Silicon Valley Innovation Institute Discussion: Meaning and Money on Main Street

Turning Vision into Value

If you are based in the San Francisco Bay Area, or if you’re visiting, please invite your friends and colleagues and join us for the Silicon Valley Innovation Institute’s Innovation Society 2011 Series…

SVII “First Wednesday” Innovation Society Meeting

Wednesday, January 5, 2011
6:00-9:30 p.m.

Bay Cafe & Restaurant
1875 Embarcadero Road, Palo Alto (please see directions below)


Creating Meaning and Money on Main Street: A Reverse Panel Discussion with Local Business Leaders

Main Street America is in crisis. Economic woes are creating concern in the minds of most consumers, which means reduced sales for most retail establishments. Small, privately owned stores, many of whom are experiencing increased overhead in many dimensions, are particularly hurt by new forms of competition.

We all know what it’s like to see our favorite local bookstore, hardware store, or nursery crumble under the pressures of a globalized marketplace. In Silicon Valley we place a high value on staying ahead of the curve. We embrace new technologies and competition. But is there a way to hold on to the local shops that make our towns what they are?

Even in an age where anything we could possibly want can be purchased at the click of a button, it still seems that there is incredible value in being able to dig your hands into the dirt when you’re buying plants for your garden, or in paging through piles of books at your local bookstore.

In response to these economic pressures, Silicon Valley Innovation Institute and Hometown Peninsula (the local area’s independent business alliance) are joining forces to collaboratively discuss tough issues and work toward practical solutions for this complex economic and social dilemma we all face. We have invited local business leaders to share stories about their legacy businesses, and then engage our audience as a powerful group of innovators who have some powerful ideas about keeping vibrant businesses healthy. Join us January 5th for an interactive discussion that will give us the opportunity to help innovate on behalf of our community.

Our discussion will center on themes related to meaning, including:

* Consumers are looking for meaning, consciously or unconsciously.
* Successful businesses can meet this need in many different ways.
* Small, local retail businesses are most able to provide meaning.
* Meaning is greatly enhanced by relationship, which requires knowing.
* Making friends is very helpful on the way to making money.
* Customers’ patronage can be affected by much more than price.

Visit for more information.

Program Schedule:

6:00 – Doors open for registration and networking.

6:45 – Community Dinner

7:15 – SVII business

7:30 – Feature Presentation

9:30 – Closing


Bay Cafe, Bayshore Ballroom
1875 Embarcadero Road, Palo Alto

In Palo Alto, take Embarcadero East past Ming’s restaurant, then turn left into the Palo Alto Municipal Golf Course driveway; from the parking lot, walk up the wide path toward the golf course buildings; the restaurant will be on the right.

You can register and pre-pay using PayPal. Although a limited number of tickets are usually available at the door, pre-registration is suggested so that dinner attendance can be planned in advance:

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Help Us Shape SVII’s 2011 Program!

As we work on planning content for our 2011 monthly meetings, we would love to hear your input! If you have thoughts about speakers, topics, format, or anything else related to meeting content, email us at

Ongoing Education Initiative:

The SVII Education Initiative began at the July 7th, 2010 Silicon Valley Innovation Institute event, which featured an excellent, in-depth panel discussion on technology and innovation barriers in K-12 education. Our expert panelists discussed some of the barriers that prevent modern classrooms from utilizing the vast technological resources currently available, and what we might do to reduce those barriers. Based on the exciting and challenging dialog that resulted, SVII has started work on an Education Initiative that will tackle some of the problems discussed at the July 2010 meeting, and afterward.

The SVII Education Initiative is off to a great start, and you can still join the effort and contribute your ideas! Members have used Ken Ketch’s Group Mind Express tool to create a collaborative space to work on this initiative. If you attended the session and had further insights to add, head over to the SVII Collaboration Center and make your voice heard. We will be adding more tools to that space as the initiative develops, so stay tuned.

Building on the insights gathered, SVII members hope to make a concrete, positive contribution to the world of education in the Silicon Valley. If you’d like to receive all updates about the education initiative, please email to be added to the list.

Connect with the Silicon Valley Innovation Institute Community…

You can now follow SVII on Twitter @sviihq

Join the new SVII Facebook group and the LinkedIn group.

You can also use Eventbrite to register.

Stay in Touch…

For more information, and to join the e-list, email Plan to join the SVII Innovation Society each “first Wednesday” of the month.

Keep checking here for program updates, archives and summaries of past meetings. Even if you’re not based in the San Francisco Bay Area, you can receive SVII e-letters and keep up with past program discussions.

SVII is a 501(c)3 non-profit educational organization.

Cathryn Hrudicka, Founder, CEO and Chief Imagination Officer of Creative Sage™, is a member of SVII.

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