Silicon Valley Innovation Institute Presents: The Innovation Sweet Spot

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 Institute Meeting

Wednesday, March 2, 2011
6:00-9:30 p.m. (PST)

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


The Innovation Sweet Spot, with Speaker Paul Masson

This presentation and discussion will focus on the balance between four fundamental human forces:

* Individual fulfillment
* Group identify
* Competition
* Cooperation

Human systems are most “stable” and optimize when they hit the sweet spot between the four as a balance. Innovation works the same way. The connecting of insights that give rise to innovation occurs when an individual or group process observes and connects those insights into a novel (innovative) application.

The achievement of such connectivity depends on scale: an individual can make certain insights (example: Edison), but actually does so in collaboration (example: Menlo Park NJ lab members), and engages the dynamic of both cooperation (i.e., with lab members) and competition (i.e., others preparing sound captured equipment).

About the Speaker:

Paul Masson, MBA, has 25 years of experience in financial syndications, start-up companies, technology partnerships, and multi-party innovation alliances. As Managing Director, Paul coordinates StarNet, LLC team projects and provides personal guidance in the areas of technology financing, multi-party alliance design, alliance facilitation (creation and troubleshooting) and public/private partnerships.

Paul holds a BS Economics (Honors) from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania and an MBA in Finance, also from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.

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 for all programs by 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. Please note there have been some recent changes in pricing. For more information, and to register, visit the SVII web site.

SVII News and Upcoming Programs

The Silicon Valley Innovation Institute is growing in several ways. Our membership and attendance continues to grow. In February, 2011, we are going from one monthly program to two.

The first Wednesday evening programs at the Bay Cafe in Palo Alto will continue as before with the doors opening at 6PM, but with a 7:15 PM program only option for those who want the flexibility to eat elsewhere, to avoid some traffic congestion, or to simply save some time and money.

The new luncheon series, Silicon Valley Interactive Briefings, are a brand new innovative, evolving format intended to maximize the participation of those who attend by giving them the opportunity to “brief” each other about program related insights and information. These two hour sessions, to be held on the third Friday of each month, from noon to 2:00 PM (PST), at Serena Software (or another location, to be announced).


Silicon Valley has an unusual number of programmers, entrepreneurs and innovators. New start-ups are established here everyday. People talk about new ideas everywhere in the Valley. Many new technologies developed here have changed the world in the last 20 years. As an innovation leader in the world today, Silicon Valley has evolved unique resources and circumstances, which are regularly drawn upon to generate breakthroughs on demand. However, it seems that this innovation has not significantly impacted our education system. Why do we educate our kids in school, in the same way as 20 years ago, while the world has changed so dramatically?

In July, 2010, SVII held an innovation community-driven panel discussion to address this issue via a public dialog. Apparently, the Silicon Valley community feels a great need to increase innovation in our education systems. In response to this initial conversation, SVII kicked off an Educational Initiative (please see below), and has received support from Wells Fargo Bank and Serena Software. This educational initiative is intended to evolve dialog into action. The goal of the program is to make kids more innovation resilient, by providing a joyful stimulating innovation experience, which stimulates creativity and rewards the natural tendency toward innovation.

Members of our community are invited to attend the SVII Interactive Briefing on the third Friday of each month (next one: March 18, 2011). Instead of having one speaker or a panel on the stage, SVII is developing a new program mode to better engage the audience by maximizing the interactive exchange. We will encourage attendees to brief each other on the topic to share ideas, make comments and identify resources. Each Interactive Briefing Program will be two hours long, with the first and last 30 minutes for registering, eating and networking. The central hour begins with a 20 minute SVII topic introduction, followed by 30 minutes of Interactive Briefing, where the audience-participants can communicate their perspectives and willingness to proceed. At the close there will be a 10 minute wrap-up. Silicon Valley Interactive Briefing events will be held from noon to 2:00 p.m. (PST), on the 3rd Friday of each month. More details will be introduced at the SVII blog site and in the newsletter.


Noon – Doors open for registration and networking.
12:30 – SVII topic introduction
12:50 – Interactive Briefing
1:20 – Wrap-up
1:30 – Networking and closing

Register at the SVII web site, following the instructions for members or non-members.

To learn more about all upcoming programs, please visit

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.

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

Connect with the Silicon Valley Innovation Institute Community…

You can now follow SVII on Twitter @SVIISociety

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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