Friday, August 13, 2010

Peter Speaks at Stanford d.School

Yesterday, Peter spoke to a small group at the Stanford Design School’s weekly Brown Bag lunches. The program, designed for the Social E Lab’s summer residents, brings in established Social Entrepreneurs to share their knowledge and experiences with the next generation of product designers. The informal sessions are a great way for us to share Driptech’s mission with others, as well as practicing the ol’ presentation skills.

Peter in full presentation mode

The small group setting of the event allowed for a more intimate interaction and greater flexibility of discussion. Peter spoke to the group for about 15 minutes, before opening up the floor to an extended Q&A session. He fielded questions about all aspects of running a social business, from specifics about affording the Dripech system to his favorite and least favorite things about working overseas.

The depth of the questions asked and the two-way flow of ideas and information were particularly striking. While the group was small, they asked an astounding number of questions, and many of them had to do with the business side of the operation. There was clearly an abundance of revolutionary ideas and talent in the audience that simply lacked the business guidance or leadership to be implemented successfully: if social entrepreneurship is to fulfill its potential for positive impact, the challenge is to find ways to connect these ideas with leadership and business acumen. Simultaneously, while the group did have a number of questions about the business side of social entrepreneurship, the event was by no means one sided. The audience contributed their own helpful knowledge from outside the field of drip irrigation. For example, one audience member suggested looking into a water purification company that was implementing a Distributed manufacturing model similar to what we hope to use eventually.

They also suggested we get these chairs. If they are actually chairs

As Driptech becomes commercially viable, it is good to see that we are not resting on our laurels, and instead are always on the lookout for new ideas.

1 comment:

Sri said...

Hi Driptech team, it is very exciting to read about your experiences. We are working on a business around drip systems. I've emailed our business plan to Sarah Huber. Could we setup a call to discuss further. Please respond. Thanks, Sri.