the future of existing start-ups and companies? The companies that will succeed during these uncertain times are those that can deliver essential products and services to those in need in a sustainable and profitable way. If existing entities can’t make it happen, an aspiring entrepreneur will, and they will succeed and thrive instead. If there is a problem then there’s a paint point, and if there’s a pain point then there’s an entrepreneurial opportunity. Rajesh explains that there are hidden benefits to making positive decisions for social impact, which then has a cascading effect on other aspects of a community. If you, as an entrepreneur, don’t view decision-making in a holistic way, you’re missing out. Tune into this episode to hear more about: Creating holistic narratives The importance of practicing mental hygiene Entrepreneurship as a subculture Digital marketplaces and economy The informal economy and technological exclusion Resources Sponsored by Game Design Thinking Join the Peace Innovation Network Margarita’s LinkedIn Rajesh’s LinkedIn Actual HQ
42 minutes | Sep 25, 2020
Modeling & Rationalizing Socially Responsible Infrastructure with Rajesh Chandran
Does a lack of imagination slow down peace innovation and technologies? Rajesh Chandran is an entrepreneur and CEO of Actual, a green infrastructure and urban planning platform inspired by the DIY world of decision making that is SimCity. Actual helps to justify, model and rationalize tech-related projects, investments and their impact. So, instead of us being in the service of technology, how can we get technology to be in service of a community and society? Sustainable peace is positive peace. If we want to create solutions and make investments that promote long-lasting peace, we need to be able to model and rationalize them and their social and environmental impact. Rajesh explains that the factors of social and environmental impact are crucial in making and investment and in developing intuition. The principles and intersectionality of peace innovation are extremely valuable in socially responsible decision making and investment, as you factor in the disciplines of not only peace engineering, but also peace finance and peace data. Post-colonial thinking is one of the steps in creating a more socially conscious narrative that reminds us of the legacy of single dimensional thinking, and pushes us towards multidimensional thinking. For example, Margarita touches on the detrimental legacy of redlining in certain communities and how this legacy creates a limiting narrative that those communities are not investible. Rajesh also proposes the project of bringing broadband to all of Kenya, where the superficial belief is that there is not a viable market for this sort of project. Contrarily, the population of Kenya is relatively young and Actual can be used to show that there is actually a demand for this type of commercial activity in those areas. Creating models and multidimensional narratives of these projects to rationalize potential investments highlights the blindspot that many organizations and entrepreneurs have when it comes to imagining new, sustainable solutions. Tune in to this episode to hear more about: Progression and reality of ROI possibilities Elite projection and the Silicon Valley savior complex Margarita’s entrepreneurial and networking experiences The phenomena of food deserts Resources Sponsored by Game Design Thinking Margarita’s LinkedIn Rajesh’s LinkedIn Rajesh’s startup, Actual HQ Johan Galtung’s Negative and Positive Peace
23 minutes | Sep 18, 2020
How to Take Care of Our Communities Through Small Episodes of Engagement
2020 has arguably been one of the most tumultuous years in recent U.S. history, although it has offered many the opportunity for introspection and reflection. Margarita and Mark take this episode to reflect on how we can take better care of each other during these trying times. Winner-take-all mentalities are toxic - especially right now, when the need for good and peace in the world is at an all-time high. In terms of game design thinking, this mentality would be that of the sociopathic Dominator game player archetype where you can only be successful by bringing others down. Rather, the more expansive mentality would be that many of us can win, because many of us can have mastery of this game. The ability to accept multiple winners in the game of life has a lot to do with neuroplasticity and the type of mindset that one holds. Carol Dweck at Stanford University studies growth versus fixed mindsets, and the ability of us to rewire our brains and have agency over our lives. Our mindset and response to events in our lives give us some sort of agency and contributes to achieving some sort of inner peace. In order to have something valuable to offer to others and our communities, the first person that we need to start with is ourselves. Only once we have internal fulfillment can we show up to be kind and abundant