Silicon Valley Forum concluded their 21st Annual Visionary Awards on May 17th, 2018, at Domenico Winery in San Carlos, CA. With over 100 guests in attendance, the 2018 Awards honored four new Visionaries, inviting them to the stage to honor their accomplishments and hear them speak about their experiences and insights.
“This is the 21st year we’ve held the Visionary Awards, and it’s such an honor to be able to host some of the best and brightest minds in technology, business, and education,” said Denyse Cardozo, CEO of Silicon Valley Forum. “As the landscape of Silicon Valley changes throughout the years, the path forward needs new leaders to light the way forward to a better future we all share. Our 2018 honorees—Kimberly Bryant, Caterina Fake, Vivek Wadhwa, and Astro Teller—each embody the kind of pathfinding that makes someone a Visionary.”
“Accenture is proud to have honored a remarkable group of Visionaries by serving as a Gold sponsor for Silicon Valley Forum’s 2018 Visionary Awards,” said Michael Redding, Managing Director of Accenture Ventures. “The Awards are a great chance to honor the luminaries who have shaped the world as we know it through their talent, their tenacity, and their far-seeking visions for a better future.”
The 2018 honorees each spoke about what they enjoyed about Silicon Valley—and their vision for what technologists and entrepreneurs can do to push towards a better future:
Astro Teller, Captain of Moonshots at Google X, said, “If you want people to be brave, if you want them to be weird, if you want them to be creative, the only correct answer [to their ideas] is ‘oh my God, what a gorgeous idea that is!’ You’re telling them I value that your brain makes statements like that.”
Flickr founder and Yes VC general partner Caterina Fake urged people to take personal responsibility as netizens, saying, “The internet was conceived with a generosity of spirit, but it is indifferent to whether it transmits love or hate. It’s what we build and who we are that makes all the difference.”
Vivek Wadhwa, author, academic researcher, and Carnegie Mellon Fellow, addressed Silicon Valley’s controversial reputation and diversity issues, saying, “The beauty of Silicon Valley is that it recognizes that it’s imperfect. That we can even have these discussions [about change] openly is a big deal.” He urged the audience to step up and take advantage of technology advances to make a difference.
Black Girls CODE founder and CEO Kimberly Bryant closed the evening by drawing a line between personal and professional worlds, saying, “When the path to found Black Girls CODE was revealed, it was the mother of a daughter—and a woman of color—who wanted to create a pathway for my daughter and for girls like her. Technology can be used as a catalyst for powerful social change.”
About Silicon Valley Forum:
At Silicon Valley Forum, we facilitate connections and provide resources for entrepreneurs and innovators to build and grow a successful company. While we focus on technology and startups in practice, in spirit we build our work around anyone who wants to run their business the Silicon Valley way—this is a place where creativity and innovation are crucial components of success. Our events, customized programs, Startupedia, and strategic partnerships provide the necessary tools to thrive in today’s fast-paced digital economy.
For 35 years, our organization has been a key part of Silicon Valley’s vibrant ecosystem. We organize over 70 different activities per year and have worked with over 40 countries. Our partners include global leaders Accenture, IBM, Microsoft, Mercer, and K&L Gates, just to name a few; as well as leading venture capital firms and service providers. Silicon Valley Forum is a fully independent 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization.
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