innovate. catalyze. disrupt.

November 2018 Update



dciX*…..A work in progress

In 2017, the Stanford Distinguished Careers Institute launched the DCI Innovation Hub as a way to create opportunities for DCI Fellows/Partners with shared interests to connect and work together to address important societal challenges, and to maintain community among the fellows in the spirit of “more than a year.” The Hub was initially launched to find different ways to harness the talent and both experiential and intellectual capital of DCI Fellows/Partners.

In September 2018, a Think Tank was convened to help identify different ways that this unique talent pool could benefit each other, and make contributions to the University, to our communities and to society. These include a range of opportunities including serving as non- academic advisors and mentoring students, start-up teams, serving as teachers and mentors in experiential courses, working on developing and teaching new courses, working on developing new program initiatives at Centers and Schools at Stanford, and developing Special Interest Groups and Think Tanks to identify solutions to major challenges and problems. 

To enable a broader range of opportunities to be offered to DCI Fellows/Partners and DCI Alumni, we have created a new initiative, called dciX*, formerly known as the Innovation Hub.  The asterisk represents that both the name and the entity is still in formation, and evolving as we identify additional ways that Fellows/Partners can contribute over time.  We hope that you will engage and participate in the range of dciX* offerings while you are a Fellow, Continuing Fellow, or Alumni Fellow.


DCI currently sponsors five Special Interest Groups that enable DCI Fellows/Partners and Alumni across cohorts to connect and work together to address important societal challenges and needs. These Think Tanks initially start with leadership by one or more DCI Fellows/Partners, who identify key topics of interest to Fellows/Partners, and partner with a Center or Program at Stanford. Workshops and guest speakers are often sponsored by each SIG, and some type of project, policy, innovation, and action steps are identified. These SIGs also afford unique intergenerational learning opportunities, as graduate students from across the campus are invited to participate. Each group is developing a distribution list that provides resource lists, conferences and events that SIG members can participate in.

All five Special Interest Groups met at the recent DCI Alumni Network gathering.  Thus far, there are 35 Fellows who have joined the Longevity Innovations SIG; 28 who have joined the Impact Investing SIG; 24 in Energy and Sustainability; 31 in Healthcare and Lifesciences; and 24 in the Economic Inequality SIG.

Below is information on each of the current DCI Special Interest Groups, as well as upcoming conferences and events of interest.  Please contact Susan Golden with any questions at [email protected] and to sign up for any of the SIGs that are of interest to you. Once you are on the mailing list for a specific SIG, you will receive monthly updates of meetings, and events from the SIG leader. Two new SIGs are in formation around the themes of Gender Disparity and Women’s Empowerment, and Media, Writing and the Arts.  More information about these will be available in the coming weeks.

Longevity Innovations

Led by Susan Golden, DCI’16
Contact: [email protected]

This SIG has engaged DCI Fellows and students since 2017 in working with the Stanford Center on Longevity and the Innovation Hub to address opportunities to support healthy aging. A new course was created on Longevity Innovations that was offered in Spring 2018 based on the themes identified by the members of the special interest group. This SIG will be holding Working Groups to take deep dives into creating innovative policies, programs, products and services related to important themes identified at the recent New Map of Life conference. Topics range from working longer, policies need to facilitate new housing alternatives for healthy aging, aging/thriving in place, end of life preparation, caretaking services, financial products and services needed, and impact investing for longevity.

Upcoming events of interest include:

November 14-15: Aging2.0 OPTIMIZE Conference – Hear from industry leaders embracing new models of care and find partners with proven solutions to the biggest challenges and opportunities unfolding in post-acute and senior care.The OPTIMIZE conference will feature megatrend keynotes, market insights from the c-suite, pitches from carefully curated startups who are in-market with traction, exclusive networking opportunities and an unmatched showcase of cutting-edge exhibitors from around the world. Register with this link to receive a Stanford student discount ($600 per ticket, 40% off normal price).   

November 27th, 6:15-7:45 pm: Mixer with the GSB Healthcare Club and DCI Longevity Innovations and Health Care Special Interest Groups.  Location: E101

December 3rd: Brainstorming event with guest speaker Richard Caro, Founder and CEO of  Tech Enhanced Life, SCL Room 341, 3-5 pm

December 6, 2018: End-Well Symposium /Design for the End of Life Experience, SF Jazz Center, San Francisco (www.endwellproject.org)

Impact Investing

Led by Mike Dorsey DCI ’18
Contact: [email protected]

The Impact Investing SIG holds weekly meetings and invites companies, thought leaders and investors to present to the group and evaluates potential investment opportunities for impact. The group uses the frameworks that are identified in “The Impact Investor: Lessons in Leadership and Strategy for Collaborative Capitalism”, written by Cathy Clark, Jed Emerson, Ben Thornley, as well as the frameworks used in the MIINT curriculum developed by Bridgespan Capital and Wharton Business School. Among the questions explored in this SIG are: “What is impact investing? How is it measured? Should we establish a new fund? The Impact Investing SIG partners with the Stanford Center on Social Innovation at GSB.

Meets:  Wednesdays 8am-9 am at GSB McClelland Building:  Room M226. Future meeting dates will be  November 14, 28 and December 5.


