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Santa Clara University conference explores technology's role in improving the world

Friday, Oct. 26, 2007

SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Oct. 30, 2007 – The work of socially conscious innovators from around the globe will be featured at a conference Thursday, Nov. 8, at Santa Clara University. "Technology Benefiting Humanity: Taking Innovation to the Next Stage" is the theme of the event, which showcases examples of how technology can be used to address some of the world's most urgent human needs.

"The heart of the program focuses on the good work of social entrepreneurs and how it can become sustainable at scale," explained Jim Koch, founding director of the Center for Science, Technology, and Society at SCU, which is presenting the event. "Innovators are driven by their visions and passionate about their missions; to be sustainable, they need mechanisms to grow. The conference will examine these different mechanisms."

Those attending the conference include the 20 winners of this year's Tech Museum Awards, a program honoring social benefit entrepreneurs from 10 different countries. Also participating and giving presentations will be Manuel Castells, SCU Distinguished Visiting Professor; Allen Hammond, vice president for innovation and special projects at the World Resources Institute; Ted Moser of Mercer Management Consulting; Dan'l Lewin, a corporate vice president at Microsoft Corp.; and Dan Crisafulli, senior program officer at the Skoll Foundation. Regis McKenna, chairman of the CSTS advisory board, will also attend.

Conference highlights include:

  • A panel discussion on barriers to and opportunities for innovation, including commentary on how basic human needs are not met by government efforts and market forces;
  • Facilitated luncheon discussions, where participants can exchange experiences, collaborate on ideas and learn more about other organizations;
  • Visual presentations by Tech Award laureates showing technological solutions to health, education and environmental challenges;
  • Information about CSTS's KnowledeX project, which fosters an online community for social benefit entrepreneurs, allowing them to share knowledge with each other and the community.

Students at SCU will be invited to attend conference breakout sessions and hear directly from the laureates, according to Koch. "It's important to be clear about the value that is being created by the work of the laureates, and for us all to know who benefits by it. The beneficiaries are not just the poorest of the poor, they are everyone—government agencies, relief services, our entire society."

Sponsored by Applied Materials Inc. and Microsoft, the CSTS conference is held in cooperation with San Jose's Tech Museum of Innovation. The event will take place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the California Mission Room, at SCU's Benson Center. Admission is free, but advance registration is required.

To register, go to,
or contact Sherrill Dale, 408-551-6027,

About Santa Clara University
Santa Clara University, a comprehensive Jesuit, Catholic university located 40 miles south of San Francisco in California's Silicon Valley, offers its 8,377 students rigorous undergraduate curricula in arts and sciences, business, and engineering, plus master's and law degrees and engineering Ph.D.s. Distinguished nationally by one of the highest graduation rates among all U.S. master's universities, California's oldest operating higher-education institution demonstrates faith-inspired values of ethics and social justice. For more information, see

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