The agenda of the Summit features a unique blend of expert discussions, case stories, breakthrough methodologies, practical tools, hands-on application, and inspirational vision.  

The Summit is not a passive event; your participation matters.  Most discussions will be "in the round" without a formal stage.  Most activities will involve live interaction in a creative process.  The agenda is geared toward intensive relationship-building, practical implementation, real-time "making" of solutions, and design-based modeling.  You will learn, bond, build, and create together with your peers.  You will experience a unique environment that is designed for you to learn about ecosystems while creating one in real life.

Monday, February 17, 2014


Registration opens



Partner Event.

Technology Transfer Models and Impact on Innovation: An International Discussion

Global Innovation Week event, hosted by Soody Tronson Law Group and Licensing Executives Society - Silicon Valley)



Welcome and Introduction to the Summit

  • Presenting the Summit's Organizing Team
  • Welcome by AnnaLee Saxenian, Dean, UC Berkeley School of Information, Author of Regional Advantage, pioneering analysis of culture and connectivity in innovation ecosystems
  • Thinking About Innovation Ecosystems



Opening Keynote "Fireside Chat"

  • Steve Blank, Author, Entrepreneur and Founder of "Lean Startup" Movement, interviewed on stage by Victor W. Hwang. “What Comes After Incubators and Accelerators? Thinking About Ecosystems of Startups”



Tools to Build Innovation Ecosystems



DESIGN LAB #1: Ecosystem Challenge

Teams meet for the first time, learn about each other’s backgrounds and motivations, and begin the process of exploring potential challenges for their team to address



Appetizers and Networking



Big Ideas in the Evening

  • Launch (U.S.) of Kauffman Fellows Journal on Capital Formation
  • Meet the Winners of the Rainforest Recognitions: The Innovation Ecosystem Awards
  • Book Talk with AnnaLee Saxenian on her research on innovation networks in both Regional Advantage and The New Argonauts, plus her latest work in the field.


After Hours in the Rainforest

Conversation, cocktails, and fellow creatures



Tuesday, February 18, 2014


Networking Breakfast




Ecosystems From Scratch: Designing from the Beginning.

How do people build ecosystems in challenging places?  What steps can people take to create innovative environments where connectivity, trust, and collaboration are low?  At some point in the history of all thriving ecosystems, there was a time when they weren’t.  What is that tipping point? What makes the difference between failure and success? This session examines case stories from real practitioners who are building ecosystems today.

Moderated by Leonardo Maldonado, Executive Director, Region Fertil (Antofagasto, Chile) 

Human-Scale Technology Solutions: Designing for the End User.

We know that technology has the power to transform communities. However, we know that technology cannot replace people, who are the heart of innovative ecosystems. Yet we have all seen technology "solutions" that attempt to solve a problem that doesn't really exist, or that were designed without an end-user in mind. How do world-class designers design world-changing products, to address worldwide issues, while keeping their designer's-eye on the people who'll actually be using the product? Let’s find out.

Moderated by Margarita Quihuis, Co-Director, Stanford Peace and Innovation Lab

Government Is Here to Help: When Sectors Work Together.

Strong ecosystems are founded on human collaborations, especially when those collaborations span sectors.  When government and the private sector work in partnership, instead of at odds, ecosystems can flourish.  So what are the hallmarks of these public-private partnerships, and how can they best be built?  With leaders from around the world, we’ll look at some of the best examples of the sectors working together, and some of the best ideas for doing it better.

Moderated by Rob Lalka, Director of Strategy and Partnerships, Village Capital



Ecosystems in Action: The Interviews

We feature case studies of three ecosystems that are growing, and we learn their successes, failures and lessons learned.






DESIGN LAB #2: Ecosystem Mapping

Teams will map and analyze ecosystems together, utilizing tools and frameworks provided, and begin designing systemic solutions for selected projects.



Networking Lunch with optional activities:

  • Self-organized meetups by attendees (All attendees can organize their own meetups based on areas of interest. Just tweet to #gisw14.)
  • 1:30pm Partner Event. Research Preview on Corporate Engagement in the Valley (organized by German Silicon Valley Accelerator)



Corporate Innovation Outposts — Research Update from German Accelerators




The Woman Effect: Economic Upside of Inclusion

The data are compelling, and clear: thriving ecosystems need actively-involved women.  When women are part of the decision-making process, better decisions are made.  Whether it's financial management, capital deployment, boardrooms, or beyond, the economic case for inclusion is unquestionable.  But that doesn't mean it's easy.  In this conversations we'll hear from leaders who are making it work: investors, innovators, heads of firms, who've cracked the glass ceiling, and we'll learn what they've learned along the way...and what they look for when decisions are being made!  

Moderated by Cynthia Muller, Director of Impact Investing, Arabella Advisors

Good Investment: Positive Returns in Unexpected Places

Good investments, and exciting opportunities, exist in many places.  You just have to know where to look. Capital ecosystems must start somewhere.  Here, we'll explore some of the most interesting investment theses being put into practice in unexpected places, or unexpected ways, around the world.  From urban blocks to rural farms, private investments to public offerings, we'll look across asset classes as we explore what happens when good ideas and good investment align.

