2020 and Beyond: A Message From Denyse

Happy New Year to friends of Silicon Valley Forum! In 2019, I hit a major milestone: my tenth year with Silicon Valley Forum. Like many of you, we’re taking stock of ourselves in 2020—the numerical marker of the year itself implies an opportunity for vision: to create it and to act upon it. I wanted to share with you some of the exciting things coming up for 2020:
Changing for Good and SVF’s role in an emerging world: As we move forward into the new decade, Silicon Valley will continue to lead the world in technology driven breakthroughs that shape our world. We at SVF recognize our local ecosystem of entrepreneurs and startups, corporates, universities, and VC are indeed an integral part of our broader world and therefore our broader collective concerns. In that regard, SVF will continue to break new ground where we feel it matters most: diversity and inclusion, sustainability and global thinking, opportunities for and advancement of women and people of color, digital disruption in industry and daily lives—and the role of technology in each one. One of the great joys of entrepreneurship isn’t just the ideas it brings to market–it’s the way it allows people to discover, to connect, to learn from one another. Over the past few years, our work with our international partners has given us a perspective-altering glimpse at the incredible, untapped talent in every corner of the world. SVF will continue to be connected on the global stage.
One of the great joys of entrepreneurship isn’t just the ideas it brings to market–it’s the way it allows people to discover, to connect, to learn from one another.
We’re also committing to our role in building strong conversations around environmental innovations to protect our planet. SVF recognizes this a shared concern, and one that involves startups and corporates, investors and policy makers, and not just Silicon Valley but global innovators, collectively working towards solutions and raising awareness across the ecosystem. In fact, we are already doing this. For example, our annual AgTech immersion program started asking a few climate-related questions in its inception in 2016; however, as we move forward, our focus is shifting toward looking to answer these questions in greater depth.
Silicon Valley Forum 2020 Signature Programs:The Visionary Awards – February 6th, 2020 Our annual Visionary Awards have returned! We to continue to celebrate innovators that changed our trajectories, whether its Bill Gates, or Elon Musk, Reid Hoffman or Reed Hastings, Arthur Rock or Ann Winblad, Esther Dyson or Marc Andreessen, our visionaries have inspired us with their contributions and have shaped our society today. As we embark on this new decade the contributions and discoveries we think of as Visionary has evolved. In addition to a celebration of achievements in business and technology leadership we have set our sights further and broader, by also celebrating people who have striven for diversity, to advance or highlight the achievements of women and people of color, or who are leveraging revolutionary technology to make the world a better place. In addition, we have also introduced a new “Rising Star” category as a way to use our platform to highlight current worldwide issues and the incredible folks who are taking them on, and honoring the achievements the next generation is already making. Join us this February for a night of celebration and hearing the stories of people who have made a positive impact on our world. Click below for more info!
The Women in Tech Festival – May 1 – 2, 2020  Now in its sixth year, the Women in Tech Festival has become a cornerstone event for Silicon Valley Forum—two days of activities, workshops, and learning opportunities that celebrate the advancement of female leadership and the importance of diversity in the workplace. Check out one of the must-attend events of the year! Click below to participate.
Silicon Valley StartUP University Program – June 15 – 26, 2020 This two-week program is designed for college-age students who want to learn entrepreneurship and kick-start their business ideas. They’ll learn how to build a startup from scratch, using Silicon Valley’s knowledge, techniques and ideology. Budding student entrepreneurs wanted! Applications are available here.
  • Seeds of Our Future: AgTech Immersion Program and Summit – August 2020 Agricultural technology is more than just field sensors and drones—it’s a close examination at how a legacy industry and a brand-new one can pool their knowledge to create a sustainable future. Join us this summer for three action-packed days as we discover technology’s role in shaping the future of food. Partnership opportunities can be found by clicking below!
In conclusion…
We at Silicon Valley Forum evolve to reflect the future of Silicon Valley. Like many of you, we believe that Silicon Valley is one of the world’s best wellsprings for revolutionary new ideas. We have also found that Silicon Valley’s global role is becoming more than a spring—it is becoming a delta, a place that grows and enriches as it draws from many contributing flows, a place where everyone should be able to thrive.
It has long been said that connections power the future, and we base SVF’s work around forging those connections–we’ve seen that they have the power to change lives and the world for the better. We are looking forward to everything that lies ahead, and we thank each and every one of you for continuing to take this journey with us. It’s because of you—our vibrant, dedicated, passionate community of entrepreneurs and professionals—that we’re able to continue creating events and programs, and discovering new opportunities for entrepreneurs around the world. We are looking forward to continuing to support entrepreneurship in Silicon Valley and the world, in 2020 and beyond.   Let’s go!
—Denyse Cardozo, President and CEO
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