BiblioTech Humanist Leaders Project 2012-13

Levinthal Hall, Stanford Humanities Center

The Humanist Leaders Project is designed to introduce Stanford humanities professionals to innovative business thinking and influential industry leaders. All are welcome to attend.

Spring 2013

April 5, 9am-noon: Paths to Power for Humanist Leaders: Thriving in Fast-Moving, World-Changing Companies – Alan Chiu, Principal, XSeed Capital

Some of the most creative works of our time are born at the intersection of science and humanities. Discover the gifts you bring to the next generation of world-changing companies, and find out what you can do to prepare for and thrive in fast-moving businesses.

Alan Chiu is a Principal at XSeed Capital, with over 15 years of product development expertise in enterprise software and data storage. Alan was previously Director of Product Management at Bycast (acquired by NetApp), an object storage software company with a global customer base that included some of the largest digital content repositories in the world. At Bycast, Alan and his team drove the product roadmap, managed OEM relationships with IBM and HP, and developed strategies to enter new vertical markets.

Prior to Bycast, Alan served as an engineering manager at a network security start-up, and helped develop the market-leading digital prepress workflow system at Creo, which was acquired by Kodak for $1B in cash.

Alan holds a BASc in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of British Columbia, as well as an MS in Management from the Stanford Graduate School of Business, where he was a Sloan Fellow focused on entrepreneurship, venture capital, and mergers and acquisitions.

Winter 2013

March 7, 9am-11am: Leadership Kit for Entrepreneurs - Frederic Lucas-Conwell, CEO & Founder, Growth Resources, Inc.

The human factor is the most critical one for the success of entrepreneurs--and the least understood. Measuring, predicting, improving and driving behaviors can generate the most dramatic increase in performance.

This hands-on presentation will help you face a variety of situations, whether you are alone and starting a new venture, hiring a team of top talents, having to motivate those who work with you, or needing to demonstrate leadership and success to demanding investors.

The presentation is for current and future entrepreneurs. It starts with you, the entrepreneur, and acts as your shield and arms in the day-to-day battle of entrepreneurship. Take advantage of the power of the GRI to unveil the best way to move forward and to compare your profile with the typical characteristics of Silicon Valley entrepreneurs.

The presentation is led by Frederic Lucas-Conwell, PhD, serial entrepreneur, Founder & CEO of Growth Resources, Inc., publisher of the GRI behavior surveys, techniques & platform for people management. Frederic has consulted with companies at all levels, from startups to Global 500. He has over 25 years of experience on organizational, HR and management issues and has run hundreds of leadership workshops for executives and managers on five continents. He is an expert on leadership development and has helped hundreds of entrepreneurs to build their success.

March 1, 9am-noon: Entrepreneurship Education: What does love have to do with it? - Tom Byers, Stanford Technology Ventures Program

From a Silicon Valley philosophical perspective, I hope attendees can learn about the life cycle and fundamentals of entrepreneurship by sharing what I love about our curricula taught by the various professors of the Stanford Technology Ventures Program. How to find the difference between an idea and an opportunity? How to find the right team? Where to find investors and how do entrepreneurs convince them of their story and dreams? What sources of funds are best for a new enterprise? What are the major challenges for aspiring entrepreneurs and their supporters and what are their potential biggest mistakes? Moreover, this session will examine some ways to understand the enterprises located in Silicon Valley and other vibrant locations around the globe. Some matters discussed today even might remind us of the collision of commerce and creativity during the Renaissance!

Required Pre-Readings:

  1. Read the “; padding-right: 18px; background-position: 100% 50%; background-repeat: no-repeat no-repeat; ">Top 10 Elements of Technology Entrepreneurship for High-Growth Innovation.”
  2. Browse our Stanford Entrepreneurship Corner website ( and watch several video clips or listen to a podcast or two. Come prepared to share which clip or podcast you found particularly compelling?     
  3. Visit for more information on my textbook (Technology Ventures: From Idea to Enterprise). Read the preface and; padding-right: 18px; background-position: 100% 50%; background-repeat: no-repeat no-repeat; " target="_blank">first chapter.

February 28, 9am-noon: Design Thinking Bootcamp – Eugene Korsunskiy and Kyle Williams, Lecturers, Stanford Design Program

Design Thinking is a toolkit for innovation. The processes and methods of d.thinking have been used to create medical devices for the developing world, solve issues of environmental sustainability, and reimagine educational curricula. With the establishment of the, Stanford created a vehicle for teaching this process to students of all flavors (including Humanists!). In this workshop, we'll introduce the basics of the design process using the language and frameworks of the We will do this by diving into a number of design exercises, and co-creating ways of applying Design Thinking within the Humanities.

Eugene Korsunskiy is a Lecturer in Design at Stanford, currently co-teaching undergraduate Designing Your Life and Designing Your Stanford courses. He is a graduate of the Stanford Design Program, where he received his MFA in 2012, and of Williams College (2008), where he studied Art and Art History. Last summer, Eugene drove 15,000 miles across the country in an old delivery truck full of shop tools and craft supplies to teach kids about creativity and innovation. He is also a big fan of dessert.