to others. Margarita portrays this concept of self-abundance and subsequent generosity through the oral history in her family. Her father would tell stories of her grandfather, who luckily still had a job during the great depression, but was selfless despite the economic circumstances. He would hunt and spend his money on 50lb bags of rice and beans, and he would go and give people in his neighborhood their rations of food. That’s just what they did. It was all about non-transactional, cooperative sharing. It’s all about the idea that: we will take care of each other as long as we need to, and that’s how we will get through it all in the midst of uncertainty. There’s more to Mark and Margarita’s conversation than just that. Here’s more of what you can expect: Mark's community experience in his Papua New Guinea upbringing Margarita’s venture capital lessons in strengthening social fabric The impact of technology and social media in making a change The value of non-transactional relationships Cocktail chatter over LinkedIn And MUCH more! Resources Sponsored by Game Design Thinking Mark - LinkedIn Margarita - LinkedIn Dr. Carol Dweck’s Mindset Research
55 minutes | Sep 16, 2020
International Innovation & Scalable Technology with Christel De Maeyer
What would Lyft look like if it were designed by Belgians? What would Twitter look like if it were designed by the French? How would the functionality or the scalability of these technologies differ? While immersed within a specific country and culture with commonplace technologies, it is quite easy to overlook the impact of these pieces of technology on other cultures, and the impact of other cultures on innovation. In this episode, lecturer, researcher, entrepreneur and Belgian resident Christel De Maeyer provides us with useful insights in innovating for scalable and transnational technology. Is there a culture of tipping in the country or region that you’re listening from? In the U.S., tipping for services is almost as ordinary as using the services themselves. Tipping in Europe, however, is atypical - so perhaps a Belgian version of Lyft would lack a tipping option. Would this Belgian version of Lyft be scalable to the rest of Europe? Likely not, as Christel explains that the 24 different languages in Europe can often act barriers to innovating for scalable technology. Furthermore, each country in Europe may have a slightly different set of regulations and standards for innovation. On the other hand, technology can also act as a facilitating tool to bring countries together rather than separated by cultural differences and barriers. Artificial intelligence (AI) is an important example of such facilitating and augmenting technologies, especially in an increasingly data-driven world. Christel notes that data sets are especially valuable and decisive in the training and aesthetics of AI technology, as they can fuel bias - further highlighting the importance of a human touch in technological innovation. As an entrepreneur or innovator, do you ever feel like you need a breather? With the help of the Peace Innovation Network, Christel is currently developing a chatbot to help you do just that! ‘Breathie’ is an emotional AI chatbot with a goal of helping entrepreneurs and innovators relieve stress through an emotional understanding and set of responses. Christel and her team even attempted to train the chatbot to tell jokes; however, the timing of the jokes within a given conversation is a work in progress! Margarita and Christel’s conversation is chock-full of insights and ideas surrounding innovating for scalable, transnational technology. Here’s more of what to expect: A discussion of the value privacy and security in different countries International differences in customer service and customer support Wearable devices Training AI with a human touch Etiquette as a social code Game designer in residence Chris Bennett’s MDAO model for innovation What actions you can take after listening! References Sponsored by Game Design Thinking Margartia’s LinkedIn Christel’s LinkedIn Christel’s AI chatbot, Breathie Join the Peace Innovation Network Emotional Design: Why We Love (Or Hate) Everyday Things by Don Norman Rosalind Picard’s Work
36 minutes | Sep 4, 2020
Bridging the Gap Between Design and Data with Avantika Mohapatra
On this week's episode, peace engineer Margarita Quihuis sits down with mechanical engineer and product designer Avantika Mohapatra to discuss her trajectory and thought process moving from being a BMW automotive engineer to an AI designer. From discussing cars, to Scandinavian design, to the capabilities of AI, Margarita and Avantika draw a meaningful connection between the disciplines of engineering, design, and peace. If you're someone who enjoys cars, the click of an AirPods case, and ethics in design and AI, then this episode is the one for you. Tune in for this insightful episode covering a few disciplines that can be intersected with peace!