Moderated by Fran Seegull, Chief Investment Officer and Managing Director of Impact Assets

Structure the System: Creating Capital Infrastructure

Capital is often treated like the salvation (or sometimes  the curse) for many ecosystems.  True, capital is a critical piece of a thriving ecosystem, but money happens to be everywhere.  What makes it possible for money to make its way where it needs to go?  How does money become capital?  In this panel, we examine the “invisible infrastructure” of the capital ecosystem as a whole. We’ll learn from those who are building or have built these systems.  From angel groups to institutional funds, we’ll explore what’s working now...and what’s coming next.

Moderated by Ben Thornley, Director of Insight, Pacific Community Ventures






DESIGN LAB #3: Ecosystem Prototyping

Teams move from idea to action by designing and building physical three-dimensional models that represent solutions to systemic challenges. The goal is to make tangible prototypes of ecosystem solutions that can be shared with the rest of the conference.



Ecosystem Design Gallery

All attendees can walk around the conference venue to view, discuss, and comment on all 40+ ecosystem prototypes created by teams in the Design Labs.



Appetizers and networking



Evening Celebration of Creativity: Magic, Motion, and a Movie

Romance and Engineering: What we can all Learn About Idea Creation From the World of a Magician.
Featuring Joel Hodgson, Creator of TV show "Mystery Science Theatre 3000," and Mark Levy, Author of Accidental Genius.



After Hours in the Rainforest

Conversation, cocktails, and fellow creatures



Wednesday, February 19, 2014


Networking Breakfast




Healthy Delivery: Health Solutions at the Cutting Edge

Healthcare technology advances at astonishing speed.  But helping doctors help patients requires more than just a great idea.  It takes an ecosystem, where patients, doctors, staff, payors, and suppliers are connected in valuable ways.  We’ll look at the most promising technologies, the most efficient methods, and the most innovative delivery systems, as we explore the most exciting developments at the cutting edge of health.

Moderated by Greg Horowitt, Co-Founder and Managing Director T2 Venture Creation

Big Data, Big Impact: What Everything Can Teach Us About Everything

Over the past decade, the ability of technology to collect and analyze data has grown exponentially, but to what end? This conversation will explore the uses of big data, how it can be (and is being) used to address societal issues, inform decision-making, and accelerate the growth of innovation ecosystems worldwide.  How is big data different from lots of little data?  More than just "what," we'll explore the "why"and "how," behind the best uses of Big Data, and the possibilities (and potential pitfalls) of its applications.

Moderated by Jordan Novet, Staff Writer, VentureBeat

  • Dr. David Tennenhouse, Corporate Vice President Technology Policy, Microsoft
  • P.K. Agarwal, CEO, TiE Global; former Chief Technology Officer, State of California
  • Jure Leskovec, Professor, Stanford
  • Elizabeth Dreicer, CEO and Founder, Posiba
  • Sean Gourley, Co-Founder and CTO, Quid

Education for All: Ed Tech and Tomorrow

The future of education is, quite literally, about teaching the future of humanity.  But what will that future look like, and how will technology shape its direction?  How can technology be a means to learn, rather than treated as an end in itself?   How does technology support new models of education, such as project-based learning, the “maker” movement, and ecosystem thinking?  Whether online access or in-class learning, the transition from chalkboards to keyboards (and beyond) has begun. We’ll explore where that future is going, and how advances in products can translate to achievements in education.  

Moderated by Eric Ball, Senior VP of Finance, Oracle






Final Presentation

  • Rainforest Recognitions: Innovation Ecosystem Awards
  • Rainforest Design Lab Celebration
  • Overview and Summation



Closing Keynote

Megatrends: The Big Things We’ll Be Talking About in the Next Year(s)

The concept of ecosystems — based on the value inherent in the interconnectivity of all things — has emerged as a new framework for business, economics, and creativity.  What does this mean for everything else?  How do we harness the power of technology, the influence of design, the leverage of capital, the intelligence of crowds, and the deep human spirit of innovation?  We’ll look into the future, and be guided by the past, as we search for clues about what’s going to shape the way we live and work.  From the big developments that have guided us, to the big opportunities that will define us, this is where we’ll explore the ideas that will affect our increasingly interconnected world: The Megatrends.

Moderated by Rohit Shukla, CEO, Larta Institute



Thanks and Farewell



Demo Showcase

E-Estonia. Live demonstration of Europe’s first electronic identification system and introduction to Estonia’s rapidly emerging innovation ecosystem.



Startup Showcase

  • Rainforest Recognitions: The Innovation Ecosystem Awards
  • European Young Innovators Forum



Evening Arts Festival 

The Art of Innovation: An “indoor street festival” celebrating the spirit of innovation, featuring over 30 artists and performers (the official welcome event sponsored by the City of San Jose). Open to the general public. Free. Next door to the Summit in the Lower Lobby of the San Jose Convention Center.



Thursday, February 20 and Friday, February 21, 2014