Energy & Sustainability

Led by Goran Puljic and Melinda Puljic, DCI ’18
Contact: [email protected]

This SIG is focused on issues relating to renewable energy and the sustainability of earth’s resources. We will learn together about a variety of renewable energy and sustainability topics and technologies. We will meet with entrepreneurs who are starting businesses focused on these areas, and interact with the other energy initiatives on campus.  The Energy and Sustainability SIG plans to coordinate with the TomKat Center for Sustainable Energy and with the Precourt Institute for Energy, and keep the DCI community abreast of the various energy and sustainability initiatives and events around campus….and get involved when and where appropriate.  This SIG has created a map the Energy and Sustainability ecosystem at Stanford, and will be hosting a series of documentary films.   For more information about joining this SIG and to be placed on the dci-energy-sig mailing list, contact Goran Puljic.

Healthcare & Life Sciences

Led by Lisa Pieper, DCI ’17
Contact: [email protected]

This newly formed SIG has a broad initial focus on both healthcare (policy, service, payor/provider, global health, clinical diagnostics, EMR, digital health) and the life sciences (biopharmaceuticals, genetics and emerging areas of science such as stem cells, CRISPR, microbioimmunity).  There are also topics that cross over both areas, such as machine learning, AI, molecular diagnostics and “precision medicine”, as examples. Consequently, we will initially focus on identifying the areas and topics of interest to the whole groups, which in turn may inform our thoughts about colloquia, collaborations, or forming sub-groups over time. 

Economic Inequality

Led by Jay Harris, DCI’18
Contact: [email protected]

It doesn’t matter which measure one picks – income, wealth, or purchases – the distribution of economic power between the wealthiest 10% of Americans and that of the rest of the country has gotten dramatically less equal in recent decades – and is getting more so. The premise of the Economic Inequality SIG is that the rise in inequality not only has terrible human consequences but also poses a direct danger to our democracy. The question is, what can we do about it? This SIG is still in the early stages of formation, but one early step will be to assess relevant research and resources at Stanford, including those connected with the Center on Poverty and Inequality.  


With the Innovation Transfer Program at TomKatCenter:

The Innovation Transfer Program at the TomKat Center for Sustainable Energy at Stanford University assists faculty, staff and students commercialize sustainable energy technologies and inventions by providing pivotal seed grants. These awards are intended to bridge the gap between government support for basic science and private-sector and venture funding. In addition to funding prototype development & testing, the Program assists participants develop a more business-centric approach to the potential markets and applications of their concepts through close linkages with relevant Stanford University entrepreneurship resources. It also provides access to domain experts including successful entrepreneurs and innovators, executives with experience in startups, and investors.

Please visit www.tomkat.stanford.edu  for more details about the Center and Program.   A cadre of Volunteer Mentor/Advisers provide the teams with ongoing guidance as they assess market opportunities and explore the commercialization potential of their inventions and innovations. The teams meet with their Mentors on an as-needed basis as their projects/ventures develop. The Mentors also assist the Center to review proposals that are submitted to the Program.

The Innovation Transfer Program is currently seeking accomplished women professionals who may be interested in helping early stage entrepreneurial teams and especially those with women founders. Please contact Brian Bartholomeuz if interested:  [email protected]



List of Classes and Opportunities

The dciX* is part of the network of Innovation Hubs and Centers at Stanford. We partner with the members of SEN, including the Stanford Venture Studio, and the Center for Entrepreneurial Studies. Below is the list of the many courses available at The Center for Entrepreneurial Studies and Upcoming Events. 

CES Entrepreneurial Course Listing 2018-19 Is Now Available Online
Planning your academic year? CES entrepreneurial course listing includes entrepreneurship related graduate-level courses in the 2018-19 academic year across Stanford. The online version can be found here and hardcopies are available in the CES office (McClelland M225).

Exploring A Startup: Finding Ideas and Forming Teams
Wednesday, November 14, 12 – 2 pm | Obendorf Event Center, GSB

Looking for a venture idea, or have one and need a team? Want to learn more about how to validate an idea through user discovery in preparation for classes like Startup Garage? Come to this event to hear about pressing challenges in sectors such as Transportation, Health & Wellness, Education, Longevity, Sustainability, Cities & Government, and more from experts in each field. Get a primer on user interviews, and network with other students over topics of mutual interest. Students with existing ideas will also have the opportunity to present their ideas. Lunch provided to those who RSVP.

This workshop is relevant to all venture forms (nonprofit, for-profit, tandem), industry verticals, and stages.


12:00 – 12:10: Check-In, Grab Lunch, Pick your table of interest
12:10 – 12:40: Where do great startup ideas come from?
12:40 – 1:10: Learn about interesting, unsolved problems in 5-6 industries
1:10 – 1:25: Share startup ideas that you would like to explore
1:30 – 1:50: Have a breakout discussion with like-minded peers
1:50 – 2:00: Wrap Up and learn about resources and actionable next steps

RSVP REQUIRED at http://bit.ly/IdeasAndTeams


“Acing the Winter Quarter Application” Workshop
Monday, November 26, 12:10-1:10pm | GSB G101
Application deadline: 5pm on Dec. 7, 2018. More information can found here





Finding Our Values: A New Era of Entrepreneurship Education
Stanford eCorner | Read

Seeing Our Way to Financial Security in the Age of Longevity
Stanford Center on Longevity | Read

Building Bridges Across the Generational Divide
Marc Freedman, The Wall Street Journal, Saturday November 3, 2018 | Read

The Impact Investor: Lessons in Leadership and Strategy for Collaborative Capitalism
Cathy Clark, Jed Merson, Ben Thornley, Wiley Books, 2015 | Read