69 minutes | Aug 26, 2020
Finding Inner Positive Peace: Co-commitment, Growth Mindsets, & Social Impact
Welcome back to Solve for X: Solutions that Spark Change! In this thought-provoking discussion, the two peace pioneers talk through the power of controlling our interactions with others and why negativity in relationships is notoriously contagious. They’ll also dive into the topic of happiness and how we can create and spread our own happiness to those around us, as well as the importance of having a powerful growth mindset to solve problems rather than relying on others to find solutions. References Sponsored by Game Design Thinking Co-dependency Co-committed relationships Victim consciousness Taylor Kinney, Los Salseros de Stanford Peace Innovation Lab at Stanford PeaceX interns Culture around putting others first Growth vs. fixed mindset Annie Gentes Value of failure in Silicon Valley The story of Fairchild Semiconductors The happiness of giving Shownotes This time Mark Nelson and Margarita Quihuis discuss the power of co-committed relationships and growth mindsets to propel you to progress even in the face of failure. And remember to register for our Game Design Thinking course! Many mental hurdles come from victim consciousness and feeling that events and problems in your life are outside of your control. Coupled with a fixed mindset, it can often be difficult to focus on growth, finding solutions and setting realistic goals. The first step is focusing on yourself and what you can control, especially in your relationships. Being co-committed not only puts less stress on you and less tension in the partnership, but also makes it easier for your co-workers, partners and friends to collaborate with and reciprocate you. Mark and Margarita took the long way around to co-commitment after years of co-dependent effort while starting the Peace Innovation Lab at Stanford. This summer they even started designing their own workplace culture around a network of co-committed relationships among their first group of PeaceX interns. Oftentimes when startups can’t manage to turn a profit, the partnerships survive and move on to improved ventures. Once you know where you’re coming from, it’s easier to pursue your goals even when you fall short. Especially in Silicon Valley where a lot of innovation is all-or-nothing, every failure is a learning opportunity and a step towards a better product. Innovating based on hope makes it easier to create products that are more than profitable. They can be desirable, sustainable and philanthropic to create a world of abundance and justice for everyone. Check out the full episode for more on: The benefits of relational happiness How to better design co-committed relationships Setting aspirational goals and bringing them to reality Dealing with risk and learning from failure Profiting from aspiration And MUCH more!
49 minutes | Aug 26, 2020
Where It All Began: Silicon Valley and Positive Peace
Today, we can’t even begin to imagine the Peace Innovation Institute without Mark and Margarita at the helm of it all. But as difficult as it is to envision, there was a time when the two of them weren’t working together. And in the first episode of the Solve for X podcast, we thought it’d only be fair to take our listeners back in time and talk about how these two peace pioneers met! Though he was born in Canada, Mark grew up in various parts of the global south. These global experiences and travels made him profoundly aware of the strong social, relational, and cultural capital in these areas, even in the absence of material wealth. So, from a financier’s perspective, he saw a clear opportunity to rebalance these wealth gradients and create positive change. On the other end, in 1995, Margarita remembers watching the ticker screen as computer services company Netscape made its IPO to great success. A self-confessed geek, she quickly got a license for Netscape, set up her company’s IDSM line, transitioned from coax wired intranets to Ethernet, and rewired the entire floor. ALL before the internet was even usable by the public. Through a series of events, she began building a new system for product development that was pioneering the system that later became known as agile methodology. So, both Mark and Margarita were achieving great things separately. But what brought them together? Well, both of them were finding their way through Silicon Valley at around the same times. Mark was working his way around the venture capital scene, where he was mostly reading 80-page business plans. Margarita started her undergraduate studies at Stanford University. Mark first got to know Margarita through her many accolades and accomplishments via her LinkedIn. And then, in 2006, he messaged her with an idea for a startup. And the rest, as they say, is history. BUT, there’s more to Mark and Margarita’s meeting than just that. Here’s more of what you can expect: Mark's first research project and how it informed his future work One of Margarita’s valuable secrets to success The evolution of social network platforms right from the 60s How they discovered the principles of BJ Fogg How a Hispanic-net workshop sparked their professional relationship And MUCH more! Resources Mark - LinkedIn Margarita - LinkedIn Global South Piece detailing Netscape’s IPO in 1997 The Homebrew Computer Club Hispanic - net
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