Social Business Sandy

BIZTECHBUZZ in the world of social, cognitive, IoT and startups

Artificial Intelligence Colleges


I admit it. I am in love with Artificial Intelligence (aka AI).

As an undergraduate at Duke University, I took classes in it even though it is so far away from where AI is today!

So I played with an AI company – Graphiq – to find top AI colleges.

Below are the results!

Very intriguing!

The Lowe’s Difference: My Thoughts From Their Leadership Summit

The Lowe’s Difference:

I had the honor of participating in the Lowe’s Leadership Summit.

It all began a story.  And a packed room of amazing women leaders from throughout the world.


Here’s what I took away!

  1. Lowe’s Women’s Diversity is Strong. Did you know when they send the note out about the Women’s Leadership meeting, it would fill up in less than one hour?   They expanded the room this year, and added more people from Canada, India, and beyond.   They mean business. They are amazing women!
  2. Leadership matters. Robert Niblock, their CEO, stayed the entire meeting.  He didn’t sneak away for calls or meetings and truly participated.   Women’s leadership at Lowe’s is important to him.   Jennifer Weber, the CHRO, of Lowe’s led the meeting and participated the entire time.   This participation showed me that Lowe’s knows that diversity matters.   It is not just a nice to have.

img_73653.  Inspirational Takeaways from Amy Cuddy, Alison Levine and Kristan Seaford

  • Success isn’t always about going up, sometimes it goes up, down and sideways – embrace and learn – Alison Levine
  • Hope can change lives and business – Never give up – Kristan Seaford


  • Feedback is free. Growth is optional.   Anna Marie Chavez
  • The Power Pose is backed up with real data. Make the change – Amy Cuddy


4.   Startups + Enterprise = Innovation and it is alive and well at Lowe’s. Lowe’s Innovation Lab’s is all about disruptive technologies, including shipping a 3D printer to the International Space Station to help astronauts print parts and tools on demand. They also developed the Holoroom, a VR headset to help shoppers visualize bathroom and kitchen improvements. The Woman of Lowe’s have phenomenal ideas that can help innovate Lowe’s into the next generation.


5.  Have common values and goals. The key to making any relationship work is to have a common vision as the foundation. The entire day was based on the value based structure of Lowe’s.

  1. Be a part of something bigger
  2. Make a difference in somebody’s life every day
  3. Listen intently, sense and respond
  4. Be who we say we are
  5. Give your best always

My Summary

My favorite quote is “Tell me the facts and I’ll believe, but tell me a story and it will live in my heart forever!”.   This Summit for Leadership and Innovation was a set of stories that will live in my heart forever.  From Jennifer’s opening, to Robert – the CEO – stories about each of the values, this conference was a driver to more innovative approaches through diversity of thought.

Dads of Daughters – Secret Weapon for Changes in STEM

Diversity Drives Innovation

Diversity drives innovation.  According to HBR, employees of firms with diversity are 45% likelier to report a growth in market share over the previous year and 70% likelier to report that the firm captured a new market.  But companies have driven for this goal for a while attempting to do the same things to make change.   Albert Einstein once said that doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result is insanity.

And change is needed.  While over 50% of today’s consumer purchases are made by women, where products are designed and funded, women are underrepresented.   Only 6% of venture capitalists and 16% of founders and their teams are women today.

What should we do differently to drive a change?

Women have been supporting each other since the early days of quilting circles to lean in circles from Sheryl Sandburg.  And while these groups are important and valuable (I am on the board of Girls in Tech, and WITI as well as on the advisory board of GSV Reboot), we need to do some things differently  to drive change.  To move to the next phase of driving more women into leadership roles in enterprise, startups and venture capitalists, we need women and men working to change structural circles by co creating together.


Dads of Daughters – Secret Weapon for Diversity in STEM

I have successfully run diversity groups in large organizations.  Companies often ask me the secret of the success and while there are a few, one of the biggest was bringing in dads with daughters to play a role.    Why?

Every movement must have a personal passion.   Dads of daughters have the passion for making progress as they do not want their daughters to face what women today face.   Daughters encouraged by their dads are twice as likely to graduate from high school, and score higher on STEM subjects.


By having dads of daughters and women and girls coding, designing, and disrupting around healthcare, safety, wearables, financial services, and more, we can showcase talent to corporations and startups, and really start the movement of change.   I have dads of daughters in the advisory board positions of diversity groups and on my teams.

For one project, I carefully selected my partner in the work effort based on his background.    He was a dad with a daughter.   Once I explained our work to hire more diverse candidates in tech, he got it intellectually but more importantly, he got it emotionally.  He did not want his daughter earning less or not feeling included just because she was a woman.   Winning his mind and his heart showed in his passion and preparedness for our meetings.

