How Cultural Context Influences Innovation Districts
Time & Location
We often see entrepreneurship as strongly linked to certain individual, and societal, characteristics. These might include the types of learning experience and career pathway aspirations cultivated in students and graduates; risk tolerance and a willingness to see failure as a learning experience; the role and prominence of the citizen volunteer. Many of these cultural characteristics manifest differently in different countries, regions, or even cities. This panel will speculate the extent to which some of these differences might enhance (or hinder) an innovation ecosystem and the lessons we can learn to maximize the vitality of our innovation districts.
Sally Guzik, General Manager, CIC Philadelphia
Sally J. Guzik is the general manager of CIC Philadelphia. She is passionate about creating opportunities for innovation communities to balance global and local priorities and perspectives through strategic partnerships, community engagement, and programs. Sally has spent the past ten years focusing on the diffusion of innovation and how innovation districts can amplify and support the work of startups and entrepreneurs through previous roles with both startups and nonprofits in Pittsburgh, Houston, Miami, Philadelphia, and other CIC locations throughout the world. A first-generation college graduate, Sally earned a B.A. in women’s studies, Latin American history, and environmental studies from Chatham College for Women, educational leadership from Delta State University, and an M.S. in global strategic communication with a focus on the diffusion of innovation from Florida International University. Sally sits on the board of directors of the Collective Success Network, a non-profit organization and member of CIC Philadelphia’s Social Impact Cohort, which empowers first-generation college students through mentorship, professional development, and a social support network; and Quorum, a program of the Science Center that focuses on providing space and resources for entrepreneurial events and activities. Sally is a steering committee member of Amplify Philly, Philly Tech Week, and PIDC’s Future of Work, and is the editor in chief for Stuck Lit Magazine, launching in 2020.
Akihiko Soyama, President & CEO, LINK-J
Aki has been President and CEO of LINK-J since its foundation in 2016. Earlier in his career, he served as Deputy Director at METI (GOJ), project manager at Boston Consulting Group in Tokyo, Vice President/General Manager at Johnson and Johnson Japan, President at Biotronik Japan and President at Haemonetics Japan. Aki holds an MBA from Columbia University and a BS (Physics) from University of Tokyo. Aki also serves as a lecturer at University of Tokyo and a life science related committee member of MHLW (GOJ), METI (GOJ), a local government, etc..
Tracy Brala, Vice President of Ecosystem Development, Executive Director of Venture Cafe Philadelphia
Tracy inspires people and teams to believe that they can accomplish great things. As the VP of Ecosystem Development for the Science Center she is charged with galvanizing, convening and amplifying the Innovation Ecosystem in the Greater Philadelphia Area. Her track record as a Marketing Executive has enabled her to create and profitably grow businesses for Comcast NBC Universal, the Campbell Soup Company and several privately held organizations during her time leading her own firm.
Christopher Laing, Senior Associate Dean for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Duke-NUS Medical School in Singapore- MODERATOR
Chris is Senior Associate Dean for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the Duke-NUS Medical School in Singapore. He leads the growth of an innovation ecosystem that leverages Duke-NUS’s affiliations with Duke University, the National University of Singapore, and SingHealth. He also focuses on the translation of Duke-NUS innovations to commercial application, the training of biomedical scientists in technology development, and the fostering of a culture of entrepreneurship.