Kyle Wayne Williams is a Lecturer in Design at Stanford, currently co-teaching Designing Your Life and Designer's Voice courses. He graduated from the Stanford Design Program in June 2012 with an MS in Design. Prior to coming to Stanford, Kyle did a Master's at the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies (2010), and Bachelor's in Math and French at Hope College (2006) with a break living and teaching in Ecuador and France in between. Last summer, Kyle designed and built a surfboard out of cardboard and wood. He is at least as big a fan of dessert as Eugene.

February 7: Storytelling Tips for Leaders in 7 Easy Steps – JD Schramm, Lecturer, Organizational Behavior, Director, Mastery in Communication Initiative, Stanford Graduate School of Business

A well-planned story can make a presentation memorable. Learn 7 "Habits for Storytelling" that leaders can deploy to help make their point. This interactive and entertaining session will be led by Dr. JD Schramm of the Graduate School of Business. Relying on both research and personal experience as a storyteller and coach, Schramm will guide the participants through the 7 steps, provide them a chance to develop a story, deliver it to others, and get feedback.

January 18: How Business Works: Building A Business vs. Building A Product – Bob Tinker, CEO, MobileIron

Learn the simple nuts and bolts of how a business runs, including a 10-minute tutorial de-mystifying the jargon around raising venture capital. If you’re considering starting or joining a company, just how does a start-up get built? How do you get from an idea to a thriving business? The secret? Something that the hype of silicon valley often glosses over --- the difference between building a great product and building a great business.

Bob Tinker is a three-time entrepreneur. He is currently the CEO and co-founder of MobileIron, a fast growing 400-person mobile software company that he co-founded in early 2008. His previous company, Airespace, led the wifi market and was eventually acquired by Cisco in 2005. The startup before that never succeeded and provided a great learning experience. Bob has an MBA from Stanford and an engineering degree from the University of Virginia. His grammatical pet-peeve is the overuse of the passive tense. He collects onomatopoeias from different languages and hopes to teach high school history someday.

January 11: Your Reputation Precedes You: Professional Reputation Management in the Age of the Connected Web - Konstantin Guericke, Co-Founder, LinkedIn

As the Web has connected us all, it has made it easier for us to find people and their associated expertise. On the flip side, it also means people can find us easier than ever--whether for our expertise, a job or a project. However, a search will also list countless others who could fit the bill, so first impressions count online even more than offline. This workshop will look at how to put your best professional foot forward, how to attract opportunities from your network of contacts and how to find and reach out to those who might be able to help you, whatever your quest may be.

Autumn 2012

Nov. 30, 9am-noon: The Multiplier Effect – How the Best Leaders Make Everyone Smarter Part 2: The Debate Maker – Liz Wiseman, President, The Wiseman Group

Learn how Multipliers operate as "debate makers" and drive sound decisions through rigorous debate. Discover the debate-making skills of these masters and how they engage the deep intelligence of their organizations and enable teams to make decisions that everyone understands and can easily execute.

Interactive Work Sessions:

• Frame a debate: Participants practice framing an issue into a question that is ready for debate.

• Lead a debate: Participants hold a live debate and practice both the skills of the debate maker and of debate

Nov. 16, 9am-noon: Strategic Planning: A Surprisingly Useful Tool for Humanists – Roberta Katz, Vice President of Strategic Initiatives, Stanford University

For many years, the notion of strategic planning was foreign to, or even threatening in, traditional academic settings.  More recently, however, academic institutions are embracing the idea, as they discover the value of the planning process.  Since 2004, Dr. Roberta Katz, an anthropologist, lawyer, and technology executive now working out of the office of President John Hennessy, has been helping Stanford create and strengthen its various cross-disciplinary endeavors through a modified form of strategic planning, and as faculty members have become familiar with that planning process, many have found it more generally useful in their lives.  This workshop will explore how those with humanities expertise in particular might use these tools in planning for their lives and careers.

Oct. 26, 9am-noon: Big Business & Big Blue: Forbes Global 2000 & IBM 101 - Where Do Humanists Fit In? – Jim Spohrer, Director, University Programs World-Wide, IBM

For humanities majors, new opportunities arise as big businesses expand their corporate social responsibility efforts and consider a triple bottom-line of people, planet, and profits. This talk is intended to be a gentle introduction to the Forbes Global 2000 (an annual ranking of the largest publically traded businesses) as well as IBM 101 - IBM is 101 years old in 2012. IBM's Smarter Planet initiative will be discussed from the perspective of opportunities for humanities and liberal arts majors.  

Oct. 19, 1-5pm: Strategic Communications: Crisis, Rhetoric, Strategy – David Demarest, Vice President of Public Affairs, Stanford University

The communications landscape has undergone a radical transformation in the last several decades. Many elements of effective communications programs have changed dramatically, but many principles of sound communications are as valid as ever. Many of those revolve around strategy, crisis, and values -- all of which will be discussed in the upcoming workshop led by Vice President for Public Affairs David Demarest.