If a startup begins with 10 people and 3 of them are women, the ratio as the company grows remains the same.   We are going to fix the gender diversity epidemic in Silicon Valley engaging 100% of the population.   We know that gender diverse companies outperform those who aren’t…so it isn’t charity.  And we know if at least 3 of the first 10 folks in a company are women, it will mean hundreds more women when the company hits 1000 employees.

DoDs:  Dads of Daughters
So what do you do?  If you are a start-up, start early hiring a diverse and talented team.   If you are an enterprise,  engage dads of daughters in your efforts for inclusion, hiring, and promotion.   You will be surprised at how much having 100% of the team on the field makes a difference!

Women Rock! Paper Scissors! TedX Talk!


Girls in Tech Needs Your Help — And all you have to do is Tweet!

I am on the board of a great organization called Girls in Tech.  Today is the start of something big, very BIG!   We have an amazing fundraising opportunity with SAP SuccessFactors that starts TODAY!  So I need you to actively participate!

I know that each of you has amazing networks so get the word out and TWEET for us.  We’ll adore you for it and it helps more girls trying to get engaged in tech!    When you tweet with these 2 hashtags — #sconnect16 #All4GIT — $1 is donated to Girls in Tech!!

Just some facts:

  1. Twitter is the only channel that earns the $1 but use Snapchat, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc to get the word out!
  2. Retweets count!!   Retweet away!
  3. There is no cap — that’s right — SAP SuccessFactors will let us go as high as you guys take us!
  4. The campaign runs from October 3 – December 31

A sample tweet:

Retweet to get $1 donated to @GirlsinTech! #sconnect16 #All4GIT

Will you help us get more Girls in Tech?  If so, tweet away!


Core question from Agile Marketing Class

Yesterday I taught an agile marketing class at Carnegie Mellon’s Silicon Valley MBA program.  As I teach, I usually learn a lot from the student’s questions.IMG_6148

One of the questions from this class was:

What’s the real difference between digital marketing and traditional marketing?  Is it just that one is done online with more data?

Great question right?

Where of course, there are elements of traditional marketing in digital.

But the fundamental differences are these:

  • Digital removes any barriers between you and the client.   Typically you are going straight to a client, not going through a seller of a focus group for insight.
  • Digital is more of inbound as the overall goal if done right is for people to find you!.
  • Digital is about earning trust through multiple touches some that are your brands and some that are from advocates of the brand

Digital disrupts marketing like Uber has disrupted the transportation industry.

What are your thoughts?


Number of global developers working on IoT…

Number of global developers working on #IoT increases by one-third!!! Wow! That’s a lot of things-👠🌂🕶🏆🔦💊

Number of global developers working on IoT…

IBM Technical Rock Star Program

Finnish city partners with IBM to validate…

Finnish city partners with #IBM to validate #Blockchain application in #logistics .#cloud

Finnish city partners with IBM to validate…

IBM Technical Rock Star Program

Minimizing business friction with Blockchain

Are you using #blockchain? Minimizing business friction with #Blockchain #cloud

Minimizing business friction with Blockchain

IBM Technical Rock Star Program

Cloud is at a Tipping Point

Cloud is at a tipping point for business.

The retail industry goes cognitive at SXSW

What a great weekend it was here at SXSW in one of my favorite cities… Austin!
Let me start by saying that I love to shop and what woman doesn’t, right?! Have you ever thought about the reason why you love to shop? Sure, we all appreciate a great bargain, but have you ever thought about what draws you to a particular store, website or brand? Things like product placement and assortment, digital media, customer service, packaging, visual displays, coupons or special events? Even more, have you thought about the experience of shopping that you enjoy, what goes into the process of purchasing your favorite new bag? Well I’m proud to say that cognitive is here to stay in the retail world and its introducing major innovation in retail! All of which is being showcased here at SXSW in the retail innovation lounge.
To give you a bit of background, retailers are spending millions of dollars and collecting astronomical amounts of data to analyze what makes you knock down their doors and remain loyal to their products! Thanks to new technologies and a strong emphasis on employing innovative individuals, companies are becoming more focused than ever before on enhancing the shopper experience.
Today at SXSW I will be leading a panel with some of the latest and greatest retail innovators who are also female founders!
Join IBM and some of our retail partners at the Retail Innovation Lounge
   @ SXSW Friday March 11th- Tuesday March 15th for panels discussions, keynotes, and networking sessions. Bring your best handbag!
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