GRIP – The Future of Innovation

I founded the Grass Roots Innovation Program (GRIP) in 2009 with a view to bringing together leaders and innovators from different points of view to EMC and the Silicon Valley community.  GRIP going into its 4th year has grown into a Bay Area series of seminars, lectures and panel discussions featuring well-respected leaders & innovators from a diverse set of industries and careers. Speakers discuss their leadership styles, personal visions, and strategies for success while reflecting on their views around leadership and innovation. GRIP is sponsored by EMC, but attendance at GRIP events is open to anyone regardless of employment status or company affiliation. As luck would have it, EMC’s Merissa Hamilton and Whitney Mullin are the new co-directors, as their passion for innovation has grown along with their commitment to the community at large.

Many of the speakers have come to the program via connections with Bill Daul Founder of NextNow Network and Nosostros Salon. These groups of visionaries were selected to meet regularly to explore and transcend creative and intellectual boundaries — from the past…to the here…to the next now. Then there is our friend Jeff Chow a member of the governance board of Global Women’s Leadership Network (GLWN) and serial social entrepreneur.  He and his wife Shirley Chen, PHD work with many other organizations, including the Salvation Army, One World Children’s Fund, the Big Turtle Fund (sea turtle research and environmental education), and numerous organizations working in Africa.

GRIP is one example of community coming together to form new alliances.  I am still amazed by the power of our microcosm of Silicon Valley,  where competitors regularly become allies, when their passion is fed by a vision of what the new world can be through partnership and collaboration.

In mid-2012, I took a new role at EMC working in the Office of the Chief Technology Office (OCTO).  In addition to a number of  other assignments I also worked on University Programs with Rhonda Baldwin, PhD. and OCTO University Research Manager. New to this function I invited Dr. James (Jim) Spohrer, Director IBM University Programs to our GRIP.  At this program, “The Future of Innovation”, Jim discussed the role of universities as knowledge engines.

Join me as Rhonda Baldwin asks Jim a few interesting questions on innovation like:

  • Is there a dark side of innovation?
  • Is there a cap on innovation?
  • Where do you get together with the greatest innovative minds?

More About Dr. James (Jim) Spohrer

Dr. James (Jim) C. Spohrer is IBM Innovation Champion and Director of IBM University Programs worldwide (IBM UP), Jim works to align IBM and universities in regional innovation ecosystems globally.   Previously, Jim helped found IBM’s first Service Research group, the global Service Science community, and was founding CTO of IBM’s Venture Capital Relations Group in Silicon Valley.  During the 1990’s while at Apple Computer, he was awarded Apple’s Distinguished Engineer Scientist and Technology title for his work on next generation learning platforms.  Jim has a PhD in Computer Science/Artificial Intelligence from Yale, and BS in Physics from MIT.  His current research priorities include applying service science to create smarter (less waste and more capabilities) universities and cities, also known as tightly-coupled holistic service systems that provide whole service to the people within them.  He has more than ninety publications, been awarded nine patents, and is a Fellow of the SRII (Service Research and Innovation Institute).

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